Dec 5, 2014 · 3 minutes

One bad thing about the ongoing explosion of interest and investment in small technology firms is that in 2014, everyone tries to frame their business as a "startup."

Got a restaurant? Add a hanging "r" to the end of your name and raise some venture. Too late to change your name? Write up a press release that calls yourself the "Uber" or the "Airbnb" of whatever you're selling. Trust me, it will work. Your business has a website, right? Don't call it a website, call it a "layer of software that removes friction from the customer experience and empowers micro-entrepreneurs." There, now you're Uber or Airbnb.

But today we received a pitch that takes this trend into the realm of self-parody. The company is called "Airsnb" and it describes itself as "a platform where people can enjoy the city with local sexy buddies. It is also providing locals to share their spare time with visitors and get financial rewards. It is in short, Airbnb for companionship."

It is, in short, an escort service. Its homepage features a carousel of these "sexy buddies" -- who are all women, by the way, though the founder claims it will offer male "fabulous buddies" in the future -- writhing about and wearing as little clothes as possible. Oh and they also charge by the hour and are currently only available in select cities like Las Vegas that just happen to have more relaxed laws against solicitation.

But hey, with a tech-sounding name and an "Airbnb of X" pitch, why not call it a startup? I sent its CEO Amin Mo an email asking what makes this different from an escort service, and he says "we allocate at least 5% of equity back to the buddies as we grow bigger," and that "it's pure marketplace, so it will be beneficial for clients as well as buddies." The second part about it being a "marketplace" sounds like more of the same vague empty startup jargon. The allocation of equity to the "buddies" is an interesting point, though. In any case, it's more than "marketplaces" like Uber offer to their drivers.

I also asked him about that name. Maybe I'm missing something, but if it's a play on "Air Bed and Breakfast," does snb stand for "Sex and Breakfast"? "Sexy and Buddy"? The closest thing to a sex act I can think of that matches the acronym is "Suck and Blow." Your "startup" is called "Air Suck and Blow"?

Mo confirms that it means "Sexy and Buddy," which doesn't really make sense, but okay.

To be clear, my intent isn't to shame or ridicule the women who sell their services on this site. Sex work in America and elsewhere around the world takes many forms, and I'm not going to make any blanket assumptions about the experiences of women that, to the best of my knowledge, I've never met. But calling a low-rent escort service "The Airbnb of compaionship"? Mr. Mo, are people ever put off by the horseshit that is literally oozing out of your mouth right now? Because you're so full of it, I don't know how you keep it all in.

That's not to say that "sex tech" or "hookup tech" isn't a real market. Bang With Friends (now called Down) and Tinder have both raised venture capital. There was also that recent article in Modern Luxury about the rise of "sugar daddies" in the Bay Area, who give money and gifts to women in return for companionship. It's always hard to tell from these pieces how prevalent these "trends" really are, but maybe Airsnb can jump on that market?

In any case, a tech-sounding name and slogan does not make you a startup. Know thyself, Airsnb.