Today we’re talking about the blurring of lines between client and acquaintance… in both directions. Sometimes, as sex workers, we get booking requests from people we know (in real life) who want to become our clients. And sometimes, people who start out as clients go on to become acquaintances, or even friends. Our misconception of the week is that sex work is legal in Australia - the reality is it’s a whole lot more complicated than that! Jenna shares the story of a poor man whose phone seems to keep getting hacked every Saturday night, and they discuss pubic hair preferences.
1:00 - Blurring the lines
25:36 - Misconceptions: sex work is legal in Australia
33:47 - Shit People Say: All the info is on my website
39:02 - Question of the week: Will pubic hair make a comeback?
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 (SWEAR): http://sexworkerrightswa.org
WA (Magenta): http://magenta.org.au
Jenna Love 0:00
Welcome to Somebody You Love, or, the sale of two titties. I'm Jenna Love.
Holly Harte 0:07
And I'm Holly Harte,
Jenna Love 0:09
and we're experts in disappointing our parents, breaching community guidelines and banging the people who vote against our rights.
Hi, everyone. Before we start the show today, we just wanted to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we are recording today. So I'm on Darug and Gundungurra land, and Holly is on the land of the Ngunnawal people, always was always will be Aboriginal land.
Holly Harte 0:35
We also want to make it clear up front that we can only speak from our own experiences, the sex working community is wonderfully diverse. And as white cis women, we have a lot of privileges within the industry. We can't speak on behalf of our peers who find themselves facing far more stigma and discrimination than we do. Today, we will be discussing adult topics. So this podcast may not be suitable for those under the age of 18.
Jenna Love 0:59
Today, we are going to discuss some blurring of lines between client and acquaintance in both directions. Sometimes the sex workers that we do get booking requests from people that we know, IRL, in real life who want to become our clients. And sometimes people who start out as clients actually go on to become acquaintances, or even friends. Of course, sometimes a client can go on to become a lover or a romantic partner. But that is a whole episode of its own. And we will not be touching on that today. So Holly, how do you feel about people that you know in real life getting in contact with your work persona?
Holly Harte 1:37
You know, I hate it. I hate it. I don't mind people in real life knowing that I exist as a hooker, that's fine, but I just really don't like people getting in touch. I find it so awkward. And it just freaks me out. How about you?
Jenna Love 1:54
Well, I have to preface this by saying that I know I'm in the minority here, but I love it. I'm really into it. And I mean, the main reason for me is that I don't have to do any screening. And I already know who's going to be behind the door. Like it really just... I don't know, every single time you meet a new client, there's a level of anxiety. And part of that is the safety concern and the screening, and the just not knowing who they are. And the other part of it is the will we have stuff to talk about, are we going to get on well, and I already know all of that. So it completely takes away all of the anxiety that I feel when meeting a new client. So I actually really like that. But whenever I, whenever I say that to people, I'm always really clear to preface it by saying that is not the industry standard. So don't take me saying that as going 'Oh! Well, Jenna loves it. So I'm gonna contact this chick that lives on my street.' Actually, people that live very close is is not cool. That's actually a whole different story. There are stories of sex workers who have had people who live in their building, text them and say, 'Oh, I saw you just live upstairs from me. Can we arrange like a regular quickie thing?' That's not cool. But yeah, I really like it when people I know, book me, I think it's really handy.
Holly Harte 3:07
I think that's so cool. And I I sort of wish, like, I envy that. I was trying to work out what it is that makes me so uncomfortable. And this is not going to make any sense. But this is sort of where I think it comes from. I make myself so vulnerable to my clients. And I really give them so much of me. And to do that with people I know in real life for some reason, is so confronting. I'm like, I don't know, which is weird, because you'd think that people in real life you'd sort of be more willing to open up to but I'm like, no, that freaks me out for some reason. So...
Jenna Love 3:36
That is really interesting. And I think it makes a lot of sense. I also think there is a bit of a line, like, if one of my best mates booked me, well they never-like that would be fucking weird. Because we'd be like, 'Oh, hey...' like that would be so- that's why I use the term acquaintances. Because from my experience, my really close friends aren't going to make a booking with me because we're really close. And that's weird. But it does tend to be people that you don't know that intimately. So I think that's a really valid point. Because you, yeah, you don't get to that level with them. And that's something that I love about it. Because I get to see someone that I've kind of had as an acquaintance that I've seen around, I get to see them naked, I get to see them vulnerable. I get to see what they're like when they have an orgasm. And I think that's so cool. Because we don't normally get to see that of people. That's one of the things I love about my job is that I see so many people in that state. And so many people in the world don't get to see people like that.
Holly Harte 4:30
So speaking from my own experience, something that freaked me out a little bit was a few years ago, I got a message from a guy asking for a booking, and I sort of began my screening procedures with him. And about halfway through those I realised that he was my gardener. And once a month he comes over and he does the most beautiful gardening for me and he is... look, he's not a bad looking young man. He is super kind. He does a beautiful job. But yeah anyway, so I realised it was him. And I don't know at that point, I was not face-out, I did not have any sort of, I don't think it was too identifiable that it was me. But maybe he knew it was me. I don't know. And so I got really awkward about it. And I just blocked his number. And I don't know what he thinks. But he's still been my gardener for the last what, three years since that and he comes over and he sees me at my worst he sees me with my hair all matted, and in my trackies and smelly, and I'm like, just, you know, cut this and cut this and whatever. And I go back to bed. And I just don't want him to then like, see me trying to be all sexy. It just feels weird. So, I mean, look, when he's not my gardener anymore, maybe I'll be happy to see him. But right now, it's just weird.
