It’s sex-work-panic season again, and this year’s lucky suburb to get the spotlight as its well-to-do residents clutch their pearls is Epsom, where, horror of horrors:
A cluster of premises offering commercial sex are operating within a kilometre of one another in an upmarket Auckland city-fringe suburb, irking residents and businesses in an area where house prices average over $820,000.
A cluster of premises! Three places doing the same kind of thing within a kilometre! Unheard of!
It’s the usual complaints: not near the children! We’re a god-fearing community!
Te Unga Waka Marae even blames the three brothels for their parking issues.
Paula Hakaraia, a marae office volunteer worker, said she had noticed an increase in traffic and parking problems between 11am and 3pm.
“These are definitely not cars belonging to mothers picking kids up from school.”
Yes. Hordes of out-of-zone sex-work clients are clearly the answer. It cannot have anything to do with the marae sitting on the intersection of Clyde Road and Manukau Road, i.e. a few minutes’ walk from Broadway, Newmarket, a hub of shopping and commerce, business meetings, and good buses for the university students who could only afford rent in the “city-fringe suburbs” if they had a flat kidney-selling roster.
The possibility that Epsom is a good location for brothels because the wealthy dudes of Epsom occasionally like to pay for sex is completely ignored, because they are good people. You can tell by the way they can afford $820,000 homes.
Let’s face it, there are two “problems” here: one is that the Concerned Residents of Epsom are, just like Cameron Brewer and Asenati Lole-Taylor and John McCracken, in complete denial about the absolute normalcy of sex work. The second is that it must seriously offend their sensibilities – and the Herald’s – that lowly brothel-keepers are able to afford Epsom properties.
I say unto the people of Epsom as I have said before to the people of Sandringham and Papatoetoe: maybe if y’all stopped creating DEMAND there wouldn’t be any fucking SUPPLY.
(Also, as discussed on Twitter, how common can it really be for people to door-knock the wrong place and out themselves as sex-word clients? Who knocks on a door and says “Is this where I get rimmed for a mutually agreed sum?”)
(Also also, there are some “victims” in this story: the massage spas which are actually massage spas. But guess what: brothels labelling themselves as “massage clinics” has nothing to do with liberalism and everything to do with the same anti-sex-work attitudes on display in this story.)