Coast brothel opens up to change 'prostitution stigma'
THE Sunshine Coast's only remaining legal brothel has opened its doors in a tell-all interview aimed at changing the seedy image of prostitution.
Lush, in Marcoola, manager Emma Bennett said many people didn't realise the business had been operating for three years.
And like most businesses across the region, the about 30 girls and one bloke who work there are gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year.
"Christmas is always busy with all the Christmas parties and office parties and people have their Christmas bonuses," Ms Bennett said.
"As is the period after tax time when people have extra money in their pocket."
A visit to the brothel isn't cheap and starts at $160 for 30 minutes.
The only man who works at the brothel is there to service the gay male clients and not any women.
"We don't have a male worker for women, women just don't need it," Ms Emmett said.
Lush has nothing to do with the Sunshine Coast's first brothel, owned by Paris Satine, which has since closed its doors and its items will be up for auction.
"We built Lush, many of the staff who worked here, worked there previously."
Lush has the maximum number of rooms Queensland legislation allows for brothels - five.
Ms Bennett said the rooms were dressed out to look like a "five star hotel".
"We have taken away the tacky red lights and carpets.
"The minute people walk in, they don't feel like they are in a dingy, dirty back alley brothel."
Four of the rooms are the same size and then there is the VIP suite, with its "beautiful spa bath" and mirrored room.
Another characteristic is "all our linen is professionally laundered".
Business is booming, particularly thanks to its handy location near the airport.
"We are so close to the airport, guys come in when their flights are delayed or when they land.
"They come in for a nice hot shower before a business meeting. A nice hot shower and a little bit of other stuff too."
All the women have to have three monthly sexual health certificates to work in the legal brothel.
"This is what is so frustrating, is the stigma on prostitution," Ms Bennett said.
"People think the girls are dirty and on drugs.
"But we drug test all the girls."
She said the women's reasons for entering the profession varied, some needed money and others enjoyed the job.
"Most of these girls are very sexually comfortable with whom they are. They enjoy sex.
"They are using something they love to bring an income for themselves.
"None of them were pushed into it. They do it because they have a bit of sexual promiscuity, part of you has to be a bit of a performer."
The business has all sorts of clients, from your average bloke to "married couples wanting to experiment".
They also service several disabled people who "want time with a female".
"We got a lot of disabled people and its good to see them leave with a smile on their face."
As to celebrities or prominent Sunshine Coast figures who frequent the business, Ms Bennett is not telling.
"We have one regular client, every will know who he is," she said.