So you’ve met a hooker…


, , , , , , , , , , ,

So you’ve met a sex worker. Maybe someone has recently “come out” to you, maybe you met a sex worker at a party, maybe a friend or lover has just told you about their sex work or maybe you’re a social worker and one of your clients is a sex worker. You might not be sure how to react, you might have some questions or concerns or you might not have an issue and want to let the person know. Maybe you have seen the Shit they say to sex workers video and the Shit they say to strippers video and you don’t want to be a cliché. This post will help guide you through those first few moments after someone tells you they are a sex worker. Take note because you never know when you are talking to a hooker.

First of all, stay calm. If the idea of sex work shocks, excites or upsets you, just relax. Don’t say something dumb in the heat of the moment. Give yourself a moment to compose yourself and  consider this post before you open your mouth. If you are not at all shocked or concerned either way, then feel free to act normally.

Take a moment now to think about every stereo type you can imagine relating to sex workers. Think of the pretty woman, and the bodies in dumpsters on Law and Order, of high-class call girls, and desperate drug dependant street workers, about sex slaves, pimps and dangerous clients about sex workers childhoods, their reasons for working, their lifestyle. Every stereotypical image you can think of and then some.

I want you to understand that every single time we tell someone that we are a sex worker, we do so knowing the person we tell may have one or all of these assumptions about sex workers. When we tell someone we are a sex worker we risk having  them instantly apply and compare any or all of those stereotypes to us. Imagine how we might feel when we disclose our job to you, or anyone. If its hard for you, it’s hard for us.

Its important that we see that our job doesn’t change anything for you. That you don’t presume anything about us just because we are sex workers. That you don’t judge us. If you want to respond in ways that demonstrate this, here are some hints from my personal perspective:

1. Just because I tell you about my job, doesn’t mean I have told everyone else. Please don’t parade me around the party expecting me to play the role of happy hooker for the amusement of all your friends.

2. Our job is not inherently violent, it is not an accepted part of our job, and many of us work our entire careers without experiencing workplace violence. Some of us have experienced violence at work, but it’s polite to wait for appropriate safe and supportive spaces before bringing up sensitive past events. What I’m trying to say is when I tell you I am a sex worker, don’t let the first or second or even third question be ‘so, how often do you get hit’.

3. Sex work doesn’t always include penis and vagina penetration. Sex work can be anythingand everything related to sex. Massage with a happy ending, stripping, bondage and discipline services or any number of things. Dont presume you know about the service I provide unless I tell you.

4. Don’t presume anything about my sexuality, my sexual boundaries, my sex drive or my sexual preferences. The sex I do for work is work and is not necessarily related to the sex I do for pleasure. Me being a sex worker doesn’t preclude me from also being in a monogamous relationship, or being celibate, or dating, or being fussy, or being promiscuous or being gay, or being sexually adventurous or being shy in the bedroom. All on my own terms. And just because I sell sex at work, doesn’t mean I’m always working or that I will sell it outside of work, and it doesn’t mean I’ll fuck you. But it doesn’t mean I wont either.

5. No it’s not OK to ask me if I was abused as a child, If my dad loved me, if I have any self-esteem, or what I spend my money on. All I did is tell what job I do, not ask for a psychological/financial assessment. My relationship with my parents is hardly relevant, I can bore you with my childhood stories some other time when we all start talking about childhood and daddy issues. My bills and finances are none of your business and my personal stuff is my personal stuff. Right now I’m trying to tell you about my job, and I am judging your reaction. These questions show me you are looking for reasons and needing an explanation or excuse. Your questions may seem innocent and harmless but have a look at your assumptions behind them or  at the  least remember the stereotypes that i deal with and  understand how it makes me feel when you respond to my disclosure with questions like that.

6. If you have known other sex workers, feel free to tell me about it, particularly if you hold those sex workers in high regard. I don’t need to hear about your ex who was a hooker who you hate or about some hooker you saw in a movie who was hot. Dont bunch us together or pretend you know anything about me just because you once knew a hooker. If you are telling me about another sex worker you know, make sure its because it is ether relevant to the conversation in some other way or because you are trying to reassure me that my job is no issue and I am welcome in your group. But don’t break someone’s confidentiality. Dont point out the other hooker at the party or tell me that Dave’s girlfriend is a stripper. That’s not cool and you just made me wish I never told you.

7. Dont feel sorry for me, ask me about other jobs I could be doing, ask me what my goals are in life, offer to help me with a resume or lecture me about my future. If I need help in career planning or employment pathways I will ask. If, by the way, I do want to consider other options outside the sex industry, dont presume it’s because I hate the sex industry and am ready to repent.

8. Dont tell me if you think its hot that I’m a hooker or I’ll charge you by the hour. Its my job, I’m not at work. If you were talking to me as a hooker, you’d be paying me by the hour.  In my personal life I like people who like me even when I’m not a hooker.

9. Dont compare me to other sex workers, either positively or negatively. You don’t make me feel good by telling me I’m smarter than other hookers, or that at least I don’t work off the street. You might think you are giving me a compliment, but it’s very backhanded. Not to mention, what if I do work from the street, or have worked from the street. Your judgements are showing again.

10. Dont ask me about the intricacies of my work unless its necessary or I give you permission to ask. It’s like a doctor doesn’t want to start looking at everyone’s skin irritations and swollen glands when they are at a BBQ. Also when you ask me if my clients are gross or dirty, or if I kiss, or how often I get tested, or how many clients i fuck in a shift, I know your making those judgements about me. Why else do you want to know about the attractiveness of my clients or how many of them I have sex with? You’re being grossed out and it’s offensive.

11. Dont tell me you couldn’t do it. Yes you could, you just choose not too. I’m not superhuman, I wasnt born with a whore gene. I find it insulting when someone thinks there is something inherently different about me. I would rather not work as a plumber cleaning shitty sewage pipes, but I COULD do it. Obviously.

Now, obviously there will be times when some of these questions feel relevent to you. For example if you are in a sexual monogamous relationship with someone, their sexual practices at work, especially their safe sex practices, may be important to you. I am not saying you have no rights to ask those questions, I am saying it’s probably not a good time to ask those questions at the time of disclosure. I am suggesting that you listen, trust, show your non judgement first. Then at a different time when you have had time to consider what you really need to know and for what reasons you can have that conversation. Be clear though, that your insecurities or concerns or lack of awareness are usually your issues. We may be willing to help you work through them, but it’s important you own it.

If you want to ensure that people feel comfortable and safe enough around you to disclose their sex work status, or share stories or information about their work, there are some things you can do to help make that more possible.

1. When you hear stories about sex workers anywhere ever, speak up! Show your support. You never know who around you might do or might have done sex work. Maybe it’s them telling you the story, testing the waters, checking your reaction before telling you about their own sex work.

2. When someone discloses let them know that you are cool about their job and then follow their lead. How you do this will depend on your relationship if you just met someone at a party  “ok, cool, im a teacher/nurse/student/etc” should do the trick. If its your partner “ok, thanks for telling me, i love you/ I really like you/ I support you/etc” and then let them make the next move. If you don’t get all your questions answered right then and there, it’s ok. By providing a safe space you are increasing the likelihood of getting the information you want.

3. Try saying something positive. Like “it’s great you have a job that fits around your studying/parenting/other interests or responsibilities” and just see what they say. You are all of a sudden giving us permission to talk about our job both the positive and the negative. You have shown us in one sentence that you hold no judgements. In fact I really really recommend you try saying this to someone when they tell you they are a sex worker. Let me know how it goes.

Of course all of this only applies to those that have any desire to have the person  in their life in any capacity in the future and for those who want the person disclosing to feel safe in their presence and those who wish to behave appropriately and respectfully. You may have some concerns or some feelings about the issue and that is ok, you may even be unsure about your feelings. But there is plenty of time  to work through any whorephobia you may have lurking later. If you are willing.

