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Juvenile prostitution often receives a great deal of media attention, usually following an unqualified comment by a politician, a visiting dignitary or leading churchman.

Then comes the usual police blitz of rounding up any likely looking youngster on the streets of Kings Cross after dark. These "kids of the Cross", as they are often dubbed, quite often turn out to be young adults dressed as teenagers to attract the paedophilic subconsciousness of many street clients. In spite of the large number of teenage prostitutes stated by outraged officials, the fact is there are very much fewer "under-aged" prostitutes than often supposed. In three consecutive nights in October the author counted no more than 30 street boys and girls in known areas of street soliciting in Kings Cross.

Their ages ranged between 12 and 15, and they usually roamed about in pairs or groups from pinball parlours, Fitzroy Gardens in the heart of the Cross and Green Park in Darlinghurst, regular areas for client pick-ups.

Their young ages prevent them from working in the established areas of street prostitution because the women resist their presence there. In mixed-sex groups they spend the night in casual prostitution as they require money, "hanging about" and "scoring dope", and when they retire to bed it is often half-a-dozen or so to a rented room, in squats or in a youth refuge.

There are an infinite number of prostitution operations, and these are but a few of them. They are referred to here as casual, clandestine and minority forms of prostitution. The rest of this Section concentrates on the "professional" forms of prostitution; that is where there is no doubt about the commercial nature of the exchange and the women involved very much identify as prostitutes at work, even if there is a strong denial in their social lives.

Often, there will be an attempt to avoid the reality of their situation through a pretence that they are working only for a brief period, or by a preference for the term "working girls" as their social designation rather than "prostitute" or "whore". The term "whore" is particularly abhorred by Sydney prostitutes, unlike many of their European and American counterparts, who use the term in reference to themselves frequently. On a politically motivated level it serves to "defuse" the stigma of whore used as a derogatory term by society at large.

However, the resistance to it by prostitutes in Australia is probably because of a belief that the word is more a label for social identification and psychological propensity, whereas "prostitute" is more closely linked with the occupation of commercial sex, and is an occupational designation, like "plumber", "bus conductor" or "engineer". In any case, most Sydney prostitutes prefer to be called "working girls". These women work on the streets, in brothels parlours, bordellos, or "traps" as "straight" prostitutes, bondage mistresses and escorts, and about a quarter work in private as "call girls" or agency escorts.

Female street prostitution in Sydney occurs regularly in three areas: Each of these areas has a slightly different mode of operation, and these will be described in turn. Kings Cross streetwalkers stand against walls and shopfronts on the footpaths of the well-lit "red light" streets within close proximity to private hotels or rooms rented for the purpose of taking clients.

The usual method of operation is for a prostitute to initiate contact with a male pedestrian by asking him if he wants a "girl". But a male strolling the area with prostitution in mind might initiate contact by asking a prostitute how much "she is". Most of the clients are tourists, country visitors, young men from the outer suburbs having a "night out" in the Cross, and sailors from the nearby naval base.

Very few married men in Sydney risk chatting to a street prostitute under the area's bright lights with its milling crowds in case someone known to them spots them.

Kings Cross street working attire is quite mixed, from jeans and little make-up to sexy dresses and heavy make-up. The women who choose tight-fitting garments that show off their figures to advantage usually do the most business. The women claim that red and black most especially , either together or alone, seem to have the best effect, and spiked-heel shoes attract most clients.

In such a confined area competition is strong and each woman has a well-defined working space "her spot" , which she guards jealously.

Vigorous objection follows any encroachment on this space, occasionally leading to violence between contending parties. Sometimes an innocent female visitor to the Cross finds herself at the receiving end of a prostitute's verbal abuse when she unwittingly stands on a claim.

Arrangements are often made between women so that each is aware on which particular days or nights she has a right to work on a particular location. The professional pimp has gone nowadays, and is replaced by the "sitter" as protector against male violence.

These are usually lovers of the women or hired off-duty club bouncers, and they pass the time sitting in nearby coffee shops or lounging on cars where they can keep an eye on their girlfriends or charges.

Since most of the streetwalkers are addicts, a high customer turnover is preferred as this brings the most money in the shortest space of time. The absolute minimum is fellatio or coitus removing only the woman's panties and taking only five to fifteen minutes. An efficient worker will be back on the street soliciting within half-an-hour. Street working on William Street is quite different to Kings Cross. Rather than take their clients to hotels or flatettes, most women on William Street pay for the use of rooms in nearby houses leased by enterprising entrepreneurs.

Instead of individual spaces, they stand on the street in clusters, according to the proximity of these houses. Thus, these women are found to cluster about street comers about I 00 metres from the house of their choice.

Each house has a hired "sitter" whose job it is to organise rooms as the prostitutes arrive with their clients, and to deter violence from aggressive customers.

This does not imply a cooperative effort in business. In fact competition is even fiercer on William Street, where potential clientele come from passing male motorists. The object then is to catch the eye of the cruising motorists, rather than attract men with conversation as in Kings Cross. The dress of William Street workers is scantier and more revealing than in Kings Cross, with short skirts, leotards and fish-net stockings bringing attention to the legs, or wearing eye-catching colours and dazzling outfits.

Also unlike Kings Cross, the men driving along William Street are more likely to be married Sydney residents, preferring the anonymity of traffic lines to the bright lights of Kings Cross. When a car pulls up at the William Street kerbside, the driver will beckon to the woman of his choice. She will approach the vehicle from the passenger side and speak to the man through the open window, careful not to place her head inside the car and thus avoid the possibility of being seized by the hair and dragged in.

The bargaining of services and prices is conducted between the man and the woman through this open window, he attempting to obtain a maximum service for a minimum fee, she trying to get agreement on the minimum service for the maximum fee, until eventually a compromise is arrived at. Then the woman will point to the house where the service will take place and agree to meet him outside. Most of these women have learned through experience not to enter the client's car, but to see him on their terms, in a house well protected by a "sitter" and the presence of other people.

Nearly all of the William Street women are addicts. They are strictly forbidden to take drugs on the house premises by the "sitter" and shooting-up inside will result in instant dismissal. Operations on Canterbury Road are similar to William Street in that potential clientele are motorists cruising along the kerbside. But there are no houses to which the women might take their clients and they are forced to use the men's cars for servicing.

Consequently the women are strung out along a four and a half kilometre stretch of road. Some of the women claim that the lack of Organisation means less competition and greater business. But, of the three areas of street prostitution, in the opinion of most streetwalkers interviewed Canterbury Road is the least desirable. Having to resort to "car jobs" increases the risk of injury and being robbed considerably.

Furthermore, the relative isolation of the Canterbury Road worker compared to say, William Street, is a potential risk from misogynist men with no intention of paying for sex. Because of the proximity of dwellings, schools, churches and a hospital on this road, it means few locations are "legal", unlike Kings Cross and William Street, and the Canterbury Road worker is at constant risk of arrest.

The quieter area attracts more drug dealers in cars and also increases the risk of arrest for the women caught in possession of recently purchased quantities of drugs. The public exposure is one disadvantage that deters most prostitutes from choosing to work on the streets.

Violence is also more prevalent here than in any other form of prostitution. But others include street violence, which means that avoidance of "car jobs" is no guarantee of eliminating injury. One woman in was lassoed on William Street by young maniacs in a car who then accelerated, dragging her behind the vehicle. Verbal abuse and ridicule from passers-by is another hazard, which can be emotionally debilitating unless the street worker can develop a psychological barrier to the jibes and barbs and learn to deal with these by clever repartee or ignore them.

Much of this negative interaction with passers-by is linked with the community's overall difficulty in accepting the presence of street women, and it undoubtedly reflects a recent popular sentiment that prostitution is acceptable so long as it is not too visible.

But street prostitution has some advantages too. Firstly, it allows bargaining with customers, and providing the minimum of service means it is the most lucrative form of sex work. This makes it especially attractive to heavy drug users. The low overheads for an independent street worker, whose only major outlay is nightly rent of a room, and the flexibility enabling a street worker to work as long as she likes, or for only a brief time, provides her with control and manipulation of her working life.

For some women standing out in the open, exposed to the gaze and seem of all, threatened by the potential danger, risking limb and reputation, filled with the mixed emotions of fear, tension and excitement, street working offers an adventure matched by few other everyday experiences available to women.

For these women standing alone on the street late at night is the female equivalent to a man's adventure into unmapped territory.

In October , at the beginning of this study, 71 brothels parlours or bordellos existed across the Sydney metropolitan region. Three years later, when writing this book, exactly 61 remained. Although this latter figure includes a few new premises, many more had disappeared altogether. The decline was due to some forced closure under the Disorderly Houses Act , but most closed down because of a general decline in business. Although public fear of AIDS has been largely responsible for this downtrend, much of it is also due to the gradual decline in commercial sex with the increase in casual sex in society over the past 20 years.

This will be discussed at length later, but, for the moment, let us look at Sydney's brothel industry in some detail. In Sydney, however, it is a specific term within the sex industry for the little houses in East Sydney.

They have been a part of a tradition of brothels located in East Sydney, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills for well over half a century, directly descended from Tilly Devine's Palmer Street trade and the little brothels of the lanes in the s. In 22 of these houses existed throughout East Sydney and Darlinghurst. Three years later only four remained, and still remain today.

The rest had been forced into closure by the Disorderly Houses Act , the City Council and the local resident action lobby. It was definitely the end of an era. But it is ironic that it should have survived the extensive police pressures of the past only to end in a period of "decriminalisation".

The operation of the East Sydney brothels is traditional. One or two women usually occupy one of these little terrace houses at a time. They stand in an open doorway to attract attention from passing male pedestrians and motorists.

Their dress is similar to the women on William Street. The open door and red light are the signals indicating that the house is a brothel. When the door is open, it acts to invite men to step inside and inquire of the prices and services. When it is closed it signifies that the occupants are busy. Furniture and decor in these places are minimal and not intended to impress visitors. Instead this indicates cheap prices and quick service. Bargaining and "short time", like streetwalkers, are the preferred options.

These places have an advantage for the client, according to Lisa, who, like most of the workers in these brothels, is a "professional" of many years and gained her apprenticeship on the streets in the late s and in the lanes in the s:. Men feel comfortable coming to our houses. They don't want to go to a massage parlour and be asked if they want all weird and wonderful things.

They just want to come in here, have sex, pay their money and go. Young girls rush them; they are frightened if they go with the girls around the Cross they will be ripped off. They like the homey atmosphere of our houses.

They feel safe here, and they know that if they leave their wallet on the dressing table and they come back in an hour you're going to give it to them. They know they're not going to catch anything, and no one's going to bash them over the head. They feel welcomed and they know they can come in, sit down and watch television. The other kind of brothel is much more extensive. Colloquially it is referred to as "parlour", having derived from the term "massage parlour" and probably introduced into Sydney in the late s with the demise of the brothels in the lanes from an American West Coast concept of disguising a brothel as a massage clinic in order to avoid the law.

In the s Sydney parlours, like their American counterparts, had prostitutes dressed in the white uniforms of a masseuse, massage tables instead of beds, and no condoms on the premises, so as to minimise arrest. But with the changes in law in , this subterfuge and extortion was no longer necessary and "massage parlours" became brothels, plainly and simply.

It is possible that some police corruption continued by using threats of arrest of managers for living on the earnings. Parlours can be divided into a number of "types". For example, at one end of the trade is the average suburban parlour, with its armchair comfort but lacking exotic and expensive looking trimmings. At the other end are the elaborate, extravagantly decorated, "haute classe" parlours, which one well-known manager of the famous "Touch of Class" parlour, the late Zara Powell insisted should be referred to as bordellos Reines These are mostly found in the inner city suburbs of Potts Point and Surry Hills.

