Today we are speaking to The Alice Grey. Alice is a full service provider and internet sweetie based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of intricate lingerie and rich red wine, cosy restaurants and couch cuddles. Alice has also brought along her partner, who we will be calling Mr G. They’ve been together for 2.5 years and we thought were the perfect way to follow up last week’s episode on relationships as sex workers. We also throw in a Question of the Week from a listener who has a predicament about developing feelings for their provider.
Scarlet Alliance Emergency Relief Fund: https://chuffed.org/project/sex-worker-support
2:34 Main Segment: Lovebirds Alice and Mr G
28:47 Question of the Week: Listener question about falling for a provider
SWOP NSW’s website: https://swop.org.au/
SWOP NSW on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SexWorkersOutreachProject/
SWOP NSW on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWOPnsw
Patreon (from $3AUD/month): http://www.patreon.com/somebodyyoupod
Somebody You Love is sponsored by Assembly Four, empowering sex workers through technology: https://assemblyfour.com/
For more info on sex work in Australia, please check out the following organisations:
ACT (SWOP ACT): https://meridianact.org.au/swop/
NSW (SWOP NSW): https://swop.org.au/
NT (SWOP NT): https://www.ntahc.org.au/swopnt
Qld (Respect Inc): https://respectqld.org.au/
SA (SIN): http://www.sin.org.au/sindex.html
Tas (Scarlet Alliance): https://scarletalliance.org.au/links/
Vic (Vixen Collective): https://www.vixencollective.org/vc
WA (Magenta): http://magenta.org.au
Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/somebodyyoupod
Jenna Love 0:02
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the sex industry. And snap lock downs and travel restrictions mean that there are times when sex workers require emergency financial relief in order for them and their dependents to stay safe housed and fed.
Holly Harte 0:16
Sex workers don't get sick or holiday pay and many have no savings to fall back on. The stigma and discrimination that we face means that some have no proof of earnings to access government support. And of course, migrant workers are often forgotten.
Jenna Love 0:28
Scarlet Alliance and their state and territory member organisations joined together to create an ongoing fund that is hosted on the website chuffed that's c-h-u-f-f-e-d.
Holly Harte 0:39
Donations are tax deductible. 100% of funds raised go directly to sex workers in need. And most weeks the amount of people apply outweigh the amount of funds raised and sadly people have to be turned away. The link to this fund is in our show notes.
Jenna Love 0:56
Welcome to Somebody You Love, or the sale of two titties. I'm Jenna Love.
Holly Harte 1:04
And I'm Holly Harte.
Jenna Love 1:06
And we're experts in disappointing our parents, breaching community guidelines and banging the people who vote against our rights.
Jenna Love 1:15
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the show. First up, we would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we are recording. I'm on Darug and Gundungurra land, Holly is on Ngunnawal land and our guests today are calling in from the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, we pay our respects to elders past and present, and to the continuation of the cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Holly Harte 1:42
In case it's not already obvious, we'd like to remind you that this is an adult podcast about adult things. We talk about sex, and we talk about sex work. So if that's not your jam, now's the time to go and do something far less interesting.
Jenna Love 1:55
Now, today's episode is alarmingly blinding. And it's whiteness. And it's also pretty pretty cisgendered. And I'm pretty heterosexual. So we need to stress that that is not reflective of the diversity of the sex industry. It has always been the goal of the Somebody You Love team to be able to give a platform to as wide a range of sex workers as possible. And that is something that we continue to be committed to achieving. But we also know that it's not something that we can do all at once and immediately straight out of the gate. If you're interested in being a guest on the show, or if you know somebody who might be, please go to somebodyyoulove.net/guests.
Holly Harte 2:35
Today we are speaking to The Alice Great. Alice is a full service provider and internet sweetie based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of intricate lingerie and rich red wine, cosy restaurants and couch cuddles. Alice has also brought along her partner who we will be calling Mr. G. No relation to Chris Lilley, for our Aussie listeners. They've been together for two and a half years and we thought they were the perfect way to follow up last week's episode on relationships as sex workers.
Jenna Love 3:05
So hi Alice and hi, Mr. G.
Holly Harte 3:09
Alice Grey 3:10
Mr G 3:11
Hey, thanks for having us on.
Jenna Love 3:12
So let's get stuck into questions, shall we?
Alice Grey 3:15
Let's do it.
Jenna Love 3:16
My first question is for Alice. How did you two meet?
Alice Grey 3:22
We met on Tinder it's, it's very, it was very cute. I was on Tinder for the whole of like, 48 hours scrolling through profiles, deciding that I hated life and hated Tinder. And yeah, I came across my dude. And it's been great.
Jenna Love 3:43
So was that your first time on Tinder?
