Kangaroo Island

To the South of Adelaide in South Australia lies Kangaroo Island. Small and green, it looks out to the Southern Ocean. It may not seem like the ideal place for a holiday in the dying days of winter, but a client recently convinced me that it would be a fun place to visit. We spent four nights there, staying near the centre of the island, and each day we drove one way or another and explored Kangaroo Island’s often breathtaking beauty.

It was a truly beautiful place to visit and a fun trip.

You can get to Kangaroo Island by car, on a ferry, which makes a few trips per day, or (as we did), you can fly there from Adelaide if you are more pressed for time.

I didn’t think that we would be able to fill five days, but (if you have a car) you can comfortably see two sites per day – and there are easily more than ten places to go!

  • Two different light houses
  • An open range koala park
  • A general wildlife zoo (not my favourite as I don’t much like things in cages)
  • A raptor zoo
  • Tall sand dunes (which you can “sand board” on)
  • Horse riding
  • Lots of wilderness hiking
  • Seal, dolphin, and whale watching tours by boat
  • Scuba diving
  • Wineries

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but I think it gives you an idea of just how much there is to do on Kangaroo Island.

It’s a beautiful place and – if you are lucky like we were – is even great fun to visit during winter – but you definitely need to bring your warm clothing!

If you know me at all, then you know that I always travel with a camera (or three).  And Kangaroo Island is a photographers dream.  Here are just a handful of the photos that I took during the trip…

Red Banks headland looking east to the mainland
Red Banks headland looking east to the mainland
Red Banks headland, looking west as the sun sets
Red Banks headland, looking west as the sun sets
The sun sets over Kangaroo Island, from Red Banks headland
The sun sets over Kangaroo Island, from Red Banks headland
Full moon rises...
Full moon rises…
AKangaroo Island Kangaroo
Kangaroo Island kangaroos are their own sub-species. They are darker coloured, have thicker coats, and are more hunched
A wombat
Wombats are common on Kangaroo Island
An echidna
The echidnas on Kangaroo Island are more pale than their mainland counterparts and have more hair to keep them warm as well
A blue faced honeyeater
A blue faced honeyeater
A small bay and breakwater
A launching place on the Bay of Shoals, north of Kingscote
Australian pelicans standing in shallow water
Australian pelicans at dusk on the Bay of Shoals
Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo Island
Evening mist over Pelican Lagoon
Sea lion mother nursing her pup
A sea lion mother nursing her pup in the dunes above Seal Bay
Sea lion pup and terns
An older seal lion pup watched terns land on the beach
Southern right whale skeleton
Southern right whale skeleton in the sand dunes behind Seal Bay
New Zealand fur seal pup sleeping
New Zealand fur seal pup sleeping
A pelican
A lone pelican beside the Bay of Shoals
The light house at Admirals Arch
The light house at Admirals Arch in Flinders National Park
Sunrise over Pelican Lagoon
Sunrise over Pelican Lagoon
Cape Willoughby Light house
Approaching the Cape Willoughby Light house…
Southern right whale tail
A southern right whale slides back beneath the waves…
Pelican face
Here’s looking at you!

John.

I’m sorry I’ve been away – and how cool is it to be free to buy sex?

Those of you who visit my website regularly my be disappointed that I haven’t been posting here very much recently.  For that, I am sorry.  I intend to do better in the future!

To be honest, I have been distracted from writing for this site by a lot of things.  Traveling with clients for longer bookings has become a large part of my business.  I have also been dedicating some of my free time to photography and film making pursuits.  And most recently I have been spending time working on a series of daily short films about sex work advocacy.  It’s a topic that is very important to me and has become more so in recent times.

So all of these things have combined to leave precious little time and mental energy for writing these blog posts.  I intend to redress that balance and post more regularly.

Apropos my advocacy short films, we are living in strange times for sex worker, sex workers, and our clients.  Around the world regimes like the US, France, Canada, and others have been becoming more conservative about sex work, cracking down on it in the name of protecting workers (ironic I know) and fighting human trafficking (disingenuous at best).