However if you have a big problem with sex work or sex workers and you have a severe reaction to the disclosure it might be best if you quietly leave the room without making a scene. Try to say as little as possible so as to not incriminate yourself any further. I just told you what my job is, not that I’m about to murder someone. I don’t need to explain myself. I don’t need your permission. I don’t need your judgement. I have heard  it all before and I was expecting this. If you stick around and show me how you really feel either purposefully or inadvertently,  I will react in one of two ways 1. I’ll answer your questions say what you need to hear, respond in the ways i need to get your approval and make it stop  or I’ll defend myself, stand my ground, put you in your place. And you don’t want to be  put in your place by an angry hooker. for real.

After all of this, if your still looking for something to say let me suggest “can I get you a drink?”

Welcome To My Boudoir


, , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday I got the keys to my new work space, my very own unit! And today I did my first jobs from there.  I have worked in so many different spaces over the years, both for myself and for other people but I have never had my very own place just for me. It’s all mine and mine alone and it is very exciting. Setting it up and slowly settling in, I have been enjoying the challenge of decorating my new workplace in practical and attractive ways that are economical. I refuse to spend money that I haven’t yet earned, I’m not a gambling woman. Pilfering from my home, accepting donations of old furniture from friends and  towels and linen from ex workers and  watching my ideal work space come together, dreaming about future white goods and artwork. I can put things where ever I want, and they will still be there in the same spot when I come back the next day. It’s so fun not having to compromise with other people!

So because workrooms, brothel décor and furniture placement is what is on my mind I have decided to write about the places I have been paid to fuck in. There have been so many different places I have had paid sex but some things were always the same.

My first ever sex work booking was in a gym after hours. I had just started escorting and my first client was the Gym Manager. During that booking his desk became my workbench, I laid back on it with my legs in the air and he fucked me. The building was dark, big and a little daunting. Afterwards I washed at the basin in the ladies toilets. These days, after so many beds,  it would be a fun and interesting job, but back then for my first time, a well-lit private bedroom would have been preferable.

Over the years during escort bookings I have fucked in offices, in ware houses, in cars, in trucks, in the kitchen of a golf club during business hours, on couches, in wives beds, on the floors of empty houses with for sale signs out the front, in backyard sheds, in make shift floor beds, on spare single beds, in spa’s, in caravans, in hotels and motels and probably plenty of other places that i cannot think of.

Being in a clients home is never predictable, the clients might be but their homes and hospitality vary massively. Some clients will show you straight to the makeshift bed on the lounge room floor. Out of respect for their partners they wont do you in the marital bed or even let you close to the bedroom. Others don’t care and will have you in their bed with wedding pictures and children’s toys all around. Sometimes you get the distinct impression there might even be kids asleep in another room somewhere. I have been lucky to not be chased out of a house by an angry partner. Yet. It is a fear though, so I always keep my clothes and money close!

Some want you to have a drink with them or listen to their music or show you their garden or play a game of pool or introduce their dog or show off their big screen tv. Some wont want you anywhere near their things. Some have immaculately clean houses, some don’t. Sometimes you’re at a bachelor share pad in the middle of the day while the other house mates are at work and it doesn’t look like someone has cleaned the shower in years, let alone washed a towel for you. Sometimes you do it on their parents bed because they are away for the weekend and its cleaner than your clients bed.

The only thing the workspaces on my escort bookings have had in common is privacy. I do insist on privacy.  The cars have been parked on private property (like in the warehouse haha), the trucks have cute little private bed cubicles and I wont go into a house if I think there is more than my client at home. But once my client is horizontal, my handbag of tricks becomes my portable workstation containing all the tools of my trade such as condom, lube, massage oil, toys, wet ones and a mobile phone sometimes even some lip gloss.

But I prefer in-house work, where the client visits me and I get to control the environment. I pick the music, offer the drink, invite them to lay on my bed, set the lighting and make sure I have clean towels. Make my sex work space is the way I like it. The first brothel I worked at taught me everything I know about a good sex work space. Back in those days the police were very active and my boss used to move the brothel from townhouse to townhouse in order to evade the police or reopen after a bust. She told me it was important to have a place with an address that was simple and easy to find and impossible to confuse. It was so important to reduce the likelihood of clients going to the wrong door and  causing neighbours to complain and alert the police.

The town houses were 3 bedrooms with two bedrooms converted into work rooms and one being used for a client waiting room. There was a private space for workers (usually the kitchen)that was off limits to clients and whole place would be immaculate and clean.

In our work room we had a queen size firm and stable bed. No creeks or squeaks to distract  our clients during the important bits. Condoms in different sizes and flavours and sachets of lube in the bedside drawer. Tissues, wet ones, massage oil and talcum powder on the bedside table. A chair for clients to put their clothes on, a CD player with something like enya or sade playing, prettily rolled up fluffy towels stacked on a small stand and another towel on the bed folded into a fan like (wh)origami. After taking the clients money we unfold the towel flat onto the bed so the client could lay on it, decreasing any spills onto the bed sheets. And ofcourse there was a clock.

Most of the brothels I’ve worked at since then were pretty similar to this set up, although with varying degrees of cleanliness, classiness, and attractiveness. In Adelaide our brothels are so basic because the illegality prevents people from investing in them. Noone wants to put in spa’s and ceiling mirrors when it could be closed down any minute. Brothels are mostly rented premises in residential areas with usually only two or three work rooms.

Some of the brothels I worked at did not have condoms or lube in the room because they were worried about them being used as evidence, so they would be kept under lock and key only distributed sparingly as needed.

Some  staff rooms double as a waiting room for clients, meaning workers are always on display and on duty even between jobs. I hate that. Who wants to get stuck talking to someone elses client for twenty minutes while he waits for his worker? You have to be sweet and polite and noone is even paying you!

While most brothels I have worked in have been nicely decorated, with classy and sensual framed prints hanging on the walls there were some exceptions. One place I worked was decorated with framed photographs of the owners parents, children and family members. I always found this bizarre and slightly off-putting. I wonder if it was yet another strategy to throw the cops of the scent.

And then there was Melbourne, an eye opener. Ten work rooms, a shop front where the clients just let themselves in, big massive dressing room for the workers, showers built into every room, music playing in hidden speakers in every room, special purple lamps to do STI checks on clients, buzzers and intercoms in our rooms. And this brothel also had a couple of themed rooms, a B&D room with a big wooden chair with buckles on it, a rack with lots of toys and pain inflicting devices, and bed with bars and handcuffs attached to it. It also had an orgy room with a king size bed, a day bed and a spa in the room. But even with all the new features and modern conveniences, everything else was the same, there was still a bed, the towel folding, the tissues, wet ones, condoms and lube.

In my private work I have rented rooms with or from other workers and in hotels, motels and apartments. I bring my own towels, I put on the clock radio on for music and I take my money down to my car between jobs as there is often nowhere to hide it when in a small hotel room with your client right there. I put on the big room light for doing business and a softer bedside lamp for doing….. business. I have the same set up with my whorigami on the bed, my tissues, wet ones, lube, oil, talcum and sometimes my toys on the bedside table. I hang my sexy costumes and lingerie in sight for decoration and eye candy.

And there have been times when I worked on the floor, behind a screen on my friend’s apartment floor, or times when I worked on my other friends couch whist visiting her in Darwin (she was working from her bedroom). Times when I rented a room from the Asian parlour around the corner or from the busy suburban brothel 2 suburbs away. Each time I do my best to try ensure the space is private, clean, practical and comfortable and has some ambience or atmosphere. But even when I don’t, it doesn’t stop the clients from paying.  I have always felt guilty when inviting clients somewhere that I consider not up to scratch but they never seem to care. They are not there for the towel folding or the music playing.

But I am really enjoying being  able to offer my clients a shower in private, playing good music in the background and buying lots of fluffy soft towels. Maybe I should put my prices up?