Alice Grey 3:45
No, it was my second. But it was very similar. It's just not a, it's not a way of meeting people that comes naturally to me. We live in this world that thrives online. And so when you sit across from someone in a cafe or on public transport, and try and strike up a conversation, they think you're crazy. So it was, it was always really awkward. And yeah, just not something that I wanted to spend a lot of time doing. But I was lucky to find someone amazing. In a very short amount of time.
Holly Harte 4:15
I can also concur that Tinder is a dumpster fire. So it's very good when you strike gold.
Jenna Love 4:21
Yeah, nice success story.
Holly Harte 4:23
Question for Alice. How did you tell Mr. Grey about your line of work?
Alice Grey 4:27
Oh, man, I put it in my Tinder bio. But unfortunately, dating apps don't like sex workers. And so I had it in there that I was a small business owner for a number of years. And naturally, people were sort of curious to go, 'Oh, okay, well, what does that mean?' And that would be a nice segue. But I knew that it was something that I wanted to bring up as early as I possibly could.
Holly Harte 4:51
And so how did you go about that?
Alice Grey 4:53
I think, I think I was headed to a booking and Greg asked me where, what I did or where I was going. And I mentioned that I was a sex worker. And it was really, it was just a bit of a nothing conversation really, it was quite natural. And I suppose we were talking through a text based medium. So it all looked very calm, but internally, I was freaking out.
Mr G 5:15
It was one of the one of the, yeah, one of the first things, like it was sort of, 'Hey, how are you?' You know, a few other pleasantries, and then I think it was something along the lines of like, 'I'm just heading off to work. So I might not be able to talk for a bit'. And I was like, 'Oh, cool. So small business, kind of thing. Like what does that involve?' And like, straight up straight up, like 'I'm, I'm a full service sex worker'. And it's like, 'Oh, okay, cool'.
Jenna Love 5:37
So how did you react to that? Is that something that you had any experience with? Did you know what a full service sex worker was?
Mr G 5:45
I'd never heard that term before. But like it's kind of pretty, pretty obvious. It's all in the name there.
Alice Grey 5:51
There is a lot of jargon in our industry.
Mr G 5:53
But no, it's like, it like obvious like, alright, cool. I guess I was shocked. Not in like, 'Oh, my god' kind of sense. But like, to my knowledge, I've never met a sex worker before. So I was like, okay, cool. But yeah, like there was definitely like a vibe happening. So I think one of the first things I did after that was like, I think I googled like, 'Relationship with sex workers' or something like that. Like I didn't really know how to feel like, then yeah, I was just kind of like, sort of, you know, see what the internet kind of thinks.
Jenna Love 6:23
Good thing you didn't ask Reddit because they would have just told you to, to cancel it. Throw her in the bin.
Mr G 6:27
Yeah, yeah, Reddit's, you know, it's all over the shop, depending on which subreddit you go to. But yeah, I think I think I found like it was a forum or like, maybe a blog post or something. And it was like, ultimately, it boils down to, it's just a job. And I was like, well, that makes a lot of sense.
Holly Harte 6:43
Alice do you ever have any concerns about what Mr. Grey's family thinks? Or if people he knows, recognise you?
Alice Grey 6:50
Those are two very separate questions. I think, you know, when you're in a relationship with someone, you do want validation from their family, you want them to like you, right? Otherwise, you know, Christmas celebrations will be very awkward. So, given that Greg's family, are a little bit more on the conservative side, yes, I am, and we are, a little bit hesitant to tell them and have made the decision not to share my work with them. Which is a difficult decision in and of itself. And as for people recognising me, well, I'm virtually open about my work with most people in my life aside from my own parents, and Greg's parents so if someone were to recognise me and have a problem with that then I think that's on them
Jenna Love 7:35
Perfectly answered. If it's not going to out you, can you tell us what his and your parents think that you do?
Alice Grey 7:42
Well I have a history of work in research so they think that I'm still working there.
Jenna Love 7:47
It's always good when it's partially true when there's I, you know, my cover story was makeup artist for a long time because I was trained as a makeup artist, so I could, you know, it was easy to keep it going. Yeah.
Alice Grey 7:58
For sure. And with the pandemic, unfortunately a lot of research roles ended, so many people have become unemployed. I have since found employment in hospitality, which I love but doesn't really bode well in lockdown. So everyone knows that I'm unemployed at the moment, which is fine.
Jenna Love 8:17
Alrighty, Mr. G. So, have you had any negative comments or bizarre assumptions that have come from people who know what your partner does as a job?
Mr G 8:26
No, so it's pretty ,it's like Alice's family doesn't know, so my family don't know, I kind of keep it like sort of two layers so like, the people close to me, my my close friends know. And then anyone sort of outside of that it's ah, Alice is a student. And she does hospitality work which is true. Yeah, and for most like, think like 99% of the responses are either positive or kind of inquisitive. But I've never had anyone like straight up have a negative response to that which is, which is kind of good and it sort of reflects on the people I've chosen to keep close like the people you know, I enjoy spending time with they're all good people and I think for the most part like that reflects in their response really.
