Sex workers in New Zealand have the same employment rights as any other employee, but 15 years after the radical law reform that brought about full legalisation of prostitution the industry still struggles with stigma.
In INSIDE SEX WORK IN NEW ZEALAND, Madam Mary takes us inside the “privileged bubble” that is her luxurious brothel and sex dungeon in Wellington. Services at the Funhouse go for around $500 per hour, compared to the cold streets of Christchurch where Phoenix says some nights on the job end with just $60 in her pocket. Victoria runs her business quietly from home in Merivale, a posh suburb of Christchurch, where at least one enraged neighbour wants her out.
VICE examines what it’s like to work across all levels of the sex industry and the ongoing fight to do the job free from prejudice. As dominatrix Gwyn says, “The sex is definitely not the most interesting part of the job and I feel like often the desire to talk about the sex is essentially used as a way to exceptionalise sex work and to justify othering us.”
INSIDE SEX WORK IN NEW ZEALAND is the second episode in the Zealandia Women's Suffrage Series we made to mark 125 years of women getting the vote in New Zealand. In the first episode LETHAL LADIES we get up close and personal with a cross section of Aotearoa’s most ferocious female fighters. Watch all the Zealandia episodes here.
INSIDE SEX WORK IN NEW ZEALAND is made with the support of NZ on Air.