ABC Television Hit Show 'YOU CAN’T ASK THAT' famous for asking all the tough, awkward, embarrassing, naive, funny, silly, compassionate, even prejudiced questions they've always wanted to ask but never had the courage or proximity to do so and for providing or provoking the insightful and often unexpected answers, talks to Sydney Sex Workers and Sydney Escorts August 3rd in a frank and eye-opening exchange of important narrative and intensive discussion. A collection of loaded questions no matter how offensive that many of the general public may have been mulling over and literally can’t wait to hear some of the honest replies. Co-director and Interviewer Kirk Docker says the idea was inspired by Reddit forums where people from all walks of life propositioned the online audience to“Ask Me Anything?” Consequently a mass of questions are gathered and are whittled down to the top 1-15 questions some of them more non-PC than others of course. Controversy is at the heart of the production and most important is how the guest speakers react to the difficult, probing questions and how they might find the logic, meaning or common ground that quashes the mystery, nullifies the threat perhaps and ultimately offers sanctuary in the form of a well-rounded answer extending a modicum of peace to all involved.
Within the comfort and privacy of a TV studio the guest speakers can answer confronting questions on their own terms without the negative elements of hostility or judgement. As Kirk Docker says “There is no right way to understand members of various groups or correct way to approach them. Each has a different opinion about terminology or things that offend them. What becomes evident is that all these people should be treated on their own merits on a person by person basis rather than as this is a label I’ll treat you like that. To some, the premise of the show can come across as deliberately insulting and fundamentally unpleasant unless you can look past the obvious and see the simplicity in it, real people discussing real issues in an objective and intelligent way. And from these intimate conversations the audience may well learn something new.
A small group of experienced Sydney sex workers gathered to talk with the hosts of YOU CAN’T ASK THAT. No turning back now, question time.
Q.) As a young child could you ever have imagined you would one day become a sex worker?
A.) I think I was kind of that 8 year old who thought Yeah that’s not so bad!
Q.) How did you first get into the sex industry?
A.) I was working a normal office job and I met someone who said you should try being an escort. I was 25 at the time and I said to myself Yeah Why not?
Q.) Do you ever have any personal issue with the moral implications of trading sex for money? How do you rationalize it to yourself?
A.) Money buys security and security gives you happiness. Done. In most professions there is a big wage gap between men and women, the sex industry is the only industry I know of where women out-earn men. Until such time as women are earning as much as men in every other industry I guess my feeling is, why wouldn’t women turn to it? I see as some of what I do as an education. I get enjoyment from making others happy.
Q.) Do you have a Pimp or agent who takes a cut of your earnings?
A.) When you work in a city brothel they usually take half of what you earn. I didn’t like that because I thought that I did more than half the work. So no.
Q.) Do people treat your body like a rental car?
A.) No people treat my body with respect and if they don’t I kick them out and I don’t have to spend time with them. Some people think they can use my body like a holiday rental because, you know, society says that’s ok. In their mind I’m being treated like an object.
Q.) Do you ever experience a feeling of being in danger at work?
A.) I was raped on the job this one time, it was when I worked at a massage parlour. We have a police force that unfortunately works against us in a lot of ways like, is it rape or is it shoplifting?
Q.) What does your mother know what you do for a living?
A.) She knows. We don’t really talk about it. That is unless for her to say you are a grown up person making grown up decisions BUT its’ not what we would have picked!
To conclude Kirk Docker also added "I was expecting black and white answers but it's all about the shades of grey. People should not be stereotyped and painted with the same brush, but rather be viewed as individuals. What I found was within these groups people may have disagreed slightly on some of the answers. When all is said and done the message is really about treating everyone openly, individually, on a case by case basis. No one could or would deny it, the answers speak for themselves!"