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Elizabeth Street
9 September, 2008  

Lizzy Street thinks that being a young solicitor bears disturbing similarities to the work requirements of the oldest profession. In many ways being a hooker is more honourable than the other variety of prostitution

imageI read an article the other day about a prostitute who worked at the Golden Apple brothel near Kings Cross and managed to keep her “professional” life quite secret – even from her boyfriend.

As she put it:

“Oh God no, I could never have respect for a guy who knew I did this and was OK with it.

I’m a prude in my personal life. I’m 30-years-old and I’ve never had a one-night stand. The guys that I date like to think that I am prim and proper.”

My grandfather often joked that my job as a solicitor required me to “solicit” (ha, ha). Apparently it’s from the Latin solicitare, “to disturb or incite”.

Yet is being a solicitor so utterly unlike the job description of one who solicits?

As a solicitor, I charge hundreds of dollars an hour (in six-minute increments, of course), I work late and on the weekends and the job requires strict confidentially.

Were I to change career paths and start soliciting doubtless I would also be charging hundreds of dollars an hour, work into the night and on weekends and have to keep mum about my clients.

As a lawyer, my employer supplies all sorts of stimulants and benefits to keep the worker bees at it through the small hours and help them forget the pain of the job.

It’s not so different from a hooker working in a haze of mind altering substances to get through a night of horizontal collaboration.

There may be some benefits to being a solicitress that you don’t get as a solicitor.

The outfits are much cooler and likely don’t require dry cleaning (some possibly even wipe clean); you only have to sell your body rather than selling both body and soul to the firm; you would have a comfy bed in your office rather than a chair, desk and oodles of files; your partner becomes your pimp (much less confusing – people would stop assuming I’m dallying with my old married boss); and every cosmetic expense would become a tax deduction.

What’s not to like? Of course, my parents are deliriously proud that I’m a lawyer, but somehow I can’t imagine my mother announcing with quite the same fervour at social gatherings that her darling daughter is in the sexual services sector.

At least if you tell people you solicit sex for a living it shuts them up there and then. You don’t have to be quizzed to the nth degree about the legal issues surrounding encroaching tree roots.

Basically you could squeeze a cigarette paper between these two worthy callings.

At least if I did join the oldest profession I’d hope that my clients would leave happy and satisfied, rather than happy about the settlement but cranky about the bill and demanding proof of the $13.59 search fee from Thompson Lawpoint.

That would be nice for a change.



Reader Comments

Posted by: Anonymous
Date: September 10, 2008, 2:42 am

Very insightful. As a not insignificant number of recent graduates make the transition from part time sex work combined with study into first-year professional practice, your words resound with a disturbing level of accuracy- with the exception of the reference to cosmetics being tax deductible (refer to the ATO website)- but then again, how many sex workers pay tax, anyway? And whilst sex workers, too, have to deal with hard-bargaining clients who complain about the rates charged, many sex workers enjoy greater work satisfaction, more flexibility and benefits young laywers do... Were it not for the social stigma and the fact that future prospects are inversely proportioned to age and experience, who would bother to make this transition?
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: September 12, 2008, 11:33 am

Partnering a solicitor and solicitress makes for an interesting time. Just ask Marcus Einfeld's former lawyer Michael Ryan. As for a wonderful working environment, yes, I much prefer a yacht on Pittwater and waterside homes with sumptuous beds to a dull and dreary solicitors office but a girl can tire of that as well. It's the company that counts and unfortunately a lot of yachts and waterside homes have dead boring owners. One of my best bookings is in a $9 million holiday home in Palm Beach owned by a solicitor who resides in Darling Point. No, I'm not seeing the married solicitor, but his builder in between waiting for the walls to dry. On one occasion the solicitor made an impromptu visit to check on the progress of his renovations and the whole thing ended up like a scene from Faulty Towers. That took it to another level. Marie Christos