Sexwork, Sneakers & Security – The Life of an Adult Entertainer

The Adult Sex Industry isn’t your average workplace and Tiffany knows this first hand. So what are the highs and lows of working in the industry?


“Do you like these? I’ve never really been into expensive sneakers but these ones kinda stood out to me”

As she slams the multicoloured Nike UpTempos on the McDonald’s table we are greeted by stares and glances from a handful of patrons in the diner. 

“I can tell you’re not used to being stared at, it’s literally what I get paid to do” She remarks as she lowers her leg off the table and reaches for her fries.

This is Tiffany (not real name to protect anonymity) and she doesn’t have a common job. She is a total enigma and an adult entertainer who has been working in this field for two years now working up to 6 days a week. Prior to commencing our interview she spent ten minutes filling in her lipstick, doing her mascara and turning her phone off because “it is always blowing up”.

“Most nights I find myself making anywhere between $500 to $1,000 just from my regulars alone, but that’s only because business has been good, I first got into this shit during the pandemic and I was making nothing so I’m so damn lucky I stuck it out.”

“I do a bit of everything there, sometimes I am on stage and sometimes I’m in the private rooms, it all just depends on how busy we are on the night”

(Image via Bar20)

For many this would be an incredibly uncomfortable topic and one that some people would even refuse to touch with a ten foot pole (no pun intended), sex is such a taboo topic within society to the point where even daring to tell someone your whole profession revolves around it would be a struggle, but not Tiffany. She is a completely open book with the matter although she chose not to disclose where she works as she “didn’t want any visits” from people she knows.

“A lot of people hear about what I do for work and automatically assume that I have ‘daddy issues’ or a had a shitty upbringing but that isn’t even true, fact is that it’s always something I’ve been interested in and the pay is fucking mental.” 

Tiffany brings up a valid point as many do typically associate the occupation with poverty and destitution, a stigma that she aims to break. “Most nights I find myself making anywhere between $500 to $1,000 just from my regulars alone but that’s only because business has been good, I first got into this shit during the pandemic and I was making nothing so I’m so damn lucky I stuck it out.”

Prior to getting into “working the pole” (her words not mine) Tiffany worked full-time at a cafe as a barista in Newtown, the same place where she grew up. It was here where she and her friends would joke about getting into the business, although it wasn’t until the COVID-19 lockdowns when she was put out of work where the idea became less of a joke and more of a serious job prospect. 

When I ask Tiffany if the money outweighs the negative side of the job she squints, purses her lips, drops a chip and begins staring into the distance for a moment.

“I’ve gotta think about this one not because I’ve had so many but ‘cause I’ve had so few, but if I were to stop working and going back to a regular job I feel like I would proving their point so I can’t stop working because of a couple bad eggs I just simply stay away from them and refuse to go near them. I’ve found something I’m good at and I enjoy and I refuse to let a few losers ruin it for me, every job has its downsides realistically”.

Her roommate Eddie (not real name to protect anonymity) tells me how although he is supportive of her career, at times he has moments of fear and hesitancy surrounding it.

“We had a pole installed in her bedroom at the house so she can practice and all that stuff but there are some definite concerns for me.”

When Tiffany leaves for work at 9pm he will set an alarm for 9:30pm to ensure he messages her to see if she got to work safely and then will message her multiple times throughout the shift to ensure she is doing okay and then finally an alarm for 3am when her shift concludes so he can stay awake and ensure she gets home safely.

“I’ve just heard so many scary stories about the industry and of course I am supportive but part of being supportive about it all means I’ve also gotta make sure she’s safe, there’s a lot of creeps out there man.”

So with this being such uncommon occupation it does kind of beg the question, what exactly are the laws surrounding sex work?

Well, in New South Wales, the sex work laws are fairly lenient after it’s decriminlisation in 1979 in the Prostitution Act in which Sex Work became legal. As a matter of fact New South Wales was the first place in the world to decriminalise adult sex work after this law was passed.

In March 2008, the Australian Institute of Family Studies released an article titled Sex workers and Sexual Assault in Australia in which they explored everything from what defines a sex worker to outlining some of the poor working conditions that people within the industry face on a daily basis. 

Perhaps most alarming was the details surrounding the amount of sexual assault that some workers experience within the industry. One study within the article by Roberta Perkins found that sex workers had experienced higher levels of sexual assualt in comparison to health workers and students with 46.9% being victim or survivors of rape, compared to 21.9% of health workers and 12.7% of students. 

Tiffany tells me that a big reason for why she feels so safe working at the club is because of the security that works there and their responsiveness whenever one of her or one of her co-workers feel threatened or uncomfortable. 

Ben (not real name to protect anonymity) is a tower of a human, standing at over 2 metres tall and having biceps the size of grapefruits that are saturated in sleeves tattoos of skulls and scantily dressed women. When Tiffany set me up with this interview she emphasised how Ben was ‘a total teddy bear’ . Upon first glance I thought she got her words mixed up and was meant to say ‘Grizzly Bear’.

The more I speak with him though the more I realise why Tiffany does consider him one of her favourite security guards at the club. Ben has been doing security for over a decade and believes that nowhere he has worked has provided him with as many stories as this place.

“There was a night where a dude in a wheelchair rolls in and we thought nothing of it at first, we just let him do his thing but then we turn our backs for five seconds to deal with some other shit and the bloke is laying there on stage, we had no idea how he got up there but I had to pick the guy up, put him back in his chair and throw his ass out, I take looking after the performers at that club very serious.”

“I love what I do and I am so grateful to have such a supportive group of friends and people that allow me to keep doing it, I am so blessed honestly” Tiffany tells me with a big grin on her face.

After concluding our interview, she kicked up her Nike sneakers one last time and threw up a peace sign before throwing on her Gucci glasses and jumping into her small Volkswagen and zooming off to work.

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