Here in Australia generally, and New South Wales in particular we are incredibly lucky.  For reasons I can only partly explain, Australian politicians have become some of the most forward thinking in the world (along with our friends in New Zealand).  They have, for the most part, allowed sex workers and our clients to go about our business without judgement or interference (apart from South Australia where it is still illegal to sell sex and Queensland where, while legal, workers are harassed by police routinely).

I can’t express how important this is to women and to the industry of men like myself providing sex work services to women.  It’s a cliche that “men see sex workers”.  It’s something that society (sort of) accepts and generally turns a blind eye to – but definitely frowns upon.  But the idea of women seeing sex workers is still a “fresh” and controversial one.  To confirm that, just take a look at the tone of articles in the main stream media about the subject (it comes up semi regularly).  It’s usually somewhat breathless and lauds women paying for sex as leaders and ground breaking.  Which to some degree is true at the individual level – but the industry is well established and it’s really time that the conversation moved on from “Wow! She paid for sex…”.

For women in Australia and New Zealand, paying for sex is something they can choose to do at least without having to fear that they are breaking the law.  There are multiple reasons that some (most?) men may not be put off by barriers of legality, but I get the feeling that this is a bigger barrier for women.  So I am grateful that I live and work in a society that has removed another barrier from equality (or at least equal accessibility to sex work) for women.

As a result more and more women are choosing to explore their sexuality with sex workers (male and female).  A week doesn’t go by that I hear someone lament the failure that is “online dating”.  Tinder et al promised egalitarian access to sex for women, but in reality have just become deserts of bad male behaviour, even accentuating some of the worst traits.  Sex workers by contrast are a safe and convenient way to explore and learn when someone isn’t actively looking for a partner, or has a specific need to fill.

In recent times I have noticed and increase in the number of women looking for lessons on sexual techniques, like kissing, giving oral sex, erotic massage, and more.  This may be younger women with less experience wanting to improve their skills for potential partners – or older women, already in relationships who want to add some spice, or just be better lovers for their partners.

I think that it is fantastic that women are taking control of their sexuality, not just for personal pleasure, but as a means of improving their relationships.  Once again, sex work is showing that women not only love sex, but are perhaps *more* prepared than men to explore its possibilities.  I regularly hear clients say “I wish I could bring my husband to you to learn how to give oral”.

Well men – it’s time you lifted your game.  Your partners are out here, putting themselves out to learn how to give you better oral.  It’s time you returned the favour!  I can teach any man to give better oral sex.  To express more passion.  To be a better lover.

So while other countries are busy alternately deifying and vilifying sex and ultimately just leaving their citizens confused and unhappy about their sexuality, Australia and New Zealand are simply moving forward, making sexuality just another part of our lives.  Something to be respected, but also savored.

Thank you Australia.  I am lucky to live – and work – here.

Full moon – blood moon…

Last weekend I accompanied a client on a trip to a wildlife rescue centre near Canberra. On Saturday morning – around 4.30am we abandoned a nice warm bed to view the 2018 July Lunar Eclipse – you might have heard something about a “blood moon” – well that was it!

You can read more here if you are interested in the technical details of this lunar eclipse…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_2018_lunar_eclipse

It’s hard to describe the strange beauty of seeing the full moon slowly, slowly eaten away by the earth’s shadow. Fading away from its silver brightness to a dull orange/red.

It was a humbling experience – a demonstration from nature of just how tiny we are – which I think, is a good thing to be reminded of occasionally.

I didn’t have the appropriate camera gear with me to take a good quality photo of the blood moon, but I did take a shot with my phone. You can see the moon bottom right with Mars in the background naming an appearance!

And another larger view. You can see the red colour bleeding into the face of the moon from the right as the shadow deepened.

John.

Sex work and disability – a short video series

I have recently started posting a daily micro video blog to Twitter. This is the first series that I made and posted.

If you have a sex work topic that you would like to see me talk about, please feel free to let me know in a comment, email, or tweet.

