A few years back, when Harmonia Nyx had just started out in the full-service industry, she was on a boat with an escort agency’s high-profile client. She was enjoying the conversation, the views of Sydney Harbour; earlier, she and a select group of escorts had been taken out to a Michelin star restaurant for lunch, and later for dinner and cocktails. She was paid $5,000. She didn’t even sleep with him.
Rugged up in a blanket and black hooded jumper, Nyx is petting her small white puff of a dog that’s nestled in beside her. She’s gracefully and candidly answering personal, at times intrusive, questions about her life.
It’s like going to a party with your boobs out.
These days, Nyx’s people writ large are undergoing a revolution of sorts. Sex workers are increasingly moving online, where not only is it safer, but the workers are more free to name their own price, and control the who, where, when and hows. They’re also supported by health and safety guidelines, and while stigma and discrimination isn’t disappearing any time soon, they’re protected by the law in most Australian States.
The below conversation has been edited and condsensed for clarity.
The Brag: How do you describe your job?
Harmonia Nyx: I tell people openly and bluntly what it is: I am a topless waitress and I escort. [When I’m] topless waitressing I’m normally doing Buck’s parties, birthday parties, and that’s exactly what it is; it’s like a party. It’s like going to a party with your boobs out. It’s not hard. There’s nothing about it that’s hard; there’s nothing to it. The main objective is to entertain and serve drinks. On the escorting side of things, well men and sometimes couples book me for sex mostly, and also for companionship. The roles are quite different.
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There’s nothing about it that’s hard?
Harmonia Nyx: I don’t think that it’s hard. Other people might think that it’s hard; they may have a bad time if they meet shitty clients. But I don’t really have that view. I don’t have shitty clients.
Why do you think that you don’t have that view?
Harmonia Nyx: I’m a positive person. I feel like I’m just not going to be in a shitty situation; it’s never been like that. As cliché as it sounds, I’m going to get positive things coming to me because that’s what I give out. It’s the law of attraction.
How did it all start?
Harmonia Nyx: I had a friend who was working at [Sydney strip club] Men’s Gallery, and I thought I could waitress and get tips and have a cool second job too. At the time I worked so much. I had a regular, day job and when I started waitressing at Men Gallery I worked about 120 hours a week. I was very tired all the time.
I don’t have shitty clients.
After about 5 years of that, I thought to myself: I have worked in this environment for years now and I pretty much know what goes on with the strippers and the dancers behind the curtains and they’re doing nothing. It’s easy; they’re just chilling out, having a chit chat – having a good time basically. I just thought to myself that I could do that one or two times a week and earn the same amount of money as I was earning as a waitress working five nights a week. So that’s why I did that.
Then how did you make the jump to being a topless waitress/escort?
Harmonia Nyx: I ended up working for an escort agency for two-and-a-half years where I booked the girls out and did their accounts. Some of these girls would have horror stories; just like bad experiences where the man that walked in was, you know, off-putting, a bit stinky, probably quite obese. I would just think to myself, ‘Fuck that, like I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to open the door to a horror story.’
I don’t know who my first client was; it just happened one day. It could have happened on a topless waitressing job, because sometimes they book with the option for full service. If you’re having a good time and you’re getting along, and you feel a connection with someone… Sometimes there would be people that I would actually pick up at a bar, like they’re actually my type of person. I think that’s how.
How does the escorting part of your job work?
Harmonia Nyx: I have a profile on Scarlet Blue; customers message me directly to organise a time to see me. I do incalls and outcalls. I also get some of my escorting jobs off other girls in the industry who have their own agency or long-standing clients.
I don’t know who my first client was; it just happened one day.
Is there a competitive part of the job, or has it been quite sisterhood like?
Harmonia Nyx: It is competitive. This conversation comes up a lot in the industry. We want to empower, help and trust each other. The community of women I know have policies and procedures in place to try and maintain a fair and honest working world for us all. There are some women all about the sisterhood and then there are some women who are all about the money and may be sneaky and go against our code of ethics or carelessly put girls in harms way. This never goes unnoticed and it is to the detriment of those particular women. Who doesn’t want sisterhood!
What’s the average that women charge per hour?
Harmonia Nyx: I think it’s probably between $500 and $650; mine’s $650. But I know some people that charge $700. Some people charge $800 and $900, which I think is a bit ludicrous but hey whatever. It’s your body do whatever you want.
What do you take as commission when you’re at home on the couch and women are seeing your clients?
Harmonia Nyx: More than enough considering I’m just lounging around. [Laughs.]
Is having a community of girls you trust safer than working through an agency?
Harmonia Nyx: I know a lot of girls in the industry; a lot of us are friends and we are there for each other. We know what type of clients we have and if other girls have had a bad time with particular clients. We communicate everyday, and if issues arise we band together to work them out. So in that way I would say yes, it is safer.
