The chance to say goodbye

Just to clarify before I continue – I am not retiring! This post is a celebration of my ongoing experiences as a sex worker and a reflection on the ebb and flow of people from my professional life.

I have been a straight male escort for women and couples for almost ten years continuously. In that time I have met and had the fortune to spend time with many, many lovely people. It has been a transformative experience for me in many ways. It lead me to a balanced and happy relationship with my sexuality. It made me financially stable and secure. It has allowed me to explore my other passions like photography and film making.

Sex work has been an enormous net benefit to my life.

I like to also think that – based on what many of my clients say – I make a difference to their lives as well.

As a sex worker I am not owed anything by my clients beyond the terms of our booking and the basic respect of any interaction with another person. This means that I give my clients privacy and allow them to dictate things like when we communicate. I am there for them when they need and want me. That’s the deal that I accept and respect as a sex worker.

Clients have come and gone as the years have passed. Some I see just a handful of time, others stay for many years. But because I don’t feel that it is appropriate for me to intrude, when a client moves on with their life I rarely get the chance to say goodbye.

This week saw the last booking that I will have with a client who has been seeing me regularly for almost five years. She is moving overseas, so this is a natural end to our professional relationship. I was lucky in this case, because the circumstances allowed us the opportunity to say goodbye, to reminisce, and to close out a chapter of our lives with smiles, hugs, fond memories, and some tears.

It’s a relatively rare thing for me to have this privilege. I understand that I am not owed it. So when it does happen it makes it even more special.

When it doesn’t happen, I am satisfied with the knowledge that a person is moving on with their life, hopefully with good memories, perhaps with new confidence. Some will have found a partner, fallen in love perhaps. Others have outgrown the need for companionship of the kind that I offer.

But I always feel a little wistful looking back over the last nine odd years and wondering where those people, who I was lucky enough to share a little piece of their lives with, are now.

I hope that they are happy. And I want to say thank you, even if I can’t reach out and say it directly.

John.

Scuba diving at Oak Park Beach, Cronulla, Sydney

Twelve months ago I completed my Open Water scuba diver’s certificate. It was something that I have wanted to do for many, many years, and I am very pleased that I finally did it.

scuba diver with underwater camera, over seaweed bed
scuba diver over seaweed bed

I recently had a chance to dive at Oak Park in Cronulla, Sydney. It’s a fascinating and popular dive spot that is relatively easy to access straight from the beach. I dove with a a local group and was “buddied” with a diver who, like me, was also a photographer. So we headed out and spent forty minutes on the bottom photographing the fish life off Oak Park Beach.

I am always surprised by just how “tropical” the fish around Sydney are. And the seemingly never ending variety is quite amazing.

Female blue grouper comes up to check out me and my dive buddy for that day.

The highlight of the dive for me was finally meeting some of Sydney’s famous blue groupers! These fish are HUGE. The males being the biggest, with a striking blue colour, while the females are smaller and a green/brown colour. They are quite comfortable around humans (due to being fed, which is not ideal) and when they spot a diver, will come to investigate and often hang around in the hope of a sea urchin treat!

A male blue grouper hanging around, hoping for a treat of sea urchin
The resident male blue grouper Gus (there is only one male at a time in any given area) hung around, hoping for a treat of sea urchin. When a male blue grouper eventually dies, one of the females with change sex and become the new Gus!

The fish life is so varied – most of which I have never seen, or even know the name of.

These fish stayed close to the rock walls at all times and moved in large highly synchronised schools. I have no idea what they actually are! And fish identification, I have found seems to be even harder than bird identification!

Fish that I have yet to identify – hanging out along the sandstone wall that you follow out from the beach at Oak Park
My dive buddy photographing the “old wives” (Enoplosus armatusthat are very common off Oak Park beach
Another species that I couldn’t identify, doing a great job of camouflaging itself among the plant life on the sandy bottom
“Don’t mind me…” Gus chilling with my dive buddy

If you are a certified scuba diver – or you would like to get your Open Water certification – I am available for adventure bookings, whether it’s a day diving in Sydney, or a week on the Great Barrier Reef, or diving in Fiji. I can am very easy to travel with and will bring you home safe with loads of beautiful photographs of your trip – both above and below the water.

John

Thank you – Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all

Another year is drawing to a close and I want to thank everyone who has supported me this year.

It’s been a long and busy year, with some amazing travel – from Iceland, to Fiji, to Kangaroo Island, to New Zealand. Meeting new clients and seeing more of the clients who I have been seeing for as long as seven years! It continues to be an amazing journey with all of you.

Some clients have moved on, their lives taking new – and I hope – fun and fulfilling directions. It is my pleasure and my honour to have known you and I hope that I have been able to add fun and happiness to your life.

I am extraordinarily lucky to be supported in my work by so many generous and wonderful women.

John Oh with camera

This year has seen me launch of a regular short video series on Twitter and Youtube about sex work, aiming to raise awareness of the industry, its benefits, problems, and challenges. It has been a huge challenge putting out a short film every day, but I have learned a lot from the effort and it has brought me into contact with people both inside and outside the industry that I would not have met otherwise.

I intend to keep publishing my “ShortTakes” on sex work into the foreseeable future – but they have also inspired me to do more as a filmmaker and this year I hope to begin publishing a series of educational films about sex and sexuality that are frank and also beautiful.

The year ahead has more exciting travel booked and my diary is filling up, which gives me a sense of security that I cannot thank all of you enough for. The support that you give me has made my life secure and given me opportunities to explore my passion for photography and film making that I have never had in the past.