John.

Sydney Harbour – Hermitage Foreshore Walk to Neilsen Park

I got out for a walk today.  Down to Sydney Harbour and along the Hermitage Foreshore Walk to Neilsen Park.  It’s a long time since I have been down that way, so it was lovely, despite the initially cool weather to see the views over the Harbour and walk along the cliffs.

It was very much a “stop and smell the roses” kind of day today.  So I took the camera along with me and made the most of the excursion…

John.

 

 

Fiji

Have you ever been to Fiji?  Until a couple of weeks ago, I had not.

I visited Vanuatu way back in 2005, which was a very interesting experience (and one that I would like to repeat one day), but I had never made it to Fiji.

As regular readers may know, travel with my clients has become a regular thing and I now take up to four bookings each year for longer dates to travel with clients who would like a companion to share their holiday with.

It is an extreme privilege for me to be invited to do this and I do my best to both make the trip itself memorable, and to document it photographically so that my client has a set of photographs and a photobook to relive the trip for year to come.

This trip to Fiji was no exception and I would like to share a few of the photos that I was able to take.  Tropical paradise is not overstating Fiji’s charm and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to escape the winter and relax for a week with white sand and warm seas.

In preparation for this trip I attended a scuba diving course and gained my PADI open water diving certification.  I now have the basic scuba diving qualification that allows me to dive to eighteen meters.  This is all you need to be able to take advantage of much of the fabulous scuba diving that Fiji has to offer.

I had expected to have lots of photographs from the eight dives that I went on during this trip, however my plans were thwarted when the batteries for my dive camera being lost while clearing security scanning at Sydney Airport.  It was a huge disappointment, however it did not detract from the experience of diving itself.

I had the most amazing experiences, including watching eagle rays drift out of the gloom and glide past my group, then fade back into the depths, having a sea turtle heave itself up and circle around me – curious, before heading off to another part of the reef.

And then there were the sharks.  At a place called The Cathedral, where deep waters plunge away from rock and coral pillars, groups of two and three white tipped reef sharks – fine and streamlined – cruised in to look at us and circled around before heading away again into the dark.  And overhead, unexpected, and seen only as a heavy silhouette – a bull shark, a powerful predator easily more than two meters long.

It is hard to describe how being in the world of these creatures makes you feel – besides small.  The beauty of hard and soft corals and myriad life that they support, the schools of fish that flash silver as they turn in perfect unison when startled, even the tiny colourful fish that hover over corals and retreat as a family between the branches as you approach.

We are clumsy down there, able to exist only through our machines, and even then, only for such short times before we have to leave again and go back to the waves and the sky above.

But you don’t come back the same.  You can’t.  When I look at the water now, I am transported back to those moments of rolling back off the side of the dive boat, mask held in place with a finger tip, taking those first strange, cool rushing breaths of air from the regulator – and then the bubbles clear and your eye follows the shafts of light down to a wonderland garden below on the sea floor.  And all you can think of is getting down there and seeing what mother nature will show you this time – making every breath of air in the tank count.

Little wonder that diving is so addictive.

And then it’s over, all too soon and you are slowly heading back to the surface, stopping to decompress, caught half way between one world and another.  A moment to reflect on that place and its inherent fragility.

We drop anchors that break coral, we cast lines that snag and tangle, we set nets that take fish and other creatures wholesale.  And while we stay on the surface we have no idea what is down there and what we do to this place of unfathomable complexity and beauty.

The chance to dive is a chance to become a larger person.  A chance to know a bigger world.  It is a chance that I am extremely grateful to have been given.  And one that I fully intend to continue to explore.

Back above the waves, Fiji is no less beautiful.  Beaches of white sand unroll around green atolls, and the sun, filtered through a thicker atmosphere than I am used to in New South Wales and Victoria needs less sunscreen to fend it off.

Perhaps one of the best parts though of Fiji is her people.  Friendly, open, and lovely.  They take a never ending tide of visitors into their land and make you feel a part of their family, sharing freely despite lives that are nowhere near as wealthy as ours.  It’s a trait that stands out starkly in this age and makes Fiji such a lovely surprise to visit.

