I’m an English lady in her 40’s, who in 1990 accidentally opened a brothel in Milton Keynes.
Most people accidentally lock themselves out of the house, or trim the dogs hair too short, but I accidentally found myself making tea, and taking bookings for prostitutes
My daughter was born in the late 1980’s and we were a group of single mums enjoying being young and daft, but struggling to manage the childcare / work farce that makes life so difficult in the Uk. With no family nearby, and an ex-boyfriend I couldn’t and wouldn’t and really shouldn’t rely on life was somewhat tricky.
One of the girls, on opening a large, and impossible to pay gas bill announced that she had decided to join an ‘escort agency’ to earn some quick money before the cupboards were bare and the kids started eating each other. We all stared at her in horror.
The kettle went on, and seats were taken around the dining table, which had been our conference room and disco co-ordination HQ for the last 2 years. She explained that she had called some numbers from the personal ads in the papers, she had been interviewed by various escort agencies and had been told that by visiting men in hotels or their homes she could earn £300 per night.
Leaning forward and listening intently I was filled with alternate feelings of moral disbelief, and financial euphoria. At the time, none of us thought she would really have sex with men for money. I don’t think we even really acccepted such things happened in Buckinghamshire, but stockings were purchased, legs were waxed and lipstick applied. The rest of us flapped our sexual reservations and shuffled our feet awkwardly.
There was then the long wait. The wait of shame and terror, sitting at the dining table, hoping and dreading the phone’s ring and the agency’s call. A name and number. The first client.
The kettle hadn’t boiled before the phone rang, and a chirppy female voice delivered the instructions. We stared wide eyed at each other, our hands clasped over our mouths, stomachs that felt like they were filled with bats. My friend shrugged ”I suppose it’s a bit like commiting murder, once you’ve done one, the rest are easy” She picked up her car keys and walked out of the front door.
Terrified I ran down the path. ”Where are you going? Who is this guy? I think I should come with you and sit in the car, just in case he has an axe.”
And thats how it started. An hour later she emerged waving £130, £100 of which she got to keep the rest would be collected by the agency later.
The gas bill was forgotten, and we all went out to lunch to discuss the joys of fast money and even faster clients. The rest as they say is history…….
2 decades and a lot of bother later I closed the brothel door behind me for the last time. Saddened and concerned about the changes in the laws passed by the last government, I am now focused on my writing and public speaking. Without the threat of prison, now as an ex madam it is possible to bring to the public’s attention the happier, positive side of the sex industry. Where empowerment, friendship and sisterhood have been off handedly rejected as utterly impossible. Brushed under the carpet by those who seek to terrify the public with trafficking tales, and a blanket myth of murder, brutality and fear.
I have a book being published later this year, and I’m filming a series of fun questions and answers for TubelYou (as I call it). ”Ask Madam Becky” I hope to see you all there from time to time. xx