So in conclusion – thank you! To everyone I am lucky enough to have met this year – clients and peers – I hope you have a wonderful holiday, stay safe, and I look forward to another exciting year with you all!

John.

Stopping to “smell life’s roses”

I’m sure that like me, for most of you reading this, the end of the year is a busy period. This year hasn’t been as bad for me, as I have had some travel to New Zealand to break up the usual end of year busy period.

Franz Joseph glacier – New Zealand

But even with less things to consume our time and attention, it’s still easy to get caught up in being “busy”.

I learned a while ago that I am happiest and most productive if I make a point of not doing any one thing for too long. So each week I try to take a couple of days away from work and my various personal project to do something completely different.

I haven’t been doing much photography for my own pleasure recently, so I decided this week, that I would make the time to look for and photograph some beautiful and interesting landscapes and city scenes. I didn’t have my good camera with me though, but I did have my phone, so while exploring, I shot some images that will remind me to go back to these places in the future and shoot them again properly!

Llankelly Place – Potts Point, Sydney

Southern Highlands creek view

John.

I love my work

It may seem like an obvious question – why am I a straight male escort for women?  I’m university educated, with 20 years of experience running businesses.  The short answer is that I love my work.  It’s the best job in the world, for me.

But there is a longer answer too.  It touches on why many people choose this industry.  And why many of us stay in this industry for a long time.  It also speaks to our nature as people and the nature of this job.

I chose to be a sex worker because both times that I started (in 1998 and again in 2010) I needed more money than my work in the IT industry could provide.  Especially in 2010, after the GFC, much of the kind of web design and basic IT services work that I provided dried up as businesses cut back and their budgets shrank.  I lived outside of Sydney, in an area where heavy industry was shrinking and there was little work for *anyone* let alone someone with my skill set.

Sex work offered me a simple way to boost my income that was compatible with continuing my IT work at the same time.  Which I did for another four or so years, before sex work became my full time job.  

Lots of people get into sex work this way.  It’s a convenient and powerful way to solve a financial problem that doesn’t require a big investment of money, or time to try.  For many people though, that’s all it is – something that they dip into once or a few times in their lives, a handy tool to fix a problem.

But for some of us – like myself, we find that it is the thing that we have been looking for.  An industry that lets us express who we are without judgement from my peers.  That provides us with a reliable income that may be much more than we would be able to earn in other industries – or, if not more, then earn at a lower personal cost.

If I had stayed in the IT industry, I may have been able to build a business, over enough time, to equal or exceed what I earn as a sex worker.  But it would have been a 10 hour a day, six day a week job that would have crushed my spirit.  It would never have allowed me the time and creative space to study writing, photography, and film making.  Or given me the opportunities to travel that this job has brought to me.

Nor would it have lead me to meet the wonderful people that I have met as a male escort.  Or allowed me to grow as a person in the same way.

I also like to think that I have been able to provide a service that is needed.  That there are women out there who’s lives I have been able to improve in way that others could not.  I certainly feel that it is a privilege and a responsibility to work with the women and couples who come to see me.

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.

Enjoying a beautiful day

The last few weeks have been pretty rough for the sex work community world wide.  You may not be aware of this, but the US government has created new laws that make promoting sex work a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Sex work is still decriminalised here in NSW, Australia, but the ripple effect (more like a tidal wave) has effected sex worker even here through uncertainty, the closure of advertising platforms, and the creation of a climate of fear.

It’s been a stressful time watching friends and co-workers, both here and abroad losing their incomes, being persecuted, and generally having a very bad time.

It’s times like this that self care becomes important.  And while you may not be in my industry, I think that the lessons still transfer.  We all encounter stress in our lives and our jobs.  And that stress can be very damaging if we don’t recognise it and give ourselves the time and space to recover from it.

I know that many of my clients come to see me for exactly that reason.  You don’t need to visit a sex worker though – it can be as easy as getting out in the sunshine – which is what I did today, taking my camera with me.  So here are a couple of photos of me from sunny Darlinghurst in Sydney for you.

The Kilt

It was my birthday recently – I turned 46 in case you were wondering!  And I received a present that I had been thinking of since I saw one at Burning Seed last year.

It is a kilt.  It’s black.  It has shinny bits.  It is very cool and it goes really well with my Dr Martens boots…

It’s heaps of fun wearing a kilt in public.  It gets heaps of looks and even comments, so it’s not something to wear if you’re feeling shy!

John.

South Lawson waterfall circuit

Sydney has its problems, but distance from various spectacular natural attractions is not one of them.

I had some time this afternoon, so I decided to take my new camera – and drone out of Sydney and explore nature.  My destination was the South Lawson waterfall circuit.

It’s an hour a little over an hour drive from my place in Olympic Park to Lawson, so it was a convenient destination that is reputed to have some fabulous scenery.  And I have to say – it did not disappoint!

Don’t forget to click each image to see the full size version.

So, if you are contemplating a date with me and would like to take a walk in nature, then just let me know.  There are so many special places to explore in Sydney and close by.

John

 

Parsley Bay – Sydney

Sydney in spring can be just glorious.

In the spirit of urban exploration yesterday I visited Parsley Bay, a place I never even knew existed until recently.  It’s a quiet little harbour side bay that is home to beautiful waters – and water dragons and stingrays!).


It’s still a little cold in the water, but it made for a pleasant hour or two sitting in the shade admiring the view and photographing the scenery – you can click on any of these images to see the full sized version.

As the weather warms up (and the water too!) I will definitely have to come back for a swim in this delightful little spot – and hopefully see some stingrays!

There are some lovely overhanging rock features.


Definitely time for a haircut…


John.