I am a whore


, , , , , , , , ,

And other words you shouldn’t call me…

You may have noticed the name of my blog and my frequent use of the word whore. A lot of people have wondered why I use that particular word and many have suggested that I shouldn’t. Some people have told me that in order to win more friends I should not use such strong language, others have told me that I shouldn’t put myself down like that, I should have more pride. I’ve also been told that it is such an evil word that we should rid it from our language,  no woman is a whore.

I would just like to respond to those comments before I continue:

  • I’m anonymous, I don’t need to compromise who I am here in order to make friends. This blog is not about conforming to appease people, it’s about sharing myself in order to offer a perspective on… being a whore.
  • Thanks for your concern but I have so much whore pride its dangerous, have you read my blog? Does it look like I’m consumed in hooker shame? Whore isn’t my confession and I’m not asking for your forgiveness.
  • And guess what? you’re wrong! some women (and others) are whores… Hi! Sorry, you can’t rid me from your language!

Whore is a word I am choosing to reclaim to describe the job I do and the stigma I face. The fact that it upsets so many people only reaffirms my desire to call myself a whore and watch the people squirm. Why does a sexually and/or financially independent or liberated or adventurous or nonconforming woman stress you out so much? Why is whore so much more offensive than say – wife or student or nurse and all of the stereotypes they imply. Who cares if I’m a whore! Whore whore whore whore whore!! I like the word slut for the same reason. As women these words control us in ways that are so ingrained in society and in our own psyche we barely recognise them. What are we so ashamed of? What are we scared of? Or who cares so much about the sex life of the person next to us? And what even is a slut or a whore? Just words often used as nasty insults rather than a descriptions of someones sex life or work life or both. Lets face it, how many people reading this have been called a whore or a slut, or called someone else a whore or a slut and it had absolutely nothing to do with sex or money? Anyone has the potential to be called a whore or a slut, these words serve to control us all by shaming some of us. The more we all run from these words, the more power they have. By reclaiming the word whore I feel like I am taking away its sting and its ability to hurt me and at the same time I am standing up to the whore hating slut shaming bullies. Standing up with woman kind, with slut kind and with whore kind, with human kind, standing tall and united.

When you call her a slut, you call me a slut, and we are all sluts… now what? Yes I am a whore, I have sex for money which makes me a whore.. so what?

Not only that, I think Whore is so powerful and strong and has an ancient and sacred context. Almost a modern day witch. I am a whore. Hear me roar!

That doesn’t mean all of us are ok with the word whore. Given that it is still used in very derogatory ways, and is considered an insult of the worst kind by most people in our society, you better be careful who you are calling a whore. Sex worker is the politically correct terminology. If you are referring to another sex worker you should use sex work and sex worker unless told otherwise.

Sex worker is the preferred language because it places sex work clearly as work. It doesn’t hold any connotations and it doesn’t make any judgements. It includes all of our community in all our diversity and shows respect to our stated wishes. Basically you should call us sex workers because we said so, and you don’t need a better reason than that.

You should not call us prostitutes. Well not without our permission. In Australia many sex workers find the ‘P’ word offensive. In everyday language prostitute has come to mean sell out or without morals and has nothing to do with the type of work we do. IE/ ‘he is now prostituting himself to corporate sector’. Even when describing our work prostitution is not always accurate. Prostitution generally refers to full sexual intercourse whereas many sex workers do not provide intercourse. I personally am not upset by the word prostitute, but if you are in the media or in politics and you use the P word despite having being asked not to thousands of times by sex workers and our representative organisations, then shame on you! You should know better! Sex worker is what you have been asked to call us, have some respect!

Other names I have been called include hooker, escort, masseuse, working girl, lady of the night, mattress actress, call girl, ho, street walker and many many many more.

They all hold their connotations and we all identify with and/or hate them differently. I personally do not identify as an escort because an escort visits the client in their hotel or home or whatever whereas I more often provide an inhouse service. I don’t mind being called a hooker, but if you’re using the word ho or whore you better use it with love. And that’s just me.

If you don’t know what language someone uses to describe themselves, use sex worker. If you’re speaking formally to or about sex workers, say sex worker. At parties and BBq’s, in the media and in online conversations, say sex worker. Inhouse sex workers, street based sex workers, escort/visiting sex workers, sex workers in strip clubs and in the porn industry, phone sex workers, male, female and gender diverse sex workers, young sex workers, migrant sex workers, private and independent sex workers, sex workers employed in brothels and agencies. Sex workers, sex workers, sex workers. You get the idea.

I know it might sound confusing, I can call myself a whore or whatever else I want but you have to call me a sex worker. If you think about it though, you will notice many marginalised groups are reclaiming and using language that was once used derogatorily against them, while at the same time asking people outside of their community use language that is neutral and respectful. You have no right to reclaim language on behalf of a marginalised community you don’t belong to unless you have been given permission. And even then, permission is usually only good for a specific circumstance or context and does not necessarily give you a free pass to say what you want when you want just because you once dated someone who didn’t mind being called a prostitute. If you are not a sex worker and you choose to use language that holds negative connotations to describe us or our work without any right to do so, you are being disrespectful. If you continue to use disrespectful language even after you have been asked not you, you are a bigot.

To put it another way,

I am a whore amongst whores, a sex worker in public and If you are lucky enough to meet me socially or get me behind closed doors… you can call me Jane.

Up ya bum!

I am always surprised when people ask me how many times I have been hit at work and they are always surprised when I answer NEVER.  In all my years sex working, there have been only been two times when my client scared me and neither of these times resulted in me being hurt.

It’s important to note that if I feel uneasy about a potential client for any reason I do not accept the booking. As sex workers we develop many screening techniques that work for us, the most reliable one being our gut instincts. I also want to acknowledge that while I have not experienced workplace violence or abuse at work in the sex industry, there are many sex workers who have. Indeed there are many workers in all industries who have, but for workers in the sex industry there is less support and limited options to deal with issues or incidents due to criminalisation and discrimination. In many cases the sex work laws are responsible for making sex workers more vulnerable at work. We should also remember that for women violence is more likely to be a part of our home life than our work life, no matter what job we do. So to ask me how many times I have been hit at work just because I am a sex worker is kind of ridiculous and inappropriate, not to mention unhelpful. Imagine asking every woman you meet how many times they have been hit by a partner or family member as part of normal conversation.

So generally I get frustrated with the question and the looks of disbelief that follow my answer, but if I’m feeling generous I will follow it up with an explanation and a story. Only two bookings where I felt scared and due to my well refined de-escalation skills neither of them resulted in me being hurt. Infact one of them is now part of my collection of funny hooker stories, do you want to hear it?

I was working in one of Adelaide’s small suburban brothels one evening when this client came in. He booked me for 2 hours straight up and we headed for the small 2 person outdoor spa in the private courtyard of the cottage we were working from. It didn’t take me long to notice this guy was wired. He was racing through emotions from aggressive to horny to nervous back to aggressive, the whole time very agitated. In the spa he told me what I already suspected; he been on a massive drink and drug bender and hadn’t slept for three days. He told me about a  big fight he had with his girlfriend and was clearly still very angry about it. He became more aggressive the more he talked about the fight. He re-enacted an argument using me as a prop for his girlfriend.

I was scared. I was confined in the spa with him inches from my face, yelling at me, fist clenched, veins popping, body pumped, mind scattered, pupils dilated.


He wasn’t calling me a stupid fucking bitch, he was telling me what he said to his girlfriend, but he sure was doing a convincing performance. In those moments a thousand things  flashed in my mind but I did my best to hold his focus and find a way to snap him back to the here and now. I was worried that in his overtired, delirious, hyped up, sketched out, coming down, pepped up, clenching tight, freaking out state of conscienceness he would blur the line and vision between me and his girlfriend and then I’d be in trouble.