Jenna Love 5:38
So especially given you have gone more face out since then. Do you think he has any idea it's you?
Holly Harte 5:45
Well, I don't know whether like he followed it up. Like, if he's still looking at sex workers, then he, yeah, for sure he'd know it's me. I think he did. Like I'm sure he knows. Because like he you know, we sort of make conversation and I'm like, 'does he know?' anyway, I'm not really fussed either way. But definitely I was not happy to ah, to blur that line between the bogan scruffy girl who you cut her lawn, and the sexy woman that you come and, you know, get it on with, I just couldn't deal with it at the time.
Jenna Love 6:15
So I had a bit of an interesting experience. When I went face out and by saying face out, we mean that we show our faces in our advertising, which is a really huge thing for sex workers. And I think we have a whole podcast topic on that. But I actually started out in the industry face-in... no, face-out. Yeah. Oh, God, I get confused by that term. But I started showing it like at the very beginning, and then all these people told me I shouldn't. Anyway, then eventually, I was like, 'ahh, no, this is what I want to do. And I'm not gonna listen to other people'. So when I went face-out, again, I suddenly had an influx of inquiries and contact from people that I knew. And because they started contacting me like straight after I went phase out, I kind of thought they must have been following me before, which makes me go, I feel like they, they either assumed it was me or had an idea. It was me or knew for sure that it was me. But it wasn't until I showed my face that they either went 'Yes, it is definitely her'. Or they went 'Okay, I already knew it was her. But now I know that she's comfortable with me knowing it's her'. Like I think some people may have taken that as a sign. And I think the whole concept of having acquaintances get in contact with your work persona, does vary a lot on whether you show your face in your advertising, how 'out' you are as a sex worker, etc. Like I'm very, very, very 'out' my face is all over the internet. At times it has a penis in it. Every single time a person asked me what job I do, I say I'm a sex worker. So I think for a lot of these people, they saw that and they went, Jenna's obviously really fine with me knowing about that. She's already taken all the consequences that come with being out as a sex worker. And I think that's something really important to keep in mind. If you think that you know, somebody who is a sex worker, and they don't show their face in their advertising. There's a reason for that. And that's, it's really important to respect that. But I think for me, me putting my face out there might have made these people go, 'Oh, she's actually really cool with this'. Not that sex workers who don't show their face aren't cool with it, but probably don't want to be contacted by people that they know. So anyway, yeah, I got a number of inquiries, a couple of people that sort of didn't go through with it, a couple of people that did, and I was booked by a friend of mine that I had gone to uni with. And it was years earlier. And he was in a different year to me. So we didn't we knew each other, but it was definitely an acquaintance situation. And I was really excited. I was like, brilliant, get to see the dude naked, get to bang him. And we had a really lovely time together. He didn't come back. And so I don't know whether that means he just ticked that off or, I mean, who knows, we never know what happens when a client doesn't return. But I believe that we both had a nice time. And it was cool.
Holly Harte 9:02
A sort of cool story that I have is I was contacted a few years ago by a guy who was friends with someone I knew. That's probably as much information as I can give. He contacted me straight up and he said, 'Hey, Holly, it's XYZ, I don't know if this is weird, but just wondering if I might be able to see you for a booking, you know, let me know' and I just really appreciated that because sometimes I've found people who know me who get in touch, sort of pretend they don't know me and and it just sort of gets to whole awkward thing when we get to screening and I go 'well, this is weird, buddy'. So I really liked it. And I said to him 'No, like, I really appreciate you being honest with me and that's really cool of you. But unfortunately it's just a little bit weird' and you know recommended him a few other people who I thought were really nice. So I think if you are going to go about contacting someone who you think may be a sex worker, it's better to be honest, upfront, and definitely, you know, respect the fact that that they possibly will say no and maybe likely will say no.
Jenna Love 10:02
Yeah, I should say every single person that has contacted me in that way has said, 'Hi, I don't know if this is inappropriate, it's absolutely fine if you don't want to respond, I'll forget I ever saw anything. But if you are comfortable, I'd like to do this. But it's it's reasonable if you're not comfortable.' And I think that's a really important thing to make. But I mean, just sending that message alone could make that person super uncomfortable. And we're both okay with with that level, certainly. And I'm obviously okay with more. But I think that that some, a lot of people getting that message alone would really send them into a tailspin. And, you know, there are people whose lives can literally be put in danger and whose lives can be ruined by being outed as a sex worker. So that it's something that's you can't take lightly.
