During the 1980s, a childhood friend inherited a suburban brothel from her former husband. After listening for many years to her wild and bizarre tales, I decided to chronicle the conversations and use them as the inspiration for Hard Money.
My friend arranged for me to speak with a ‘madam’ well known to her, Miss Lulu. The madam’s immediate enthusiasm for the project enabled me to tap into a wealth of material. I was invited to sit in the girl’s lounge room to hear the gossip and assigned a small office area for interviews and surveys.
The pivotal character of Hard Money is the madam of the brothel, Miss Lulu, who takes an unusual approach to running a business notorious for its use of heavy-handed tactics. Miss Lulu is a kind and caring employer who often puts her employees’ happiness and harmony before profit making. Her co-stars in this theatre of social deviancy are an eclectic group of women who, during their working day, accept a reality of life that most people prefer to ignore.
The story The Girls’ Room features candid conversations between the prostitutes while they’re discussing customers. Other stories include recounts of the physical machinations the workers experience during bookings and their emotional reactions to them.
Each story is graphically recounted and has a humorous undertone. In crafting the commentary, I’ve attempted to give readers an insight into the motives of both sex workers and their clients. The stories range from titillating to the weird and comical. The characters have a diverse range of personalities, moral beliefs, and ethnicities, and are far from stereotypical. Throughout the book are ‘factual inserts’ of interesting statistics and general observations of the people I interviewed. I include many happy endings, not always the expected one!
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Hard Money - The Naked Truth Behind the Red Light
by Verity Marshall
“Something for the Ladies, and something for the Gents. ‘Hard Money’ has a bit of both. It pulls back the covers and reveals all the naughty bits you always wanted to know about, but were too afraid to ask . . . .”
"Hard Money" takes you behind the scenes and closed doors at a Sydney brothel, where anything goes, and everything has a price.
Step inside, and turn UP the lights . . .
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