The Secret Lives of Sex Workers

A look at the realities of life as a sex worker in New Zealand, 15 years after prostitution was legalised.

15 years after prostitution was legalised in NZ, this three part documentary series looks at the realities of life as a sex worker from a first person perspective in NZ in 2018. Each film focuses on a different type of sex worker: brothel based, independent and street based work. Through these sex workers we gain unique insight into the highs and lows of sex work as well as some funny anecdotes and views on the ongoing stigma and the types of clients that frequent our sex industry.



The Independent Escort

Jordan is a high end escort working out of a private space in Wellington’s CBD. She is your archetypal escort; pretty, charming and very good at her job. She has a range of clients who she sees for dinner dates, the ‘girlfriend experience’ and a raunchier, ‘girlfriend experience plus’. But it’s not all chocolates and roses – it’s hard work playing a fantasy character and although her hourly rate is $320, most of the time she isn’t in bookings and so you need to be savvy with cash to survive.

October 11, 2023



The Street Based Sex Worker

Kayla has worked on the streets for over 40 years. She has seen the changes that decriminalisation brought and she is out and proud to be a sex worker. She hasn’t had the easiest life and has some personal demons but sex work has always given her her freedom and means where otherwise she might not have had any.

October 11, 2023



The Brothel

Orchid is the owner and proprietor of a brothel in Wellington. It’s a high end brothel at affordable prices in the heart of the city with glamorous bedrooms and a rotating array of diverse, beautiful women. Orchid is a modern business woman; smart, sassy, hard-working and she does it for her dedicated and loyal staff. One of which is Bambi, a working mum who qualified as a lawyer but chose sex work instead of law.

October 11, 2023


Writer/Director – Rachel Millar
Producer – Ruth Korver
Production Manager/Stills Photographer – Vanessa Patea
DOP – Jess Charlton
Sound Recording – Jessy McNamara
Assistant/Stills Photographer – Scarlett Wild
Editor/Colourist – Andrew Suzuki
Sound Mix – Phil Burton

Thanks to:
Screen Wellington
New Zealand Prostitutes Collective
Catherine Healy

TVNZ Line Producer – Sarah Zwart
Executive Producers – Rob Appierdo & Jess Feast

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