Holly Harte 10:48
Jenna Love 10:49
I have a fun little story. I had a client contact me a few years ago. And he was a little bit cagey when it came to the screening process. And his reasoning was, 'I've just got to be careful, because I'm reasonably well known'. And I was like, 'Oh, all right, buddy. Cool, whatever'. And I thought, you know, a lot of sex workers have that experience with potential clients. And it always comes down to 'look mate, like your privacy is not more important than our safety'. Anyway, he was nice enough, but he had just mentioned that and I was like, yeah, rightio, he turned up, we had the booking together, and he was really lovely. Had a really, really great time. And then just as you do over the course of a booking, you often might make small chat, and I asked him what he did, I usually try to be vague so that they don't feel like I'm stalking them. Like, I'll say, 'Oh, do you mind saying what you do or what area you work in?', or whatever. Anyway, he said, 'I'm a real estate agent'. And I was like, oh, okay, that doesn't make you famous. Like, I thought that was really odd. And I was like, Wow, dude thinks like, being a real estate agent is like a big deal. And everyone knows him
Holly Harte 11:59
Having seen actual famous clients, you know, you sort of go, like, okay, it's it's definitely not up there in terms of fame.
Jenna Love 12:08
Yeah. And he did say something like, I'm a real estate agent. So that's why I'm, you know, sort of my face is known. And I was like, 'Yeah, I mean, I literally have shown my butthole on the internet, but okay, cool'.
Holly Harte 12:20
him too! You know, who knows!?
Jenna Love 12:21
Well maybe! I don't know that much about being a real estate agent. Anyway, we had a lovely booking. And then fast forward a few years, my husband and I decided that we would like to buy a house. So we, we go to open houses. And this was during COVID in 2020. And we weren't going to look at too many houses, we just, you know, we mainly looked online, and then anything that really stood out to us, we went and looked at so anything we did go to look at we really wanted to see. And so we go to the first house. And out the front is my client. And it took me a second because it was a few years ago. And I'm sort of, we're in line because of COVID. There was a line to get in. And I'm sort of whispering to my husband going 'oh, I think I've slept with that person'. And he's going 'oh really, like, a client?'. I'm like, 'I think so I'm not, I'm not really sure'. And the whole way down the line. We're getting close. And I'm like, 'I think so. Oh I can't tell. Yeah, he was a real estate agent, ohh maybe'. And then we get up to the front of the line. And they have this thing when you're going to open homes, particularly for purchasing houses, where they ask for your details, your name and number. I know now that they only do that for a marketing tactic, because then they follow you up and say, 'Oh, you didn't like that one? Well, we've got this one', and they just harass you endlessly. Because real estate agents. Sorry, I'm just ostracising any potential real estate agent listeners that we have. But um, I didn't realise that you you didn't, you don't have to do that. Like that's not a legal requirement. Because COVID was around I kind of just thought it was something that I had to do. And so we got up to the front of the line and he's like, 'What's your name?' And I sort of nudged my husband to give his name. So he gave his name which I thought 'Oh, we've got the same bloody surname anyway' and gave his number
Holly Harte 14:06
Jenna Love 14:06
And then the guy turned to me and I had done a bit of a double take so I think you recognise but I think he was in the same position is me being like, 'I'm not sure I think so. And then he was like,
Holly Harte 14:16
No way, you're recognisable, there's no way. People would recognise you.
Jenna Love 14:20
I mean, I don't look great when I go for house inspections. It's a bit like the thing with your gardener.
Holly Harte 14:26
The gardener, true, okay, fair fair.
Jenna Love 14:27
But still. Anyway, he said 'Oh, and yours?'. And I want I was like, if I had been prepared for this situation, I probably would have been like 'Um, it's Jenna, remember how you screamed it out when I was riding you?' You know but but I just like was so shocked and and I'm a real like rule follower. So I just like spurted out my real name and I, you know, then we went into the house and I was like, great, I just completely 'outted' myself. And I had no fear of, of this guy. Obviously he's concerned about discretion as well. But then for like months later, my poor husband was getting messages being like, 'Hi, it's blah, blah. Did you guys like the house? Do you wanna look at another house?' And I was just like, 'Go away!' And I mean, yeah, that's not-he was just doing his job. And he maintained complete, he was completely professional at all times. He didn't do anything with that information. Like he did all the right things in that situation. But it was just a bit amusing for me. And I was like, 'Oh, maybe real estate agents are kind of famous'. And it made me, I had a different perspective on that afterwards.
Okay, so we're getting now on to some of my juicier and more awkward stories. A few years ago, probably about three years ago now, I also had a little pet sitting business that I did on the side. So I would go to people's houses and take care of their pets. I was contacted by a gentleman for a sex work booking. We began the screening process. And somewhere in the middle of that-this is still when I was face-in, once again, I thought I was relatively anonymous, but I don't know. But I was contacted by this guy who I realised was one of my petsitting clients. So I was looking after his and his partner's pets. And yeah, I realised and it was a bit awkward, but I thought he was really cute. So I told him, I said, 'Hey, like, this is really awkward, but I'm actually your pet sitter'. And he was surprised, I think? Like, I know you're listening right now buddy, so, I think he was genuinely surprised. We actually became really good friends, there was a little bit of like a thing going on. But he was the relationship he was in was was not a good one. And you know, it didn't last much longer. And things with us never developed into anything, but we ended up becoming really, really good friends. We did have sex once. And yeah, now we're still in touch, we talk all the time. And it was just the weirdest scenario, how I realised halfway through that he actually knew me in real life. So we, he didn't become a client, but he became someone really special and still a really dear friend to me, out of a series of just really strange, you know, Canberra being a small place sort of situations.
