Australian and New Zealand sex workers have spoken out about the ugly and horrific realities of their job.
From physical assault to having glass bottles broken within them, the stories of the ‘survivors’ showcase the violent circumstances those in the industry still face.
Despite prostitution being decriminalised in parts of the two countries, many sex workers still claim they face rape, victim blaming and abuse from men who ‘do whatever they want’.
The stories form part of Julie Bindel’s new book The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth, which delves into the dark side of the sex trade industry around the world.
Australian and New Zealand sex workers have spoken out about the ugly and horrific realities of their job, detailing incidents from physical assault to having glass bottles broken within them (stock image)
In one 2016 case, New Zealand woman Nicky explained how she was violently raped and threatened while on the job.
‘Recently I got bottled – I’ve never had that before in my life – a bottle was shoved up me and broken,’ she said.
‘I’ll start crying – now a police officer will say “How big was the bottle, what colour was the bottle?” It doesn’t matter what colour the bottle was… it was a bottle up me.’
Nicky said she had taken to carrying a weapon for protection, even going so far as to purchase an imitation gun.
‘It looked the part (but) I thought “no” because I’d get done by the pigs whether it is plastic or not,’ she said.
‘Then I put a screwdriver down my bra and now it’s just “I don’t give a f***”.’
Despite prostitution being decriminalised in parts of the two countries (pictured is the Kings Cross district in Sydney), one woman named Rae claimed sex workers have no way to protect themselves from ‘guys pulling your hair… f***ing you too hard’
Another woman, who went by the name Rae, said she worked across the sex trade industry in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and said she felt there was little protection offered to sex workers.
‘You make a lot of money for yourself if a guy picks you… (but) there is no way you can protect against guys pulling your hair, slapping your a**e too hard, f***ing you too hard,’ she said.
Rae claimed men would even perform ‘stealthing’, whereby they removed their condom during intercourse without the sex worker’s knowledge or consent.
In Australia the legality of sex work is governed by different laws depending on the state or territory, while prostitution has been decriminalised throughout New Zealand since 2003.
Under registration, workers in the Australian Capital Territory can operate from their homes, while brothels and escort agencies are allowed in Victoria and Queensland.
However, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have strict regulations and the practice is still illegal in South Australia.
New Zealand sex worker Nicky claimed she was violently raped on the job, saying ‘a bottle was shoved up me and broken’ (stock image)
In Australia the legality of sex work is governed by different laws depending on the state or territory, while prostitution has been decriminalised throughout New Zealand since 2003 (stock image)
New South Wales is the only state where sex work has been fully decriminalised, meaning licensing and registration is not required.
Among the many services offered by women in the industry, ranging from massages to the full service, is ‘the girlfriend experience’.
Courtney, who has worked in Australia and New Zealand, said she was often asked for such role-playing by middle-class white men and that she was often left perplexed.
‘When I think about myself being a girlfriend, I expect my boyfriend to court me, take me to dinner, massage my shoulders and prove that he is eventually going to be a good husband and father,’ she said.
‘The reality within the sex trade is very far from that… countless times of fighting off men who believed they had the right to violate me above and beyond, all because of a scummy $50.’
A woman who chose to go by the name Courtney revealed she had often provided ‘the girlfriend experience’, but had often needed to fight off men ‘who believed they had the right to violate me above and beyond’ (stock image)
New research has also revealed that requests for unprotected sex from customers are high, according to The Conversation.
Only 67 per cent of those having vaginal sex used condoms 100 per cent of the time, while this dropped to just a third when it came to oral sex.
The research claimed the Australian government should decriminalise sex work as it could then place a ‘highly visible’ focus on workplace health and safety.
However, the Guide to Occupational Health and Safety in the New Zealand Sex Industry lays out many ‘occupational hazards’ of the job as being potentially life-threatening.
In reference to rape, the document states: ‘Unfortunately, incidents occur where workers are forced by clients to have sex without a condom against their will.’
It continues that the ’employee must have information and support for taking action’, before pointing to a fact sheet about ‘condom breakage and slippage’.
Julie Bindel’s book The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth, is available for purchase from Spinifex Press here.