Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Motels Say No To Sex

Over the years I have had contact with numerous prostitutes strictly on a professional basis... oops, that doesn't sound good either.... I'll start again: Over the years I've encountered several prostitutes trying to book into our motel. *That's reads better!* Inquiries seemed to peak soon after the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 came into force, but we still get the odd request from working girls intent on using our motel as a place of business.

Several years ago, I responded to our reception bell while working outside. As I was about to enter our reception area I paused as I saw a woman with her back to me. To be absolutely honest, what I first noticed was a pair of extremely high stilettos. As my eyes slowly edged upwards I noticed that both legs had a python that was tattooed from the lower leg and entwined their way upwards to disappear beneath a rather short mini skirt. It was a striking tattoo and I can only wonder where the pair of pythons ended up. After engaging with her, I quickly found out that she wasn't our usual corporate customer.

Like most motels, we take the view that we simply do not wish to host working girls. I respect that they are using some initiative and are serving a demand. Hey, this is capitalism 101 in action here, however I am more than happy for them to ply their trade...somewhere else. Like most motels, we take the view that we do not want the unsavory reputation as it is not a good look and the comings and goings of clients in the night can create disturbance to other guests.

I admit that we have been caught out early in our motel career and in this industry you quickly learn from your mistakes.

It seems that there are several working girls that ply their trade away from their location and will travel to another city or town to use a motel as their place of trade. I guess they can enjoy the anonymity of a new location, fill in demand over peak periods and can provide a service that is different from the local trade. Maybe for the clients it can be monotonous only using local working girls!? Then there are the local working girls that simply do not wish to attract attention in their own home and wish to use a local motel instead.

The usual MO is for a working girl is to either ring and book a room or front up off-road. In dealing with the public moteliers are often required to think quickly on their feet and you learn to pick up the signals that alert you to a prospective guest that may cause a problem. On the very rare occasions that we may feel uncomfortable with a prospective guest, we will always try to initiate a conversation to try and draw out as much as we can, while all the time trying to suss out exactly who we are dealing with.

A working girl will always insist on a room "down the back," they are not too interested in tariff and will always want to pay in cash. In conversation, they will indicate that they may be someone joining them in the room later or that a few "friends" may be visiting them. The stock-standard question that most moteliers ask is "what brings you to visit our region?" is often met with a vague or indifferent response.

Unfortunately, I have never struck a prostitute that could be mistaken for "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts (my python lady was a case in point!). Without getting into detail, you learn to spot a working girl very early on in proceedings. Working girls have a certain look, demeanor and will often be nervous.

We are always up-front, polite and professional by suggesting that we are simply unable to assist them. If pushed we will recommend that they try a motel where we know has more relaxed standards and would appreciate the business. In most towns there is usually one motel that will turn a blind eye and take working girls.

In spite of The Prostitution Reform Act, in my opinion moteliers can quite rightly refuse to allow sex workers to ply their trade from their motel by refusing to accept a reservation or by removing them as an existing guest. There is a risk that they will play the victim card and if this is the case the onus will fall on the motelier to have reasonable grounds for their actions. In other words the motelier would have to prove that the working girl either was using the motel or had intent to use a motel unit to ply their trade?

In 99.9% of the time this will not be necessary, however the refusal to serve or removal of an uppity working girl is an interesting scenario to contemplate. In this industry a motelier will soon learn that if you treat people with respect and *smile* you can get most people to do as they are told!

So on what grounds can a motel choose to refuse sex workers that are intending to use a motel unit to ply their trade?
  • The motel is not licensed to do so.
  • “is likely to cause a nuisance or serious offense to ordinary members of the public using the area in which the land is situated; or
  • is incompatible with the existing character or use of the area in which the land is situated."
  • It is not allowable under the motel’s lease agreement.
I wonder where our python lady is now?

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