Alice Grey 9:06
I think that equally reflects upon you my dude.
Mr G 9:09
Aw thank you.
Jenna Love 9:10
Aww they're so in love.
Alice Grey 9:12
Holly Harte 9:16
Alice, were you dating much before you met Mr. Grey? And like what was your dating experience like as a sex worker, before you found this beautiful relationship?
Alice Grey 9:26
I feel like I had a really broad spectrum of experiences in dating. But I am also a serial monogamist. So my first long term relationship while I was also a sex worker, was really complex and dramatic. I actually hid my job from that partner for a really, really long time. And it's certainly not a decision that I would A: advise or B: make again, that ended awfully and I broke his heart and I broke my own heart. It was terrible, and I swore that I was never, ever gonna hide my job again. But it also left me feeling that I was not worthy of love or finding a relationship being a sex worker. That sucked. But the next relationship that I walked into, that was an interesting one. And unfortunately, that became abusive. I thought that I was, I thought that I was loved and appreciated by this person, just because they were willing to tolerate my job when that was not the case. And that person decided that they wanted to be able to manipulate the way that I was doing my job, and who I was, what I could do. So yeah, that that ended pretty dramatically as well. But then I had a substantial amount of time by myself and did some work on myself, established personal boundaries, and also some you know, self love and self respect. And I think that that, in and of itself is what enabled me to, to have such a happy and successful relationship that I have now.
Jenna Love 10:55
Yeah, thank you so much for sharing. That's, well it's not great to hear that you had some not so great experiences, but I think that a lot of people listening can relate. And yeah, it's not always an easy road dating as a sex worker, it just isn't.
Alice Grey 11:09
No, it's not, unfortunately, yeah, there are people out there who who see us as a bit of a commodity to profit from or to control and make work for them. Some people fetishize us and others think that it's just sexy until it's not, and then they don't have the skills to handle it when it's not. And this is something that many of us go through every single day.
Jenna Love 11:34
And that, it sounds like with the second partner that you spoke about, that you sort of, initially, it seemed as though everything was fine. And he was completely okay with your work, but then obviously had very strong opinions about what your work actually entailed. So I guess it's the the difficulty in, when somebody says, 'Yeah, no worries', it's working out whether that is really reflective of what's inside.
Alice Grey 11:58
Definitely, I think it just speaks to a lack of broader understanding of what sex work actually is. And people's experiences with it, I think that most guys think of sex work as you know, going to the strippers or maybe going to a brothel. And, you know, it all sounds like a lot of fun at the beginning. But then when they're actually faced with that, on an intimate level, not many have the experience or the knowledge to to work with it, particularly in an intimate setting.
Jenna Love 12:23
So something we hear a lot is that there's this assumption that as a sex worker, if you're in a relationship with somebody, that it must be some kind of open or non-monogamous relationship. So Mr.G what are your thoughts on being monogamous, when Alice is obviously intimate with her clients?
Mr G 12:40
I think it's just like, ultimately, the framework comes down to the fact that she's having sex with people in a, in a workplace context, like, just the same, like if I was dating a chef, like, how could I be mad, that they're going out and cooking food for other people? Like, you know, that's like, it's a job, you know, like, we we're all, we're all in this sort of thing, together, this system where like, we have to do you know, things for money to exist in this society. So yeah, it's just in this context, it's, it's, you know, sex and sex associated things. So I think like, at the end of the day, it's like, alright, cool, you know, we all leave home and do something, but at the end of the day, you know, we both come together, and we spend time together outside of that workplace, you know, context. So, like, I'm not gonna get mad at an accountant, because, you know, they're off, you know, doing someone else's accounting stuff...
Alice Grey 13:34
It's funny that you call us accountants (laughs)
Jenna Love 13:37
Yeah, good analogy
Mr G 13:39
Yeah, yeah. That's, like, yeah, ultimately, it just boils down to the fact that it's work, you know, like, you know, sex work is work. So yeah, it's like, you know, we're all leaving to go to work, and just, we're doing different things. So yeah.
Alice Grey 13:40
It's helpful that we have different definitions of intimacy. And those values don't strictly rely on, solely on sex. You know, we find other ways to be intimate with each other, like, like cooking for each other and like spending personal time together, that are just as, if not more meaningful, and and it means that we're not placing the values of our relationship on the backbone of one insignificant construct.
Jenna Love 14:17
Alice could I ask, have you ever felt pressure either internally or externally to not pursue monogamy as a sex worker?
