Friday, March 22, 2013

Ask A Brothel Receptionist - Part 3

You might remember I did two previous posts here and here, relating the most commonly asked questions I was faced with when I was working brothel reception. At the end, I put a shout out for you all to hit me with the questions you would like answered. I wanted to give you all some time to come up with some questions, but since there wasn't a great rush of them I thought I would just chug on through and answer the ones that have been put to me. In no particular order, here they are!

What is the gender ratio of clients?
I imagine this fluctuates from place to place, and would also be different depending on what services you were offering. I worked in two different types of parlours; massage parlours, where full sex was not allowed by the house rules and hand relief was the primary sexual service on offer, and full service parlours, where full sex is allowed. In the "massage" parlours I worked in, the clients were maybe 95% male. Women did come in, both with partners and solo - not so infrequently that anyone freaked out, but not what I would call frequently. Something I did find curious is that while I did meet a couple of openly queer working girls, the women who came into the parlours never seemed to pick them. In the full service parlours I worked at, the clients were 100% male. I know from the other receptionists there that male clients did bring their female partners in very occasionally, but I never saw it when I happened to be behind the desk.

An appallingly unscientific representation of pure anecdata
What security precautions do brothels take to keep their employees safe?
I don't really want to start off every answer with, "It depends on where you work," but the sex industry really is such a varied place it's a pretty useful caveat no matter what question I'm answering. The security situation in particular was VERY varied at the different places I worked. One place had no security whatsoever, apart from a baseball bat under the desk and a fake security company number pinned to the wall where the clients could see it. It's probably not surprising this was the place I had the most unsafe experiences. This is the place where I had to talk the angry, coked up asshole out the door, and also where a disgruntled client threw a brick through the window after storming out in a huff. Other places had much better security arrangements - one had an arrangement with the bouncer at the pub on the corner of the block, that we could call him if we ever needed someone large and intimidating to sort a situation out. Another one actually had a proper alarm system, complete with personal duress  alarms and code words we had to repeat back to an operator if we were open later than expected. That place also provided a  large, muscular gentleman of indeterminate employment status to walk the workers to their cars or a taxi, and then walk the receptionist to a taxi. That was about as comprehensive as the security ever got at the  places I worked. I did interview for a much higher end place that had a really serious security system including coded locks and full time on site security, but I didn't end up working there.

FYI, I never had to use the bat.
How in practice do sex workers make a decision about whether or not to see a client? Do they get to look at them first?
While this is a great question, unfortunately I can't really answer it, since I've never actually been a sex worker. I can certainly answer the second part though! Every place I worked had a myriad array of security cameras, for a myriad array of reasons. The receptionists used them to keep an eye on the girls, and the clients, and anyone that might be  lurking outside the front and back doors (almost every parlour has a rear entrance, for clients who don't want to be seen going in off the street). The girls used them to get a peek at the clients before they introduced themselves. Three out of the four parlours I worked in had the same introduction system - the client would be shown into the parlour by me, and settled in a private room. I would then go back to the girl's lounge room, and round them all up from whatever they had been doing. They could take a look at the camera before they decided to go in, and more than once I had a girl turn down an introduction because she wasn't absolutely certain she didn't know the client from somewhere. They would also use the camera to identify previous clients - there were times when they would fill me in on something dodgy the client had tried to pull last time he had been there so I could ensure he didn't try it again, and times when they all got excited because the client was notoriously pleasant. Once they'd touched everything up, the girls would then go in one by one to introduce themselves and give a little spiel. Once they had all had a turn, I would go in and see who the client would like to see, take the money, and then the girl would take him to a service room.

One place I worked had a very different system though, because they were selling themselves as a gentlemen's club rather than a parlour as such. You know, somewhere you would go and play some pool, drink some dreadfully watered down complimentary drinks, and maybe HAPPEN to go upstairs and get a handjob in a spa from a girl who might CO-INCIDENTALLY get paid for this. In order to support this illusion, the reception staff were encouraged to let the clients chill in the lounge for as long as they wanted, and the girls were encouraged to "mingle" until the client made up his mind. It was much more similar to the style of parlour shown in US shows like Cathouse than anywhere else I worked in Sydney. Personally, I hated this system for a number of reasons. Firstly, the girls didn't have any way of getting a look at the client's before they went out on the floor, which was at best awkward and at worst downright dangerous should some of the girls have been caught by family members. Secondly, it encouraged the clients to take up as much of the girls time, and of mine, for free, before making a decision, which gets enormously tedious really really quickly. It also encouraged a situation where the girls were forced to directly compete with each other for clients, and often the loudest and pushiest would win out. Introducing the girls one by one is not only more efficient in terms of getting the money out of the client quickly and easily, it's also a hell of a lot fairer - IMHO. I'm by no means an expert, that's just my opinion from the experience I've had.

