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I ended up returning to Melbourne and the main course a few times on working holidays, but I was at a loss for what to do for cash in Adelaide in between. I had stayed in contact with the worker that was caught in the raid at Karma Therapy with me and so one boring day I decided to pay her a visit. Anna hadn’t gone back to work since the big raid for the same reasons that I had chosen to leave Adelaide for work. Both of us were terrified of being caught up in something like that again.

We hung out all day and over coffee I told Anna about my trips to Melbourne and The Main Course and she was very jealous. Anna wasn’t able to travel for work because she had young children, she didn’t want to work in a local brothel because she was scared of the cops, so she was jobless and broke. We started talking about something we had talked about many times before: the idea of going out on our own. It’s something I had often thought about, the idea of keeping all the money from the booking was definitely appealing.

But it was scary too. Not because we were scared of the clients, but because we would be outlaying money and commitments, and what if we didn’t make enough to cover it? Anna and I started to write some lists and do some sums.

How hard could it be. We could just give it a try. We needed somewhere to work from, a phone number, an advert, massage oil, condoms, lubricant, tissues, wet ones and talcum powder.

It seemed pretty simple so we decided to do it. First thing we needed to do was to find some where to work from.  We ended up booking a two bedroom apartment in the CBD for just one night. It was a cute little brand new apartment with a balcony over Rundle street and with all the modern facilities. It was important to us that the place we booked was central, nice, and had plenty of parking and had direct access for our clients. We didn’t want a bunch of random people flowing past a hotel reception all day looking for our room and blowing our cover.

Next we had to write our adds. We wanted to put three adverts in the local paper “The Advertiser” where all the other sex industry adds were. So we wrote one add for each of us and one for us together. It was difficult because there are a list of words that the advertiser wont let you use, but they don’t make that list public, so you just have to guess what words someone might find offensive.  When we tried to place our adds we were confronted with “Sorry no passionate and no sensual – it describes a sexual act. No playmate- the word play refers to a child. No ‘Girl Friend Experience’ ( a common term used in the industry to describe a passionate service)  –  use of the word ‘girl’ describes someone under age, no abbreviations, no reference to age or nationality etc etc. We ended up having to rewrite our add several times trying to describe what we have to offer, fit into invisible guidelines and stand out from all the others adds.

We bought a new sim card for my mobile phone and used the new number in our adverts. We kept our prices around the same as they were when we worked in the brothel because we still had our expenses. And by our calculations we only needed to do 2 jobs each to completely cover our costs, plus some.

The day before our add appeared we headed into the SIN Safe Sex Shoppe to buy a bunch of cheap condoms and lube and to the supermarket for everything else we needed. We got condoms in big (maxi), little (ultra special) and medium (classic) sizes. We got flavoured condoms (most sex workers in Australia use condoms when giving oral and latex flavour is pretty gross), we got pump-action lubes, dams (a thin piece of latex used when giving a woman oral or anal rimming) female condoms (yes they exist – although not very sexy), unscented easy wash massage oil (clients don’t want to go home smelling like a perfumery) and tissues and wet ones (for cleaning up the mess).

Now all there was to do was check into our apartment, turn on the phone and starting taking the calls. We were actually a little bit excited. We knew we would do well, we were two new workers with new adds and we were private (lots of clients seem to prefer a quiet private discreet setting compared to a busy brothel), and sure enough the phone rang hot.

Anna and I were opposite in our looks and description, and neither of us had any trouble getting bookings. When the client called we would run through our phone  spiel and encourage them to make a booking. We wouldn’t give the address or room number to them until 10 minutes before the booking when they called to confirm the booking. This was strategy to try and minimise ‘no shows’ (fake bookings) and to try to keep our location discreet. The last thing we needed was to have the management of the holiday apartments suspect what we were doing and kick us out before we had made enough money. But our plan worked well and we were both booked solidly throughout the day. By 3pm we had bookings to keep us busy through till 10 pm.

The day went  off without a hitch and at 10 O’Clock we were tired and thrilled with our success. Our total price for our services were comparable to the just the workers cut at The Main Course (In the late 1990’s Adelaide had the worst payed hookers in Australia) and after costs I had made a comparable amount to what i made when i worked in Melbourne, but with the bonus of  finishing at 10pm and having a luxury apartment to relax in all night. Taking appointments seemed much more civilised to the insane intro lounge and hallways at The Main Course too.

At the end of the day Anna and I opened a bottle of  champagne to celebrate our success and did what all hookers do at the end of their shift: counted our money and made a million plans for it.