Alice Grey 14:24
Yeah, yeah. When that first relationship ended, I had this impression that I was never going to be able to have a monogamous relationship as a sex worker. And so I thought, maybe I need to explore being 'open' or being 'poly' and so I dated some people who were in open and poly relationships, but I just found that I got really jealous, sharing other people intimately and it wasn't about the sex. It was about the the emotional connection and I wanted to have my partner there with me for me, and I didn't want to have to share them with anybody else.
Holly Harte 15:01
Alice, have you had any awkward reactions from clients when you came out about being in a relationship?
Alice Grey 15:07
I think once again, I've had a really broad spectrum of responses to speaking about my relationships, or my relationship, with my clients. There have been a few clients who have developed feelings, romantic feelings for me, which is lovely and beautiful. And I feel very flattered. They haven't responded well to the idea of me being in a relationship. So unfortunately, those those people are no longer my clients. But generally, the response has been really nice and supportive. Many of the couples that I see think it's fantastic, and we sort of trade, you know, random couple anecdotes. But no, it's been mostly lovely.
Jenna Love 15:47
I'm thinking about this for myself, because I was in a relationship when I entered the industry, there's got to be a thought process about, when do you, like when do you know, it's serious enough that you decide to be open with your clients? Is that a factor?
Alice Grey 16:03
Yeah, that is really interesting, I think when, I feel more able to speak freely about my relationship with clients who are in relationships themselves, and so we can just very comfortably share stories, and that's fine. But when it comes to actually having to set a boundary when maybe navigating a client's feelings, that can be a little bit awkward, and if you're not at a stage where you feel that your relationship is sort of serious enough to disclose, but that's something that you want to mention, it can it can be tough, but that's okay, you just put your big girl pants on and we do our best.
Jenna Love 16:39
So have you guys faced any challenges as a couple relating to your work? And if so, how have you managed to overcome them?
Mr G 16:46
I think the sort of the biggest challenges for us have been sort of any in any relationship, there's, you know, issues around work and hours and that sort of balancing, you know, the time out, you know, spent working especially in an industry such as sex work where you know, it's not a nine to five, it's, you know, there's overnights, long bookings, short bookings, you know, touring, all that kind of stuff. So it's mostly around that, you know, it's like, you know, in between lockdowns when Alice goes, you know, is trying to reclaim some, get some cash back, you know, so she's, she's out there working pretty hard. And it's kind of like, 'Hello, I'm here as well'. But at the same time, you know, there's been, you know, some days where I've put in some long hours as well. So it's just sort of balancing that and understanding that sometimes, you know, you got to put the pedal to the metal a bit and work a little bit harder. And one of the positive sides of the pandemic is, you know, we've got to spend a lot more time together because of that,
Alice Grey 17:44
It has been lovely.
Mr G 17:44
Yeah. I think that's been the biggest issue for me.
Jenna Love 17:49
I think that that's probably similar to the experience of anybody in a partnership with somebody who runs their own business to an extent.
Alice Grey 17:57
Mr G 17:57
Jenna Love 17:58
You know, it's sort of a 24/7 gig.
Alice Grey 18:00
I have very similar feelings about it. And I've noticed that, you know, as I took on that role in hospitality between lockdowns when we couldn't quite do sex work, but I needed to do something to A: keep me occupied and B: earn money. It was, it's just hard navigating two different working styles. But as Greg said, it's been beautiful to have this time together during lockdown, one of the silver linings is that we get this time. So I'm certainly grateful for it. And a funny kind of complication is that I get really excited if I think that a client of mine might be, you know, a celebrity or someone cool or interesting, and I want to talk about it. But we have set firm boundaries around not discussing who my clients are, or what they do, or what we do together. And so sometimes Greg will need to remind me, 'Hey, I don't wanna know.' And I will just, I'll get so excited, I wanna talk about this cool person that I've met, but I can't!
Jenna Love 18:59
That's so interesting, because I tell Mr. Love everything. So are you able to elaborate more on those boundaries?
Mr G 19:05
Yeah, it just comes down to specifics really, like I'm happy to talk about work and like, I'm aware of what sex work entails. It's more just like, I don't really want to know the specifics. Like, I don't really want to know who they are, don't really want to know, like, as long as Alice is, you know, the booking went well, she had a good time, you know, she got paid and like, that's great. Happy to talk about sort of, maybe things that didn't go so well. If she wants to vent that's that's fine. But yeah, just sort of the specifics. It's just like, you know, what, just don't, not really, not really interested in knowing and I think it's, I couldn't rationalise why that is, but it's just something which sort of makes us feel, it makes me feel a bit more comfortable, I guess.
Holly Harte 19:47
It's very healthy to have boundaries in any relationship. It's sensible, regardless of what your partner's job is. And regardless of what those boundaries surround and you just find, or identify places that you feel you can you know, make yourself feel a little bit more comfortable and that's really healthy and the fact that you can communicate that with each other is also really nice.