A third type might be the so-called "Asian parlours", which have Asiatic decor and employ Asian mostly Thai immigrant women. Finally, there are the few bondage and discipline parlours, which cater for speciality services involving sadomasochism, fantasy jobs and other "kinky" sex. The usual parlour arrangement involves an owner, a manager, a receptionist. Sometimes the owner and the manager are the same person, and sometimes the receptionist has the job of managing the premises.

The manager's role is to organise shifts by Fostering each prostitute's working time throughout the week; to keep a ledger of cash received and paid out; to o anise a linen service or the washing; to purchase toiletries, bathroom and other items; to pay prostitutes their earnings at the finish of their shifts; and to hire and fire staff. The receptionist's role is to answer the phone, make appointments for clients, answer the door, and see to the client's comfort in the waiting room.

Although receptionists are not usually assigned authority over the prostitutes, those who have never previously worked in the sex industry sometimes assume a position of superiority over prostitutes based on the common social designation of whores as low status women. Ironically, under the present legal situation receptionists are vulnerable to arrest for "living on the earnings of a prostitute" while the prostitutes have legal status.

When a customer walks into a parlour without a prior appointment, he is the immediate focus of attention. The receptionist offers him a complimentary drink and then advises the prostitutes on duty so that they might see him for a selection. The receptionist is anxious to process her part in the operation so as to minimise the time she must spend pampering to his needs in the preparatory stage. She is also often anxious for him to be taken to a room by one of the prostitutes quickly to avoid becoming a sexual object herself.

Men entering a brothel assume that all the women inside are available for their sexual whims, otherwise, they rationalise, whatever are they doing there? However, prostitutes make themselves available in the brothel; receptionists never do. The system of selection is not always the same in every parlour.

In some the client enters a lounge room and is seated among the workers, so that he may select the woman of his choice after a look around and a short conversation involving all of them. In others, each worker on duty enters the waiting room individually so that the client might choose one of them after a series of such entrances and exits.

A number of parlours parade their workers in a line, known to some prostitutes by the derogatory term of "meat rack", in order for the client to size each woman up and compare them before he makes his choice. Whichever selection process is used it has the effect of putting the women in a competitive relationship with one another. Some prostitutes, critical of this system, argue that a client is looking for sex and anyone of the women would do.

But a tradition of selection has evolved over the years, so that customers expect to see a number of available women, and this does nothing more than feed their egos and vanities. Most suburban parlours operate on a two shift basis 16 hours while many of the inner city premises have three shifts and are open 24 hours a day.

Women who have been with the same parlour for some time are in the best position to obtain shifts suitable to other routines in their lives and most convenient to their regular customers. Newcomers usually end up with the shifts no-one else wants. Unlike the streets and the East Sydney brothels, prices in a parlour are fixed by the management and the customer pays for the prostitute's time, rather than a minimum or maximum service.

This usually entities him to fellatio and coitus as many times as the man is capable of in the allotted time and any other kind of sexual activity carries an extra fee, or is negotiable with the prostitute. In most parlours, prostitutes are obliged only to participate in masturbation, fellatio or coitus. If a woman is averse to other forms of sex or "kinky" sex, she may decline the request and refer the customer to a bondage house. But the practice of "extras" is declining because with decreasing business and fewer workers, most parlour owners are anxious to attract more prostitutes to their premises.

The big inner city parlours attract more workers because their appearance and reputations are assumed to have a higher turnover of clientele. Some of these fabulous parlours, with their plush, luxurious and expensive interiors, have cost as much as a quarter of a million dollars just to renovate. Customers are waited on by a manager making certain their needs are served, by a receptionist introducing them to the workers, and by a drink waitress serving the complimentary beverage.

Each man is ushered into a different waiting room, giving him the impression of exclusivity, and ensuring his every whim is satisfied. Many women interviewed have expressed dissatisfaction after having worked in these places, which usually expect them to dress in designer clothes, wear expensive jewellery and have their hair dressed at the most exclusive salons, all at their own expense.

In others, there is a list of workers' earnings displayed for all to see, with the name of the week's highest earner placed on the top each week. If a woman's name consistently appears on the bottom she is fired. Intended to motivate ambition in individuals in a spirit of "fair" competition, it promotes envy, suspicion and lack of confidence. Resentment among the workers in this kind of atmosphere is high, and women have pointed out that rather than a "fair" arrangement, high earning power depends on a number of factors other than an individual's ability, personality and looks.

It depends on such factors as one's shift night workers tend to do better than day workers , one's personal commitments restricting her to daytime work, the inconsistency of client turnover, and favouritism with a boss. A system intending to increase business, often actually has the reverse effect with a rapid turnover of resentful women. Relations between workers and management varies considerably from parlour to parlour. The assumption that a female boss in a female parlour is a better arrangement than a male boss is not always correct.

Some men in charge are considerate towards their staff, and some women in charge act like tyrants. About half of the parlours are managed by men and about half by women although in many instances the owner is a man , but the problems that most often occur between a boss and a worker are more often due to poor industrial relations than unequal gender relations.

There are, of course, instances where male bosses sexually harass their staff and some expect to sleep with new workers to "try them out". But, some workers claim to prefer male bosses because they are easier to manipulate than a female boss.

Most workers, though, express a preference for a female boss, regardless of how tyrannical she might be, because female bosses are more likely to have a greater concern for health and safety in the workplace. Women managers will appreciate the need for mandatory condom use in a parlour more than men in charge, who, like the client believe that condoms are a barrier to satisfactory sex.

Female bosses are also more likely to have empathy for a worker suffering menstrual tension and not assume it to be a ploy for avoiding work, as some men are likely to do. On the other hand, female bosses are more likely to detect a sham when it occurs. The crux of the tension in industrial relations in the brothel trade is linked to a conflict of interests. The boss is motivated by profit; the worker by personal feelings. Thus, the boss expects the worker to see every client, unless he is diseased or violent, and is not prepared to accept her reluctance on grounds of physical repulsion or her fatigue.

Some bosses believe their workers are basically lazy, and even rejecting a client under suspicion of infection is considered an excuse to avoid work. Seeking a second opinion on a client's state of health serves two purposes: A client sitting too long in a waiting room is assumed by some bosses to be one of the worker's boyfriends hanging around or a drug dealer.

They want clients processed in a parlour like an assembly line, with their workers tirelessly doing the processing like machines. The human factor of weariness, and inability to function varying from individual to individual after a given time, and the psychological limitations to repetition are rarely considered in the quest for profit.

When workers complain of overwork, a boss might put on more staff, which then increases competition between workers, builds up staff tensions, and contributes to resentment among workers for the inevitable lowering of income. Unlike other industries, prostitutes have no union or industrial arbitration to turn to when they feel dealt with unfairly.

Like any other work situation the presence of a boss in a parlour increases tension and decreases efficiency. Any worker who spends too long in a room with a client or appears to be too nice to a customer, is often suspected of making private arrangements either to get extra money from the client and thereby short-change the boss, or to see the client outside and thereby deprive the boss of regular income.

The problems of the brothel are often not so much related to police harassment, customer aggression or prying officials, but more usually due to the day-to-day administration of the place. The ultimate solution for most Australian prostitutes in Sydney when they feel they are being exploited, harassed and abused is to move to another parlour where the conditions are more satisfactory.

But that is often impossible for the immigrant prostitute, especially if she is in this country illegally. Most of the immigrant prostitutes are Thai, but large numbers also come from Cambodia, the Philippines or China.

Even with a three or six-month visa it does not permit them to work in Australia. But many continue to stay and work in Australia after their visas expire, which means they become illegal aliens and as such are targeted by federal immigration officers.

These women are often caught in an economic dilemma. Most have borrowed heavily from opportunistic agents in their own countries to travel here. These agents are operating an illegal trafficking business and the fees they offer to accrued interest for arranging passage are highly inflated. Since many of the women come from poverty stricken families, and they believe Australians to be extremely wealthy, they grasp the opportunity to work in Australia as prostitutes in the firm belief that they will pay off the debt well before their visas expire and have ample cash to send back to their families.

Invariably, they not only fail to do so but often accrue a further debt in order to pay the first and end up on a treadmill of prostitution and debt peonage. Arrangements for a working venue are usually made in advance by the foreign agents through contacts in Australia, so that the Thai woman with no knowledge of English will be taken to a parlour soon after she arrives.

Most but not all of the brothels receiving the immigrant prostitutes are the "Asian" parlours, so-called because of a decor of pagoda gables, rice-paper lanterns, Chinese screens, prints and other objects, and the Buddist shrines used as altars for prayers and offerings by the women. Most of the clientele are South-East Asian men resident in Australia, with the occasional overseas visitor and Australian male looking for an "exotic" experience. Because most of the workers are in similar circumstances, these parlours act as a cultural refuge in an alien and sometimes hostile world beyond.

Faced with the reality of a much smaller income than anticipated, many of these women are forced to work double shifts, or 16 hours a day, seven days a week, in an effort to rid themselves of their debts and send relief back to their families.

Thus, it is not whips, chains or locked rooms keeping these women tied to a ceaseless life of commercial sex but debt, poverty and a genuine fear for their safety if they return to their homelands still owing the traffickers. Very different is the situation in the bondage parlours.

The women who work in these places are among the most assertive and independent in the sex industry. As Marie put it: Few other sex workers have the same amount of control over their working environment as the bondage mistresses. Bosses often do not interfere with the way they conduct their work, because in some instances the boss does not understand sadomasochism and fantasy and feels more comfortable keeping his or her distance. In the case of the ex-mistress who is a boss, she understands that this kind of work is a highly personal experience in which the mistress achieves the most efficient business if left to her own devices.

Experienced mistress Fatale explains her situation:. I like working in a dungeon where it is quiet and I have full control over the environment. I put on music which I know will heighten the experience.

I am conscious of every move I do, and it is an exercise in all my skills. The compatibility with her working environment can be explained as being an extension of her private preferred home environment:.

I feel comfortable in the dungeon. It's like the way I live at home, in total darkness, like a cave, and this is how I am. My home is like a dungeon and a dungeon is like my home, so I am going from one comfortable environment to another as I go from home to work.

To enter a bondage parlour is like passing into another world; a world of science fiction, of fairy tale, or Disneyland, or of a Hollywood set for a Gothic horror movie. The lighting is dim, reminding one of gaslight, and the hallway walls are festooned with chains, whips and graphic images of torture and pain. The dungeon is the centre piece of this world; a large room painted black and red, with racks, torture wheels, ceiling harnesses, a complete set of whips and canes of every imaginable type on display, and leather suits for confining movement, like the ancient straight jackets of medieval torture chambers.

But the dungeon is not the only room in the house for client fantasies. For those with transvestite fantasies there is a "tranny" room, by contrast well-lit, and decorated with fluffy, frilly ultra-feminine dresses, rows of over sized stiletto-heeled shoes, and a dressing table that would make a film star envious.

There is also a medical room, equipped with an operating table, charts and pictures of male and female anatomy on the walls, and every conceivable cutting, slicing, pulling, grasping surgical instrument available.

Water sports with enemas and urinal pans are usually conducted in this room too. Then there are schoolrooms, baby rooms, kindergartens, the variation from house to house is endless. Like most parlours, bondage houses have a "girl's room" where the women can relax between sessions, adjust make-up, hair and clothing, and chat about the last client. Where most prostitutes in other parlours change into conventional garments in this room at the start of a shift, mistresses will be stepping into rubber outfits, zipping up studded leather garments, bat-suits, nurses, teachers or infant costumes ready for a day's work.

