Meet the UK’s best-paid sex worker who's campaigning to rid prostitution of its stigma
Josh Brandon thinks society's negative attitude towards sex workers needs to change
Friday 08 August 2014
When we first spoke, the image in my mind of the guy I was about to meet was this suited, muscly, over-confident, Christian Grey-like Casanova. You know the type of guy.
His voice over the phone was deep and croaky but I would soon come to realise that there are indeed many shades of grey, especially in the sex industry.
I did the usual research, a bit of internet stalking and scanning over his photos, so you would think spotting him among the crowd would be easy...
When I arrived at South Kensington station, I was looking for this macho man, but when we finally made eye contact, the first thing I thought was “Hang on second, is this person male or female?”
Not quite the reaction I was expecting in my own head.
The mystery around Josh Brandon is his image, and as a gay sex worker he plays up to that.
“Part of my appeal is definitely the twink boy, young-looking, slightly androgynous look,” he said. “There are a lot of muscular escorts out there but I think there are too many of them.”
Josh claims to be the UK’s best-paid sex worker. He says can earn up to £4,000 a night and up to £30,000 a month.
He was quick to point out that “prostitution” was outdated.
“I wouldn’t describe myself as a prostitute because I don’t have sex with all my clients,” he said.
“A lot of my clients are not hiring to have sex. Prostitute has such a stigma attached to it. It’s just a negative word. I wouldn’t describe anyone as a prostitute.”
Josh said there’s a negative attitude towards sex workers. He is now campaigning for the stigma attached to the industry to end. For him, being an escort is just like any regular job.
“It’s the most practiced since the dawn of man so I don’t understand why people have to make such a big deal of it like it’s some sacred cow.
“The only other job you can be in and learn so much about people is being a psychologist.”
“It’s a nine-to-five for me. It’s no different to other people’s work.”
“It is definitely a career for me. If people were in this business they would understand that you have to be your own manager and publicist, as well as provide a service to your clients.”
As Josh said, the sex industry has been around “since the dawn of man”, but if attitudes have not yet changed, what makes him think things will ever change? He admits there is a long way to go.
“I’m not sure society will ever accept the sex industry as a real profession, just the same as they would never accept gay people as complete equals,” he said.
“But the more we challenge it, the more people will realise that we are normal people.
“We are just in a business that some people find bizarre. But we don’t all like the same things in life. We don’t all have the same values and we don’t all think the same way.”
Josh will join a debate about the adult sex industry on London Live’s lunchtime show, Headline London, on Friday, August 8 at 12:30pm
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