Jenna Love 20:05
I also think that would be quite common and necessary in a lot of relationships where one partner is say working in the medical field or working in law or something where confidentiality is you know really important so it's not all that unusual.
Mr G 20:18
Yeah for sure
Holly Harte 20:19
Or for like, international spies.
Jenna Love 20:20
Alice Grey 20:21
Absolutely, absolutely, I've always wanted to be an international spy, so Greg, this is great training
Jenna Love 20:27
Maybe you are, maybe sex work is just your cover. He wouldn't know!
Alice Grey 20:30
Hey! It would be an excellent cover.
Mr G 20:33
Oh man, layers. Jesus.
Alice Grey 20:35
Greg made a really good analogy once, saying, so he was working in a hospitality adjacent field and was saying 'Look Alice, you really wouldn't be interested in the ins and outs of my day-to-day so I'm not gonna share them with you'. And I went 'Actually that's a really good point it'd be really fucking boring' so I get it and I don't feel bad that I can't share the the ins and outs of my my bookings with him.
Jenna Love 21:02
You can just share them with us instead.
Alice Grey 21:03
Holly Harte 21:05
We have some questions that our patrons have submitted very kindly, they're very interested to know some more about you both. Mr. G, have you ever met any escorts before Alice, that you know of?
Mr G 21:17
Not to my knowledge! One thing I have realised since being in relationship with Alice is that if you're like, a face-in worker like you generally are very very good at you know, keeping that under wraps so very potentially, but not to my knowledge.
Alice Grey 21:33
Stigma it's a shit hey
Mr G 21:34
I have met many more since dating Alice now.
Holly Harte 21:37
Now you know. You go 'Oh!' you know, you may not have known before, all the ones who are meeting.
Alice Grey 21:42
This makes me think that the hardest part of dating a sex worker is is keeping up with the amount of names that their friends have.
Mr G 21:49
Jenna Love 21:52
Okay, this is a big question from a patron, Alice has sex work ever given you interesting insights that are related to your scientific pursuits, or vice versa?
Alice Grey 22:03
Interesting. Do you know what, my experiences with clients have have led me to pursue the career that I'm currently pursuing. I am currently studying a postgraduate degree in psychology purely because I love my interactions with my clients and I find it so interesting to A: learn about their lives and B: maybe encourage them to take journeys that they otherwise wouldn't have embarked on. And yeah, so that's, I don't really want to disclose specifically where I would like to end up but yeah, that definitely led me into this journey so thank you to all of my beautiful clients for helping me find something that I'm really passionate about.
Holly Harte 22:44
Wow, so before that, that wasn't something that you were strongly considering, it was you had other life, you know, goals and decisions. And that grew with the relationship with your clients.
Alice Grey 22:54
Yeah, definitely. I, fresh out of high school, I embarked on a really long degree in biomedicine, had a background in genetics and muscular dystrophy, I thought I was going to be a doctor did all of the thesis writing and battles with a supervisor only to get to the end of it and go wow, I hate this. What am I gonna do now? Yeah, so I took a year off to sort of collect my thoughts and was reflecting on my time in the industry and realised that there are just so many transferable skills that people don't realise we have. Sex workers generally have so much compassion and empathy for their clients and I think that we could really utilise that in the world.
Holly Harte 23:37
Question for Mr. G. What first attracted you to Alice?
Mr G 23:43
I thought she was physically very attractive you know that that gives you the the swipe right on tinder
Alice Grey 23:47
That's such a diplomatic way to put it
Holly Harte 23:51
She was a babe!
Mr G 23:52
But it was more like, the bio like it was, there was a lot going on, like a person who had a lot of interests and obviously was very intelligent. So yeah, a combination of those two I think. And just like, the the conversation was like immediately very engaging we were having a great chat from the get-go. And yeah it's just like one of those times where you're like oh yeah cool this is this is this is great you know just from the get go. It wasn't like a, like a slow build or anything like that. I mean, like our first date, our first date like you know, we were just meeting for coffee and we went and got some drinks and we're just like this you know, ended up being this like
Alice Grey 24:23
Four hours later
Mr G 24:24
A huge huge date on the Sunday kind of thing.
Jenna Love 24:27
Love that. So Alice, same question for you. What first attracted you to him?
Alice Grey 24:32
Oh my god. I am a snob and I love the fact that he had a professional photo as his Tinder bio picture. I was so sick of scrolling through like...
Mr G 24:46
Alice Grey 24:47
Terrible selfies... yeah!
Mr G 24:49
So many fish pics.
Alice Grey 24:51
So many fish pics. The yeah, the only things that really interested me on Tinder were A: pictures of people's pets and nice photos. So it was it was definitely this beautiful profile picture and let's be honest, I'm a sucker for a bearded man.
