Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Not So Pretty Woman

A few years ago, I took the plunge and visited a brothel. Certain things hadn’t been going so well for me, and I thought this broadening of my narrow, sheltered-life horizons would cheer me up, as well as providing me with an interesting anecdote to regale select friends with. Perhaps a little overdressed and giggly with nerves, I hoped the car would be safe in the somewhat seedy area, and strode in eagerly. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as I’d hoped, and I left a short while later, disappointed and unsatisfied. It’s possible I would have found the management at a different establishment more willing to cater to my fancy – every market has its niche, right? – but I’ve never been game enough for another attempt, especially not now that I have a respectable reputation to maintain.

I am, of course, talking about the time when, for a couple of months, I was on the dole. Let’s skip the hackneyed, humourless jests about my arts degree qualifying me only for a McJob, and go straight to admitting there was a brief post-graduation hiatus during which I was persuaded to go down to my local Centrelink asking for a fortnightly handout. I still remember queuing up with 16-year-old mothers-of-three and Ali G look-alikes with expensive mobiles and souped-up cars that argued for a ration-book dole system, thinking to myself, “I don’t belong here!” Still, I dutifully filled my dole diary with the required number of applications for crappy jobs each fortnight, while my applications for proper positions worked their way through the painfully slow Government Machine (of which I am now a lowly cog).

Anyone who’s been unemployed, and is not a dole-bludger or Paris Hilton, knows it’s not the best lifestyle for people with pride and ambition, so when I spotted an ad for a brothel receptionist, I leapt at the chance. Not to actually work there, although I suppose if I had been offered the job I might have tried it out for a few days until my delicate sensibilities deemed I’d had enough of ‘slumming it’. No, I went dressed in a business suit and clutching my plastic-pocketed résumé in the hopes of, as prospective staff-member, being shown around the rooms and maybe even catching a glimpse of a furtive client. Imagine my disappointment when all I ever saw was an ordinary-looking waiting room that could just as easily have belonged in a dentist’s suites. Even the magazines there were Women’s Weeklies and New Ideas, not a porno in sight! It was nothing like the eye-opening, amusingly risqué experience I had anticipated.

Innocent that I am, someone later had to tell me that brothels commonly recruit new girls by advertising for receptionists, then gradually desensitising them until they think nothing of (as my mum would put it) selling their bodies.

I’m still trying to work out whether I should be insulted I wasn’t offered the job.

5 comments:

mutleythedog said...

Its tru about Brothels and the de-sensitizing thing - most of Bridports brothels are staffed by "tribute maidens" - who are susually won in football matches!

Lonie Polony said...

If what I read in the personal ads in the paper is true, most ladies of the night here are barely-legal exotic foreign lasses.

Anonymous said...

Damn.I would have found your version of "There's a bear in there, and he wants Swedish" funnier than the original, I'm sure! Merridy was born a Tassie girl - I'm not sure what my point is...

Lonie Polony said...

Hmm, always meant to read that book. It's on my bookshop-sized list of books I'd like but will never be able to afford / have time to read.

Not sure what it says about my mum when I told her, in my cash-strapped student days, that maybe I would become a street-walker to earn some money, and SHE BELIEVED ME!

mutleythedog said...

Goes so on t'internet - entirely staffed by nymphomaniac teens from Asia so far as I can tell.