Will they employ over 50, or do they just want young and pretty faces?
There are exceptions, but generally the managers of parlours are looking for relatively young,well presented receptionists - and they are always, ALWAYS female. The thing is though, you can't be TOO young (I got turned down a number of times for looking too young) or too pretty, as a lot of managers feel this is a sure sign you'll jump the desk. Then they'll have to find and train another receptionist, and the staff turnover at parlours is pretty high at the best of times. I think it is also a little more difficult to keep control of the clients if you look too young - they don't take you as seriously. But too old, and it can apparently turn the clients off. However, there are parlours specifically catering to clients looking for older sex workers, and I imagine those parlours would be quite happy with older receptionists.

MILF's make money too!
What was your favourite thing about your time there?
Honestly, this could probably be an entire post on it's own. There were many, many aspects of the job I loved, even apart from the independence and power that I've spoken about previously. But the short answer to this question is the feeling of co-conspiracy I shared with the sex workers. We were all involved in something that polite society says is icky, and a lot of the time this created a real sense of bonding between us all - it was us against the outside world. It wasn't always like that, of course. Every job has shitty days, where you hate everyone, and those days there was no sense of solidarity whatsoever. But the days where I could feel it, that we were all on the same side? I've never felt that in any other job, ever, and in hindsight it was one of the most rewarding things about it.

All together now...Awwwwwwwww!
How do you put that time down on your resume after you've moved on? 
Ahahaha, oh dear. This is the part where I REALLY hope none of my employers since then have come across my blog yet. How do I put down the time I spent in the sex industry on my resume? In short, I lied. I thought of a job that would entail the same basic skills as I gained working in parlours, gave the cover story to my boss at the last parlour I worked in, and he agreed to give me a fake reference.Well, fake as in it was a reference for a job I technically never held, for a company that technically doesn't exist, but he insisted he wouldn't say I had any skills or experience I didn't, which I was totally fine with. As far as I know, most other former receptionists do the same. I said I was the Office Manager for an import/export business dealing largely in giftware (to account for seasonal fluctuations in profit, which is why I was looking for a new job), and that this job gave me experience with meeting tight deadlines, ordering processes, cash handling, building and maintaining client relationships, creating marketing campaigns, and handling multiple fluctuating priorities - and everyone was impressed. If I had said I was Office Manager for a full service parlour, where I was in charge of rostering both sex workers and receptionists, managing clients, keeping sufficient quantities of all stock on site at all times, placing our advertising, maintaining our website, and making sure the books all balanced at the end of the day, people would have freaked out. So I dressed the skills I gained in a cloak of respectability, and then used what I have to make a living out here in the mainstream world.

I've certainly never put my hand in a puddle of congealed semen while
doing laundry in the middle of the night, no siree!
So that's it for today my dears! I hope you all learned something. If you have a question you're still sitting on, please feel free to pop it through to me, and if I get enough I'll do a follow up soon.


  1. Were you ever tempted to become a sex worker? If so what was tempting about it?

  2. sorry -answered in part 2

  3. This actually answered a lot of questions my sex worker friends couldn't answer (or I was afraid to ask). Cheers!

  4. Hi
    so glad you have this blog!! I am currently applying for the same position. Is the money the same as a normal receptionist or slightly higher due to where you are working...also what did you wear to work each day? Did you dress a little sexy with heels or the standard corporate look?
    Thanks! :)

    1. Actually, the money tends to be a little less than normal reception, depending on where you work. Standard is between 15 and 20 an hour - but a lot of places won't take tax out, and will pay you in cash, so that's nice. I tended to wear pretty low cut tops, just because it was more comfortable than trying to harness my boobs all the time, but overall the dress code is usually smart casual. A lot of places will insist on heels so you look sufficiently feminine, but a little bit of advice - make sure they're comfy, because you won't be sitting down a lot ;) Good luck!

  5. How much does a brothel receptionist make roughly every week?

    1. It depends on how many hours you work. All receptionist positions I've seen advertised are paid on an hourly basis.


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