08 July, 2009

Perth Brothels Overwhelmed with Business

Demand. Demand. Demand. One of the results of a legalized sex industry is the increase in demand... if you are a registered and legal brothel you can advertise and spread the word - you can bring in other women from other states to help satisfy men who want to buy sex... all of this sounds quite legit - except when you know about the real demographics of prostituted persons... most women involved in prostitution come from a marginalized, abusive and traumatic past... so to offer them an 'opportunity' to sell their bodies (at tremendous risk and personal damage) is merely to offer state-run exploitation.
Check out the article from Perth (click on this title to read the whole thing from the source):
PERTH brothels are increasing staff to contend with the arrival of two US warships carrying more than 5400 sailors.

Nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington and guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens docked off Fremantle on Thursday. Prevalent in groups of five or six on the streets of Perth on Friday, some sailors were asking locals: ``Where do you go to party?''.
Business groups estimate the sailors' arrival will boost the local economy to the tune of $5 million during the ships' five-day stay. The owner of Perth brothel Langtrees, Beverly Clarke, said she had put on five extra staff for the weekend, including two from the eastern states.
While there had already been a marginal increase in business, she expected numbers to increase markedly by Friday night.
``Two more (US) sailors just walked in,'' she said while being interviewed on Friday afternoon.
``At the moment I've even got girls from the eastern states here to assist us.''


Catherine_Cat said...

Actually, those warships are probably not docking in Perth as a result of "a legalised sex industry".

Evidence is inconclusive as to whether legalisation increases demand - or simply increased openness. In the same way, policies that make life better for sex workers - like legalisation, or better, decriminalisation - can actually result in what is seen as an increase in assaults. But what has changed is that sex workers feel able to report, not that more violence is taking place.

Absolutely, there are women selling sex who come from very troubled backgrounds, or are doing this to fund a drug habit - and those are exactly the kind of people organisations like yours will see.

But it's wrong - factually and morally - to assume from that that you know all about the sex industry, and that women who are content with their jobs dont' exist because they don't access your services - highly judgemental services, from the tone of this article.

There is no evidence that the majority of sex workers are unwilling. Where sex workers have the protection of the law, studies have shown equivalent job satisfaction to other women.

Please learn to look beyond your own prejudices and assumptions to see sex workers as people. And stop misinterpreting US military troop ship movements as being a result of a legalised sex industry.

armybarmy said...

thanks for your comments. Appreciate them.
the only trouble is that the lowest stat I can find in a survey of sex workers in Australia is 64%. 64% of all sex workers surveyed in Australia would do something else if they thought they could.

That leads me to believe (not to mention the hundreds of prostituted persons I've worked and been friends with personally over the last 10 years of my life) that MOST women who find themselves involved in prostitution don't want to be.

I hear the rhetoric of prostitution collectives - and I hear the images the media uses to say that women working in the sex industry in Australia are happy campers... but it just doesn't line up with reality. It doesn't line up with the amount of immigrant women with little or no education who find prostitution their only form of employment in Australia and it doesn't line up with the women I've met and know personally - and it doesn't line up with the stats of the surveys...

I'm a HUGE fan and SUPPORTER of de-criminalising prostitution.... prostitutes are not the problem... people (mostly men) and systems and laws that insist on exploiting women for their own gain are what I refuse to acknowledge. Surely we can do better.

With respect.

Catherine_Cat said...