I calmly and gently reminded him that there were people inside the house who will come out and check on us if they hear him yelling and swearing. He lowered his voice but kept going, every now and then getting louder and more aggressive as the story peaked. He was angry and he was strong and he was unpredictable. If I had been visiting him I would have found a reason to leave but I was in a brothel and there were other workers around who will intervene the minute I screamed so i kept going with the booking.

After a while he stopped talking about his girlfriend and seemed to settle into the service. We went inside to the bedroom past the other workers where I gave them a look which said… ‘hard work’ (as opposed to the ‘funny story’ or ‘extra money opportunity here’ or ‘bored as hell’ or ‘get me the fuck outa here’ looks). They give me a ‘poor you’ look in return and I keep walking.

Behind closed doors he was still agitated and still tense, still arrogant and still strong, but less angry. We had about an hour and 20 mins left and I planned on using the last 10 mins to shower, so really only about an hour left. I knew he wasn’t going to want me to massage him, and I knew he would have trouble performing after his bender but guys like this wont to let you do your thing. They want this and they want that, now do this and try that, none of which is going to give him an erection. But he’ll rub it till it’s raw or the hour is up. I’m twisting his nipples, sucking him off, playing with myself, playing with him, on repeat while he rubs and rubs, he is hot and dripping in sweat, condoms get thrown off and new ones put on while his dick goes hard and soft and i try hard not to show my boredom whilst avoiding falling drops of sweat.

Wanking his dick and talking about various women he has fucked and sex acts he’s proud of. Again not very interesting and some of it was pretty offensive. He told me him and his mates once picked up a woman from a club, took her somewhere nearby and fucked her during which she allowed them to stick a carrot in her ass. These three guys were fucking this woman in the ass with a carrot and then let it get stuck inside her, they couldn’t get it out. Everyone involved freaked out and the guys drove her to the closest hospital and dumped her out the front.. I was appalled and I didn’t hide it. I told him I thought it was disgusting that they would be so disrespectful as to just dump her at the hospital after they carelessly lost a fucking carrot in her ass. I disliked him even more.

But there was still 40 minutes to go so I went back to playing with my vibrator while he furiously yanked on his penis trying to make himself cum. It was after I faked the 3rd orgasm (all that moaning has got to lead to something eventually) when he told me he wanted me to fuck him with one of my toys. It’s not an unusual request, I would say at least half the guys I see like some kind ass teasing or anal play even if they don’t talk about it. I had plenty of ass- play experience with clients with my condom covered fingers, but not much with toys. There was 35 minutes left in the booking and I was keen to shake it up a bit and waste some precious time in this long tedious booking by getting up of the bed, finding the right  toy, putting a condom on it and getting lube organised.

I chose a smallish slim vibrator and put a condom over it. I underestimated him. I should have chosen a medium or even a large toy, he had obviously done this before. He was getting right into it and for the first time in the booking I felt the pressure mounting, now we were getting somewhere. He was still pulling on his penis, it was hard now. I knew, in the way a hooker knows that I needed to keep going at the same pace for just a bit longer to make him finally cum and then I can push him out the door. But the toy was too small and he was thrusting so far back on it that it his ass swallowed the vibrator while I clinged to the end of the condom that covered it. The whole vibrator was now inside him with only the condom hanging out and he was still thrusting. I gave the condom a yank trying to bring the vibrator back out where I could get a grip of it but the condom broke and the vibrator disappeared in further inside him.

My life flashed before my eyes. This aggressive sketched out tough guy on all fours in front of me and I lost a vibrator in his ass!!

I didn’t say anything, I shoved my fingers inside him and felt the tip of the toy. I told him to push so I could grab it and instead he tensed up and I felt it move away from my fingers. He started freaking, I told him to relax and push, it’s going to be fine I promised, I’ve got it I lied. But I had no idea what has going to happen, I was shitscared.

Like a pro, he instantly fell into foetal position, pulled his ass cheeks apart and pushed. I saw the end of the toy crowning (haha), I grabbed it and pulled it out. I told you he had done this before! The relief flooded through me, crisis averted. He was kinda pissed off at me, not only had I killed the potential orgasm, but I had irresponsibly lost my toy in his bum.

With the danger gone, his bottom in tact and only 15 minutes of the booking left I felt pretty safe and smug in assuring him that if I had lost the vibrator in his ass I would happily arrange for someone to drop him out the front of the local hospital.

Even now the memory of the arrogant, aggressive, tough guy falling into foetal and pulling his ass cheeks apart and pushing like his life depended on it makes me giggle.

The boys in brown


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I used to travel around South Australia and sometimes beyond for a weekend every month in order to sex work anonymously. I had an arrangement with my partner at the time that I could work with his blessing but not in our own city where the chances of me fucking his boss were increased. The first time I went away it was a risk, a financial risk but it felt risky in other ways too because I was not sure what to expect of the town, of the clients, of the accommodation, or any other variable I could imagine. I hired a driver, a friend of a friend. We agreed that I would pay him a flat fee for the weekend to drive me there and back and to all my jobs. He was employed to provide my transport and my security. I was worried that I wouldn’t make enough money to pay him and still make a good profit but I need’nt have, I was very busy. And so my successful out of town business (ad)ventures continued for a couple of years. I have many stories to tell about these trips away, about the clients, the towns, the jobs, the way I felt. But this story is about the time I was kicked out of town by the boys in brown.

It was the third time I had been to this particular seaside town and each time I had had mixed results. The first time I made a fortune and the second time I barely covered costs. But this time was going to be a winner, my add in the local paper had scored me many back to back confirmed bookings and many more enquiries.

On this occasion I had decided to fly rather than drive and with no car I had no requirement for a driver. I arrived in town alone with a reservation for a nice holiday apartment, my mobile phone, my bag of tricks and a booking sheet full of in-call appointments. It was too early to check into my apartment so I wandered around town window shopping and buying supplies for the weekend. The phone was ringing off the hook but it was mostly just my first client pestering to come and see me early. I kept explaining that I hadn’t yet checked into my apartment yet and that I would call him when I was ready. He was very eager.

It is because of over eager clients like him (among other reasons) that I don’t give out my address until I am ready to greet them at the door. I will take the booking and their phone number and give them a general vicinity of my apartment but I make them call me again 10 mins before the booking to get the full details. This stops anyone knocking at my door before I am ready, when I am not there or when I am with another client. It also means that it is only the genuine clients that know exactly where I am. Makes me feel safer.

Eventually the time came when I could head back to my apartment and check in.  I had done my best to choose a holiday apartment that was suitable to work from. And by suitable I mean, no management on premises and definitely no reception that the client had to walk through before getting to me. I also consider things like, security, but not too much security. I want my clients to be able to get from their car to my front door with as little fuss as possible. And so do they generally. This apartment met all the criteria but  the caretakers were hanging around cleaning some of the recently vacated apartments which always make me nervous. And my first client was still calling. I decided to let him come what was almost two hours early because that would mean I would have a two hour break before my next booking and would hopefully rouse less suspicion the from caretakers if they happened to still be hanging around.

I set up my apartment ready for work. In the bedroom I had my tissues and wet ones on one bedside table and massage oil and talcum powder on the other. In one bedside of drawer I have the condoms and lube and the other I have my toys. In an open cupboard I have my costumes, lingerie and dress ups, all aimed at exciting a client or extending a booking or charging extra. Just having them there in view is often enough to help the session along, or plant the seed for a second booking.

I cover the bed with a coverall blanket over all the bedding and place a nicely folded towel on top. When the client comes I unfold the towel for them to lie on decreasing any mess. At the end of the night I get my own pillow from home and take the blanket off the bed leaving fresh bedding for me to sleep in.

I turn the big lights off and the bedside lamps on. I like background music playing, preferably something smooth and sexy with some bass but the clock radio was often all I had.