And so when you said you had sex once, that was not a booking situation. That was in your personal life?
Holly Harte 17:11
No, no, we just, yeah, yeah, that was a personal life, you know, intimate sort of moment, we talked and talked and talked, we just clicked a lot. And I think, we got it on. And I just think we didn't really have whatever was needed there to develop into something else. But instead, we became really good pals. And, yeah, he's now moved on in a relationship with another wonderful lady, and seems really happy. So there you go.
Jenna Love 17:41
I love that.
Holly Harte 17:41
Jenna Love 17:42
I think my final story involves one of my side hobbies, which I can't go into too much detail about. Some of our listeners know, though, because I'm not good at keeping secrets. But um, I work on these projects. And each project will sort of last a few months, and might have a different group of people involved in it. And at the beginning of each project, we obviously need to do some speeches and talk about what's going to happen, we have to address the group of people involved. And so I was asked to stand up at one of these beginning of the project phases, and speak to the crowd. And there's only or I don't know, there was maybe maximum 40 people there. And so I stood up and my husband was with me, he didn't stand up with me. But he had come to the event with me cuz he's also involved in our hobby. And so I stood up at the front, and I started giving my little speech. And then I caught sight of somebody in the audience. And who'd looked like this is gonna sound so strange. I don't know if he'll listen to this. But it looked, his lips looked like lips I had kissed and that I couldn't really remember much. But I was like, 'Oh, I think I've made out with that guy. I can remember making out with that guy'. And this whole time I'm delivering this this speech, essentially. And I keep looking and going, 'Have I made out with him? Have I fucked him? Was he a client? Is that what this is?' And you know, our little hobby. It's quite small. It's quite, it'd be quite unusual for that someone I happen to know to pop up, like, a client to pop up in that environment, the whole time I was just going 'Fuck, I don't know. I think so. I think...' and so I sat back down and again, leaned over to my husband and went, 'I think I've fucked that guy over there', which I'm now realising is something that I do with semi regularity, lean over to my husband say 'I think I fucked him'.
Holly Harte 19:38
Mr. Love is just like, he's on board. He's like yeah no worries. Standard.
Jenna Love 19:43
Yeah probably! And I just I felt so uncomfortable. And at that point that was sort of before the project had begun. And not everyone who's at that meeting will actually be a part of the project. So I wasn't really sure. I put it out of my mind and didn't think about it again until the first day of the project where I rocked up and He was there. And I was like, 'Oh, no, he-yep, no, this is he is definitely a client'. And I remembered a bit more about him and remembered that he was married, which is not entirely uncommon, of course with our clients, but but did note that in my mind, and then we worked together for three months, I was in a sort of position of authority over him. It was never mentioned. We, we didn't, I wouldn't say we avoided each other, we had to have a couple of conversations that came up as a part of what we were doing. But we it was just not, a thing that was discussed or anything. And every now and then my husband, I would go 'Oh do you think-what-ooh?' We'd have a little weird chat about it and be like, 'Anyway, all good'. And then a few months ah, maybe it was more than a few months, but at least a few months after the project had ended. I got a booking request from him. And he was like, 'Hi, Jenna. I don't know if this is weird. I have seen you before. I don't know if you remember' or you know, whatever. And I responded. And I was like, 'Oh my god. Yeah, I know. And yes, I'd love to see you again. Let's do it'. So we had a booking together, and then I spilled everything. I was like, 'I'm so sorry, I didn't, I didn't want to talk to you. Because I know that you're married. So I don't want to make that uncomfortable for you'. And a lot of people around are friends and know each other. It's a very small community. And, and he was like, 'No, it's fine. I didn't know if your husband knew or if you like, I don't know'. And it was just it was great. And then we had a really lovely booking and we made out and I was like, oh, yeah, those lips are really good to kiss.
Holly Harte 21:28
That's a really nice happy ending. I like that.
Jenna Love 21:29
I don't think I've seen him again.
Holly Harte 21:31
Oh. And then never saw him again. Right.
Jenna Love 21:34
I don't think so.
Holly Harte 21:34
At least you got that resolution. I really like that, you know, because for me, I feel like I've had experiences like that with clients where we just go ooh-ooh, and then we just don't see each other again. It was really nice that you got that sort of closure. Like whoa, like, that was awkward, but we're still cool. And that's nice.
Jenna Love 21:49
Yeah. And I thought we both really respected each other and just went, 'Okay, we're just gonna do what we're here to do'. And then after, well after it was done, he was like, 'so can we do that other thing?' I was like, 'heck, yes!'. All right. This next one I'm very excited for.