What predicts job satisfaction among female sex workers? A study from Queensland, Australia
Charlotte Seib
Objectives: For many occupations, much has been learned about the effects of work and the workplace on job satisfaction and employment-related stress. However, there is an absence of research exploring the determinants of job satisfaction among sex workers. This paper examines predictors of job satisfaction among female sex workers engaged in brothels, private situations or street-based work. Methods: A convenience sample included 247 female sex workers (aged 18 to 57 years) working throughout Queensland, Australia. This included workers from legal brothels (n=102), private sole-operators (n=103) and illegal street-based sex workers (n=42). Results: The average age was 32 years, with most participants born either in Australia or New Zealand. One in five women had completed a bachelor degree or higher.
Overall, the sex workers reported roughly equivalent job satisfaction to Australian women (Baxter et al. 1996). A desire to leave the sex industry was most strongly correlated with reduced job satisfaction (p=<0.01).
Satisfaction was also relatively low among those whose family was not aware of their sex work (p=<0.01). Average job satisfaction scores for private sex workers were 64 (95% CI 60, 68), compared with 59 (95% CI 55, 63) for legal brothel workers, and 55 (95% CI 49, 62) for those working illegally (p=0.03).
Conclusions: Analysis suggests a complex interaction between variables contributing to job satisfaction. In general, it appears that the majority of sex workers enjoyed at least as much job satisfaction as women working in other occupations. Varying levels of job satisfaction in different sectors of the sex industry will be discussed in relation to characteristics of the workplace and the associated hazards, especially risk of violence.

Catherine_Cat said...


Contrary to the emphasis given in current public debates to cases of trafficking and exploitation, the evidence gathered in the context of the project shows a great variety of trajectories within the sex industry, which were influenced by key factors such as social-economic background, educational aspirations and achievements, immigration status, professional and language skills, gender and sexuality. The following are just a few emerging results in this respect:

* Immigration status is by far the single most important factor restricting interviewees' ability to exercise their rights in their professional and private lives.
* Working in the sex industry is often a way for migrants, especially if undocumented or partially documented, to avoid the unrewarding and sometimes exploitative conditions they meet in the low skilled jobs available to them, such as: waiting in restaurants and bars, cleaning, food packaging etc.
* Working in the sex industry can also be a way to minimise the risk of being subject to deportation, when undocumented
* By working in the sex industry, many migrants are able to maintain dignified living standards in the UK while dramatically improving the living conditions of their families in the country of origin.
* The stigmatisation of sex work was the main problem interviewees experienced while working in the sex industry, as most felt they could not be open about their work with their partners, families and friends, both in the UK and at home.
* Many underlined that the combination of the stigmatisation of sex work and lack of documentation made them more vulnerable to violence and abuse from customers, which is an exception to relations usually characterised by mutual consent and respect.
* All interviewees thought that their rights could be more asserted and their vulnerability reduced by legalising rather that criminalising sex work and the people involved and by making it easier for all migrants to become and remain documented.
* Nearly all of the few interviewees with previous experience of exploitation and coercion decided to continue to work in the sex industry independently. All were able to draw clear distinctions between exploitative and non-exploitative practices in the sex industry .
* All of the few interviewees with previous experiences of exploitation and coercion underlined the key role played by clients in providing support when they managed to escape. They all underlined how restrictive migration policies and the criminalisation of clients and sex workers would make people more likely to take risks and accept undignified and dangerous conditions.

Catherine_Cat said...

Further to the two studies of which I’ve posted references, I’d make a critical distinction between different parts of the job. Prostitution is having sex for money, and for many people the having sex for money part of the job is OK – and if it isn’t, if you’re one of the people who does this for the first time and cries all the way through and feels dirty and violated, that’s a MAJOR sign that this is not a way you should be making money, and you’ll be much better off all round doing something else. But for most people, the sex for money part is OK.

What isn’t an inherent part of the job, but is more difficult for almost everyone to deal with, is social attitudes to sex work – the stigma, the disrespect, the risk your neighbours will have a problem with what you do and be rude to you or put dogdirt through your letterbox or try to get you evicted, the risk your school will treat your child differently (worse) – and the almost certainty that someone will treat your child differently (worse) if they know how you make a living, the assumptions that you’re a drug user, that you’re a victim, that there’s something wrong with you, the risk that the police will treat you differently (worse) if you contact them about crimes against you, whether at work or not, and more. The fact you may choose to keep a large part of your life secret as a result of these risks.

These things are not sex work, any more than homophobia is being gay – but for many people, social attitudes are more of a problem than their actual experiences doing the actual work.

Anonymous said...

There's a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.