According to brothel workers, working in a parlour has one distinct advantage over working the streets: For a lonely woman, working in a parlour can offer an opportunity for regular contact with other women and even for striking up friendships. Cameraderies between brothel workers are not unusual because of the ample time to communicate with one another between visits by clients, especially since they have shared experiences at work, regardless of their individual backgrounds.

There is less opportunity for this on the street, and whatever bonds form among streetwalkers these tend to be more often related to the after hours common experiences of scoring from the same dealers and using drugs together. But brothel workers also express some disadvantages to working in a parlour. High among these are the restricted working hours, splitting half the takings with the house, and the imbalance of power with the boss in command dictating working conditions.

Another common complaint, especially where workers are not communicative, is boredom, sitting around waiting for the next client. Some workers blame their high level of smoking and drinking on this. For avid readers and students filling in time with an assignment, this is less of a problem, and may even be an advantage. But for some women, the parlour can be a lonely, tedious, stultifying environment relieved only by the occasional session with a client.

Where intra-staff relations or relations between staff and management are strained, the confined space of the parlour can intensify disharmony and alienation, and a petty disagreement might trigger off months of tension and exacerbate an already explosive situation.

While this sort of situation can arise in any workplace, in a brothel, where there is an atmosphere of sexual tension, anxieties about clients, perhaps anxieties about one's own role, and the constant fear of public exposure, strained industrial or staff relations will exaggerate events to such a level that resolution becomes impossible.

This kind of situation can encourage an ex-streetwalker, who may have left the streets because of the daily hassles of visible prostitution, to return to the free-ranging life of street soliciting.

Escort work also takes place in a brothel which offers house or hotel calls. An available brothel worker will be sent by taxi or hired driver to the place designated by the client over the phone.

It works much the same way for escorts attached to an agency independent of the brothel trade. I would phone up and tell them I would be on call that night. Then I got dressed ready to go out, and sat home waiting for the phone to ring. I would catch a cab to the hotel, meet the client in the bar, fill in the Bankcard or take the money, phone through to the office to tell them I've arrived, have a drink with the client and go out or up to his room.

Most of the work was fairly chatty, chatting about his business or silly small talk, do the job in his room, and then phone through after it to let them know I've finished. Escort work can sound glamorous and exciting, especially with a client with a high public profile. But it can also be the most dangerous of all prostitution work, as Zoe points out:. The job risk is much higher than in parlours.

You are very vulnerable in the client's room and have no control over the situation, which can be pretty frightening if things get nasty. You always let the client know that you have to phone the office before and after the job so that he is aware that you are being guarded.

If you haven't phoned in an hour after you've told the office you've arrived when you are booked for an hour job, presumably they would send someone out looking for you.

But meantime you could be dead. What is referred to as "private prostitution" in Sydney is the equivalent to the work of the American "call girl". This is the most clandestine operation of the "professional" forms of prostitution. The most basic example is one or two women in a rented flat answering phone calls from clients thus, the term "call girl" and making appointments to see them in the flat.

The number of women involved in one such business can be as high as four or five. There are also situations where a person rents an apartment or house and hires a few women as "call girls".

The owner-manager might take all incoming calls and arrange the appointments. Although this kind of arrangement has all the earmarks of privacy and exclusivity, and certainly no one is seen without an appointment, in structure it is more like a mini-parlour then an independent "call girl" business.

In October I estimated there were some 76 "private prostitution" businesses see p. To gain an impression of numbers of private operations the advertisements in two major weekly publishing outlets for prostitute advertisers, viz.

Under the column heading of "Home Entertainments" in Naughty Sydney were 46 entries; but after eliminating all duplicate phone numbers the total left was 38 businesses. Under the column heading of "Escort Services" in Naughty Sydney were 62 entries; but after eliminating all duplicate phone numbers and the obvious parlour advertisements the total left was 44 businesses. Under the column heading of "Personal" in Wentworth Courier were entries, but excluding those for "straight" massage, male escorts, "call boys" and obvious parlours, the total left was businesses.

Consideration, however, should be given to the probability of some businesses with two or more phone numbers which are impossible to determine by looking at the entries. It is likely that, if known, the elimination of these would reduce the total quite significantly.

This estimation does not necessarily mean that the number of "call girls" has doubled, but, applying the "rule of thumb" approach of , and comparing this with the decline in numbers of parlours, there does seem to be some correlation between the decrease in one and the increase in the other. Ignoring probable discrepancies due to some businesses with two or more telephone numbers, and what appears to be a much higher ratio of single workers in than in , the calculated average of two workers per business decided on in the estimates will give us a total of women, compared to only in Since as many as 10 parlours have closed between and , it might be argued that more "call girls" in represents the shift of previous parlour workers into private operations.

Such a calculation, however, especially without knowledge of actual individuals involved in this surmised relocation, should be treated with caution, and used as a guide to possible trends only. Can this mean that "private prostitution" has become more attractive to those "professional" prostitutes as business in general declines in the sex industry?

Private prostitution depends solely on advertisements for recruiting business. The amount of new business acquired through word of mouth is almost negligible and certainly not sufficient to maintain a business. The trick to advertising prostitution is not to be blatant so as to attract the law prohibiting the advertisement of commercial sex, yet to make it obvious to the male reader what the advertiser intends.

This can be done without mentioning sexual services which also contravenes the obscene publication law nor prices because the implications are potent enough for the interested parties. Advertising prostitution is highly competitive and for the "call girl" totally dependent on it she has to offer a "personal service" in order to compete with the big parlours, and she must individualise her advertisement to attract the potential client searching for his special sexual fantasy in order to compete with other "call girls".

The result is often highly imaginative text, coupled with wit and a childish prattle which seems to accompany the fantasies of male sexuality. Some advertisements pander to male fantasies for exotica, others to coquettishness, and yet others to a kind of adolescent or infantile sex romp. A few examples of the text of these advertisements will suffice to illustrate the point:. Oriental Delights Excitingly different International ladies of your choice.

Try our new Spanish and Indonesian delight. Mediterranean Magic New to Sydney, leggy attractive lady, black hair, fair skin and very, very friendly. Black is Beautiful So too is Santina Carribean Beauty Dark hair, dark skin with fabulous body and a soft, caring touch. Leeza is sweet and serene but will make your desires just sizzle with satisfaction. She adores dressing up and will fantasise beyond your wildest dreams. I am a sophisticated intelligent well-bred well spoken lady offering an opportunity for discreet executive to experience The initial contact with the client is by the phone.

He may be enquiring about prices, or just trying to find out if the woman on the other end sounds like his fantasy or suits his personality. It is this moment when the "call girl" needs to exercise all her skills at salesmanship, by coming across as pleasant, sexy and nice to be with, without giving too much away. After all, it might be a policeman on the other end and mentioning sex and prices could be construed as advertising. The most successful "call girls" are those with a pleasant disposition on the phone, a sense of wit and alluring.

While the advertisement might arouse a man's interest, the phone conversation has to make the woman irresistible because even after making an appointment some men fail to keep it.

Many clients ring a number of "call girls" and then decide which they most like the sound of. The "call girl" also needs to be skilful in evaluating her caller by his tone, expression and enquiries in case she invites a dangerous man to her place.

But once this is done to her satisfaction and an appointment is made, the next step is to try to develop the new client into a regular.

The business of the "call girl" turns over at a much slower rate than in a brothel, so she needs to cultivate a higher ratio of regular clientele. Men who prefer visiting a "call girl" to visiting a brothel are usually seeking more than sex; they are often looking for a female friend, companion or mistress. The "call girl" recognises this and acts the pseudo-mistress with her regular clients, so that she might have a number of mini-relationships going at the same time.

The emotional strain of keeping such pretence going is much more draining than the brothel worker who sees her clients for the express purpose of sexually satisfying them. Although some clients in brothels do develop an attachment for certain women and this adds a strain in the relationship for the workers, the "call girl", from the first visit when the man arrives nervous and uncertain, must appear calm and amicable towards him even though she too might be secretly anxious, and thereafter as he becomes a weekly regular she has to maintain an intense level of intimacy with him.

And, while she might be the only woman he has such intimacy with, she is on the same terms with as many as a dozen or more men. The streetwalker who refers to the "call girl" as a "lazy flatbacker" obviously has never been in her situation. There are certain distinct advantages to the working life of the "call girl". Not the least of these, so far as she is concerned, is the anonymity of the work.

Whereas the streetwalker is in public view for all to see, and the brothel worker is occasionally discovered by a man known to her, or worse, a member of her close family like the Canberra parlour worker whose father walked into her workplace as a client , the "call girl" through the expediency of "sussing" a caller out on the telephone can usually detect anyone known to her. In any case, she can always spot a man who has made an appointment through the "peep-hole" in the door.

Since much of their work is carried out in the daytime, a mother of young children can work as a "call girl" between say 10 a. She does not have to abide by a roster system.

The chief disadvantage to working as an independent "call girl", especially if a woman decides to work alone, is the risk of violence. In spite of great skills at detecting a maniac on the phone a misjudgment sometimes occurs, and then the woman has to call upon all her powers of persuasion and remain calm in a potentially deadly situation if she is to escape injury.

If this fails the results are sometimes fatal. The history of prostitution is filled with tragic situations when a woman is alone with a crazed misogynist, like Julie Plater, who was bashed to death on Christmas Eve, , when she saw a man alone in a parlour in Harris Park, or of the horrifying death of the Kings Cross worker who saw a man alone and died with a leg of a chair shoved into her eye and brain.

The heavy dependence upon advertisements is another distinct disadvantage of running a private operation. If a newspaper in which an advertisement appears regularly suddenly decides to cease taking advertisements from prostitutes or deletes the "personal" column a "call girl's" business is drastically affected immediately.

When the Manly Daily stopped running its "personal column" in the number of private operations on the North Shore rapidly declined almost overnight although when another printed outlet was found some re-opened.

These then are the main types of prostitution carried out by "professional" prostitutes in Sydney. As stated at the beginning of this Section they do not differ much from similar operations in other western cities, and if they do differ noticeably it is usually in degree rather than kind.

The famous "window" prostitution in Amsterdam, for instance, is not unlike the east Sydney brothels, except the Dutch prostitute sits behind a house window while the Sydney worker stands in a doorway.

The women's attire, the male cruising, the bargaining, and closing curtains or door when busy are basically the same; the minor differences are but variations on a theme. Perhaps the aspect of prostitution which most fascinates many people is why women enter the sex industry in the first place. Many researchers have attempted to answer this by providing psychological motives from events in childhood or early adolescence. But as we have seen, there have been so many conflicting opinions on the subject that little has been gained in this line of investigation.

Jennifer James found early negative sexual experiences as a possible predetermining factor for her street and juvenile samples. In the previous Chapter, the present study indicates an early coital experience as a possible predisposing motive for women entering prostitution at a later date, based on a more representative sample of sex workers, and, unlike the studies of James , Mimi Silbert and Nanette Davis , these early sexual activities were little different in kind to the similar experiences of other women.

This Section, however, concerns the immediate motives for women becoming prostitutes, and attempts to reconstruct a scenario linking reasons given by the prostitute sample for entering prostitution, with the findings in the social background variables discussed in the last Chapter.

Distribution of streetwalkers, brothels, strip clubs and bars in Kings Cross Distribution of streetwalkers, brothels and houses of assignation in East Sydney and Darlinghurst Brothels and streetwalkers in Sydney metropolitan area Firstly, it is useful to consider some general social perceptions on why women enter prostitution.