In the lounge I had porn playing on mute. Purely to encourage longer bookings and to provide a more… inclusive service, not just a bedroom one. Which is why I also had lots of snacks and beverages to offer clients. I had higher prices and discounts for longer bookings trying to decrease clients without decreasing my profits. Mainly because I was scared of being noticed by the hotels I stayed in and so I didn’t want a steady stream of men coming and going. I had the breath mints out, drinks in the fridge, 2 mobile phones and a piece of paper full of names, numbers and times.

I was nearly ready so I gave my first client the details of where to come but asked him to wait 15 more mins and he agreed. I was hoping the caretakers would leave before he came but of course he doesn’t wait he arrives straight away. I should have known by his incessant phone calls. I let him in and I asked him how long he would like to stay for, which is  really just a prompt for “let’s do business”  since we have already discussed on the phone how long. He tells me and I ask for the agreed upon fee. He doesn’t have enough money.

He did the usual “Oh, I’ll go to the bank and come straight back” routine. Its annoying at the best of times but this time, I was anxious because of the caretakers still hanging around the site. I wanted him to stay rather than come and go and come back again so I asked him how much money he had on him and negotiated a shorter service for a lesser fee, just to keep him in my apartment. Again, hoping that the caretakers would leave before he finished.

He paid, he stayed and he loved it. When I showed him out I was happy to notice the caretakers had left. I shut the door behind him, chucked my money with the phones and booking sheet and went to jump in the shower. But there was a knock at the door. I thought it was going to be my annoying client who had already proven a lack of understanding of my way of doing business. I had only shown him out the door less than 5 mins ago, maybe he left his keys behind or something. I hadn’t yet given my address out to anybody else.

So I threw on my dress quickly, no underwear and opened the door. It took me a minute to process who was on the other side, two guys wearing a brown uniform. The country police.

“We have reason to believe you are running a prostitution business from here”

I laughed. “Why on earth would you think that?” I don’t know how convincing I sounded, I usually lie pretty badly, so I’m guessing I was hopeless.

Apparently the caretakers had called them. I couldn’t believe it. “I have had one male friend visit me and you think I am a prostitute!!!?” I wasn’t actually faking my indignation. Apparently my stupid client had said something to one of them on his way up. Something like “Do I pay you?”.

“So one stupid man asks if he pays the hotel caretaker and that makes ME a prostitute? How ridiculous, maybe he was wanting to rent a room or something”.

No, I have to leave the apartment regardless because it is the prerogative of management and they have asked me to leave. It seemed I didn’t have much choice so I agreed to pack my stuff. Both the cops came into the apartment to “help me pack up”.

Take a moment to think back to the scene I described earlier about how I had my apartment set up, what I was wearing, and the money next to the booking sheet, next to my phones. It became obvious what was going on.

They went all good cop/bad cop on me. They took my details and tried to insist I gave them the phone numbers for both the phones. I wouldn’t admit to their allegations and I refused to give them the second mobile number. It would link to my adds. So I told them it was my phone for my straight job and that I did not want them calling me at work accusing me of being a prostitute! I knew my rights, all I have to give is my name date of birth and address. I didn’t have to say anything else.

And THEN the bad cop came in with a camera! He was going to take a photo of me. I hadn’t even been charged with anything. I asked him if I had a right to refuse and he said “oh it’s just something we do now”. I said again “do I have a right to refuse?” He said “sure you can refuse but then I’ll take you down the station and charge you with prostitution”.

By this time in my life I knew the laws pretty much back to front. Probably better than mister bad cop and his good cop partner put together. There is no charge of “prostitution” there are a range of other charges such soliciting, receiving money in a brothel etc, but he didn’t have any evidence for anything. He had one guy, one girl and some porn. Sure they could claim I was going to engage in illegal activity by turning the hotel room into a ‘brothel’ with the booking sheet but it’s not illegal until you do it.

So I refused the photo and told him he had no evidence to press charges. I was relieved when he didn’t try anyway but on the way out he told me that if I tried any other hotel they would find me there too and I believed him. So I gave up. I changed my flights so I could fly home that night and headed out to the airport. I had hours to wait so I sat and drank the wine I had bought for my clients and contacted all my bookings to cancel and let them know what had happened.

One of my clients was so disappointed he asked if he could come see me right there, right now in the airport. After a few wines and a big financial loss this actually seemed like an option. After all I still had the whole afternoon to wait and I was bored. So I agreed. He picked me up in his ute and drove me to a quiet spot not far from the airport.

40 mins later he dropped me back at the airport and I’d almost recovered my loss. And I had another good story.

But baby, just think of what we could do..


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another love story. Complete with love, lies, sex, summer holidays and a little bit of communication. When I met Luke I was happily hooking in a brothel 2 shifts a week, studying part-time, working a ‘straight’  job and parenting but I still found time to do a little partying. I was single, my kids spent a couple of nights a week with their father and I was still young so every now and then I’d go out on the town with my besti’s and on some of these occasions I got lucky. Or I should say, sometimes I went home with someone and they got lucky!

By this point in life I had made a decision to keep my sex work job a secret. I had children to think of, I had an ex partner, the father of my kids, who I didn’t want to give ammunition, I had study, a straight job and a future. I was not ashamed of my sex work, it was just such a non issue that I couldn’t be bothered dealing with the stigma if I didn’t have to, and I wanted to protect my children from it. It was sex work that had allowed me study part-time, given me the freedom  to be a single mum rather than stay in an unhappy relationship, allowed me pick and choose straight jobs, only accepting those that were flexible and willing to work around my family and my study. It  was sex work that meant I could buy the expensive texts books I needed for Uni, and take my kids to overpriced music lessons and still left me with enough money to have a big night out every now and then. I was desperately scared of having to give all that up and I thought that keeping it a secret would prevent that from happening.

And it worked. I didn’t tell Luke the night I met him at the party. Actually we had met quite a few times over the years, but he had never really left an impression on me before. But that night he did and we spent the night together and then later in the week another night and then an afternoon. I didn’t want to tell him my secret because then it’s not a secret. What if we stopped  seeing each other after a short time and then he told everyone else. I decided it was none of his business and that if we were still seeing each other after 3 months I would tell him.

3 months came and went and Luke and I were still seeing each other. He spent time with me and the kids and it was getting fairly serious. I had dropped my shifts in the brothel back to only one per week, and I didn’t want to tell him. I knew by now that he would hate it. I knew that he would make me stop. I knew he would be upset I had kept it from him. And I knew it didn’t have to be that way. We were not living together so I still had my own expenses, and my brothel shift just moulded seamlessly into my busy and respectable life, I wasn’t technically lying…… I just said I was going to work.

I didn’t want to give up what I viewed as my independence and so I kept sex working and I kept it a secret. For nearly two years.

Possibly not the right thing to do, but I am certainly not alone. Half the people I worked with at the time were hiding it from their partners as well. It seems easy to justify when you know it’s just work. And as time went on, it just seemed more and more impossible to tell him. I wanted him to know, sometimes I felt like he just didn’t want to know. I mean, why didn’t he ask more questions, Even if he didn’t notice the extra money I was sure I was dropping hints. But no, I worked once a week in a brothel for more than 18 months and it seems my partner had no idea.

And then one day, in the middle of a big blow up argument, about something unrelated and I can’t even remember what now, I yelled the words at him. “I DON’T CARE, I’VE BEEN A PROSTITUTE THE WHOLE TIME YOU’VE KNOWN ME”

I meant it as a cutting end to our argument, to our relationship, to my lies, and possibly to my job. I had thought about what would happen if he found out and I knew he’d be pretty pissed! I wouldn’t have been surprised if he put a hole in a nearby wall. But I screamed it at him and he just looked at me blankly and said “you are not!”

And so I told him everything. His calmness floored me, so my manner changed. I lost my anger and I felt guilt and sadness for hurting him. I explained myself, I consoled him, I explained myself some more, I apologised and, of course, I did the inevitable. I promised to stop working. We  talked and to my surprise  he was willing to forgive me, and I guess that made him even more appealing to me.

