Words by Isabelle Knot Art by Liam Grant
I’ve worked more jobs than the average student; anything and everything from deli chick, administrative assistant, freelance writer to pyjama store sales assistant. I’ve even tried my luck helping frustrated iOS users at the infamous genius bar!
I was constantly exhausted trying to balance work, life and my university commitments which often came at the detriment of my mental health. It wasn’t until a throw-away joke made by my mum that I considered something a bit more unconventional, a job where I could call all the shots and do so from my own home.
It seemed almost too perfect—choosing my own hours, working in my pyjamas all day and making more money per hour than I ever made in any retail position. I signed up as soon as I could and delved into this new world of sexual intimacy.
Like any job, working as a phone sex operator still requires you to actually do work. It’s taught me how to become a better listener and how valuable a genuine connection can be. This all being said, the job definitely still comes with its drawbacks.
Like clients who are one minute wonders, the callers who want to know your personal details or those with a ‘hero complex’. There are also the obscure requests, some disturbing and some straight up hilarious.
Some of my personal favourites include a guy who wanted me to make farting noises and pretend I was farting on his face and another guy who wanted me to suffocate him with my vagina. It’s getting to a point now where it’s very difficult for a request to shock me.
You also pick up some quirky tricks while on the job like using soap to simulate the sound of a wet vagina and putting a deodorant can in your mouth to sound like you’re sucking on a penis.
The job has also taught me a lot about what men want from women, and for a lot of them, it’s someone who takes control. Domination isn’t something I’ve personally tried in my own sex life, but I found being assertive with complete strangers made me more confident in my real life, even outside of a sexual context.
Overall, it seems jobs like mine are on the rise, with many young people opting for unconventional jobs in the gig economy instead of braving it against the soul-crushing hours working as a retail employee.
Recently, data released by the sugar baby website Seeking Arrangement indicated the university with the most sugar babies in Australia was our very own Monash University.
However, not all young people in the gig economy are employed in the sex industry.
Part-time tarot card reader and university student Abigail Keeley is also doing things differently. She gets paid for her work through self-made business The World of Tarot Readings.
“You need to know how to do it which can take a while to learn,” Abigail said, “but it’s great fun and you get to meet some very interesting people.”
Abigail, though passionate about her work, also said the job is not without its difficulties.
“Tarot reading alone is not enough to support yourself and it’s very emotionally draining,” she said.
Ms Melita O’Moore also made money unconventionally during her days as a Monash student by working as a paid DJ.
“The first year or two of DJing had a lot of novelty and was mostly fun, but by the end, it was hurting my social life. I wanted my Friday and Saturday nights back and I was resenting working which made me a bad DJ because my heart wasn’t in it anymore.” Melita said.
Those looking to try their luck in the gig economy, don’t be misled by the benefits of choosing your own hours and staying at home. Whatever way you make your money in this industry, you’re still working hard and it’s still a job. No job is perfect.
If you are looking to change things up a bit, maybe you’ll find exploring the gig economy is worth a shot. It definitely was for me.