The two non-prostitute samples of female university students and health-workers as indicators were asked if they had ever considered taking up prostitution themselves. Keeping in mind that in the preliminary stages of this study 13 completed questionnaires from these two groups were discarded lest they biased the findings, the balance responded as shown in Figure 4. Quite obviously prostitution is largely rejected as a job option.

But in view of the high level of social resistance to the sex industry and the negative misconceptions about it, it may be surprising to find so many of the health-workers and students considered it at all, let alone nearly 9 per cent of the original number of respondents to the questionnaire who admitted to actually working as prostitutes. Because the prostitute stereotype is a constant image of the archetypal "bad girl" in the subconscious of most women, it frequently flashes into the conscious mind whenever the individual thinks of "sin", "sexual promiscuity", "wantoness" and other concepts of negative socio-sexual behaviour.

Other images, such as the nun stereotype for "purity", the temptress stereotype for "seductiveness", the virgin stereotype for "innocence", the housewife stereotype for "duty", the mother stereotype for "nurturance", also play their part of emerging from the subconscious whenever the conceptual occasion arises. Women therefore relate to any of these at different times depending on the situation.

Thus, a woman who is constantly concerned about her sexual behaviour with men may often fantasise about herself in the role of a prostitute, but she more than likely will never actually take on this role. Many more women imagine themselves as prostitutes than actually become them. Those who do may simply be women who have put their fantasies into reality.

In view of this, the imagined prostitute role will no doubt include motives for entering prostitution. The two samples of non-prostitutes responded to a question on why they thought women entered prostitution.

The reasons they gave are listed in Table 4. Very clearly the non-prostitute sample imagine drug-taking and economic imperatives as the most frequent reasons for women entering prostitution. They also imagine that pimp manipulation, greed and a higher income incentive, and a past as uncontrollable children or juvenile delinquency are powerful motives in women becoming prostitutes.

It is interesting to note the high ratios of psychological motives, such as low self-esteem, lack of love or affection, loneliness and nymphomania, supposed as underlying reasons for taking up prostitution.

The list complements the usual assumptions about prostitutes made in the media, such as drug addiction, pimps, low self-esteem and poverty as the main contributors to women's entrance into prostitution.

The general assumption here is that prostitution is such an odious existence that no woman in her right mind would freely choose it as an occupation; some powerful driving force over which they have no control gets them involved. The reasons prostitutes give for having entered the sex industry, however, tell a very different story, as is seen in Figure 4. These subjects gave multiple answers, so that separate reasons were given. Percentages are of number of subjects to each reason.

An immediate contrast with the imagined motivations for entering prostitution suggested by the health-workers and students presents itself Whereas the non-prostitutes supposed that drug addiction and pimp manipulation were high level motivations for becoming prostitutes, the reality of the prostitute sample is that these feature quite low among motivations.

The economic motives of unemployment, supporting families and pursuing higher incomes given by the prostitutes as reasons for their own entrance into the sex industry do coincide more closely with the assumed motives given by the non-prostitutes. Another economic motive often overlooked by non-prostitutes is that of offering commercial sex in order to pay for an education, for money needed to take an overseas trip, to pay off debts, to purchase a car, house or other large expensive item, or for some other specific purpose.

It is far from unusual to find a prostitute with a specific goal, giving herself a time span in which to earn a high income and acquire the desired object or objective. The reality is then that the vast majority of prostitutes have entered the business for money and remain in it for money. In other words, prostitutes see and treat prostitution as a job option, unlike most non-prostitutes, who see it as an expression of a psycho-social deficiency.

The age of entrance for the prostitute sample provides further insight into this phenomenon. Most prostitutes seem to enter the sex industry in their late adolescence to early twenties.

Very few were in their early adolescence and little over 10 per cent were over 30 when they began. An interesting pattern occurs in the 16 to 25 years age group which would indicate that there are two age periods when large numbers of women enter the sex industry: The first period saw the entry of many of those girls who had experienced early coitus. These girls may have been promiscuous teenagers with a long history of coital activity, or, just as likely, they may have been girls who found prostitution the only means to pay for their drug habits.

The women entering prostitution in their early twenties, on the other hand, are mostly women making clear and rational choices about becoming prostitutes based on a strong economic motive, either in order to pay for an expensive item or some other benefit, or, as Figure 4. Women who choose prostitution as a higher paying occupation represent over 40 per cent of the sample: Like many women in their early twenties, they have become dissatisfied with their low-paying jobs and little chance of an early promotion, and sought other means of earning much more in a much shorter span of time.

Well, possibly no other job options for higher earning power are open to them, and maybe, as women confident of their sexuality, prostitution seems attractive to them as mature young women. But it is not that simple. There is one other important, almost essential, ingredient for entering the sex industry which enables the mature woman despondent with her working life to cross the barrier of social taboo and adopt the role of prostitute.

Let us listen to what some of the prostitutes I interviewed have to say. Martine entered the sex industry for a clearly economic purpose:. I didn't have any money and I couldn't get a job. I was very depressed because I couldn't make any money, and I knew women working in bondage and discipline and this sounded too good to be true.

It did also fascinate me and I wanted to do it. So I just started because there were opportunities there. I didn't have any trouble getting a job because one of the women running the place was a personal friend of mine.

I needed some money because I was having legal hassles and my present job wasn't bringing in enough to pay for this. A girl friend of mine had an escort agency and this seemed the quickest way to get the amount of money I needed.

She was the first prostitute I had ever met. I sat around with her listening to her conversations about work, and sat there with my mouth open hearing her on the phone making appointments. There was my girlfriend, Sharon and Kerry, the prostitute, who needed two girls to see two men.

The phone call came and we just happened to be sitting there, and Kerry said: All you have to do is make love to these guys. It will be real easy. The whole fear was getting over the first time. I met an old school friend and we had lunch together. She told me she was a prostitute and how much money she made. One drawback is that such political debates can be along partisan lines, rather than representative of the electorate or of broader society.

However, Hansard records allow for the accessing of views of MPs who do not regularly appear in the media or on social media, where their views on sex work may be discussed or challenged. The debates also offer insight into which risks are considered more important to state representatives at a given period. We focus on these two case study jurisdictions as each has embarked on legislative reform in the last few years, sparking renewed parliamentary and public debates. We have chosen to also analyse data from the previous time both states sought to introduce legislation: SA in and WA in and In early , SA again began to debate legalising prostitution.

In November , the relevant Bill was not passed, but a new Bill was introduced in which lapsed and failed to be debated. Currently, SA does not have a sex work legalising Bill in Parliament. The debate has been slowly rebuilding in WA since The Bill regarding the legalisation of sex work in WA failed to pass and, as of the end of , there has been no new debate.

Research evidence regarding the effectiveness of any of these approaches is often contradictory Matthews ; Rekart ; Sanders a, b; Sanders and Campbell ; Cusack and Prior ; Baker et al ; Farley , which reflects the complexity of the issues and is a point we will return to in our analysis.

The history of prostitution in the various Australian states and territories has been well documented Frances ; McKewon ; Sullivan The legislation across the Australian states and territories agrees, broadly, on one thing: Underlying this relaxed regulation of prostitution has been the idea that sex work can be a legitimate form of employment so long as strict conditions are met by individuals and businesses within the industry Sullivan In states and territories other than NSW, aspects of sex work are criminalised.

The differences in the regulation of sex work can provide insight into the political cultures of each jurisdiction and what each state or territory has chosen to focus on when creating legislation around sex work. Criminalisation of certain parts of the sex industry also results in law enforcement agencies selectively choosing to apply criminal law against women and not men, in particular to female sex workers and not male clients Hancock Sullivan has argued that where the states have focused on the occupational health and safety of sex workers, this is often couched in terms where the female sex workers are ultimately responsible for the health and safety of the male clients as well as themselves.

In Queensland, it is an offence for a prostitute to work if he or she is infected with an STI, but there is no corresponding offence for a client engaging the services of a sex worker if the client is infected Sullivan Therefore, although prostitution may be decriminalised or legalised across Australia, this does not mean that the laws are necessarily in place to protect sex workers or are effective in destigmatising the occupation and legitimising it as a form of employment.

Similar to Queensland, until WA police worked under a containment policy Donovan et al in which certain brothels were allowed to continue to operate if workers were willing to supply information to the police for example, name, address, fingerprints and so on to be kept in an unofficial database.

However, as Donovan et al note, the abandonment of this containment policy has not resulted in police following the formal provisions of WA law. By and large this left prostitution in WA unregulated by police. In the place of the containment policy was the Prostitution Act WA ; however, the Act predominantly deals with street sex work, advertising, and offences involving children and sex work Donovan et al It is this patchwork of laws, plus the perceived problems with sex work, that the WA Parliament was attempting to redesign into one comprehensive Act.

There have been laws enacted to protect children from sexual exploitation and to prevent individuals from being deceived into working in the sex industry, but there has not been a comprehensive redrawing of the legal boundaries.

Numerous attempts to change the law have failed; prior to , there had been six attempts to overhaul sex work legislation in the previous 30 years, beginning in , followed by attempts in , , , , and There are no laws punishing clients in SA, but given the majority of sex workers are women, the prostitution laws are gendered and skewed towards criminalising women, not men Pinto et al Legislation in Australia around the legality of sex work varies greatly and often criminalises the sex worker not the clients, even in states where facets of prostitution are illegal.

South Australia and WA have debated whether sex work should be legalised and, if so, in what manner it should be regulated. It is to these debates that we now turn. Discussions regarding prostitution and whether or not it should be legalised have been relatively frequent in WA in the past decade, perhaps indicating that a resolution is both sought and highly contested by policymakers. A number of common themes emerged from both the —08 and —12 debates about amending prostitution legislation.

However, the lines between actuarial and socio-cultural risks are blurred as indeed suggested by Haines et al , while political risks in these debates were not clearly articulated. Later, when the Prostitution Bill WA was introduced, there was a notable shift in focus from sex worker health and child protection to morality concerns, organised crime and law and order.

This shift may have been due to a change of government elected on a strong law and order platform. South Australia has been debating legislation surrounding sex work and its legalisation for a considerable time. More narrowly, such a hazard is often considered external to the nexus of activity, and can be removed without resulting in any consequences for the majority Haines This mirrors concerns in Queensland and NSW, where sex workers are considered the sites of contagion, not their clients.

Other detractors of legalisation focused on the threat of crime to the security of WA due to links between organised crime and prostitution.

Detractors did not tease out how the wider community would be affected by legal prostitution as opposed to the illegal model, or how the criminal elements would benefit from any change in legislation.

Similar concerns about disease and community health were expressed by those against legalisation in SA. The risk of sex work to the health of the community, while broadly an actuarial risk, was couched as a socio-cultural risk.

Not only are sex workers the vectors of disease, according to these debates, but they are actively spreading disease, and it is their promiscuity that is the issue. Thus, like WA, there is a collapse of morality concerns with health and safety concerns and arguably an over-statement of levels of STI transmission among sex worker populations.

This point was not lost on one MP:. I would like to see the incidence of STDs being passed onto wives by married men who have casual sex encounters and affairs [because] prostitutes in the main do practise safe sex nowadays, and I do not want to hear the sort of rubbish suggesting that they do not Hansard, 28 June , Lyn Breuer ALP.

While community health and community safety may have been the areas of risks identified to the lives of Western Australians in , and risks that could be actuarial in nature were not central to discussions of the Bill in , the majority of debates for both Bills ultimately centred around socio-cultural risks.