Holly Harte 22:07
Yeah, I'm, I know, you're excited about this story. This is one of my more embarrassing stories, although I have a lot of embarrassing stories, because I'm an embarrassing person. So I had a client A few years ago, turn up. We did the screening process, everything was fine. He seemed really nice. He turned up, and I opened the door and I let him in, and he sort of walked to the sort of door to go down the hallway. And I stopped and I felt my heart sink. And I realised 'Oh my god, this is a guy I went to school with' and I was like, 'Oh my god, oh my god, oh, my god'. Like I covered my face. And I was like, 'I just realised I know you. Can you please leave, just please leave, please leave'. And he was like, 'Oh my god, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. He's like, okay, okay'. So he rushed out the door. He left, he got in his car and he left. And then we like started texting. And he's like, 'I don't think...' and I was like, 'Well, you know,' I asked a few questions and like, he grew up like in another state was like, 'Oh my god', I was like, 'I don't know you'. I was like, 'I'm so sorry. I feel like such an idiot'. And I was like, 'do you like wanna come back?' and like, and he was like, 'Yes'. Like, 'yes!'. And I was like, 'Okay, okay, come back turn around. I'm so sorry'. And so he turned around and came back and pulled in the driveway and he came up and I was like, 'I'm so sor- like, I'm so embarrassed. What a dickhead'. And anyway, we had the booking and he was amazing. Like we had a great time I think we really connected like as people and we texted a little bit still after that. And I think we just sort of missed each other for bookings. I haven't heard from him in some time, but I hope that eventually he gets in touch and has another booking because he was really cool. But um, yeah, I nearly like ruined that from like the minute I met him, which is really sad.
Jenna Love 23:49
Yeah, I mean, that easily could have gone the other way, something like that. So many clients are so nervous and so on edge, particularly someone they haven't seen before so he so could have easily been like nah, that was fucking weird. And you could have been mortified and just like no I'm too freaked out I'm to kind of panicked now to put myself in that situation. So I really glad it did work out well and obviously you were the two of you were compatible because you were able to sort of laugh at it and go forward.
Holly Harte 24:16
Yeah we had a blast. He actually I still remember like, every time his number, like his name comes up on my phone I smile like I'm like 'I love this guy' like and we now we have that bonding like experience of that awkwardness it like just made it even cooler, like we were like yeah, we're besties now
Jenna Love 24:34
Who misses free and affordable ads and social networks without the anti sex rhetoric.
Holly Harte 24:40
Assembly Four is a team of sex workers and technologists working from Melbourne, Australia, aiming to bring back free and fair advertising and social spaces to the sex working community.
Jenna Love 24:51
They also actually give back to organisations based in harm reduction, sex, work and education,
Holly Harte 24:57
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.
Jenna Love 25:08
Both are free to join and open to all. In the words of an Assembly Four user, from the policies to the language to the advice and tips, it makes such a big difference to feel encouraged and supported instead of policed.
Holly Harte 25:21
Check out their website assemblyfour.com four the word, not the number for more info.
This week, our misconception is that sex work is legal in Australia, there is so much information that we can provide on this and detail that we can go into this week, we're going to give you a little bit of insight into just the basics.
Jenna Love 25:47
So sex work in Australia is primarily governed at a state and territory level. So that means that the laws vary greatly across the country. We do have a whole episode on this subject that's in the works. But as Holly said, we're going to give you a little overview. If you do want more information on the laws, you can always get in contact with your local peer organisation. We always have their links linked in the show notes for our episodes. Now, in terms of online sex work, oof, the laws are, in my opinion, pretty obsolete. The legislation around like porn production and distribution is, I would say currently working to try and catch up with about the year 2002. From what I know, as a result of that they tend not to be enforced very heavily. But you know, with the recent passing of the online safety bill, that certainly might change.
Holly Harte 26:40
We're not experts by any means on porn laws. So we are hoping in future to have a guest on who can speak a little bit more about those. Because our experience lies mainly with in-person work, weare able to tell you a little bit more about that in particular. In both New South Wales and the Northern Territory we have decriminalisation models. Because of some of our federal laws, it's difficult to achieve full decrim, including for migrant workers unless there's changes made at a federal level. But sex work is essentially decriminalised in those two places. And New South Wales has had it since 1995. But the Northern Territory only achieved it two years ago in 2019, which was a huge win for sex workers globally. Because it became only the third jurisdiction in the world to do so.
Jenna Love 27:21
So there's a lot of confusion around these terms. And again, we're just trying to do this briefly today. Decriminalisation means the removal of all sex industry specific laws, thus just treating our job but like any other. It doesn't mean that laws don't apply to us, as a lot of people I come across on Reddit seem to think, obviously, it doesn't just mean that we're completely above the law,
Holly Harte 27:42
Lawless! The Wild West of sex.
Jenna Love 27:46
We still have to obey the same laws as any other business. We still have to adhere to safe work guidelines, report to the tax office, etc. There's a lot of confusion around the difference between decriminalisation and legalisation. And when people hear that sex work is legal, they often go, 'Oh, well, that's great. It's all sorted, right?'. But the thing is, legalisation means that there is a specific set of laws just for the sex work businesses, and those laws don't apply to other businesses. And what happens when you put harsher restrictions on a marginalised population is that you create a divide between those who are able to meet the requirements and those who are not and often the majority fit into the category of those who are not. So if you look at legalisation, that way, you can actually kind of consider it partial criminalization, because it essentially ensures that some sex workers or even a majority of sex workers, particularly those who face the most adversity will be criminals.