Jenna Love 25:06
I... a photo of fish would dry me the fuck up. I cannot ...why are you showing me a fish? Ugh
Holly Harte 25:17
Yeah the most common things that I see on Tinder when I do bother to go on the awful app is guys, like holding dead fish or a whole lot of dead fish and they're like look what I 'look at me, the hunter! I provide for you'.
Jenna Love 25:29
No! Why are you holding a dead fucking animal?
Alice Grey 25:32
It's not sexy.
Holly Harte 25:33
Second one is them sticking their finger up in the photo like in some sort of edgy... who looks at that and goes 'that's hot'?
Jenna Love 25:39
I don't like dating 12 year olds sorry.
Alice Grey 25:42
Not attracted to edgelords, guys. Sorry.
Holly Harte 25:44
Yeah, and then and then the other one is them, with just a picture of their car. And I'm like, never have I seen a picture of a car and gone 'I want to date a guy because of the car he drives'.
Alice Grey 25:53
Yeah, yeah. Car pictures are really common!
Holly Harte 25:56
I love my car. I'm proud of my car. I really enjoy it. But I don't use it as a dating thing. Like
Mr G 26:01
Look at the things I have, it's like ah, from, which, which Avengers movie like, 'Behold, my stuff!' Yeah, I have a friend who's, she's going through the internet dating kind of perils as someone in her late 30s and just some of the some of the shit she she shares with us just like, like you said, like, guys like throwing up gang signs and like middle fingers and fishing and drugged tigers in Bali and stuff and yeah, it's kind of wild.
Holly Harte 26:34
Oh, yeah. The Tigers. Yeah.
Jenna Love 26:36
Who told them that women want that? Who told them that?
Mr G 26:39
This is the the thing like this, like no one's told them, they're just kind of like, well, I like this picture then, therefore a woman must love this picture you know.
Holly Harte 26:47
A male gaze thing, isn't it?
Mr G 26:48
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's probably it.
Holly Harte 26:50
Looking at it through a bloke's eyes. This is what I think's cool. Not 'What would a woman find attractive?'
Jenna Love 26:54
The fourth category is photos where they look like serial killers? And they're like... Why are you so angry? That's not appealing. I don't, I don't want to be attacked by you.
Alice Grey 27:04
I think they're trying to be moody.
Jenna Love 27:06
Yeah, broody, but like, I want somebody who's emotionally on top of their shit.
Alice Grey 27:12
One of us has to be in this relationship. And it's not me.
Jenna Love 27:21
You need to represent stability, because that's not, I'm not delivering.
Holly Harte 27:26
Alice, what advice would you give to sex workers who are dating or looking for a relationship in general?
Alice Grey 27:31
Oh gosh, this is so close to my heart. Firstly, I think that it's important to remember that we shouldn't be defined by our sexual pasts or preferences. Broader society likes to teach us that we are unworthy of love if we lead sexually rich lives. And that's just not the case. We are all worthy of love, respect and kindness. Secondly, I think that personal boundaries are really important. And it is equally important not to compromise on those. Don't let other guys try and tell you how you run your business or live your life. Live your life for yourself, and the right person will come along to join you.
Mr G 28:12
It goes back to like enthusiastic, especially especially with internet dating. Like it goes back to enthusiastic consent. Like if it's not a fuck yes, it's a no. If it's not someone who's like, hell yeah. Don't waste your time, you know, you've got better things to do.
Alice Grey 28:25
Don't think that you can change the guy who says that he tolerates your job.
Jenna Love 28:30
Yeah, somebody who tolerates you or accepts you, it's just not, it's not a high enough standard, soz.
Alice Grey 28:35
No, it's not, it's not good enough. You deserve to be cherished and supported and lifted up by the person that you love. A really lovely friend of mine by the name of Georgie Wolf, runs a blog called The Art of the Hookup. And a part of that is teaching people how to date online during the pandemic, and how to interact with people and maybe begin relationships or just communicate. So for hot tips, go support that amazing human because they are excellent.
Jenna Love 29:08
And they've just started up a new podcast called The Satisfaction Project, which is related to that and is worth checking out too.
Mr G 29:16
Just to go off on that, like, we moved in together ah, the February before the pandemic, like really kicked off. So we had like, two or three months experience of us like living together and then it was like, well, you know, get used to it. But yeah, like I think if we were by ourselves, like I would certainly be a basket case right now.
Alice Grey 29:38
Jenna Love 29:39
Like you Holly. Like, you know the basket case that you are? That's what he would be like.
Holly Harte 29:43
Like I am, I am a basket case, yeah I know.
Holly Harte 29:43
Thank you so much for joining us today, Alice and Mr. G. It's been a pleasure having you on the show. Really interesting to hear your perspectives. I think we've got a lot of really fascinating insights from you both today and we feel very privileged to have had you join us.