Partly there were fears that this legislation would legitimise sex work as a career option, or prevent upstanding citizens from enjoying the suburbs. Judy Longlegs of Cotteslow will come along and advertise her services probably in the local kindergarten window in case dads pick up their kids from kindergarten, in the local newspaper and on the radio.

This stemmed from another fear voiced by MPs regarding enabling sex workers to work close to residential areas. Legalised prostitution would also, according to Anthony Fels Ind , result in marriages breaking down as this Bill would:. The role of the politicians in this debate was therefore to protect women from themselves, as women were seen as the guardians of morality in WA and prostitution as the risk to it. These debates were therefore retracing old ground. Several MPs countered the arguments about the moral risks of prostitution.

As Michael Atkinson ALP noted, the nuisance factor of brothels in residential zones was not due to prostitutes: In this way, and quite unlike the development of debates in WA, there was some discussion of the injustice of criminalisation of those working in the industry. Dennis Hood Family First suggested criminalising clients along the lines of the Swedish model of controlling prostitution, in order to maintain the status quo of heteronormative relationships, rather than to protect the sex workers.

The Bill, when introduced by the newly elected WA government, was concerned with reassuring the public that the suggested legislation would uphold morality in WA, while also ensuring that the business of sex work would take place away from families.

As Charles Porter stated:. The Bill aims to provide police, government and the community with the necessary tools to finally crack down on unlawful prostitution Hansard, 14 June , According to a statement from Porter released a year before the Bill was tabled in Parliament, the Bill:.

In this case, the newly elected WA Liberal Government, a party that campaigned on its ability to provide law and order to the community, potentially sought to reassert its position as the party that brings security to neighbourhoods.

...

The legislation across the Australian states and territories agrees, broadly, on one thing: Underlying this relaxed regulation of prostitution has been the idea that sex work can be a legitimate form of employment so long as strict conditions are met by individuals and businesses within the industry Sullivan In states and territories other than NSW, aspects of sex work are criminalised.

The differences in the regulation of sex work can provide insight into the political cultures of each jurisdiction and what each state or territory has chosen to focus on when creating legislation around sex work.

Criminalisation of certain parts of the sex industry also results in law enforcement agencies selectively choosing to apply criminal law against women and not men, in particular to female sex workers and not male clients Hancock Sullivan has argued that where the states have focused on the occupational health and safety of sex workers, this is often couched in terms where the female sex workers are ultimately responsible for the health and safety of the male clients as well as themselves.

In Queensland, it is an offence for a prostitute to work if he or she is infected with an STI, but there is no corresponding offence for a client engaging the services of a sex worker if the client is infected Sullivan Therefore, although prostitution may be decriminalised or legalised across Australia, this does not mean that the laws are necessarily in place to protect sex workers or are effective in destigmatising the occupation and legitimising it as a form of employment.

Similar to Queensland, until WA police worked under a containment policy Donovan et al in which certain brothels were allowed to continue to operate if workers were willing to supply information to the police for example, name, address, fingerprints and so on to be kept in an unofficial database. However, as Donovan et al note, the abandonment of this containment policy has not resulted in police following the formal provisions of WA law.

By and large this left prostitution in WA unregulated by police. In the place of the containment policy was the Prostitution Act WA ; however, the Act predominantly deals with street sex work, advertising, and offences involving children and sex work Donovan et al It is this patchwork of laws, plus the perceived problems with sex work, that the WA Parliament was attempting to redesign into one comprehensive Act.

There have been laws enacted to protect children from sexual exploitation and to prevent individuals from being deceived into working in the sex industry, but there has not been a comprehensive redrawing of the legal boundaries.

Numerous attempts to change the law have failed; prior to , there had been six attempts to overhaul sex work legislation in the previous 30 years, beginning in , followed by attempts in , , , , and There are no laws punishing clients in SA, but given the majority of sex workers are women, the prostitution laws are gendered and skewed towards criminalising women, not men Pinto et al Legislation in Australia around the legality of sex work varies greatly and often criminalises the sex worker not the clients, even in states where facets of prostitution are illegal.

South Australia and WA have debated whether sex work should be legalised and, if so, in what manner it should be regulated. It is to these debates that we now turn. Discussions regarding prostitution and whether or not it should be legalised have been relatively frequent in WA in the past decade, perhaps indicating that a resolution is both sought and highly contested by policymakers.

A number of common themes emerged from both the —08 and —12 debates about amending prostitution legislation. However, the lines between actuarial and socio-cultural risks are blurred as indeed suggested by Haines et al , while political risks in these debates were not clearly articulated. Later, when the Prostitution Bill WA was introduced, there was a notable shift in focus from sex worker health and child protection to morality concerns, organised crime and law and order.

This shift may have been due to a change of government elected on a strong law and order platform. South Australia has been debating legislation surrounding sex work and its legalisation for a considerable time. More narrowly, such a hazard is often considered external to the nexus of activity, and can be removed without resulting in any consequences for the majority Haines This mirrors concerns in Queensland and NSW, where sex workers are considered the sites of contagion, not their clients.

Other detractors of legalisation focused on the threat of crime to the security of WA due to links between organised crime and prostitution. Detractors did not tease out how the wider community would be affected by legal prostitution as opposed to the illegal model, or how the criminal elements would benefit from any change in legislation. Similar concerns about disease and community health were expressed by those against legalisation in SA.

The risk of sex work to the health of the community, while broadly an actuarial risk, was couched as a socio-cultural risk.

Not only are sex workers the vectors of disease, according to these debates, but they are actively spreading disease, and it is their promiscuity that is the issue. Thus, like WA, there is a collapse of morality concerns with health and safety concerns and arguably an over-statement of levels of STI transmission among sex worker populations.

This point was not lost on one MP:. I would like to see the incidence of STDs being passed onto wives by married men who have casual sex encounters and affairs [because] prostitutes in the main do practise safe sex nowadays, and I do not want to hear the sort of rubbish suggesting that they do not Hansard, 28 June , Lyn Breuer ALP.

While community health and community safety may have been the areas of risks identified to the lives of Western Australians in , and risks that could be actuarial in nature were not central to discussions of the Bill in , the majority of debates for both Bills ultimately centred around socio-cultural risks. Partly there were fears that this legislation would legitimise sex work as a career option, or prevent upstanding citizens from enjoying the suburbs.

Judy Longlegs of Cotteslow will come along and advertise her services probably in the local kindergarten window in case dads pick up their kids from kindergarten, in the local newspaper and on the radio. This stemmed from another fear voiced by MPs regarding enabling sex workers to work close to residential areas.

Legalised prostitution would also, according to Anthony Fels Ind , result in marriages breaking down as this Bill would:. The role of the politicians in this debate was therefore to protect women from themselves, as women were seen as the guardians of morality in WA and prostitution as the risk to it. These debates were therefore retracing old ground.

Several MPs countered the arguments about the moral risks of prostitution. As Michael Atkinson ALP noted, the nuisance factor of brothels in residential zones was not due to prostitutes: In this way, and quite unlike the development of debates in WA, there was some discussion of the injustice of criminalisation of those working in the industry. Dennis Hood Family First suggested criminalising clients along the lines of the Swedish model of controlling prostitution, in order to maintain the status quo of heteronormative relationships, rather than to protect the sex workers.

The Bill, when introduced by the newly elected WA government, was concerned with reassuring the public that the suggested legislation would uphold morality in WA, while also ensuring that the business of sex work would take place away from families. As Charles Porter stated:. The Bill aims to provide police, government and the community with the necessary tools to finally crack down on unlawful prostitution Hansard, 14 June , According to a statement from Porter released a year before the Bill was tabled in Parliament, the Bill:.

In this case, the newly elected WA Liberal Government, a party that campaigned on its ability to provide law and order to the community, potentially sought to reassert its position as the party that brings security to neighbourhoods.

A short first and second reading of the Bill ensued but left sex workers and the Labor Party unhappy with the Bill. Due to an impending election, the Bill was not passed and no new Bill was introduced. Concerns that did not arise fully in WA debates did in SA, specifically about child sexual abuse and child exploitation. Thus legalisation was not to improve the lives of women working as prostitutes, but to better protect the community against criminal behaviour.

On the other hand, according to Paul Holloway, even discussing the possibility of legalisation could lead to increased criminal activity, which requires vigilance and is proof of why more police are required by the state:. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that the police that I have spoken to recently indicate that already the number of brothels in this state is mushrooming in anticipation of this bill being passed. As I understand it, there is also evidence of increasing drug use within the brothels that are operating at the moment.

To add further alarm, there is evidence that motorcycle gangs Discussions shifted considerably throughout and towards social justice and human rights concerns as to how SA could better protect sex workers. People involved in the industry will actually be contributing to the state through taxes Hansard, 6 September , The ability to change workplace legislation and bring sex workers under the protection of WorkCover or other work safety schemes would save the government money according to Frances Bedford ALP , who argued that:.

We are therefore forcing this group of workers to be welfare dependent, possibly for housing and certainly for their pension Hansard, 6 September , Thus, the last debates about legalising prostitution in SA were primarily concerned with assessing the political risks related to a move to legalise sex work. Many clients ring a number of "call girls" and then decide which they most like the sound of.

The "call girl" also needs to be skilful in evaluating her caller by his tone, expression and enquiries in case she invites a dangerous man to her place. But once this is done to her satisfaction and an appointment is made, the next step is to try to develop the new client into a regular. The business of the "call girl" turns over at a much slower rate than in a brothel, so she needs to cultivate a higher ratio of regular clientele. Men who prefer visiting a "call girl" to visiting a brothel are usually seeking more than sex; they are often looking for a female friend, companion or mistress.

The "call girl" recognises this and acts the pseudo-mistress with her regular clients, so that she might have a number of mini-relationships going at the same time. The emotional strain of keeping such pretence going is much more draining than the brothel worker who sees her clients for the express purpose of sexually satisfying them.

Although some clients in brothels do develop an attachment for certain women and this adds a strain in the relationship for the workers, the "call girl", from the first visit when the man arrives nervous and uncertain, must appear calm and amicable towards him even though she too might be secretly anxious, and thereafter as he becomes a weekly regular she has to maintain an intense level of intimacy with him.

And, while she might be the only woman he has such intimacy with, she is on the same terms with as many as a dozen or more men. The streetwalker who refers to the "call girl" as a "lazy flatbacker" obviously has never been in her situation. There are certain distinct advantages to the working life of the "call girl". Not the least of these, so far as she is concerned, is the anonymity of the work. Whereas the streetwalker is in public view for all to see, and the brothel worker is occasionally discovered by a man known to her, or worse, a member of her close family like the Canberra parlour worker whose father walked into her workplace as a client , the "call girl" through the expediency of "sussing" a caller out on the telephone can usually detect anyone known to her.

In any case, she can always spot a man who has made an appointment through the "peep-hole" in the door. Since much of their work is carried out in the daytime, a mother of young children can work as a "call girl" between say 10 a. She does not have to abide by a roster system. The chief disadvantage to working as an independent "call girl", especially if a woman decides to work alone, is the risk of violence.

In spite of great skills at detecting a maniac on the phone a misjudgment sometimes occurs, and then the woman has to call upon all her powers of persuasion and remain calm in a potentially deadly situation if she is to escape injury.

If this fails the results are sometimes fatal. The history of prostitution is filled with tragic situations when a woman is alone with a crazed misogynist, like Julie Plater, who was bashed to death on Christmas Eve, , when she saw a man alone in a parlour in Harris Park, or of the horrifying death of the Kings Cross worker who saw a man alone and died with a leg of a chair shoved into her eye and brain.