Holly Harte 28:43
So the states and territories in Australia with a legalisation model are ACT, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Although we are so hopeful that Victoria will achieve decrim sooner rather than later. We can't go into every single one of the problems with Australian sex work laws, let alone the laws of other countries. But we thought we'd just do a whip around the country and point out some of the most interesting features of that legislation because we found that unless you're a sex worker, or you're a very engaged client, most people don't have any idea about these laws. Where I live, in the ACT, according to the law, sex workers have to use barrier protection for everything, including oral, and two workers can't be in the same booking together, so no threesomes are allowed in Canberra. Um, well, not if there's payment involved anyway, or unless you're in parliament house, I guess.
Jenna Love 29:31
and it's amusing because ACT is only a small place. So if you just go however many kilometres outside of it, you enter into decriminalisation, and then those laws don't apply anymore.
Holly Harte 29:44
You can go to queanbeyan and do totally different things and you can in the ACT, but the ACT is also well known for being not particularly heavily enforced, you know, so that's really good as well for workers here that they're not often treated... well, in my experience, a lot of workers are not, you know, sort of taken down for those sorts of things. But obviously, you will read in the newspaper, you know, sometimes they do raids on, particularly brothels that are struggling workers and survival workers, which is really sad. So the other thing that's strange is that during COVID, other close contact services were allowed to go back to work things where you're having very close contact with another individual, but brothels weren't allowed. So the sex work community, and particularly the peer orgs, had to do a lot of lobbying to get that changed.
Jenna Love 30:30
I have worked in every state and territory of Australia and as a touring worker, you have to be across how the laws change when you cross state lines. And all of your marketing has to be in line with that as well, which can be an absolute headache to say the very least. So some of the more interesting laws, in Victoria incalls are illegal. So an incall is when the client comes to the provider. So that means it is only legal for the provider to go to the client, whether it be their house, or their hotel room, or something like that. And that's a pretty weird law. Everybody has to be registered, all sex workers have to be registered with the government, which means the government has a legal record of your legal name, which says that you are a sex worker, and for obvious reasons that can be problematic. Advertising what services you offer is illegal, street based work is illegal and very heavily policed. And the thing that I find hilarious, which isn't the case anymore, but prior to 2016, you could only advertise using a photo of your head and shoulders. Which, given what we spoke about a bit earlier about a lot of sex workers not showing their face in their advertising. It's like, here's my clavicle.
Holly Harte 31:43
Yeah, I did not know this at all. Wow. Yeah.
Jenna Love 31:47
Yeah. Very, very absurd. And thankfully, that is that has now been changed. But, yeah, then Western Australia, I think things you know, from my perspective, aren't aren't too bad there. Again, I'm a white independent worker. So none of it's too bad from my perspective. But, you know, mainly brothels and street based work is criminalised in Western Australia. But private workers are pretty okay.
Holly Harte 32:12
In Tasmania, it's similar to Western Australia that brothels and street based work are illegal, but private work is allowed. In Queensland working in pairs is illegal. So if you have an admin assistant, receptionist, driver, or even just check in with a friend, that's illegal. Women who meet a stranger from a dating app can text a friend to send their address to say that they're safe on their date. But sex workers legally can't. Sharing the cost of accommodation or rent with another worker is even illegal. Even if you're not even in the same premises. Providing any service without barrier protection is illegal. This also includes cunnilingus. Entrapment is legal in Queensland. So police officers can and do pose as clients and pressure sex workers to provide services that are illegal just so they can arrest them,
Jenna Love 32:55
Which is disgusting,
Holly Harte 32:57
Jenna Love 32:58
And then we come to South Australia, home to the city of churches, so no prizes for guessing which state has the worst laws in the country for sex workers. South Australia is a really tricky one. Because in my opinion, I feel like it pretends that it's legal. Because like the act of trading sex for money is not illegal, but pretty much every way that you can go about doing that, is. So brothels are illegal. And that might make you go 'Okay, well, working on your own would be fine, then'. But the definition of what constitutes a brothel is very broad in the legislation. And it is very open to interpretation. So, is sex work legal in Australia? Sort of, sometimes, for some people.
For our Shit People Say segment, I have a little a client inquiry, and I feel bad, I shouldn't say a client inquiry because this person is not a client. They are somebody who failed to become a client. And I think often sex workers get a lot of shit put on them because there's this perception that we we will laugh at our clients or will publicly sort of deride them. But nine times out of 10 they're not clients, they're people who contact us to waste our time, to make us feel crap, to put us down, etc. So I think that's an important distinction to make. Okay, so I'm reading from my phone here, two weeks ago, I received a text message 'Hey, babe, you on tonight?' And I responded, 'On what?' Because obviously, I knew what he meant, but I was not here for somebody calling me babe.
Holly Harte 34:42
And we want manners too.
