PAYING FOR IT An Insider's Guide to the New Zealand Sex Industry Volume II

BATS Theatre, Wellington

10/10/2017 - 14/10/2017

Production Details

Sex doesn’t just sell, it wins awards too!  

Paying For It is back to take you on a voyeuristic tour through the fascinating and enthralling world of sex work; from stripping to sugaring, brothels to BDSM, and everything in-between. True stories from industry professionals will show you what it’s really like behind closed doors. With stories gathered from every facet of the sex industry Paying For It aims to inform, educate, and entertain you. 

After a sell-out season at the New Zealand Fringe Festival, Paying For It became the very first recipient of The Parkin Development Grant. The grant is enabled by the very generous support of Chris and Kathy Parkin. “It’s no secret I’m an art-lover, but I’m also a believer in good art being grown through artist development,” says Chris. “We’ve seen the creative-types who have worked at BATS go on to achieve big things and Kathy and I are very pleased to be supporting that journey.” 

The aim of the grant is to provide support to develop a promising work that will be restaged as a high quality season at BATS Theatre. The grant was awarded at the Fringe Awards in March this year by the Fringe Award panel of judges, after showing promise at its first season.  

Co producers *Blair and *Satine have a number of years experience working in the sex industry and have collated stories from current and ex workers in various fields from around New Zealand.“ We know that what we do for a living is seen as taboo by the general public at large, and we are keen to lift the lid on the industry and dispel some of the popular myths surrounding our profession,” says Blair. “Even though sex work in NZ is legal, there is still a deeply ingrained stigma attached to being actively involved with the industry.” 

Satine continues, “We are bringing a no-holds-barred, candid look at what life is really like for those of us who live and work in the sex industry. The highs, the lows and the wonderfully weird parts of what it is like to work in the oldest profession. This is our reality; our stories and our experiences. We can’t wait to share them with you.”

This season of Paying For It couldn’t come at better time with the 30th anniversary of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective coinciding with the season.

Catherine Healy from NZPC says, “It’s 30 years since we came together as a group of sex workers to form the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. We have come a long way since then, achieving world leading legislation to uphold our rights health and well being. We have some way to go to reduce the harms of stigma and discrimination. We salute these sex workers who are bringing their stories forward in this performance. It’s actions like these that move hearts and minds. What a splendid birthday present!”

BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington
10 – 14 October 2017
Tickets available online at

Theatre , Spoken word ,

An entertaining, moving and educative experience

Review by Zoe Joblin 11th Oct 2017

Paying For ItAn Insider’s Guide to the New Zealand Sex Industry Volume II is the brain child of a group of Wellington-based sex workers who believe in sharing the true experiences of people working in the adult industry. The show premiered at Wellington Fringe Festival 2017* and won the Parkin Development award which supported the producers to present a season at BATS theatre.

The show is a simple sharing of anecdotes, learnings and perspectives from a broad range of people who have worked in the New Zealand sex industry. All the performers have worked in various different roles from Sex Surrogate to Madam, to Street-based workers, Independent escorts and kink providers such as a Dominatrix; and all bar one performer tell their own stories. They offer a rare, honest and down-to-earth insight into a profession as old as the bible and shatter the misconceptions that have lasted just as long.

In Paying For It, the audience are invited into an intimate space of confidence which – more than one performer reiterates – puts them in a dangerous position. To out themselves as sex workers is a big deal for a lot of the performers. The stories are funny, moving, sometimes absurd and often very ordinary.

One performer who identifies as transsexual, discusses the impact that her visibility had as a street-based worker in Wellington before sex work was decriminalised, allowing brothels, strip clubs and parlours to become visible here as well. The first performer talks about the camaraderie of sex work and offers eloquent and wise perspectives on her time in the industry.

The set is a simple set of cabaret-style chairs and table, a fun if clunky lighting design and straight to the audience delivery. The natural and varied performance styles make it very easy and humbling to enter the performers’ worlds for a time. Thanks to everyone involved for bringing their stories to Wellington audiences; this is show lives up to its promo as an entertaining, moving and educative experience.

*[Here is the link to the first season’s review.] 


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