Holly Harte 29:45
Thank you so much, so much for having us.
Mr G 29:52
Thank you for having us
Jenna Love 30:00
Jenna Love 30:09
Do you miss the free and affordable ads and social networks without all of the anti sex rhetoric?
Holly Harte 30:14
Assembly Four is a team of sex workers and technologists from Melbourne, Australia, aiming to bring back free and fair advertising and social spaces to the sex working community.
Jenna Love 30:23
Stepping away from the clunky design of traditional platforms, their two products Tryst.link and Switter.at are refreshing and well needed changes in both presentation and mission.
Holly Harte 30:35
And both are free to join and open to all.
Jenna Love 30:38
You can find both of our profiles on Tryst and I love how it is so clearly designed by sex workers.
Holly Harte 30:44
Yep. And I love how straightforward and easy it is to use and how much they clearly support the sex working community.
Jenna Love 30:50
And also how responsive they are when it comes to feedback and customer service.
Holly Harte 30:54
Check out their website assemblyfour.com, four the word, not the number, for more info.
Holly Harte 31:07
Question of the week. This year, I met a sex worker at a brothel and we had an amazing first session, I started seeing her regularly aside from periods of lockdown. Over the course of our sessions, I've gotten to know her better, and I am feeling a very strong connection to her because of our shared interests, sense of humour, discussions, and of course, great sexual compatibility. She often tells me how I am attractive to her, gives me compliments, does things and makes allowances for me that she doesn't offer other clients. Following this, she has recently given me her email in order to make a private booking with her outside of the brothel. And we have been chatting on social media too. I've got the feels for her big time and genuinely want to be more than a client. I'm not sure how to approach this as I want to ask her out. But at the same time, I'm aware that part of her job is to provide the fantasy of a lover. I'm scared to tell her how I feel because I'm worried she might not feel the same. And I'd have to stop seeing her because of my strong feelings. How should I let her know that I'm interested in more. After or before booking, via email, message? I don't know what to do, please help?
Jenna Love 32:16
My answer is that you don't. I'm somebody who has, I've dated three clients. I am not opposed to the idea of dating clients. I don't think that there should be necessarily this big 'You cannot date clients'. I mean, we we meet people in the workplace, sometimes. We all do. And I think that's totally fair, even though there are some sex workers who have that hard line for themselves, which is fair. In my opinion, if it is going to happen, it has to come from the worker. And that's what happened to me every single time. Those three times that I dated somebody who I'd met as a client, I said, 'Hey, do you want to maybe like not pay me 'or, you know, whatever. I had to to initiate it. And all three of them at first didn't want to do that. They were like, 'Oh, no, no, no, I'm paying for your time. This is...' you know, and they they pushed back. And in my opinion, that is how it has to be. I mean, you don't have to necessarily push back. You can just say, 'Yeah, fuck yeah, let's go for it'. Because the thing is, and it's not always going to be this way. But the status quo is that we know you're into us, right? I don't want to be too brutal about it. But you're paying to spend time with us. So we've got this baseline of, well, you you at least find us attractive in some way, you enjoy, you keep coming back. So we've already got that. And that puts us in the position to be able to say, look, I think that this relationship could become something else. I don't think that the client is in the position to say that, because you honestly don't really have an idea of how we are feeling. And I don't want to I don't know this worker. I don't know the people involved in this situation. But the fact that you have shared interests, that you have great sexual compatibility, that she does things for you that she won't allow other clients to do. You don't know any of that. The reality is, she might say to every single client, 'oh, I don't let anyone else do this' like that, and, you know, I'm not suggesting that that is what she does, but she might. Sexual compatibility, shared sense of humour, shared interests, those are all things we're really good at doing. That's our job. You know, I mean, I have clients who I think have such a lame sense of humour, but I lean into it and I laugh at their jokes, and I'll make the same kinds of jokes, because I'm creating a rapport and I'm giving them a nice time. So it's really really hard to know if you're not getting anything from her. So my answer is not that it can't be something else. But if it is going to be something else, it has to, has to, has to, has to come from her. And if it comes from you, I don't think it will end well.
