I spent an hour with a sex worker, here’s what happened
Given the nature of sex work and the reluctance of many people within the industry to speak openly with the media, it is a profession many find intriguing and interesting.
Sunshine Coast sex worker Nikki Vee understands the reluctance of her peers to share their experiences, however she believes by opening up about the sex industry it allows the general public a better understanding of what goes on.
A sex worker for the last three years, Nikki Vee spoke with Sunshine Coast Daily journalist Matt Collins in intimate detail about her experiences in the industry, both goods and bads.
She shares why she initially got in to sex work, conversations she has had with her parents about the work she does, and what happened with her very first client that made her think she would become a statistic.
Why is it that you were comfortable to talk to a journalist about your profession?
When I started doing this work the common questions I got were really based on so much misunderstanding. People have this idea it's like what they see on TV - it's skimpy skirts, stockings and little tiny leopard jumpers, hanging out in a street leaning into car doors. I have never leaned in to a car door in my entire life, and I don't plan on starting now.
The big thing is I'm just so casual, and comfortable with the work I do it creates a split image.
On the one hand, people see me and go, "you are just so nice and normal and every day, that doesn't sit with what I think I know about what sex work is".
That provides the space for people to go, "maybe it's not what I thought it was".
Were you always so comfortable and open about your sex life?
Even from early on I was always quite inquisitive and interested about sex. But I was always very stifled by society's view on sex. Sex was something that happened to you, it really wasn't something that you were a part of.
As a female do you mean?
Yeah, as a woman, sex happens to you. It is seen as something you are expected to do. I was really into it, but society sort of kept it more hush hush. Then as I got older, I got more self confident and I started to meet like-minded people and I realised this was completely fine and completely normal.
Did you have much of a conversation with your parents about the birds and the bees early on?
If I did I don't remember it. I am pretty sure my mum gave me a book on the topic. But it wasn't really discussed. If I'm honest that probably put me at more risk for sexual harm, sexual assault, and unwanted sexual advances than if people had of just been open and honest about it. But now I am super open about talking about this stuff and I advocate parents to have open conversations with their children about sexuality.
You are very open and honest now, and as you say that wasn't always the case at home. Was there a moment when that changed for you?
I think when I left home and moved to Brisbane and became part of that big city life. I am a small country town girl, and then I moved to this city and that's when I first realised that being different is OK. But even to this day my parents don't know what I do.
Why do you think you haven't told them about it?
I think the issue that we have is just distance. I am on the Sunshine Coast and they are in far north Queensland. So we don't get home all that often. Mum and I talk quite often, and we can pretty much talk about almost anything except for things that are quite intimate. It's just not how we were raised and not something we talk about.
Tell me about the first time someone paid you for sex.
My first ever booking was honestly a booking I shouldn't have taken. I wasn't looking for red flags. I was doing all the silly things someone new to the industry would do when they don't have a lot of support around them. I ended up driving an hour away from where I lived. I got there and it was a farming property. There was a winding dirt driveway and the grass was higher than the car on each side. At this point driving down this driveway, I was thinking, "is this how I become a statistic". But I thought I have come this far I'm not turning away now. And I'm glad I didn't because he was actually a very, very nice guy and we had a really nice time. But I really undercharged for that first service.
What sort of thoughts did you have afterwards?
I walked away with a couple of hundred dollars in my hand. The feeling was just one of, really? Did I really just do this? This is awesome. I felt really positive. I felt really excited to have that kind of money. I felt good about my body and who I was as a person. As weird as that is, I just felt really nice, comfortable and normal.
How long after that first time, did you have your second client?
The next day. Then I think it was a couple of days later I had another client. But then there was a bit of a gap because I had study and stuff that I was doing. There can be weeks where I am not advertising at all.