Another surprise to me was just how many American tourists I met in Fiji.  For me it was a four and a half hour flight from Sydney to Nandi Airport.  For many of them it takes eighteen hours or more to get to Fiji, yet they come here – many of them year after year, for something that they simply can’t get in the Caribbean, or other parts closer to home.

And while American tourists often have a dubious reputation (as do Australian tourists it must be said), I was delighted to meet many Americans who represented the very best parts of their culture and were fun people to spend time with.

All in all, I can highly recommend Fiji to anyone who is thinking of going there.  It is a wonderful place, especially if you are looking for some respite from the “real” world.

John.

We need your help

If you are reading this, then it’s likely that you have at least contemplated purchasing the services of a sex worker.

If you live in NSW in Australia, then you have nothing to worry about – today – if however you live in Victoria, then your right as an adult to buy sex is under threat. The Victorian Liberal party has recently announced that they have adopted the “client criminalisation” model for regulating sex work (they call it “Nordic model” so it sounds nicer) and will take that policy to the next election in Victoria.

I don’t want to rehash why this is bad for everyone (including sex workers) in this post.  If you are interested, then google “why the Nordic model does not work”.  Suffice to say Amnesty International, the WHO, and basically anyone who values evidence and harm reduction has condemned it. Sadly, it’s popular in certain feminist circles that want to abolish sex work, and unsurprisingly with conservative and right wing political parties.

What’s happening in Victoria is the thin edge of the wedge in this country in what has, since the US recently past their FOSTA/SESTA laws, become an undeclared war on sex work.  NSW (and New Zealand) with our full decriminalisation of sex work sit, like calm little eyes, in a growing global storm.

Sex workers are uniquely vulnerable as a group.  Publicly supporting us and our right to work safely is very difficult for anyone given the stigma that surrounds our industry, so we tend to have to fight our battles on our own.

I am writing this though to ask for your support because it’s no-longer just about us.  If you would like to be, or are a client of sex workers, then the zeitgeist is trying to turn you into a criminal.  If you can publicly support the message that sex work is work (not abuse, not trafficking) then I for one will be very grateful.

If you can sign the various petitions calling for the protection of sex workers, that will definitely help.

You could also consider making a donation to the sex worker organisations that fight to protect people like me.  They do hugely important work helping to protect the rights and safety of sex workers, talking to government and media, conducting research, and more – all of it on very minimal funding.  In Victoria you can donate to the Vixen Collective and in NSW it’s Scarlet Alliance.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you too for any support you can give.

John

Come again…

People often ask me if I ever have long term clients.  The answer is yes I do.  Most of my clients I would consider long term one way or another.  Some see me more regularly than others, but it’s rare that I only ever see someone once.

As women become more comfortable with taking control of their sexuality and choosing how and when they want to have sex, many are choosing to see a sex worker like me.  For some it’s a matter of convenience – a sex worker can fit in around your busy schedule, either on call, or as a regular fixture.

Other women are looking for a regular connection, for intimacy, or just way to let go and enjoy themselves without the burden of a relationship that they may not wan’t, be able to find, or have the time and energy for.

Some women enjoy travelling, but not having (or wanting a partner) would like to be able to take someone with them to share the pleasures and burdens of travel.

There are also women who are looking for someone to help them solve a problem – physical, mental, or emotional – that they aren’t able to address with a partner, or on their own.  Sex workers are able to help here too and I have much experience helping women to have sex for the first time, to build their confidence in their bodies and their sexuality, to help them learn skills like giving oral sex, or to re-engage with their bodies and sexuality post marriage.

Few of these things are achieved with just one visit, so I am always happy to see someone when and where and how often they desire.  That said – if you feel like having a fun, safe fling with no consequence then my peers and I are also here for you!

John

P.S. to celebrate Autumn _finally_ arriving here’s a photo of some spectacular Autumn colours from the blue Mountains!