Sex Workers Tell Us What Their Ideal Brothels Would Look Like

When it comes to designing a dream office, most companies can't seem to get more creative than bean bags, a pool table and a few leafy potted plants. Things get more complicated when it comes to sex work. "We'd have a brothel cat," one sex worker told me.

Photo credit: The Sun publication

Photo credit: The Sun publication

"Maybe a hot tub?" said Kate, who works in London. "That might be a little decadent but can you imagine how much more fun the sacred act of complaining about your last client would be if you were in a hot tub?"

How you'd organise a workplace – safety, support, hot-tubs for bitching sessions, cake – is a conversation I've heard many times as sex workers discuss the fact that, in the UK, working together is illegal. While selling sex is legal, brothel-keeping is not, thanks to the archaic and poorly designed laws that govern the industry.

So before you even get to the hot-tubs and cake, there's the crucial issue of safety. Nowadays, most UK sex workers make their livings indoors, either working for agencies or independently. That's a lot of women routinely working alone, in hotels or flats or strangers' homes. Surely there's a better, safer way. I asked some sex workers what their ideal workplace would look like, if the UK fully decriminalised their job.

I often talk about this. My ideal brothel would be a co-op situation with me and a bunch of friends, with us not necessarily all doing the same sort of work. We could have a BDSM floor and vanilla floor. We'd have a chocolate fountain, and cake, and tea and coffee. There'd be a big kitchen so we could cook.

Leanne, 19 years old, South West England

You'd have the freedom to work whenever you want, knowing you had friends there. After you'd had a booking you could debrief with each other. It would be about the camaraderie; that's a really attractive aspect of decriminalisation. I'm sick of being stuck in a hotel room or travelling to someone's house on my own. I can communicate with sex-working friends but it's not the same as working together and I still feel isolated.

Read the full VICE UK article here: