After five months of running Amateur’s House, I like to think that I have some idea of what I’m doing. There have been a couple of hiccups in that time, but I remain of the opinion this has been a sharp learning curve yet also one of the better ones in my life.
However, a good idea is a good idea. And one of my readers threw this suggestion in my direction after reading on BBC News about Iona Fyle, a Scottish singer who revealed she was offered help to get a gig – in exchange for sex. The story was as depressing as it was entirely unsurprising.
A while ago, this reader – who is a female DJ – told me a few stories about her experiences. It was all in confidence – but she’s now given me clearance to publish those stories, with any names redacted. There’s three in total and what follows are her own words – the only edits are to remove names and correct the odd spelling mistake…
Such a lot of orgy-bargy!
Yeah, I’ve been asked for sex to get a gig before. The one I remember most was around 2005. This guy worked for ****** at the time and it was an open secret within the industry that he had, shall we say, peculiar proclivities. Nothing illegal, just stuff most people would think was weird.
We arranged a meeting at a nice restaurant over lunch to talk about some shows that were coming up at ******. He was very polite, asked all the right questions and came across as really professional.
Then he mentions he can get me extra work if I agree to come along with him to a party he’s going to on Friday night. When I asked what kind of party it was, he said it was most likely going to be an orgy. I made my excuses and left…
Is this REALLY a photoshoot?
When I was starting out in the 1990s, I’d just arrived in London and didn’t have much money. I’d been advised to get press shots, but there was no way I could afford the prices I was being quoted. So I looked in local papers and found an advert for a photographer who was just starting out. He was cheap, so I booked him.
He invited me to this house in Peckham and explained he’d done some work in the dance music industry before. So he knew what they were looking for. The photos started quite formal. I’d gone down there in a cute little dress, but things soon changed.
Before you know it, he was taking pictures of me in my underwear, covering up my boobs with my arms. I assumed this guy knew what he was doing, so went along with it. Anyway, he went into another room afterwards to make a phone call whilst I got dressed.
I overheard the phone call and was horrified to hear that he wanted to sign me up as a prostitute! I took the film out of the camera and left quietly before anyone noticed. Funny looking back now, but f***ing scary at the time!
Was he having a bleeding laugh?
I’ll tell you about the ridiculous one, though. It was in the late 90s and I was starting to make a name for myself. After finishing a gig one night, a promoter came to see me. He told me he had some work lined up and gave me an address where we could discuss things.
So I went to the address about two days later and found out it was his house. Anyway, I went in and he was very professional. There was a woman in the house too, who turned out to be his wife – so at least I knew he wasn’t likely to try anything naughty.
After talking for a while about dates for gigs, money and all that, he turns round and tells me does need me to do him a favour. He then hands me this key and asks me to go round his house and bleed all the radiators. Easily the weirdest thing I’ve ever been asked to do for a gig! But I bet he hope no one ever finds out about the gimp outfit I saw in his bedroom…