The heavy dependence upon advertisements is another distinct disadvantage of running a private operation. If a newspaper in which an advertisement appears regularly suddenly decides to cease taking advertisements from prostitutes or deletes the "personal" column a "call girl's" business is drastically affected immediately. When the Manly Daily stopped running its "personal column" in the number of private operations on the North Shore rapidly declined almost overnight although when another printed outlet was found some re-opened.

These then are the main types of prostitution carried out by "professional" prostitutes in Sydney. As stated at the beginning of this Section they do not differ much from similar operations in other western cities, and if they do differ noticeably it is usually in degree rather than kind. The famous "window" prostitution in Amsterdam, for instance, is not unlike the east Sydney brothels, except the Dutch prostitute sits behind a house window while the Sydney worker stands in a doorway.

The women's attire, the male cruising, the bargaining, and closing curtains or door when busy are basically the same; the minor differences are but variations on a theme. Perhaps the aspect of prostitution which most fascinates many people is why women enter the sex industry in the first place.

Many researchers have attempted to answer this by providing psychological motives from events in childhood or early adolescence.

But as we have seen, there have been so many conflicting opinions on the subject that little has been gained in this line of investigation. Jennifer James found early negative sexual experiences as a possible predetermining factor for her street and juvenile samples. In the previous Chapter, the present study indicates an early coital experience as a possible predisposing motive for women entering prostitution at a later date, based on a more representative sample of sex workers, and, unlike the studies of James , Mimi Silbert and Nanette Davis , these early sexual activities were little different in kind to the similar experiences of other women.

This Section, however, concerns the immediate motives for women becoming prostitutes, and attempts to reconstruct a scenario linking reasons given by the prostitute sample for entering prostitution, with the findings in the social background variables discussed in the last Chapter. Distribution of streetwalkers, brothels, strip clubs and bars in Kings Cross Distribution of streetwalkers, brothels and houses of assignation in East Sydney and Darlinghurst Brothels and streetwalkers in Sydney metropolitan area Firstly, it is useful to consider some general social perceptions on why women enter prostitution.

The two non-prostitute samples of female university students and health-workers as indicators were asked if they had ever considered taking up prostitution themselves. Keeping in mind that in the preliminary stages of this study 13 completed questionnaires from these two groups were discarded lest they biased the findings, the balance responded as shown in Figure 4.

Quite obviously prostitution is largely rejected as a job option. But in view of the high level of social resistance to the sex industry and the negative misconceptions about it, it may be surprising to find so many of the health-workers and students considered it at all, let alone nearly 9 per cent of the original number of respondents to the questionnaire who admitted to actually working as prostitutes.

Because the prostitute stereotype is a constant image of the archetypal "bad girl" in the subconscious of most women, it frequently flashes into the conscious mind whenever the individual thinks of "sin", "sexual promiscuity", "wantoness" and other concepts of negative socio-sexual behaviour. Other images, such as the nun stereotype for "purity", the temptress stereotype for "seductiveness", the virgin stereotype for "innocence", the housewife stereotype for "duty", the mother stereotype for "nurturance", also play their part of emerging from the subconscious whenever the conceptual occasion arises.

Women therefore relate to any of these at different times depending on the situation. Thus, a woman who is constantly concerned about her sexual behaviour with men may often fantasise about herself in the role of a prostitute, but she more than likely will never actually take on this role. Many more women imagine themselves as prostitutes than actually become them. Those who do may simply be women who have put their fantasies into reality.

In view of this, the imagined prostitute role will no doubt include motives for entering prostitution. The two samples of non-prostitutes responded to a question on why they thought women entered prostitution. The reasons they gave are listed in Table 4. Very clearly the non-prostitute sample imagine drug-taking and economic imperatives as the most frequent reasons for women entering prostitution.

They also imagine that pimp manipulation, greed and a higher income incentive, and a past as uncontrollable children or juvenile delinquency are powerful motives in women becoming prostitutes. It is interesting to note the high ratios of psychological motives, such as low self-esteem, lack of love or affection, loneliness and nymphomania, supposed as underlying reasons for taking up prostitution.

The list complements the usual assumptions about prostitutes made in the media, such as drug addiction, pimps, low self-esteem and poverty as the main contributors to women's entrance into prostitution. The general assumption here is that prostitution is such an odious existence that no woman in her right mind would freely choose it as an occupation; some powerful driving force over which they have no control gets them involved.

The reasons prostitutes give for having entered the sex industry, however, tell a very different story, as is seen in Figure 4. These subjects gave multiple answers, so that separate reasons were given. Percentages are of number of subjects to each reason. An immediate contrast with the imagined motivations for entering prostitution suggested by the health-workers and students presents itself Whereas the non-prostitutes supposed that drug addiction and pimp manipulation were high level motivations for becoming prostitutes, the reality of the prostitute sample is that these feature quite low among motivations.

The economic motives of unemployment, supporting families and pursuing higher incomes given by the prostitutes as reasons for their own entrance into the sex industry do coincide more closely with the assumed motives given by the non-prostitutes. Another economic motive often overlooked by non-prostitutes is that of offering commercial sex in order to pay for an education, for money needed to take an overseas trip, to pay off debts, to purchase a car, house or other large expensive item, or for some other specific purpose.

It is far from unusual to find a prostitute with a specific goal, giving herself a time span in which to earn a high income and acquire the desired object or objective. The reality is then that the vast majority of prostitutes have entered the business for money and remain in it for money.

In other words, prostitutes see and treat prostitution as a job option, unlike most non-prostitutes, who see it as an expression of a psycho-social deficiency.

The age of entrance for the prostitute sample provides further insight into this phenomenon. Most prostitutes seem to enter the sex industry in their late adolescence to early twenties. Very few were in their early adolescence and little over 10 per cent were over 30 when they began. An interesting pattern occurs in the 16 to 25 years age group which would indicate that there are two age periods when large numbers of women enter the sex industry: The first period saw the entry of many of those girls who had experienced early coitus.

These girls may have been promiscuous teenagers with a long history of coital activity, or, just as likely, they may have been girls who found prostitution the only means to pay for their drug habits. The women entering prostitution in their early twenties, on the other hand, are mostly women making clear and rational choices about becoming prostitutes based on a strong economic motive, either in order to pay for an expensive item or some other benefit, or, as Figure 4.

Women who choose prostitution as a higher paying occupation represent over 40 per cent of the sample: Like many women in their early twenties, they have become dissatisfied with their low-paying jobs and little chance of an early promotion, and sought other means of earning much more in a much shorter span of time.

Well, possibly no other job options for higher earning power are open to them, and maybe, as women confident of their sexuality, prostitution seems attractive to them as mature young women. But it is not that simple. There is one other important, almost essential, ingredient for entering the sex industry which enables the mature woman despondent with her working life to cross the barrier of social taboo and adopt the role of prostitute.

Let us listen to what some of the prostitutes I interviewed have to say. Martine entered the sex industry for a clearly economic purpose:. I didn't have any money and I couldn't get a job. I was very depressed because I couldn't make any money, and I knew women working in bondage and discipline and this sounded too good to be true.

It did also fascinate me and I wanted to do it. So I just started because there were opportunities there. I didn't have any trouble getting a job because one of the women running the place was a personal friend of mine. I needed some money because I was having legal hassles and my present job wasn't bringing in enough to pay for this.

A girl friend of mine had an escort agency and this seemed the quickest way to get the amount of money I needed. She was the first prostitute I had ever met. I sat around with her listening to her conversations about work, and sat there with my mouth open hearing her on the phone making appointments. There was my girlfriend, Sharon and Kerry, the prostitute, who needed two girls to see two men.

The phone call came and we just happened to be sitting there, and Kerry said: All you have to do is make love to these guys. It will be real easy. The whole fear was getting over the first time. I met an old school friend and we had lunch together.

She told me she was a prostitute and how much money she made. She asked me if I would "sit" for her one night at five pounds a night in the s.

But the fellows kept asking for me, not her. So, I thought, I must be sitting on a gold mine. And that's how I started. Caroline had also worked in the sex industry other than as a prostitute before becoming a sex worker herself:. I arrived here without a job or money. Because I had worked as a receptionist it was easy for me to look for a parlour to work in. If I had not worked as a receptionist in a parlour before, there's no way I would have become a prostitute.

I would rather have begged on the street than become a prostitute. It's marvellous just how many cops have got girls jobs. The first time occurred because I needed money to go overseas; I was determined to go overseas. But it probably wouldn't have happened, or I wouldn't have thought about it, had it not been for the fact that I lived in the Cross, where a lot of my social life was spent. Although I didn't personally know any prostitutes, I knew of many hanging around coffee shops and other places.

I thought about prostitution as a possibility to earn money for about a month before I actually tried it. We have earlier seen how Jeanette's husband turned out to be pimp and put her on the street pp. Streetwalker Kelly had very similar experience:.

I was living with this guy for four years and his ex--wife was a prostitute. As the years went by I found out he was having an affair with a girlfriend of mine and he started her working. Being as it may, love is blind, and I gave him an ultimatum: Apart from Kelly and Jeanette, these women entered prostitution for economic reasons although one could argue that pimping is also an economic motive, except the motivation is from the pimp, not the prostitute.

But in all of these examples one common factor clearly presents itself. Each of these women knew someone - a friend, a policeman, a prostitute who hires her, or prostitutes and their work generally - before they entered the sex industry. It would appear that for most women an economic imperative or even a psychosexual inclination is not enough otherwise, the argument goes, all poor women and nymphomaniacs would automatically become prostitutes, which, of course, they do not.

It seems that just as important as these two factors is the need for a woman to be closely associated with the industry first, or to have acquired some knowledge about it, before she actually takes the step to become a prostitute herself.

But there are exceptions. Marie is one such exception. You will recall that she was raised in a home with exceptionally frank views on sexual behaviour p. This might indicate that for Marie becoming a prostitute might present less trauma than for most women. However, she entered the sex industry without prior knowledge about it:. I could see my money getting smaller and smaller, and I didn't really want to go back to one of those casual jobs; that kind of thing didn't appeal to me any more.

I could easily have got a job and I had lots of offers in the fashion industry, but it just didn't appeal to me. I thought I would like to do something different. I had seen these ads in the paper, which said something like: It took me a whole day to make the phone call, and another whole day for me to get it together to go around there and see them.

I was surprised to find the other women there a lot like me because I had expected them to be different, like floozies. Here is an insight into the reason for so few women entering the sex industry as prostitutes. If a woman with Marie's liberal and open family life was so hesitant when her economic and psychosexual inclinations could have been motivation enough, it is understandable why simply being poor or inclined to promiscuity is not enough for most women not to just contemplate prostitution, many women do that , but actually to become prostitutes.

Knowledge or knowing someone is the key nexus between economic or sexual motives and practising commercial sex. Certainly, those women above, judging by their comments, would never have become prostitutes had it not been for a friend, a cop or contact with the industry previously.

If Marie is an unusual case and, I must suppose, that there are other women with similar backgrounds who underwent similar experiences , then Katherine's case might even be more unusual. Because I have been overwhelmingly curious about it, and having lived in London and run a wine bar, I used to see a lot of guys who needed extra attention.

Having given it away for such a long time and feeling that that is not very fulfilling, and having travelled around living out of a rucksack for a few years, I wanted a bit of comfort as well. Not to make a fortune, but just to live comfortably and have a bit of money to spare to help people and involve myself in other areas that I like.