I quit my job, took up extra hours in my straight job, and moved in with him to save money. I felt like I gave up some of my independence  but I was ok about that. I kept it up for around 12 months but after a year of no sex work, and less flexibility in my other job, I was suffering financially. So was my partner, he had acquired an instant family to help support and we were all feeling the pinch. I had been faithful to my pledge to not do sex work, but we were struggling. It was on my mind, and I began making jokes about it. The bills would come in and he would be complaining so Id say, “one night in a brothel, I could clear them for us”, he would ignore me or give me an annoyed look. But neither of us could deny that money was tight and something had to give. I kept making my jokes, but I started throwing in extra sweeteners “we could even go on a holiday!”

“But honey, just think of what we could do!”

He still didn’t agree, but he seemed more open to the idea the more I kept bringing it up. One day he snapped at me “Oh for gods sake, you want to go back to work, just do it then”. I nearly squealed with excitement, but thought that might be an unhelpful reaction. So we sat and had a very open and long conversation about it. I asked him what his main concerns were. He said he trusts me, he knows it’s just work. I reminded him that he knows it wont effect our relationship, because I had already been doing it in the past and he didn’t even know. Eventually he confessed one of his biggest fears about me being a sex worker, was that I might fuck one of his friends or colleagues as a client, or I might be recognised and outed in public.

Jealousy is an awful emotion, and one that is difficult to control. Everyone experiences it differently and for different reasons. His fear seemed silly to me, but I was glad he was able to figure it out and communicate it to me. It meant that we could find a way for me to do sex work that he could live with. We decided that I would go away to work outside Adelaide, where it was unlikely I would see anyone either of us knew and where I could remain anonymous. So for the next 12 months I went away once a month to rural and regional South Australia for working weekends with friends.

And because I felt privileged to be able to go back to work with my partners blessing I used my money very wisely. I knew we were taking a risk in our relationship and I wanted to make it worth it. In 12 months, I managed to pay off our credit card debt and saved enough money to take us on that holiday I had suggested.

I used to joke that I was bribing my partner to “let me” work by paying for us to go to the Greek Islands, but it wasn’t actually like that. I did have to convince him to be ok with me going back to sex work, but we were a partnership, and I felt equal in that partnership, we had developed an arrangement that worked well for us, and sex work had become a part of that arrangement.

And it is hard to argue while holidaying in the beautiful Mediterranean summer!

Stop the Trafic – The Red Light


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is part three in my series of posts about trafficking. I previously wrote about my suspicions in regards to the portrayal of sex trafficking in the media, and the motivations of the anti trafficking industry in Peak Hour, and the negative outcomes of the trafficking hysteria in The Car Crash. This post is the answer. A green light for migrant sex workers and a red light for trafficking.

If you follow on from my original post the answer seems really obvious to me. There are many sex workers all around the world who travel or would like to travel. Just let them do it.

Let people apply for working Visa’s in Australia as a sex worker. As I have mentioned, I personally have the contact details of at least 10 sex workers currently working in China who would love to come to Australia to work in your brothel, if they could get a Visa. The barrier is that they are unable to get a working Visa as a sex worker. Not to mention the process of applying for Visa’s to enter Australia is extremely difficult because we conveniently do not translate the required documents, so people who do not speak or read English, often need a third person to help them apply for their travel documents. Some of the sex workers I referred to have considered paying a third person a lot of money to assist them in travelling to Australia to work, and some knew other workers who had done that. Obviously being in a lot of debt to the person assisting you travel or your employer does create vulnerabilities for the worker though, it can take away a some of their bargaining power and in some cases could restrict the sex workers choices.  A few simple changes could allow sex workers from around the world to come to Australia willingly to work. There would be no demand for stolen or coerced non sex working Asian women in the sex industry, because lets face it while having sex slaves in place of willing workers might be slightly better for short term profits, it has got to create some serious challenges. Cut out the middle man and the demand by allowing migrant sex workers to enter and work in Australia legally and independently.

That is ofcourse if your concern is stopping trafficking, and not stopping sex work.

It might also be useful to educate all sex workers, our employers, our clients and the general community about our rights, in appropriate and useful ways. Through our peer organisations and that are supported to make sure they can outreach to all sex workers from all backgrounds making sure people know their rights. Make sure we all know what we should expect and what is not OK at work so that we are less likely to be exploited or treated badly and we know what to do or who we can get more information or support from if we do have problems at work.

Of course, where I live in South Australia that would mean giving us some rights in the first place. Decriminalise sex work, and give us our rights!

Educate the wider community, health and welfare services and the police to treat sex workers with respect. Help break down the stigma of being or seeing a sex worker, so that we can talk to people about what’s going on without fear of being judged. The discriminatory perceptions that exist about sex workers and our clients doesn’t make it easy for us to share anything openly or honestly, or to voice our concerns.

Take crimes against us seriously. Dont turn it into a witch hunt on an entire industry, or blame my choice of work, just give me the support I need and deal with the crime at hand. Create safe spaces for people to report crimes, concerns or suspicions and then treat those reports seriously, and respectfully, like you would if the crime or complaint had been committed in a restaurant.

Encourage and  support our organising. In Australia, we havent got our own union, but we have our own workers rights groups and organisations. Many sex workers are members of those organisations and many many many more sex workers receive support, information or advocacy around workplace issues from these groups and organisations. They are also fighting for our workers rights at a state and national level. Strong sex worker organising reduces the risks of us being exploited at work.

Stop the police raids. Stop pushing us and our workplaces, industry, employers and clients so far underground that we can barely see the light. Change the approach and try protecting sex workers instead of scaring us. Save the raids for actual crimes.

Is it really that difficult? Want to stop slavery? Free the slaves.

Seriously, allow sex workers to travel to Australia and work in the sex industry legally, educate them on how to do that, give us rights, make sure we know our rights, create safe and supportive spaces for us or our clients to report crimes or concerns or to make complaints, treat those reports with respect and take them seriously, stop thinking and suggesting that being treated badly is part of doing sex work, support us to organise to improve our work conditions for all sex workers and make the cops protect us instead or raiding us.

Double Trouble


, , , , , , , ,

There was a time in my sex working career when I worked very closely with a very close friend. It all started on the day this girl walked into my life at a sex worker event hosted by SIN. She was about 5 years younger than me, cute, bubbly, opposite in looks but similar in personality to me. We clicked and quickly became friends. We laughed at the same things, had the same taste in music and our values aligned. As friends we complimented each other well, laughed lots, shared lots of stories and supported each other through our life hurdles. My new friend was full of energy, she had lots of ideas and was always telling me about the many ways she was going to make money and/or change the world.

One of those money making ventures that I got involved in was our double trouble act. I admired the guts of this girl, she knew how to work it, everything was an opportunity to her, even our friendship. So we began advertising together and offering a threesome experience to our clients. This was purely a business decision on our part, times were slow and we decided the best way to make money was to get more money out of less clients. We also happened to be very aware of the difficulty of getting a realistic somewhat genuine affordable paid for threesome experience. To book a ‘double’ through an agency it can become quite expensive once you add up the price of two workers plus the many extras, and even then there is no guarantee that the two workers will be comfortable enough with each other to be able to sell the fantasy convincingly. The service might be more mechanical than it would be with two workers who are used to each other. Both of us had been in these situations and knew they were not uncommon. But when you specialise in a service you are in a position to provide a more polished service for a more reasonable price, well in our case, we had a whole range  of prices, to ensure that no client went home before being completely spent.

We encouraged all our clients to see both of us together, If they couldn’t afford that we would offer the other worker to join us for only  part of the service for a smaller fee. We developed a long list of extra services we could offer together for varying amounts of extra money. We decided any amount of money was better than one of us sitting around doing nothing while the other one made all the money.

