Brothel’s ‘Kiwi Kiss­ing' course

Ses­sions will teach men how to ap­proach women in a flir­ta­tious and re­spect­ful way.

Herald on Sunday - - WE SALUTE YOU - By Brit­tany Keogh

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.

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