Prostitution gives you the security, but it also gives you a lot of free time. Katherine had an economic motive for entering prostitution, and it seems that her "overwhelming curiosity" might have been the other side to a sex life that was not "very fulfilling".

You will recall she had never had an orgasm before the day she began prostitution p. Obviously there was a very powerful psychosexual motive propelling her towards sexual experimentation. It seems that for her, prostitution was an inevitable conclusion, or, at least, would have eventually been attempted in her quest for fulfilment as a sexual being. As it was she was nearly 33 when she became a prostitute, an age well beyond the average for entrance.

None of this should detract from the fact that overwhelmingly entrance into prostitution in inexorably linked to the economic situation of the women who become prostitutes.

According to an American study conducted by John Decker in , 31 per cent of his sample of 29 mid-west prostitutes took up commercial sex for entirely economic reasons, 10 per cent did so for psychological reasons, and 59 per cent became involved due to a combination of factors. Eileen McLeod's , pp. It was clear to all of these researchers that the economic position of women entering prostitution is a reflection of the situation of females generally.

In spite of women's better education and involvement in the nation's productive output, men still remain the economically privileged sex. Hackneyed arguments to prop up this inequality, such as men need more money as the family "breadwinner", no longer have validity in the face of increases in double-income families, divorce rates and single mothers.

The high ratio of single mothers in prostitution is one example of this. Prostitutes generally are women who have tried to address the disparity in wage-earning power by entering the sex industry. But, as we have seen, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

A common assumption exists that prostitutes are women incapable of other kinds of employment. Little separates the three groups in their past work experiences.

Popular perceptions might have assumed a much higher ratio of other sex work, such as stripping and pornographic movies, for the prostitutes. But the most instructive finding here is the low ratio of prostitutes who had never had any other work experiences. What this configuration indicates is that prostitutes are women who have emerged from the general workforce; prostitution is not their first and only work.

A comparison of Table 4. A glance at both Tables 4. Little can be gleaned from this profile, however, that might provide some indication of the prostitutes as a group of women with special work skills. In fact, on the contrary, they appear to be a highly diversified group. But if anything, their work experiences do seem to lean towards the lower paid occupations of factory work, office work, sales work, domestic work and work in the service industry.

This might explain why prostitution might appear an attractive economic alternative to the women involved in those occupations, but it does not help us to understand why women in high paid administrative occupations or in arts with a high level sense of creative achievement would turn to prostitution.

Comparing this Table 4. Fatale, you may recall, is the bondage mistress with a close affinity with her working environment p. She is also an artist, and to understand this side of her is to understand why an artist could find sex work attractive. She tells us something of her background:.

I've been a landscape artist, professionally. I've made money out of performances, and I've done art work both for nothing and for remuneration. And I've played in bands professionally, and as a professional musician I've taken part in sculptural performances. I'm working in a band at the moment on the performance piece called "Lady Macbeth", extracted from Shakespeare, of course. She describes a period of her career as a sculptor, which she quite clearly associates with her role as a bondage mistress in one of Sydney's best known parlours:.

I started doing little sculptures called "cult objects", which were suitable expressions of my own suffering. They represented a mythical evolution, which I had created myself for figurines showing stages in this evolution. They were quite distorted with their facial expressions of agony and ecstasy. They all appeared androgynous, except the last figure, which looked as though it were pregnant.

Having had the kind of childhood that I have already spoken to you about [p. I wished to express some kind of ecstasy inside the pain of my own past, and I was drawn to the images of our cultural past for inspiration, such as Christian iconography, like Bernini's "St Theresa". I actually did a piece on St Theresa's ecstasy, an installation involving a painting and, since I'm a symbolist, an electric fan to symbolise energy, and a turning crucifix as a mesmerising object.

In addition, I included a film of Bernini's sculpture with the camera scanning the length of St Theresa's body.

I was definitely struck by the state of agony and ecstasy shown on Theresa's face. I suppose this state might be described as "masochist in tendency". Now my little figurines also expressed that state with the higher order of St Theresa, and I think that state is related to the primal substances that are a part of our inherent nature. In a lot of primitive cultures this state is in evidence through the shamanistic rituals of pain involved with an ecstatic experience.

I am drawn to that state and empowered by it. A lot of my sexual pleasure derives from it. You might call me a masochist, but I think sadism is a primal state too, so the two go together. By doing sex work I am in touch with other people's energies, and I don't mean just physical energy either, but mental and spiritual energies as well; I mean primal energies.

As an artist I've made it a goal to tap deep into the recesses of my own being and I think I have been given a gift to show how others can reach inside themselves to tap the common human and vital source of our primal energies in our primitive roots. Pain is an abstract term, but it stands for a common experience to all living things which comes from deep within us.

Pain has so many ways of being delivered, but being delivered in a sexual way, the experience starts with arousal and a vulnerability which opens up deeper feelings rarely opened in normal everyday existence. I think it is necessary for the whole being to tap into your primal energies, as I do in sex work and in my artwork.

None of the other women I interviewed had such exotic work experiences, and certainly nothing to which they might apply an esoteric understanding of the sex work in which they became involved. But, taken together, these women had an extraordinary range of past work experiences. Take Martine as an example:. I've been a strapper, looking after horses; I've done that for years.

I've worked on farms, and as a nanny. I've worked in radio, and worked on a woman's newspaper for a couple of years. I've worked as a television presenter for a while, and I've also been a waitress and a dishwasher. I used to work as a manageress of a fashion boutique. I've also done modelling. Once, when I was much younger I had this job selling hired television sets door to door. Also in my younger days before I came to this country I used to buy items cheaply in other countries and sell them for a profit when I brought them back into Germany.

Basically I've gone in for office work, or running an office; anything steady, that was me. But I had to be in the front part of the office because I've always been gregarious and enjoyed the company of people. When I finally branched out by doing some travelling, I did anything, including farm work; I loved getting a bit of dirt under my fingernails. Just recently I began working full-time in an advertising firm and continued prostitution part time.

I've worked in chemical laboratories, nursing, cinema projecting, teaching English as a second language, bar work, work on a prawn trawler, and waitressing. But for all their broad work experiences, qualifications, and their obvious abilities at adaptation, these women in the end turned to prostitution for their major source of income. And the reason for that was simple: These women were no struggling poor, although at the time of their entrance into the sex industry many of them were out of work, tired of mundane and unsatisfactory work, or in desperate need of extra cash.

The figures in Table 4. Over half of the prostitutes earned less than this as their highest weekly income, compared to about 45 per cent of the students and almost none of the health-workers. Since most of the health-workers were professional women they might be expected to include a number with very high salaries. A few of the prostitutes had also achieved high weekly earnings in their pre-prostitution occupations, which raises the question of their economic motive for becoming sex workers.

Other factors, such as job dissatisfaction, might have been at work. The evidence in this and the preceding Chapter indicates that women enter prostitution in two waves, based on age. The evidence of age of entry see Fig. Overwhelmingly an economic motivation was given as the reason for becoming a prostitute Fig. Earlier we discovered that women destined for prostitution more than likely had histories of coital experiences back to their early adolescence Table 3.

From these findings we can construct two scenarios for entry into the sex industry. In the first scenario are girls of 18 or less.

Most of these had "lost" their virginities before their sixteenth birthdays and more than likely initiated the occasions of initial coitus. They felt sexually mature by 16, but were still curious about their sexual passions and no longer held men in awe. They had learned that men most desire young female bodies and "innocent" girls, and were willing to pay handsomely for them. Coupled with the atrociously low wages paid girls in "straight" occupations, the economy of sex has an enormous appeal to these young women.

Some of the girls were already practising virulent promiscuous lifestyles, so that prostitution is a mere extension, albeit profitable, of this kind of sex life. Another sub-group within this age group are girls who experimented with drugs in their early adolescence, so that by 16 to 18 they had developed uncontrollable addictions to expensive narcotics or other drugs.

For them prostitution is the only occupation open to them able to support their habits. The second scenario includes the bulk of women entering prostitution. They were above 20 when they first exchanged sex for cash either in the context of the sex industry or in a private social arrangement to a persistent stranger.

They too had learned that the sexuality of young women has a price on it. The vast majority of this group were "broke", out of work, or bored with their present job when they decided to take up prostitution. They too had a mature approach to sex and had learned not to fear men, derived from long histories of coital interaction with males as far back as their early adolescence.

But they had none of the wide-eyed excitement of their younger colleagues. These women were pragmatic in their decision to become prostitutes. But even so they required knowledge about the sex industry first from trusted friends or people already involved in order to dismiss the myths and negative popular notions that act as a barrier to entry. Thus, we have two entrance scenarios, different in age, motives and kind.

These are, of course, flexible, for, as always among prostitute women, there are exceptions, such as some a little older or a little younger than these pictures suggest, in which case they fall within the intermediate age group of 19 to But this after all is the human diversity in prostitution, as in all social institutions.

In the first Chapter we viewed prostitution as a work-based occupation from the perspective of the prostitute. Whatever sexual gratification or other emotional satisfaction a sex worker might obtain in commercial sex doesn't make it any less work, but simply more pleasant work.

Earlier in the present Chapter the reader was introduced to "types" of work undertaken by the "professional" prostitute, including the structure of these "types" and their functions. In this Section we will delve deeper into the work of prostitutes by examining its nature and determining both the benefits and the drawbacks to being a prostitute. For example, how much is earned, how much time is involved, what is done, what workers think of their job.

Prostitution may be work, but it is also a service for men although occasionally women also use the services of a female prostitute , for which they must pay a fee to the prostitute. This fee forms the basis of the sex worker's earnings, whether it be a portion of the fee in an arrangement with the management of the house in which she works, or forms her gross income from which must be extracted her overheads. These figures were collected in , but since the prices for sexual services have not changed in three years nor had they for at least ten years prior to that these earnings may serve as an example of prostitutes' weekly incomes today.

If anything, in the wake of much negative publicity surrounding prostitution as a possible source of AIDS, prostitutes in Sydney at present may actually be earning less. Most people may have thought a prostitute earns more than that, and a few might be resentful that she could earn so much for "doin' what comes naturally". Most prostitutes feel that they are not paid enough, and they are impatient towards those who think they "get it easy".

But, all resentment aside, the fact remains that prostitution is a highly paid occupation, certainly one of the highest possible for women. If the weekly earnings shown in Figure 4.

From this comparison we can see that half of the prostitute sample earned on average as much as the highest earning two per cent of the Australian population, or as much as the highest earning 0. Over three-quarters of the prostitutes earned as much as the highest earning 9 per cent of Australians. Thus, there is no question that prostitution is an extremely lucrative occupation. Still, while most Australians in the workforce earn their salaries including such benefits as five weeks annual leave, public holidays or weekend double-time, not to mention other fringe benefits, these annual earnings for prostitutes may be considerably less if they do not work 52 weeks a year.

Many prostitutes will leave the sex industry if they cannot earn at least twice the salary they would earn in "straight" employment because they have a value on what it is worth to work as a prostitute. Another misconception about prostitutes is that they do not pay taxes, and therefore not only get "easy money" but "bludge" on the system as well. However, many prostitutes do pay taxes on their incomes, especially "career" sex workers who have been working for many years, otherwise such large capital expenditure and property, dwellings and cars would leave them open to suspicion and likely indictment for tax avoidance.

The lesson of Tilly Devine is not lost even today. But numbers of young prostitutes do not pay taxes. Some work only as their economic needs arise, others are so committed to a drug habit that every cent earned goes towards supporting their addiction so that their actual living expenses are negligible and they live like paupers, and there are those who feel resentful at paying taxes to a government which stigmatises them, does not support their demands for improved working conditions, and spends their taxes on paying police to persecute them.