But as I mentioned before, some girls put you in not-so-good situations. Some agencies are run well and take care of there girls too. Some don’t. It’s like everything in life; there is always good and bad. I haven’t been run by an agent for escorting, I manage myself. I can kind of tell when someone is wasting my time [on Scarlet Blue]. If someone wants to chat and get a fucking hard on just by talking to me or texting, I just cut those people off straight away. Or if they ask me for photos I’m just like, ‘No I don’t send photos’. Some enquiries will be like, ‘Let me see a photo of your feet’, ‘Let me suck your feet’; they’re never going to book. You get knack for knowing who is wasting your time and who isn’t.
I don’t go to private residences. So that’s for my safety.
What’s the benefit of going through Scarlet Blue as opposed to going through your own community?
Harmonia Nyx: I get more money; I’m not answering to anyone. There’s no middle person. I answer to myself and set my own rules.
So Scarlet Blue doesn’t take a cut?
Harmonia Nyx: They are an advertising platform; they aren’t an agent. I pay them $132 a month to advertise on their site.
What about your safety? Do you use security?
Harmonia Nyx: If I wanted security I could get some but I don’t do that; most girls don’t to be honest with you.
Firstly, I don’t go to private residences. So that’s for my safety. The only time I would do that is if there are a group of girls going to entertain or if the client has been verified by myself or my contact. I generally go to hotels because you’re seen walking in. Also, I generally tell my sister or someone that I know where I am, the name of the person, the room number, and all these kinds of things so people know where I am.
You’ve never had a horror story or have a friend who’s got one?
Harmonia Nyx: I don’t have one but I have heard some off other girls. They’re horror stories in terms of, you know, there’s a young girl and then there’s an old, sweaty, gross guy. I mean come on, did you seriously think you weren’t going to get at least one person that wasn’t going to be boyfriend material? I haven’t had a gross person; I’m so lucky. I’ve some more intense stories that are a bit scary but they aren’t mine to share.
“I don’t really talk to people that are not in the industry”: Harmonia Nyx
Would you ever feign sickness to get out of a job if you weren’t attracted to the guy?
Harmonia Nyx: No, I wouldn’t do that because then that would be bad for my reputation. I would probably just use lube. [Laughs.] I haven’t come across that; I would probably vomit in my throat a little bit but I wouldn’t pretend to be sick.
Do you think society’s view of the full service industry has changed since around the time you first started waitressing years ago?
Harmonia Nyx: I’m living right in it, so I’m not really having anything external coming at me about it. I don’t really talk to people that are not in the industry. Actually, I should do this as an experiment: to sit down at a table full of people that are non-workers, because normally when I go to parties they are all girls that work or their clients, so it’s normal for me.
Do you find the industry’s ties to drugs challenging?
Harmonia Nyx: It’s something I do think about, and that’s why I’d rather do full service as it’s not as prominent. You can’t be going and working three or four nights a week and be taking drugs every night – that’s not good for your health. It’s not a challenge for me but the thing is, if you don’t partake in drugs you probably won’t get picked. Having said that, not all clients want you to.
What is your big no?
Harmonia Nyx: I don’t do anal sex. Fuck that. I’d do it if you’re my boyfriend, not someone I’m seeing, and not a total stranger.
Have you ever caught feelings?
Harmonia Nyx: Yeah, yeah I probably have caught feelings.
What do you do when that happens?
Harmonia Nyx: Nothing, you can’t do anything. You have to be professional.
I don’t do anal sex. Fuck that.
Even if they’re single?
Harmonia Nyx: You can catch feelings, but they might not think of you in that way so then you’re just fucking up a good thing.
Have you had a boyfriend while you’ve done this job?
Harmonia Nyx: Yeah. They met me on a Buck’s party so they knew what I did. I was only with him for six months; he ended up being a flip-flop. [Laughs].
Is there an intrinsic trait that many of your clients share?
Harmonia Nyx: Lots of my clients are older: they’ve lived their life, they’ve been married, they’ve got kids, they’re successful businessmen and they’re not married anymore. They’re just having a good time and they’re genuinely good people.
I don’t have any clingers or anything like that. My clients are very normal, adjusted, fun, friendly, generous people. I have been lucky.
My clients are very normal, adjusted, fun, friendly, generous people.
Do you want to do this job for the rest of your life?
Harmonia Nyx: I do have a plan. I want to open a healing centre for troubled youths. It’ll include transpersonal art therapy and yoga and meditation classes. We’ll also have a sound therapy room and a movement room. There’s nothing like it in Sydney yet; it’s very holistic. It’s in the making, stay tuned!
Is there a part of the role, not necessarily the actual sex, that you love the most?
Harmonia Nyx: I just like meeting new people: interesting people that have done things in their lives. People that can offer me wisdom and knowledge. I like the social aspect of it. It’s nice just sitting down opposite a successful gentleman engaging in conversation over a wine, or at dinner. I could sit at a long lunch for hours or we often go boating or go away; it’s nice.
For more stories in The Brag’s sex and sexuality issue, read this piece on the censorship of women’s bodies.