Holly Harte 34:57
I'm going to go the entire 180 degree other way, I'm sorry, I'm sorry to the listener who's asked this question, because you're gonna get two different opinions. But I entirely disagree. I think it's a really difficult situation, obviously. Because as Jenna said, we really try to make things comfortable for you. And I adore a lot of my clients, does that mean that I want to take it further, almost always... probably not. I'm very happy in my independence, and I don't really need anyone. I still adore my clients as friends. And you know, I care about them, and I enjoy our sex, blah, blah, blah. But it's a very rare occasion when I do meet somebody where I would want to take it to the next level. That being said, when Jenna said that, we know you're attracted to us, that's very different. Knowing that you want to fuck me, than knowing that you want to be with me, and that you would like to pursue something more. So I would never presume that a client would want to date me, even if I wanted to date them. I don't think I would feel comfortable to tell a client, my feelings, but I also, that's something I personally struggle with. I don't think I've ever been able to tell anyone that I've had feelings for them until they've told me because I'm terrified of making myself vulnerable and being rejected. So like, fuck, that's hard. I don't know. I think I prefer if clients are feeling like they're starting to cross boundaries emotionally, and they're starting to feel like they are getting feelings for me, I prefer they do let me know. I think it's, you know, there's such a big spectrum of feelings. If you feel like, you just get a little bit of a flutter when you're together. So cool. If you feel like it's like a healthy little crush, that you just get to thrill when we chat. Cool, that's all fine. But if you're starting to feel like it's affecting you emotionally, or you're not able to make appropriate decisions, when you spend money seeing me or you're putting yourself in dodgy positions, then it's probably best that you let me know. So that I can then draw appropriate lines in the sand and say, maybe you need to take a little bit of a break, cool things down a bit. Or maybe you need to find someone else because this is not something that I can ethically take part in. So gosh, it's complicated. Personally, if a client is getting feelings for me, I want to know, if they think that it's a concern. And you know, gosh, it's such a hard thing, because I have met clients that I would date, but I don't think they would date me. So do you tell her, do you not?
Jenna Love 37:31
Yeah but I think they would. And I think that that is just you not seeing what other people see in you.
Holly Harte 37:41
I disagree. So it's, it's, this is a really difficult one to answer. Because, look, I'll tell you, my instinct is that probably not. Probably, she's not into you. And that's really, really rough, being very blunt. But the odds are, she's just doing her job. And she's really good at it.
Jenna Love 37:56
Or she may be into you, but isn't interested in having a full on relationship.
Holly Harte 38:01
Well yeah, she may very well enjoy you as a person. But yeah, she may not want what you want. I don't think there is harm, in my opinion in expressing how you feel. But you do have to be prepared that if you do that, she says 'I can't see you anymore'. That's that's how it goes.
Jenna Love 38:17
Yeah, that's very true. I mean, you can go ahead with it. But you have to know that it might end it.
Holly Harte 38:23
But it could be a romantic love story as well. So this is just the hardest question ever. And I don't have an answer for you. Because I'm waiting for my own Prince Charming. In this situation, I think it would be best to say something to the worker, like, 'Obviously, I'm really happy with how things are going, I love seeing you in the dynamic that we have now. But if there was ever room or space in your life, or you had any interest in us taking things to a different level, or doing, seeing each other in a civilian or a romantic sense, then I would be open to that. Obviously, I'm not pushing for that. And I'm really happy to continue as a client and how things are now. That's great. But I just want you to know that if that was ever a consideration, that that's something I'm open to'. I think that for me is, is sort of straddling the line. So you're making it really clear to that worker, that that's an option, if that is something that she feels, and if not, that you're not the sort of person who is wanting to cross boundaries, if and that you're not hingeing the whole client/provider dynamic on whether or not she says yes or no. That you are happy. And and I would say also, don't say that if that's not how you feel, if you really don't think you can continue to be a client if she doesn't want to date you, then then be honest and say, tell her the truth because there's no point in just ripping your heart out by pretending that it's okay and making her uncomfortable. But I do believe that it is nice to be honest and to take, shoot your shot and take a chance. As I said before, don't expect that it will go 100% well, but yeah, I think communication is important.
Jenna Love 40:00
It's now time for us to thank our wonderful patrons for their generous and continued support of the show. Without you, we would not be able to dedicate the amount of time and energy that we currently do, and we are endlessly grateful for your support.
Holly Harte 40:13
This week we have a new Giving Somebody which is John, our new Generous Somebodies are Nathan and Clayton. And we have a new Very Generous Somebody which is Olivia
Jenna Love 40:24
Our Even More Generous Somebodies are Timmy, Andrew, Adam Smith, Leo, Lachlan, Sub London, Miss Billy, Nora Knightley, Leslie, Scott Watson, Andrew, Big M, Our Secret Admirer, Mudgee, Margaret and Weezy
Holly Harte 40:43
And our Extremely Generous Somebodies are Aaron, Samuel, Andrew, Pete. Theodore Betts The First Esquire, and the incredible Amanda Valentina.
Jenna Love 40:55
Thank you so much for listening yet again. We look forward to catching you next week. Please look out for us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon. Our name everywhere is Somebody You Pod as in podcast. Our Patreon starts at just $3 a month, and you can get all of our episodes ad free and a day early. Plus bonus episodes, behind the scenes action, bloopers and more. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the voices of sex workers. And remember, Somebody You Love might just be a sex worker.