Martine compares her situation with that of another taxpayer of equal income rank:. I pay the same kind of taxes that a doctor does. But, I actually receive a lot less because I can't work until I'm 65 like my father can, I get no prestige from my job, and no recognition for what I do. In recent years taxation agents have approached brothel management to assist them in collecting taxes from their employees.

This has especially been successful in Melbourne's legal brothels where the tax deduction arrangement is similar to other places of employment. This is another reason why Sydney prostitutes oppose the introduction of legalisation in New South Wales. They maintain that prostitutes are free agents, even in a brothel where they are not paid a salary but share the service fee with the house on a contractual arrangement.

It is not the place then for brothel owners to deduct tax on behalf of the government, but it is up to the individual prostitute to pay her taxes as a self-employed income-earner rather than as a wage-earner. After all, the brothel worker is treated as a hired agent by many owners in that they are not supplied uniforms and are expected to pay for their own overheads.

In the case of a bondage mistress this can be exorbitant, as Martine points out:. We have to buy all our own equipment, our own dildos, our own enemas, even our own amyl nitrate as the clients like snorting in a session. We have to buy our own leather clothing, which is very expensive, and our own lingerie, which is also very expensive. So, we do have considerable expenses.

For an independent "call girl" like Laura, who has her own business, her high earnings are offset against the overheads required in a successful operation:. But that depends on how long I want to sit in the apartment. Whatever I make, the deductions of rent, electricity and phones are the same.

And then there's the initial outlay for furnishings, linen and such like. I have to consider this apartment as part of my business expenses because I have my own apartment elsewhere. Any expenses I incur in the business apartment have to be considered business expenses. On the other hand, for the streetwalker, overheads are comparatively minimal, as Kelly assures us:.

Apart from rent for a room, cab fares and babysitters, there aren't any other expenses. I don't go out of my way to buy working clothes. The clothes that I wear at work I've had for a while. I don't think it matters what you wear. I've gone in all dressed up and feeling really good and not done very well. Other times I've gone in dressed really casually in a pair of jeans and a top and done better than with a short dress. Ultimately prostitution is a business of chance, dependent on the whims of customers, the general financial situation for example the vagaries of stock market or a recession , the time of the year Christmas and the end of the fiscal calendar are usually slow for business , and media hype on AIDS or police blitzes, which "kill" business altogether immediately afterwards.

So, while it might be a lucrative business, it is also very erratic. A third of the prostitutes work 25 to 36 hours a week, or, as brothel workers, three to four days a week. Less than a fifth work the "normal" working week of 37 to 48 hours, or, in a brothel, five to six days a week. More than a fifth work 49 to 60 hours a week, although as brothel workers they are probably doing three or four days of double shifts. The women putting in more than 72 hours a week are streetwalkers with expensive drug habits.

Compared to the hours actually worked by individuals in New South Wales, the prostitute sample worked less hours per week pro rata.

Whilst 82 per cent of the state's employed worked 35 or more hours a week Australian Bureau of Statistics Census in New South Wales , only 55 per cent of the prostitutes did so. This raises the old thorny morality of prostitutes receiving high wages "of sin" for little effort. This, of course, depends on one's personal value of one's body, and many prostitutes consider that for hiring out their bodies the hirer must be expected to pay a price equivalent to their value. Unions, of course, argue much the same thing in their struggle for higher wages.

But the objection to prostitutes' high wages and short hours often seems to disguise a Protestant work ethic response. As noted earlier, prostitution is a service, and it is paid for by the customer of the service. It is, then, about servicing customer demands, but not always about sex, for men frequently go to prostitutes as much for company as for sex, and sometimes the sex is superfluous to the actual contact.

But, in most cases, sexual pleasure for the customer is the sole purpose. A usual service in a brothel is "part-French and sex", or fellatio to arousal followed by coitus for climax. In bondage houses sadomasochistic fantasies predominate as a service.

On the street, it is usually simply fellatio to orgasm or a quick coital intercourse without preliminaries. While street prostitution services finish with the customer's climax in minimal time, in the brothels parlours the service depends on the length of time paid to be with a prostitute and therefore in an hour service, for instance, the customer may climax two times. The experienced brothel worker in a session develops a technique of prolonging arousal and foreplay so that actual intercourse time is minimised.

Men who have been drinking but not drunk are disliked as clients because they take too long during the motion of intercourse. The number of different services available in prostitution is quite extensive, and each has a colloquial term understood among prostitutes but not always outside the sex industry. A list of the more important of these is provided below:. There is a clinical ring to these services, and certainly most prostitutes would view their work in a clinical way, even when this involves the pretence of love or affection with their clients.

The reason many experienced prostitutes, once having overcome inhibitions about deriving pleasurable sensations in sessions with clients, seek orgasms at work is to make the job seem less clinical and mechanical to them. Some prostitutes find that the sex they have with their clients discolours the sex they have with their lovers or husbands.

The comment by Zoe seems to sum up this disposition:. I had become so well established in my identity and role as a prostitute that whenever I went to show some initiative or assertiveness in my relationship with my boyfriend I saw myself as a prostitute.

In prostitution sex is just a job, yet when I was in a love situation I couldn't dissociate the sex from the job situation. So when I made love it was like a job and I felt like a prostitute every time I got into bed with him.

This is certainly not the case with every prostitute, but it may be the reason some prostitutes will not kiss clients, or allow them to perform cunnilingus, since these are reserved for lovers only and serve as the acts in sex which distinguish work from love.

Many prostitutes have lovers who are as far from the perceived "typical" client in appearance, mannerisms and attitudes as it is possible to be. For example, these lovers are often much younger than the prostitute, unorthodox in attitude and less conventional looking than most clients. In other words, prostitutes are more likely to be attracted to men as lovers who are least like the client stereotype in a subconscious motive to distance themselves from their work in their private lives.

The disposition is probably not too unlike the plumber who loathes having to work on his own pipes. There exists a common notion that prostitutes are not free agents at work, that they must do exactly what the client expects of them.

If that was true once, it is certainly no longer the case today. In some parlours managers insist on no condoms, demand that a client with a suspected disease be serviced, and expect every request by clients be met in a kind of "the customer is always right" attitude.

But the experienced prostitute will not tolerate such dictates, and even the less experienced who may be persuaded to take a chance without a condom or with a suspected infectious client would rather leave the job than have to do a sexual act which is personally unpalatable. In this respect work reflects private sexual tastes, for these same distasteful acts are usually also avoided in private or social sex as well.

The services most acceptable to the prostitute sample are "Part French and sex", "sex coitus ", "hand jobs", "threesomes and doubles" and "full French", while those most often rejected are "Greek", "heavy bondage", "sexual surrogate work", "kissing", "buck's parties" and "medium bondage".

Interestingly, up to two decades ago Sydney prostitutes refused to offer French at all. The women expressed disgust at its suggestion and took affirmative action if the subject was raised.

Lisa, who worked in the lanes in the s, told me that at that time the guys just asked for straight sex and nothing else, no oral or anything, and if they did they would have got their heads kicked in. One girl got caught doing oral when I was on College Street s and she was smashed and left lying in the gutter.

There was a general attitude among prostitutes then that fellatio was somehow perverted and dirty. This was a curious response in Australia, for as Kinsey and his colleagues , p. This recalls Laura's comment earlier p.

But one has the feeling that in private, oral sex with Australian couples was practised much more frequently than was publicly communicated prior to the s. In the early s American researcher Morton Hunt conducted a survey for Playboy magazine to update the Kinsey data. He found that fellatio had increased among married couples considerably since the s and was performed more frequently in the middle class than the working class.

In her study of clients of call girls in New York, Martha Stein found that 83 per cent requested fellatio. But American prostitutes offer and perform fellatio or "full French" much more frequently than Australian prostitutes, and reserve coitus for special clients or services. By the s oral sex had become a standard practice in the parlours. Since the idea of "massage parlours" as clandestine brothels was imported from America, it is also possible that French came with them as a basic service.

The older Sydney prostitutes who had resisted fellatio for so long were forced to conform or go out of business. Sharleen, a worker of 30 years, took a long time before she could cope with offering fellatio, and then did so only to compete with her younger rivals:.

It's only recently s that I've done French. Before that no amount of money would have persuaded me to do it. But, as they say, if you can't beat them then join them. The same sentiments expressed by the older workers towards oral sex in the s is today expressed towards anal sex.

Yet, according to many prostitutes, the demand for it has increased throughout the s. It is in the same position as fellatio was twenty years earlier, and, as with the women then, prostitutes nowadays view it as degrading, depraved and dirty. Reasons often given for rejecting it are, it hurts, it is exclusively a homosexual act, the rectum is for faeces only, and it is associated with AIDS.

But, as with fellatio, if anal sex grows in popularity generally it will spread as a regular service in commercial sex, for, contrary to popular opinion, prostitution follows sexual trends rather than initiates them. The same might be said of heavy bondage, which, at the moment, is almost exclusively offered by mistresses in bondage houses. If it grows in demand as an alternative to sex which transmits body fluids, it may be offered eventually by the very same women who now find it too repulsive.

I asked some of the women who were not bondage mistresses if they offered bondage services in the course of their work. Kelly, the streetwalker answered:. I'm not into bondage very much at all. I do basics, straight sex and part French. I don't go into very many different kinds of positions. If I don't like doing things I won't do them.

I couldn't see myself being cruel to someone, because it's not in my nature. I'm not capable of bondage because of the violent undertones in my own marriage.

I don't like violence in any form, even as symbolic violence. I get requests for golden showers, for instance, but most simply ask for it on the phone and then not turn up.

If somebody did turn up and really wanted it, well, I wouldn't do it on the desk. But I would do it in the shower. I don't do heavy bondage, and I won't do submissive work. It wouldn't worry me at all if it meant drawing my own blood, but I couldn't draw their blood.

I've tried tying them up but I can't take it seriously. There's one guy around here who likes tying the girls up and that's all a bit of a joke too. The common belief that prostitutes will do anything if the fee is high enough seems far from the truth. Of the other services rejected by most of the prostitutes buck's parties are avoided because the drunken, loutish behaviour usually associated with these male social events repel most women.

Sexual surrogate work is rejected but not because patients are handicapped in fact, many prostitutes have physically impaired, paraplegics and quadriplegics among their regular clients but because this kind of work doesn't pay well and the prostitute has to work in an atmosphere of condescending medical staff.

There is a strong indication in all of this that prostitution is not quite as mechanical as many prostitutes claim, for their personal feelings, tolerances and intolerances appear impossible to separate entirely from their working environment.

The outcome is individual responses to the sex industry by the women involved in it. The individual responses from the sample group have been combined into a list of major positive and negative reactions. The women were asked what aspects they most liked about prostitution, and what they most disliked.

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Local nsa sex home prostitutes Queensland Because I had worked as a receptionist it was easy for me to look for a parlour to work in. Having given it away for such a long time and feeling that that is not very fulfilling, and having travelled around living out of a rucksack for a few years, I wanted a bit of comfort as. Sometimes an innocent female visitor to the Cross finds herself at the receiving end of a prostitute's verbal abuse when she unwittingly stands on a claim. Yet, according to many prostitutes, the demand for it has increased throughout the s. Like any other business, the decision as to where a brothel may be located is largely a matter for local authorities, subject to the Sustainable Planning Act They represented a mythical glory hole meet women for sex, which I had created myself for figurines showing stages in this evolution.
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