Tea and sex: Women’s Institute members tour brothels in campaign to legalise prostitution

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:24 AM on 28th July 2008

It’s a long way from jam-making and knitting.

Two members of the Women’s Institute have just returned from a tour searching for the world’s best brothel.

Grandmother Jean Johnson, 62, and her friend Shirley Landells, 73, members of the Hampshire WI, met Amsterdam’s shop-window call girls, inspected sex toys and group-sex rooms, toured the Bunny Ranch in the Nevada desert and visited a ’boutique brothel’  in New Zealand, which they voted the best.

Enlarge   WI

Tea and discussion: Shirley Landells, 73, and Jean Johnson, 62, of the Hampshire Women’s Institute spoke to sex workers at the Bunny Ranch, Nevada

The pair went on the tour, which was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary, as part of a campaign started after the murder of five sex workers in Ipswich in 2006.

Steve Wright, of Ipswich, is now serving life in prison.

Mrs Johnson proposed to her local WI the organisation lobby for brothels to be legalised.

She was greeted with gasps but argues it is in the tradition of WI campaigns on equal pay and HIV research.

In an interview with this week’s Radio Times, she says any family could be affected: ‘Everybody looks on these girls as being from the lowest stratum of society and that’s not true. One of those girls [murdered in Ipswich] was into horseriding, the whole works.’

Ms Landells added: ‘Some say, ‘Oh, prostitution shouldn’t happen.’ But the fact is that it does.

‘Providing somewhere for it to happen would not only help to make the girls safer, it would have a wider impact on health for the girls and their clients, as well as clients’ families.’

In Amsterdam the women saw back rooms where 50 euros buys 15 minutes of a prostitute’s time. They were impressed to see a panic button and a basin for men to wash their genitals.

They visited a shop selling sadomasochistic accessories and a room where up to 80 men could join in sex with about four prostitutes for eight euros.

‘I thought it was absolutely disgusting,” said Mrs Johnson.

At the Bunny Ranch they met prostitutes who had regular health checks and paid taxes.

One, Air Force Amy, mimed her method of oral sex. ‘These are things I’ve never, ever talked about,’ Mrs Johnson said.

In Auckland they accompanied an inspector to the Purely Blue brothel. ‘It was lovely, just like a hotel,’ said Mrs Johnson.

At the Bonton, a boutique-style venue, most sex workers had degrees and professional jobs.

‘’Magnificent,’ was the verdict.

The women have presented a petition to Downing Street and hope their proposal will be taken up by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.


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