It was lots of fun working with my friend, we would rent gorgeous waterfront apartments for weekends or a couple of days at a time and order delicious food and drinks and work and work and eat and drink and work and work. The first time you do a booking with someone it can be awkward, especially if it is with a friend. They get to see you in work mode and you get to see them in their work mode. Not to mention you get to lick their nipples, smack their bums and lick their clits which is not something I usually do with my friends. And there is the whole trick to remembering to call them the right names at the right times. Sometimes you get to be part of the their lies to their partners and sometimes you annoy each other and need time out. But friend or not the first time you do a double with another worker can be hard work too. Trying to negotiate not one, but two people in a booking especially if you’re not sure about the other workers boundaries or ways of doing things it can be difficult. In addition the client is often nervous with no idea what to do with two women. But as experienced negotiators and actresses it doesn’t take long for we two workers to find our routine.

There are certain things you need to consider when doing doubles. First of all you have to be clear with the client and the other worker what is expected. In Adelaide a ‘double’ usually only refers to two workers giving their service to the client, whereas a ‘bi double’ means there is interaction between the two workers as well. You may also want to discuss with your co worker their boundaries in regards to things like, kissing, oral, toys, penetration, etc. both with you and the client and it’s a good idea to discuss how much extra you want to charge for what.

Double bookings are funny. When you’re doing them all day and night with the same person for a couple of days straight, they become hilarious. You get your routine down pat. To the point where you make the exact same jokes with every single client, and giggle appropriately in the exact same spots, and moan and groan at the exact same ways and use the exact same lines. There came a point where we were literally doing it in our sleep. Our cute giggle wasnt quite as sexy and convincing the 100th time round.

We got good at our doubles service though.  I learnt some things from all those threesomes including using different coloured condoms. I would have pink and she would have clear and that way we knew when the condom needed to get changed between partners (I told you we take safe sex pretty seriously). I also learnt to look out for my co worker. It was not unusual for a client to take a liking to a particular worker and she would get more of the attention and thus do more of the work. When this happened it was the other workers job to make sure lube was always accessible, tickle, talk dirty, do something to help get him off faster and redirect the client to you if you see your colleague needs a break. We would pull faces and use hand signals to check each others comfort, discuss timing and share a joke.

We made great money together. We went from booking to booking and turned our phones off at midnight. Then we would take a long hot shower, wash our make up off, wash our hair, put on clean and comfortable daggy pyjama’s and count our money. We didn’t just count it we  would roll around in it. I am not even joking, it was not unusual for us to throw the piles of fifty dollar notes up in the air and then pose for photos laying amongst them.

I mean, we would work hard. So it was so much fun to wallow in our rewards. Afterwards we would gather our money back up,tuck it away and make lists about how we planned to spend it before falling asleep in our luxury apartment ready to wake up and do it all again the next day. I cant wait to show those photos to my grandkids.

Stop the traffic – the car crash


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Like the car crash you can’t look away from….

I explained my suspicion of the anti trafficking rhetoric and I promised I wouldn’t leave it there. I want to tell you about the harms being created by the trafficking hysteria because the problem is not only misinformation and preconceived stereotypes, it has actual detrimental real and measurable effects on the daily lives of sex workers, Asian sex workers in particular. Get a load of this:

Knee jerk reactions to the 4 corners one sided story on trafficking in the sex industry resulted in immediate promises from law makers to introduce tougher laws. The four corners ‘expose’ relied on one sad story, lots of bad recreations, the occasional sound bite from experts only where it backed up the ongoing spin and ofcourse sex work abolitionist and founder of project respect, Kathleen Maltzhern. All set to a predictably dark and sinister soundtrack. Well done 4 Corners  award, you certainly got people to bite. even before airing of the show and still continuing media are all over it, opportunists using it and the politicians responded.

Now specifically and admittedly in response to 4 corners sensationalism New South Wales is likely to “toughen up laws on brothels”. NSW has the best laws in the country, and just like that it’s going to be taken away. And WA have just introduced a bill into parliament that among other shockers, criminalises ALL migrant sex workers. Even if you don’t share my opinion about the lack of actual trafficking in our industry, surely you understand that bad laws are not the answer. We already have laws about trafficking, how about we use them rather than making more and more laws that only serve to push us all further underground and make it more difficult for all of us in every way and do not work. Awesome 4 corners is now creating our public policy.

And in states like South Australia, where we are all illegal anyway, it means Asian brothels get raided more often. elping the sex slaves by regularly arresting, harassing and intimidating Asian sex workers, their employers and their clients more than usual. Despite all the hundreds of sex work related charges laid each year, there are very few cases of trafficking ever found. And the few cases where victims of trafficking have been identified, criminalisation did not or would not have helped them. And in some cases victims were not treated appropriately by the cops.

Not only are sex workers generally feeling the effects of harmful laws, and Asian sex workers get more attention from the police, but, our saviours come out of the woodwork, ready to sniff out the sex slave and try out their scriptures or skills. What this means for us? More patronising visits from various health services, church groups or any other outsiders forcing themselves into our workspaces and being inappropriate. In Adelaide, it’s RAHAB. A church group who run a ministry training course charging young Christians good money to do outreach to sex workers. These people visit Asian brothels (among other parts of the industry), forcing themselves onto people while they are at work, often with nothing translated, nothing practical to offer and asking personal questions. Sex workers feel pressured to play along and be friendly because there is a suspicion that they will inform the police if they are not allowed in to a particular premises (on the presumption that we must be harbouring slaves). No one in the industry wants to talk to them, they are untrained and inexperienced christians who say completely offensive things and give us patronising bars of soap and deodorant sticks as bribes. They have even been known to break the conidentiality of one Chinese woman in a serious and kind of shocking way.

Not that publicly outing someone matters when you’re intent on saving a sex slave. People and their lives are just vehicles for furthering an agenda in most cases. Victoria’s Project respect, headed up by the afore-mentioned Kathleen Maltzhern whose agender shone through the 4 corners special, was trading on the misery. Sure enough no sooner had the show finished but there were calls for donations to her organisation everywhere. As mentioned in my previous post on the subject, everyone jumped on board ready to ride the wave, all hoping to get some air time, or some funding or public support. From big sex industry business associations wanting to minimise competition to abolitionist feminists and church groups. And they are all getting the airtime and using it to make things worse while groups that actually represent us desperately need the same support.

And I suggest a lot of the willingness to believe the hype is due to a touch of racism effecting people’s views of Asian women and preconceived ideas about sex work generally. Add that to some sad music and some recreations and the proble seems likely. And so it feeds your views of sex workers and Asian women further. It’s a vicious cycle. I once heard a woman who did outreach with a church based group speak at (one of the many) anti trafficking forums. She told a story about the night she saw trafficking with her own eyes in a South Australian brothel. It was late one night and she said she couldn’t really know for sure if “lets call her Lucy” (her words not mine) was trafficked or not, but it seemed probable for the following reasons (explained in a sad knowing kind of way):

1. “Lucy” didn’t engage at all with the christian outreach worker but sat quietly in the corner listening, with a “sad look on her face”

2. “Lucy” didn’t speak English

3. “Lucy’s” Thai boss spoke English and chatted with the church outreach woman and explained how “Lucy” lives in Melbourne and is only in Adelaide for 2 weeks and will be going home soon.

4. The Thai female boss had a white Australian boyfriend who likes to travel.

That was it.

She told this story to a room full of other keen would be “helpers” and interested public who didn’t seem to bat an eyelid. I shudder to think what urban myths that presumptuous story has now created, and the effects of that story being recreated over dinner tables everywhere.

Can i just mention as a side note, that the constant portrayal of Asian women and sex workers as submissive, exploited and/or abused, is not good for business. It keeps the good clients away and attracts the creeps!

It’s like – what do you want from us?! No one is listening unless we give them victim porn! Reading the accounts by Nicholas Kristof in this awful book (that was a best seller but I had to abandon half way through) about buying the freedom of young sex workers in places like India and Thailand, and he spends an uncomfortable amount of time describing her physical features and her sad brown eyes, before going on to gloat about his own saint like characteristics. JUST PAY HER AND LEAVE HER ALONE ALREADY NICHOLAS!! And you lot just eat it up. Salivate for it even. White saviours rescuing pretty young sex slaves and returning them to innocence. To the point that for some people to believe me,  i first need to break down and disclose any traumatic experience i may have had right there in front of you. Before you even hear me! Here – Elena says it better than me.

