Joel Ryan "TimeShare" WorkerBoy Magazine, 1990's
Joel Ryan is 32 years old. His favourite movie is the Marilyn Munroe classic “Some Like it Hot,” and the person he would most like to do lunch with is Jodie Foster (“Basically she’s outspoken and ballsy!”) He is partial to the colour blue, and the last book he read was “The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin. He is also one of Melbourne’s most successful and public male to female workers, with guest spots on Chanel 7’s Sex Show, talkback radio (for 3AW and Triple J to name a few), and he’s been the subject of feature stories in widely read rags like “The Age.” We decided to chew the fat with him over a Nescafe to get the dirt on being a gigilo.
Chach: When did you first start working and how did you get into it?
Joel Ryan: About three years ago. I was encouraged by two women I knew who were working in the industry and wanted to use me in a booking. They said I had the right attributes to be successful in this industry.
C: Is sex work your only means of income or do you something else as well? JR: Besides working I have my own antique business.
C: You’ve worked both privately and for agencies. What are the major differences for a male to female worker working privately and for an agency? JR: Working privately you have the chance to build a relationship with the client. They can access you directly and you’re able to negotiate limits yourself. When an agency is involved the relationship between the client and myself is far less personal. Working privately it becomes easier for the client to lose sight of those boundaries. I consider myself a time share lover.
C: How far from the truth is the media stereotype of what a male to female sex worker really is? JR: The perception and reality are very different. You are there for the client’s pleasure, and they must feel that they’ve had quality time in the booking. This doesn’t demean pleasure, knowing you’ve excited the client physically and intellectually. They desire you sufficiently to pay, and because my clients have normal social skills they wouldn’t find it hard to find a free lover.
C: You’re working privately at the moment. How do you find your clientele? JR: They find me due to my high profile through the media, coupled with advertising.
C: What type of women will book a male escort? JR: Women that can afford it!! (laughs) I see a broad cross section of women who are sexually confident. And quite a few female sex workers…..
C: How often do you work? JR: When the phone rings.
C: Do you think women book escorts for the same reasons as men? JR: No. A woman has different needs because she requires more than a man would if the situation were reversed. Women require greater level of intimacy, which is not to be confused with sex. And of course foreplay is always paramount.
C: What do women expect from an escort? JR: Their initial perception is often that of a “Himbo” (all brawn, no brains). They are pleasantly surprised to discover that he’s an ordinary person who just happens to work in the sex industry, and that he has the attributes of a gentleman which is something that is often neglected in today’s society…The worker focuses on the client rather than themselves. An appropriate word for the service is probably “concubine” or “courtesan” as opposed to “cock for rent.”
C: Do women respect you and your limits, or do they have an attitude of “Well, I paid you so you’ll do whatever I want?” JR: All women being different, there are elements of this in every client, but with the parameters I set, if they are overstepped, the booking becomes fantasy, and that costs extra!
C: Do you ever have women demanding unsafe services from you? JR: Yes, often. But I have a passionate love affair going with latex!
C: Have you don’t any couples work? JR: Yes. Doing couples is entertaining because the dynamics change, and if nurtured, can be a lot of fun for the lady.
C: Have you ever had any ugly mugs? JR: I’ve had clients who have wanted to know more about me and my personal life than I chose to tell them, and their curiosity has on occasion overstepped the parameters of the relationship.
C: What wouldn’t you do in a booking? JR: Providing the boundaries of heterosexual behaviour aren’t overstepped, to explore a persons sexual boundaries and go beyond is one of the most exciting aspects of this profession. But not to be forgotten – everything has it’s price.
C: Do you ever have any problems with the Police? JR: Not at all. I’ve always found the Police to be very disbelieving that a service like this even exists!
C: What concerns do you have as a worker surrounding the transmission of HIV and STI’s? JR: I’m very concerned about the naivety of the general public, and some sex workers about what is really safe sex. I think more information and ready access to education services similar to those the Prostitutes Collective Victoria provides should be broadly available to the general community. It’s unfortunate that the general public portray a complacent attitude toward safe sex.
C: How often to you have HIV/STI checks? JR: Monthly.
C: What safe sex precautions do you practise? JR: All of them, which takes an experienced person to maintain intimacy without the loss of arousal.
C: Where do you see yourself in ten years time? JR: Rich!
This interview was originally published in Worker Boy, “PCV” Prostitutes Collective of Victoria, Issue 18, pg 8 & 9