Workers in the sex industry have endured the ire of the community for as long as the industry has been in existence.
Today we speak with Josephine and 'J', two Cairns based escorts who work in the Douglas region and ask them more about their life in the sex industry, and how they feel about the service they offer.
The Newsport: How long have you worked as an escort?
J: I have worked in the industry approximately 18 months.
Josephine: I am celebrating ten years this month! I had a break for a few months after about four years. At the time I was influenced by what other people thought was best for me. I was also burnt out.
I have since learnt to listen to my body and respect its limits. After giving it considerable thought, I made the decision to go back to the industry and I have never regretted it.
The Newsport: How many people, men and women, are actively working in the Port Douglas/Mossman area?
J: I honestly couldn't tell you how many people work in the area. I know for sure one other girl is but aside from that people come and go. Backpackers find it a quick source of income.
Josephine: I know of only a handful who have or do advertise as working in Port Douglas. To the best of my knowledge most workers are based in Cairns and most business that occurs in Port or
Mossman would be negotiated including travel to and from Cairns.
The Newsport: Who are your main clients?
J: My main clients are from out of town. Generally businessmen.
Josephine: My clients are both tourists and locals, business people, tradespeople, professionals.
The Newsport: The job is perceived as being quite dangerous. Is that the case and what measures do you take to keep safe?
J: I personally find it very safe. I am a good judge of character, and sometimes take along a bodyguard if I am unsure of the client. I have never had a problem in the past however, fingers crossed.
Josephine: In my experience it is a safe working environment. I take measures to keep myself safe. I don’t take a booking from anyone I don’t get a positive feeling about from speaking on the phone. It can’t get any simpler than that.
The phone will always ring again, there will always be another nicer client. My theory is if you don’t like someone on the phone, you won’t like them in person so it's best for all concerned not to make yourself available.
I have formed some wonderful enduring relationships over the years and it’s been my experience that my gut feeling is usually right.
The Newsport: Do you think community attitudes towards the sex industry are changing, or do you think it is still underground in our area?
J: Attitudes to the industry are very underground! Certainly in this area it is completely taboo and I would never give away my identity. I don't think this sort of work will ever be OK in the minds of people.
I'm fine with this now, and its easy to live with as long as you don't take unnecessary risks or involve friends or family.
I feel that what I do is a legitimate service towards people who pay for their personal needs. I am not vindictive or evil. We are educated and well spoken women who offer a service to men and also couples and other women who have certain needs. I don't feel there is anything wrong with it at all.
Josephine: Community attitudes are slower to change in regional areas, what more can I say? I don’t go outing myself in Cairns for fear of community attitudes, I would be far less inclined to ever do so in a small town.
The only person I have seen advertising as living locally in Port has been very careful to conceal her identity and she is aiming for a very select clientele, which is the only smart way to do business in a tight-knit community.
The only drawback to this industry, in my experience is dealing with the stigma. There is nothing inherently bad or wrong about consensual sex, there is nothing inherently bad or wrong about money so it's hard to fathom why there such a stigma attached to receiving money in return for sex.
I'm not selling my body or my soul any more than a hairdresser does. I'm supplying a much needed service to a very grateful clientele. Hopefully that's how your hairdresser feels too, and if not, perhaps they are in the wrong job.
Home page image by truelocal.com.au
Looking for more ways to keep in touch. Like us on our Facebook page.