Jenna Love 34:44
We want manners. Everywhere you can find my number, it explains exactly how to contact me so there's not really an excuse. And so I said 'on what?' he said 'Who is this?' And I responded, 'you contacted me', notably, when I responded back, so I have an iPhone. And my original message to him was blue, which means are sent by iMessage. And my next message when I said 'you contacted me' was green, which means that he's either turned imessaging off on his phone, or more likely he's blocked me. So okay, cool. I was like, whatever. That's not a very unusual interaction for us to have. Then last week, so a week after that, I got 'Hi, Jenna. I saw your profile on (advertising site)'. And then another message 'Hey, babe, you on tonight?' And I said, 'ON WHAT'? Because I still haven't got an answer to that question. He said, 'Sorry, I didn't send the message. I alogykis in advance'. So I think, 'sorry, I didn't send the message. I apologise in advance', which is I don't know how he's apologising in advance for something that happened in the past. But anyway, that's okay. I said, 'Oh, who sent it? He said, not me. My phone has been hacked. I think I've had heaps of random texts tonight. I'm so sorry'. I said, 'Oh, was it hacked last weekend, too?'. And he said, 'I don't know. I've been getting random messages for weeks. I'm going to change numbers. I apologise. I'm very sorry'. I said, 'What would be the purpose of someone using your phone number to contact people?'. And that was the last message I sent to him. It was green. So presumably, he had unblocked me to have that conversation and then blocked me again, once he realised the jig was up. So then, just the other day, so this is two weeks after the initial one. I got 'Hey, babe, you're working tonight?' I said, 'Oh, hey, babe, I think your phone must have been hacked again'. He said 'Oh probably what the fuck, I don't send these messages'. I said, 'Gosh, such a drama for you, you poor thing'. He said, 'Who are these going to but?' and I said, 'Who do you think?' he said, 'I don't know, babes'. I said, 'Maybe Google the number'. And then he said, 'Do you do foot fetishes or something? That's what people keep messaging me about'. Actually, he wrote, 'people keep messing if me upcout'. But anyway, people keep messaging me about. And I was like, mate, you know, you don't have to be embarrassed about having a foot fetish, right. I'm literally a hooker. You have texted a hooker. Why are you pretending that you didn't? That's my job. You found my number on a website, which I pay for to advertise my services. It's good that you are contacting me and means that my funds are being used correctly. So I said, 'You know, you don't have to be embarrassed, I'm literally a hooker. He said, 'Oh, yeah, well, I do like it, babe. Do you do it babes?' And I said, 'not for free'. He said, 'that's fine. How much?' And I said, 'all the info is on my website'. He said, 'Are you keen tonight?' I said, 'all the info is on my website'. He said, 'how about just foot fetishes? I don't want sex babes'. I said, 'all the info is on my website'. He said 'there's not a price just for that babes'. I said, 'all the info is on my website'. He said 'no, not for that babes. It's okay, thank you anyways'. I sent a screenshot of my website and said 'It's literally the first sentence on the rates page'. And he said, 'Sorry, babe, I didn't see that page'. I said, 'So when you went looking for my rates, you didn't see the page called rates?'. So he said, 'So 30 minutes is 350 yeah?'. And I thumbsed up. He said, 'Where are you at?' I said, 'all the info is on my website'. And that was the end of our conversation. But I assume next weekend, we'll have another one.
Holly Harte 38:41
Someone will hack his phone again. Undoubtedly.
Jenna Love 38:43
Yeah, it's just... the luck on this guy.
Holly Harte 38:47
I know! They're hacking his phone to ask about his specific kink. Like, what are the odds? You know,
Jenna Love 38:52
It's kind of a blessing really, isn't it?
Holly Harte 38:53
It is. I wish people would hack my phone for my specific interest.
Jenna Love 38:57
Yeah, doing the groundwork for him.
Holly Harte 39:03
Question Of The Week, we asked on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for you to send in your questions. We got two questions that were very similar. So we've decided to go with them for this week. And in our bonus episode for our $10 plus patrons this month, we will be answering a whole bunch more. So the question this week is, 'Hair down there, both clients and sex workers. Preferences? There seems to be a trend towards being completely shaven. Is there a misconception around that? And will pubic hair ever make a comeback? Okay, so, for me, I generally don't really care if my clients have pubic hair. Look, to be really frank, if I'm going to be like running my tongue around everything down there. It probably helps if it's trimmed at least because other otherwise it ends up getting in the back of my throat and I'm like a cat coughing up a hairball and I'm like, it's really not sexy. Like unless that's your kink. That's fine. But yeah, generally um, I don't really care if you've got hair unless you want me to lick that specific area. For me, I shave the whole lot just because that's what seems to be expected. Which is a shame because I don't think there's anything wrong with pubic hair. And I know a lot, quite a few of my clients do love it, and they've asked if I can grow it out. And I've said well, it just makes it more difficult for the other clients who don't like it. And I feel like also, this is my own feeling, but I feel like I can keep things a bit fresher down there. If I have it shaved that's just my own ability to wash myself. But yeah, to me, it's not a big deal. I think it will make a comeback. I think pubic hair is going to, I think it's already like people are getting into the the landing strip and that's trendy. I think mullets came back into fashion. So who's to say the bush isn't going to be the next big trend?
