Upon entering Tiffany’s Palace in Canberra, you will find an assortment of girls waiting to fulfil your most intimate desires and erotic fantasies. One of these girls, Lucy, spoke to PRISM about the ins and outs of working in a brothel, from the lonely, weird and sometimes delightful clients she has had, to the sexual assaults that regrettably go with the territory.
Lucy is almost twenty and turned to prostitution when she was seventeen to avoid the minimum wage grind of working in fast food joints and supermarkets. She walked into the job with a “get rich quick” mindset and has never looked back.
Lucy is proud to admit she enjoys her job. The hours suit her and she finds great delight in dressing up in outfits she wouldn’t otherwise wear in public. She makes an average of $600 a night, though one night she proudly claimed she earned $2400. On weekends she says she can earn around $100-1500 generally.
While the pay is great, the job does have its downfalls. Lucy has at times felt unsafe and she’s been sexually assaulted twice. We asked her about how she keeps safe in this business. “If I don’t like their attitude in the introduction room, I’ll tell my reception that I’m unavailable if the client chooses me. Some guys can be nice as chips in the intro room, but as soon as they’re alone with me they turn evil. In those cases, if I can, I ask them to leave, and if they refuse I can press an emergency button and the security guard or reception will come to the door and ask them to leave. I have only ever been sexually assaulted twice whilst working, and those situations were because I was either with a drunk guy, or in a threesome when I didn’t have the skill set at the time to handle two guys. The police are great when we ring to notify them of these situations; they arrive promptly and are swift with how they deal with the clients, without making a scene.”
When we asked if Lucy had met some interesting people through her line of work, she became noticeably animated. “Every guy that steps through that door has a different story to share. I’ve met married guys, single guys, older guys, celebrities, etc. Some of the ladies that I’ve worked with have become great friends and everyone feels like an extended family member.”
Lucy’s wide range of intriguing experiences while working as a prostitute has made her rethink the stigma attached to fetishes. Her work requires her to discard any ideas of conventionalism she may have held on to previously. Now, her sex life is anything but vanilla, with each night filled with outlandish sexual exploration. “Every night is different. I might have a client who wants to suck on my toes; a client who wants me to slip a dildo up his bum; a client who wants me to fist fuck him or stick objects up the eye of his penis; a client who wants me to dress up in his wife’s wedding dress; a client who wants me to dress like a man; a client who wants me to roar like a tiger while he fucks me. Every night is fun and exciting!”
Lucy hasn’t had a boyfriend since she started working at the brothel. She tried once, but leading the double life was too hard to maintain. She says the overwhelming reaction of potential love interests she has confided in were negative; no man to this day has been happy to look past her occupation and accept her for who she is. Lucy understands why men react this way, as her job breaches the typical relationship paradigm of exclusivity; however, she still wishes that men would be less nasty when approaching the situation.
There is a large stigma attached to sex work and Lucy finds that she deals with it fine. “Everyone has opinions about the job. You’re either going to like the job or hate it. I honestly don’t care what people think about what I do; it doesn’t affect me. At the end of the day, they’re not going to pay me the money I’m earning each night, so why would I care what they think?”
Only Lucy’s three closest friends and her mother know about her job, and she admitted that she is not ready yet to come clean to her father or the rest of her family as she comes from a very religious background.
We asked Lucy if she had any advice for anyone considering prostitution as an occupation. “Think it through,” she said. “Be sure that it is really something you want to experience. I would say just give it a go. You don’t have to sign up to shifts straight away, or do long nights. Ring up, go in for a few hours and watch or work for a few hours. The managers are kind and understand that you’re only just starting out. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, at least you tried. The other girls that are on shift are great to talk to about any questions you have relating to the job.”
Lucy’s only regret is her financial planning skills, or lack thereof. “When I got my first pay check, I blew the whole $700 the next day on shopping, because I was like, “Wow, if I can make this in one night, I’m sure I’ll be making this every night. Not the case, you seriously can’t live off pay check to pay check. That would be my only regret. Put like 50% of what you earn into a bank. Have a goal that you’re working towards, i.e. a house deposit, new car, holiday etc. Only work what you’re able to work; don’t try doing seven nights a week when you first start, you will collapse. Start working maybe two nights a week – to see if you can handle it –before asking for more shifts.”
Working in the industry has taught Lucy tolerance and understanding. “Overall, I think I’ve learned to be more patient and understanding of people and their backgrounds and cultures.” She also took the opportunity to remind us that if you’ve got the cash, she will satisfy your every need.