*End rant*

(Stick with me on this, I am getting to the friendly bits where I hand out all the answers)

sex work 101


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your beginners course in understanding my work. Written in the interests of answering the common questions and misconceptions and saving sex workers from having to deliver a sex work 101 class to every person they disclose to.

1. I have good sexual health. I know this because I get tested. I get tested twice a year and more if there have been any risks. Some workers go more often. I use condoms for oral and full sex, i do visual checks on my clients for STI’s, I use lots of lube and have access to a variety of sizes in condoms, I know my condoms are in date and stored properly, I put it on, I take it off, i regularly check the condom during sex to make sure it is in tact and in place and for all of these reasons, I rarely have a condom break or slip. I also use condoms on toys and on  fingers if they are to be inserted anywhere. Sex workers in this country are known to have better sexual health than the general public. We are professional about our sexual health.

2. Being raped or assaulted is not a part of my job. I have never been raped or hit during my sex wok job. When it happens to a sex worker it must be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately, not written off an inevitable part of the industry.

3. My clients come from all walks of life. There is no typical client. As long as they are clean and respectful, then I am happy to provide them a service. If they are not clean, I don’t mind waiting while they take a shower.

4. There is no typical sex worker, I know sex workers of all ages, I have a friend in her late 60’s and I know of even older. Fat or thin, tall or short, everyone can make money in the sex industry.

5. The sex I have at work is work. For me it is not comparable to the sex I have for pleasure or with a partner. That doesn’t mean I never enjoy it. Compare it to working in a childcare centre looking after other people’s kids all day, i might enjoy it and I might like those kids but it is very different to how feel when i care for my own child. It is just a service, an intimate service yes, but there are many jobs where people provide intimate services for money, such as childcare.

6. I’ve been known to partake in a recreational drug here and there but I do not have a drug habit to support, and I do not need to be wasted to work. Drug use is a characteristic of our industry, in that it’s slightly more accepted in some (not all – many try to distance themselves) workplaces. If drug use itself is higher in the sex industry than in other industries (say for example the nursing sector) then I offer the following explanations: Firstly,obviously the money in sex work is better. If you have a drug addiction to support or if your vice of choice is expensive, sex work is an attractive financial option. This is also true for big gamblers, shoppers, travellers, spenders, and those in debt. Secondly the flexibility of sex work makes it an attractive work option for those who don’t fit neatly into the mon to fri 9- 5, stay in your box and conform-or-else,  type jobs. What I mean is, as a sex worker you can work for yourself, you can work for boss, you can work a few hours or you can work a few days solid, you can work regularly or on and off, you can call in sick all the time and still have a job. This means that people who need some extra money to score today, and the people who can’t get stable work because their life is not stable, or those people who can’t work long shifts because they need to self medicate, or people who get sacked from ‘straight’ workplaces because they were found out for using their sick leave to detox, still have a job option. I’m not using this post to weigh in on the ‘drugs are bad mmmkay’ debate, but I will say, people who use drugs either recreationally or habitually, can and are, and should be encouraged to be productive members of our communities, and it is up to everyone to make that possible. The sex industry has managed to make that possible and I think that is why drug use is more visible in our industry.

7. I personally do not have a mental health diagnosis. I think that makes me the opposite of normal these days. My point is, you don’t have to be damaged or deluded to exchange sex for money. Getting paid for sex also doesn’t cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression or any other label. What can cause a whole array of mental health problems is ongoing stigma and discrimination, harassment, criminalisation and all its associated issues, unsafe workplaces, isolation, and any other number of life experiences and chemical reactions. There is nothing inherently damaging either physically, emotionally or mentally about getting paid for sex, though there are often factors associated with sex work that can cloud our experiences. And many sex workers do live with a mental illness and I doubt it is over represented in our industry. But like drugs, i think it is more accepted in our industry and the flexibility means that people with health considerations can find suitable work in the flexible sex industry, allowing them to manage their health and stay gainfully employed. Again, I think rather than giving our industry a hard time, other industries should be taking note. Stop with the exit strategies for sex workers,  how about “entering strategies” rolled out to the employers whose work conditions are so rigid ensuring they are not accessible to people with caring responsibilities, with health considerations and disabilities, or to people who use drugs, older people, people with less English skills, or students, people with gaps in their resume’s and people with criminal records, or to people who need extra help or people who just want some control of their own working lives. These are the benefits of the sex industry, not the negatives.

8. There are no Madame’s and Pimps. OK, well there are female brothel owners and we do call them Madame’s, but they are really just an employer. They don’t generally have any other special role in our lives, just like any employer and employee relationship.  And there are boyfriends/partners, drivers, drug dealers and runners, security and bosses. And maybe in other countries they are called pimps, but not in Australia. There people in abusive relationships who are being pressured to work when they don’t want to on in ways they don’t want to. But that is domestic violence, not pimping. The reality in Adelaide is that there are lots of brothels and lots of bosses, some are good and some are bad but there is even more sex workers who work for themselves or in small collectives who have total control.

9. Yes the money is good, but not ridiculous. It used to be much better but an increase in the industry and a decrease in disposable income has meant it is not the gold mine i once felt like (or maybe I’m jut getting older 😉 ). Adelaide sex workers are among the cheapest sex workers in Australia. A mixture of different services offered by different workers, no labour rights or baseline wages in force, competitive market and vastly varying overheads make it difficult to negotiate pay rises across the industry or individually. When I first started sex work 20 years ago the average rate for an hour ‘fully inclusive’ session in a Adelaide brothel was $110 – 160 and about 5 years ago we had our first big price hike and now the going rate is about $160 – $240 for an hour. The sex worker generally gets about 50 – 60%. Keep in mind that most brothels also offer half hour or shorter services (I once worked in a brothel where I got paid $25 fr a quick fuck! needless to say I didn’t stay there long)and will provide discounts for longer bookings, some take shift fees or other cuts, and many sex workers offer ‘extras’ for extra cost or provide a different service for a different cost, private workers set their own prices based on overheads, services, commercial factors and their style of doing business. Give or take a few tips and noshows and there is no way I could give you any kind of average earning.  I can tell you that if I work for an 8 hour shift in a brothel I would expect to earn between $200 and $500 but depending on the business, the time of day/year, the number of workers on shift, the price of service and cut I got, and a massive range of other factors, including luck, it would not be unusual for a sex worker in Adelaide to leave an 8 hour shift with anywhere between zero and thousands.

10. I currently do pay tax on my sex work income. I have to if I want to participate in the world of house and car loans, or any other significant financial transactions. I haven’t always paid tax on my sex work income because I feel it is unfair to take my tax money but afford me no rights in return. Infact the opposite, I pay tax on my income but my assets can be confiscated as ‘proceeds of crime’, my cash could have me charged with ‘illegal possession’, my business could be closed down at any point and my livelihood gone, without compensation, my health and home and professional insurance is not valid due to my illegal activity. But regardless of any of that, if I want to spend my money, I have to declare it. And many other sex workers and sex industry businesses are in the same boat. The glaring contradiction comes from the fact that a) The Australian Tax Office doesn’t care how you make your money as long as you pay tax on it, in one of their staffers words ‘even a hit man can declare their income and claim their expenses’ and b) Australia’s tax system is a national system and our sex work laws are state based and every other state has some form of legal sex work. Now ofcourse, being a cash based industry, I’m sure not every cent is declared, and being very good at evading authority and remaining undetected, I’m sure not all brothels are paying tax, and why should they until their business’s are deemed legitimate. But the truth is that three things in life are inevitable – your born, you pay taxes and you die.