Brothel’s ‘Kiwi Kissing' course
Sessions will teach men how to approach women in a flirtatious and respectful way.
AWhangarei brothel is offering men lessons in “how to get a Kiwi girlfriend”. Starting next week — in time for Valentine’s Day — clients of escort agency The Bach can sign up to the three-part course it has called the “Kiwi Kissing Coach”.
The sessions cost $350 and won’t involve sexual intercourse. Instead, sex workers will teach participants how to approach a woman in a flirtatious, respectful way, how to flirt via text (and use emojis) and how to kiss — as well as tackling talking about sex and consent.
The brothel’s madam, Antonia Murphy, told the Herald on Sunday she decided to add “Kiwi Kissing Coach” to the list of services it provides after feedback from many clients who were immigrants and were seeking intimacy and companionship.
“What we’ve found is that there is a need sometimes, when men are new to this culture, and there are just a lot of blanks they haven’t yet filled in.”
The Bach opened about a year ago with the aim of becoming a business that sells sex ethically — where escorts are safe and their legal rights are honoured.
Murphy believes sex work is a legitimate career and only hires women who genuinely like sex, freely choose to work in the industry and aren’t in desperate circumstances.
Murphy said the services her employees provided were much broader than just satisfying a sexual urge. “People think that escort agencies just sell sex, but we’re selling companionship and we’re doing a fair amount of educating because we insist that the men behave respectfully and respect the women’s emotional well-being and legal rights.”
One of the “kissing coaches”, who asked not to be identified, said the sessions would create an environment where escorts could talk openly and honestly with clients.
“It’s a positive way to change guys’ views on what’s nice, what behaviours might be accepted socially here or, you know, just little things like what sort of compliments to give someone, what’s an appropriate place to touch a girl on a first date.”
Her profession was about doing good, she said, and she hoped the kissing coach services would benefit women the clients interacted with in the future, too, by teaching men that women’s feelings and needs mattered when it came to sex.
New Zealand Prostitutes Collective founding member and national coordinator Catherine Healy said sex workers helping meet clients’ needs for intimacy was “as old as the hills”.
“They talk and chat with them and they have dinners and so on and they send texts.”
However, it was fantastic that Murphy and The Bach were emphasising the importance of consent in sex work and more generally, she said. AUT University psychology lecturer and relationship expert from reality TV show Married at First Sight Dr Pani Farvid said when she first heard of the Kiwi Kissing Coach intiative she had mixed feelings about it.
“I think as long as it’s not sort of a predatory workshop taking advantage of emotionally vulnerable men I think it’s really great. It’s really about relationship coaching, intimacy coaching, consent coaching in new context where the norms and rules might be a little bit different
“I really like the focus on consent. I think that’s wonderful and I think we as a society underestimate the valuable and advanced knowledge that sex workers can have in this area, particularly with negotiating relationships, sexual safety and consent because it’s part of their job to do it quite openly, quite directly.”
The course also exposed a potential wider issue of how Kiwis thought about intimacy and loneliness, she said.
Madam Antonia Murphy.