Thursday, October 2, 2003

English Wire

Australia desperately seeking dominatrix as Rugby World Cup arrives

SYDNEY — Australian brothels are stocking up on whips and karaoke machines in anticipation of a boom in business generated by this month's Rugby World Cup, a sex industry spokesman said Thursday.

With more than 100,000 overseas vistors expected for the tournament, Eros Association coordinator Robbie Swan said business was set to increase by at least 30 percent.

Swan said rugby union's English public school heritage meant demand for bondage and domination services was likely to skyrocket.

"It's not something that's very big in Australia, so a lot of the brothels are looking at lining up dominatrix for the tournament," he told AFP. "If you look at where the game came from, the English public schools, they're very much into correction and all that.

"You'll get your beer-drinking yobbos but at the higher end of the scale rugby union has a clientele that you just don't get with rugby league — the judges, lawyers and big decision makers who are into all this," he said.

Swan said the Sydney Olympics in 2000 resulted in prostitution increasing by up to 50 percent and major events were always good for business.

"In Canberra, where we're based, the biggest event we ever had was the World Council of Churches in 1994," he said. "Business was up 250 percent, there were all kinds of jokers coming in."

He said brothels were legal in Australia and about 16,000 sex workers plied their trade in up to 1,000 brothels.

"A lot of overseas visitors will be coming from countries where brothels are illegal so we think they'll find it refreshing here," he said. "They won't be looking over their shoulder the whole time."

Swan said the variety of nationalities in Australia for the world cup presented a unique challenge to the sex industry.

"It's funny how you can see what peccadillos people have from their nationality," he said.

Meanwhile, an Australian sex therapist has warned women their sex lives are likely to suffer during the rugby world cup.

Sydney-based counsellor Jo-Anne Baker advised women to accept their fate as rugby widows, warning they could permanently damage their relationship if they attempted to compete with their loved one's sporting obsession.

"It's not about saying it's an either-or. It's about saying we can have both," she told Australian Associated Press.

Baker said women's best chance of getting through to their partner was if his team won.

"Guys can celebrate the win of their favourite team by having great sex," she said.

"When people are happy they feel pretty high and they want to celebrate and having great sex is a pretty good way to celebrate."

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Created: November 24, 2003
Last modified: January 15, 2004
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