The Doll House - an origin story PT1
Updated: Apr 12
THE BEGINNING: PART 1:
I entered the sex industry in 2005 as a shy and naïve 18 year old and back then it was a different world, not too different from the wild west.
In 2003 the prostitution law reform act was passed, decriminalising sex work.
Finally sex workers could operate without the threat of criminal conviction and regulations were put in place to protect sex workers from coercion, violence, force and exploitation.
Despite decriminalisation, change within the industry was a slow process and it still retained many of its seedier elements.
The industry was still dominated by shady 24 hour massage parlours run by unscrupulous owners.
The majority of these owners were men, with little concern for the needs of the women whose labour they benefited from.
It was a time where drugs ran amok and shady underworld characters were treated like royalty.
These brothel owners paid lip service to safety, while violence and sexual assault was common place.
At the time, there were few other options for sex workers in New Zealand.
Luckily, things began to change in 2006 thanks to the creation of New Zealand Girls, NZ’s first online adult advertising platform. Online advertising gave women the opportunity to leave the 24 hour parlours and take control of when and how they worked.
This was perfect for some, however many sex workers still preferred the convenience of working from an establishment and the sense of comradery that comes from working with like minded women.
So, this got me thinking...
Was there a way to create something that was as convenient as working from a massage parlour, while being safer, more discreet, supportive and respectful.
I dreamt of creating an establishment that allowed sex workers to set their own hours, to set their own boundaries, to choose their own clients and to do so in a supportive, sex-positive and female friendly environment.
I wanted to remove the dodgiest elements from the operation and create an establishment by women, for women, that favoured discretion, safety and respect over profit.
Thus, The Doll House was born…
Stay tuned for part 2.