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LGBTIQ identities

What it’s really like to be a gay sex worker

Aged 24, Andy was unhappily working as a chef in Brisbane. Although he loved cooking, and still does, and was making his parents happy working in that particular occupation, it wasn’t his ultimate ambition in life. So Andy took a plunge and fulfilled a lifelong desire to work in the world’s oldest profession – sex work.

With years of experience, countless clients and much wisdom gained along the way, Andy now works exclusively as a gay sex worker in Melbourne. He talks to Emen8 about working as a gay sex worker, what he enjoys about his job, the sexual health strategies he employs, advice he’d offer any gay man considering getting into the same occupation and much more.

Emen8: Why did you want to work as a sex worker?

Andy: I started escorting because, well, some kids want to grow up to be astronauts, some kids want to be scientists; some just want to be hookers. I just knew that.

Emen8: Did you know you wanted to be a sex worker when you were young?

Andy: Yeah! And once I got older, the opportunity came up to do it and I figured, why not? It’s something I always wanted to do, so I went for it. It’s just something that’s always interested me. Part of the reason why I like it is because of the psychology behind it.

Emen8: In what way?

Andy: In terms of what people are into, why they’re into it and why people actually hire escorts in the first place.

“Having a rather solid build, most people know not to fuck with me.”

Emen8: Do you find a lot of your clients feel like they can be themselves around you?

Andy: My clients can generally be themselves more around me, than they can be with their spouses or partners. It’s more liberating for them; they can actually be who they want to be.

Emen8: So are a lot of your clients married men who identify as straight?

Andy: I do have quite a few of them. But I also have different sorts, like young guys who are still in the closet; I also have people who aren’t attached to anyone. I’ve been hired before by guys because I remind them of their dead partners.

Emen8: What are some of the most interesting requests you’ve had from your clients?

Andy: Well, a lot of the time, people request stuff that they’re not comfortable asking their partners for, so a lot of it is generally more extreme sexual stuff. I’ve been caged up before, and suspended. I’ve also done a lot of bondage. For more extreme sex like this, generally I go to their place or we’ll go to sex clubs where they’ve got the right sort of facilities.

“I was 24 when I first started doing it… And then a year and a half ago, I decided to go full time. I was enjoying the work too much…”

Emen8: Do you experience any stigma from friends or other people you know for working as a sex worker?

Andy: No, most people I know are more interested in how to get into it as opposed to being against it.

Emen8: How did your family react when they found out you were a sex worker?

Andy: Not well, but I appreciate where they’re coming from. Parents have a specific view of what they want you to do when you grow up. When you don’t conform to that, well yeah…

Emen8: What did your parents want you to do?

Andy: My parents wanted me to be a chef originally, and I did that and finished my apprenticeship. I like cooking, but I just didn’t enjoy the work. It was stressful, bad hours, bad pay; I put on a lot of weight doing it as well.

Emen8: How old were you when you started sex work?

Andy: I was 24. When I first started doing it, I was just doing it casually on the side, around a normal job as well – just to make some extra money and such. And then a year and a half ago, I decided to go full time. I was enjoying the work too much and it was getting in the way of my day job.

Emen8: Do you enjoy every client you work with?

Andy: I wouldn’t say I enjoy every client. There have been a few where I just haven’t been able to connect with them. When I first meet a client, I generally like to chat to them for five to 10 minutes until we’re both on the same page and comfortable with each other, before anything sexual actually happens. Then as well, I’ve had clients where I’ve turned up and they’ve taken one look at me and said: “sorry, you’re not my type.” And yeah, that’s OK as well.

Emen8: Have you ever had clients who become quite attached to you?

Andy: Yes. Once when I went to Perth, I had one client that hired me four times in one week.

Emen8: Ever to the point though where they’ll try to establish a relationship with you outside of work?

Andy: I had one in New Zealand who wanted me to move in with him. I had to slowly push him away and keep reminding him that this is just my job.

“I’ve been caged up before, and suspended. I’ve also done a lot of bondage.”

Emen8: How many clients, on average, would you take bookings for, each week?

Andy: It varies – some weeks you have more, some weeks you have less. On an average normal performing sort of week, about 10. In saying that, it’s a lot of travel as well, and you have to get yourself prepared, groomed and clean etc. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in terms of getting ready for a client.

Emen8: Is there anything a client has requested for you to do that you’ve refused?

Andy: Scat play.

Emen8: How often do people request that?

Andy: I’ve had it requested three or four times.

Emen8: Have you ever had clients that made you concerned for your safety?

Andy: I never have, but I know others who have before. Having a rather solid build, most people know not to fuck with me.

“This isn’t a job that everyone can do. It’s not just about sex, it’s about also offering companionship – playing a role.”

Emen8: What sort of sexual health strategies do you employ?

Andy: I use condoms and I’m also on PrEP. I use condoms with my clients because I don’t know where they’ve been and they don’t know where I’ve been…

Emen8: How often do you get tested for HIV and STIs?

Andy: I get tested monthly.

Emen8: How do you advertise your services?

Andy: I use various websites such as Backpage, Cracker, Rentmen.com, Rentboy Australia, and Locanto. But as I mentioned before, I’ll be joining Madesco escort agency soon. So I’ve been talking to them on and off.

Emen8: What’s the benefit of joining an agency?

Andy: They do all your advertising and source out your work and then they call you with a booking time and you just turn up to them and pay them their cut.

Emen8: Do you see an expiry date in this line of work?

Andy: I do, but I’m studying personal training in the background so that I have other options when I do decide to finish.

Emen8: Do you grow professionally working as a sex worker?

Andy: Definitely, you become more aware and more open to a lot of things. You realise that what you may be attracted to, someone else isn’t attracted to. It just opens up your views. It grows your interpersonal skills.

Emen8: What are the downsides of sex work?

Andy: It’s not regular. Some weeks you might not get hired for four days and then other days, you might have six jobs in one day. It’s completely irregular. Irregular hours and you have a lot of missed phone calls at 3am and such. I think clients don’t always realise that we need to sleep too.

“Some kids want to grow up to be astronauts; some kids want to be scientists; some just want to be hookers. I just knew that.”

Emen8: Do you have a boyfriend?

Andy: Yes.

Emen8: What does he think about your line of work?

Andy: He’s not overly happy with it, but as I told him when I met him, this is what I do, and it makes me happy and I’m not going to quit my job for anybody. Saying that, it’s opened up our relationship a bit more, he was a very ‘white picket fence with two kids’ sort of person when we met. Now, he’s more into having an open relationship too.

Emen8: What advice would you give to anyone who is considering working as a gay sex worker?

Andy: Do your research. A lot of people just jump in, and it’s not what they expect, and a lot of them are just trying to make extra money for the weekend and such. This isn’t a job that everyone can do. It’s not just about sex, it’s about also offering companionship – playing a role. As an escort, you’re also an actor. And you have to fulfil someone’s needs even if you’re not into what they are, because they’ve hired you for that specific reason.

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