Jenna Love 40:46
If a mullet can come back into fashion, anything can come back into fashion. I feel like I have a bit of a unique perspective on this. Ugh, I'm so unique and interesting. But I think I only realised recently that other people don't have this experience, because not everyone is a redhead. And when you are a redhead, I think in particular, a female redhead, but the case may apply to other people as well. You get sexualized from such a young age, and people will be talking about your pubic hair before you even have pubic hair or know what pubic hair is. So I have a distinct memory of when I was in kindergarten. So about five, of somebody saying to me, 'Oh, doe-', Oh, I never know the phrase, does the carpet match the drapes, which I only figured out what that meant- I mean, I knew what it meant for a long time, but only recently figured out that drapes are curtains and that's, I didn't really get it. Anyway, someone said to me a phrase I've heard a million times in my life, 'does the carpet match the drapes?', and at the time, as a five year old, obviously, I don't even know what I said. And obviously, I had no fucking carpet at that point. It's very common in your young life to be referred to as feisty. And as you get a bit older to be told that you are like, inherently sexual, and that redheads are really like aggressive in bed and all these sorts of stuff. And you just get filled with all this information. And of course, every like sexual character you see on TV is a redhead. And it's just kind of intrinsically linked. And now obviously I capitalise on that. And I use my red hair a lot in my marketing, because now I'm a hooker. I'm like, well, cool, I can be sexual, and let's make money off it. But my pubic hair has always been the subject of other people's discourse. And it has always made me incredibly uncomfortable. And so I've always had this pressure to have pubes, which I think is the opposite of what a lot of women and maybe a lot of people experience, particularly when I first started in the sex industry. I get enquiries all the time that are like, 'Well, do you have a fire crotch?' or talking about my pubes. And the other thing is, my pubes in particular they're, I don't know if they're red. They're kind of like, they're fair. But they're not. It's not a fire crotch. They're red, but they're not like, super fiery.
Holly Harte 43:06
They're strawberry blonde
Jenna Love 43:08
Yeah, I guess so. And there's all this stuff about like, you're not a real redhead. If you don't have that. I get text messages from random people saying, 'Are you a real redhead?' And what they're asking is, 'are my pubes red?' And the thing is, they're kind of not, they're a bit, I guess? I don't know. So I have literally shaved my pubic hair my entire life, not my entire life. Sorry, since I started getting pubes, since the very, very beginning. And it wasn't until last year that I went, you know what? I maybe want to have pubes for my own reasons. And I'm comfortable with that. So I actually shaved for a very long time, because I hated men asking about my pubes. Whereas I think a lot of people will grow a bush because they're sick of men saying, 'Oh, you should shave'. I was sick of men saying 'You shouldn't shave'. And so I used to get rid of it all the time.
Holly Harte 43:57
Jenna Love 43:58
Yeah, that was my way of rebelling was full Brazilian, which probably sounds ridiculous. And there are some feminists that would absolutely hate me for saying that. But my pubes have always been so sexualized since before I had pubes. And it's a really, it's a really big deal for me. So it was it was a huge thing for me to start growing my pubes. And now sometimes I trim them, every now and then I might trim them like really, really short. Sometimes I grow them a bit. I like to shave the undercarriage because I just cannot handle having hair down there. I just I think because I never have I just can't handle it. But now I feel like I'm reclaiming it. And I'm like, Fuck you. You can like that I have the pubes. That's fine, but I have them.
Holly Harte 44:37
Jenna Love 44:37
So on that note, I've never not had demand for having pubes. And I definitely I don't even know if it will make a comeback. I think there already is a big push for some hair at least. There's always there's a lot of anti full-Brazilian rhetoric out there. There's a lot of 'Oh, you look like you look prepubescent'. Which I think is fucking absurd, because if you look at my body with no pubes and think prepubescent, then you've got some more wack ideas about puberty. It's a tough one because I think it's really personal for everyone like I, you know, yeah, if I'm getting my tongue in around things, I love a real smooth finish. But I have friends for whom if the client has shaved that day, or maybe the day before, and there's like a tiny bit of stubble, they've got really sensitive skin and it will really affect their their face and also their downstairs bits, so for some people smooth is not ideal. For some people if you've if you've shaved there's there's more risk of nicks and cuts, which means open open skin, which means higher risk of infection. Some people just love a full bush, some people would absolutely hate it. Like it's really tough. Everyone has their preference, and everyone's welcome to have their preference, but dictating what someone else does is obviously a huge issue. But I think that it's it's you really need to ask each individual what they like, if you give a shit about their opinion, if not, just do whatever you like.
Holly Harte 46:11
And now we'd like to thank our patrons this week, our Giving Somebodies are Miguel Sanchez, Disco Biscuit, Jayjay and Brigitte. Our Generous Somebodies are Mal, Beringer, George, Miss Bel, Tess Louise from It's So Hard Podcast, Mr. S Fox and Mecca.
Jenna Love 46:32
Our Very Generous Somebodies are Lachlan, Timmy, Steve, Our Footstool, Spaceman Dan, Pete, Adelle, Alice Grey, Big M, Scott C, Sammy Jane, Bart, Barliman and Randy Wagner. And our Extremely Generous Somebodies are Aaron, Samuel and Andrew,
Holly Harte 46:54
Thanks so much for joining us this week, guys, we hope you've had fun and learned some interesting things. Ah, look forward to seeing you next time.
Jenna Love 47:03
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.