BOOK CLUB: Money For Something

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Author: Mia Walsch
ISBN: 97817600686451
Copy courtesy of Allen & Unwin

Mia Walsch is an author from Melbourne, Australia. She has previously published three novels. Money For Something is her first non-fiction book.

Nineteen year old Mia living in Sydney is fired from her job at an insurance company; she is addicted to drugs and in a toxic relationship.  With no future prospects of being able to maintain a nine to five job juggling her drug addiction and mental illness she answers an advert in the newspaper for a body slider at an erotic massage parlour.  Mia needed to consider if she was the type of person who could handle the industry, but with the allure of copious amounts of money and perceived excitement along with flexible working hours, forming friendships with the other workers and being able to maintain her drug use it was hard to resist.  

The first few client meetings were nerve-racking but exciting, so often what the men really wanted was for someone to listen to them; erotic massage and sex was a vehicle to get to that. Mia moves from parlour to parlour exploring different avenues, she is young, attractive and has a good physique, most men are lining up to give her money but the reality was a little different.

Mia had to line up with other girls and she was not always the client’s first choice or other workers would undercut her. The industry is very competitive and ruthless and support was not always easy to find unless she was working with a great bunch of women.  She found it to be a very lonely journey and the psychological burden of relating to her clients was difficult which didn’t help Mia’s self-loathing issues. At times she often expected to do what other escorts would or wouldn’t do, having to push the boundaries of taste and performance. 

Mia receives a diagnosis but chooses not to share which unfortunately I felt cheated by as she had come so far speaking of her sex work, mental illness and drug use. It was time to re-evaluate her life as she didn’t like what she saw.  Mia ended up making the industry work for her. Her life slowly comes together and she was able to pay for her education and find a whole new level of empowerment in a change of career and lifestyle although she did go back to the industry from time to time to earn extra money. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Money For Something and became engrossed in Mia’s life as a sex worker. If you are curious about the sex industry, how it all works, and the different reasons people enter it, then this is the book for you. It’s shocking, funny, thought provoking, and moving. The only thing that was a disappointment is you don’t get to learn of Mia’s background; how she grew up and what impact from her childhood caused her mental illness. 

If you are to read this book please keep an open mind.  People smoke even though it’s frowned upon, people take drugs even though it’s often illegal or dangerous. People do all kinds of things because they convince themselves that the end justifies the means. Entering prostitution is no different. What people don’t realise is that they probably already know a person who is a prostitute or similar. It’s not something most will talk about. We really shouldn’t judge and this book will have you thinking twice before you weigh in on any future debates.

A selection of our members have been reading this book. You can read their feedback in the comments below, or add your own! Comments may contain spoilers.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Money For Something

  1. Money for Something had me enthralled from the first chapter. Mia writes of her mental illness without restraint, I love the brutal honesty to her writing which is what makes this read so raw and why I couldn’t put it down. This is a hands down 5/5 stars. Thank you Beauty & Lace and Allen and Unwin for the fab read!

  2. Wow!! This book was very interesting. It had me enthralled from start to finish. It really makes you stop and think about a lot of things, such as your own life and how you have gotten to this day and then it makes you think about how other people’s lives are and what they might have gone through or are going through that no one will ever know about.
    It was such an open and candid look into this ladies life. How brutally honest she is was quite overwhelming at times.
    Thank you for the opportunity to read this wonderful book.

  3. A brutally honest memoir about sex work, mental health and survival. Mia thought she was a weird kid and she grew up not knowing what she wanted from life except that drugs, sex and more drugs are a main part of it. At times it was really hard to read about Mia’s life and the choices she makes but I had to keep reading and hoping Mia survived. This is not a light hearted read it is a full on account of what life as and for a sex worker is all about. Thanks for the opportunity to read.

  4. Thoroughly enthralled from the first chapter. This story covers so many topics not discussed, openly and honestly.
    It is funny as well as extremely sad, brutally honest, and not for the faint hearted.
    Mia suffers from mental health issues, has no direction in life, toxic relationships, and is a highly addicted drug user.She takes up sex work as a means to an end, to make money.! Living in a constant haze of drugs and moving from parlour to parlour to always be ‘the new girl’ and get more clients, most of her money disappears on her habit.
    Eventually she meets up with an old friend co-worker and realises she can be better than this, and goes back to studying, and improving her mindset and whole life. She admits to going back to sex work occasionally to earn more money when needed, but has become a far better person, and so much more reassured in herself.
    Thought provoking and interseting, and highly descriptive, so not for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Thank you Allen & Unwin and Beauty & Lace for the opportunity to read this story.

  5. This book is a brutally honest account of a portion of Mia’s life and the style of writing really emphasised this. Mia has no shame in sharing life choices that many others will disapprove of and writes about them openly.

    In one way I though this was a mundane story as it was the story of Mia just going through her everyday life and living each day as it comes. On the other hand, it is a book that creates awareness of so many things that many readers may find confronting such as drug addiction, mental health and sex work. It gives you an insight into a life that many readers will find very different to their own and insight into the type of life that society often looks down upon. It encourages you to open your mind and see that those who participate in sex work are no different to anyone else.

    I find the realness is in the ending, it’s not like other books where there is a happy ending or the mystery is solved, it’s just a raw ending and Mia’s life continues to go on. I did feel like it was cut short and wonder if there will be a sequel though as Mia eluded to events in her future that we never found out about.

  6. Thank you Beauty & Lace and Allen and Unwin for providing me with a copy of “Something for Money” by Mia Walsch.

    This book is the story of Mia’s life as she navigates mental health issues, drug use & sex work and the struggles she endures to try & heal herself. This was a brutal, unfiltered story & at first I thought that the way it was written was very haphazard, the way that the story line jumped all over the place – backwards & forwards, seeming to just stop in the middle of a story only to come back to it later on. Then I realised that this was used as a depiction of her life & how scattered & unpredictable it would be to live with mental health issues & drug addiction.

    In the end Mia comes to find a healthier way to work in the sex industry & make that industry work for her instead of harming her. This book is quite explicit and won’t be for everyone but overall I found it very interesting to read & enjoyed it.

  7. As soon as I started ‘Money for Something’ I couldn’t put it down. Mia’s story is raw and honest. It is a memoir about her life as a sex worker at the ripe age of 19. I found it really interesting reading about her life and the people she met along the way.
    I felt sorry for her with the struggles she faced.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for the book.

  8. Honest, raw and pulls no punches: yes Money for Something opened my eyes, but I really enjoyed reading it. In an industry that is often misunderstood or glamourised, Mia Walsch tells it like it is
    This is much more than a book about working in the sex industry, it shows Mia with all her strengths and flaws. It is a story of hitting rock bottom and doing the best you can; about survival
    I found reading this book a wee bit confrontational, but given the honesty with which Mia writes it couldn’t be any other way. Not recommended for prudes, but for anyone else, a damn fine read
    Thank you as always Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read something I wouldn’t usually pick up. Thanks to Allen and Unwin for supplying this book. Five stars

  9. I have read a number of memoirs about sex workers- perhaps I am intrigued about a life so different from my own, ever since I watched ‘Pretty Woman’. Many of the memoirs I have read demonstrate the glamarous side of sex work, with travel, and shopping, and the girls supporting one another. Money for Something is more raw. Maybe it’s more honest, or maybe it’s just a different situation. It is, therefore, a little more confronting, but it’s still an interesting slice of life. One thing that I find intriguing about sex work is how the girls do seem to frequently share a comrardarie and this is evident in Money for Something, too. They, generally, have one another’s back.

    I highly recommend Money for Something- if you are looking to challenge your views, or are curious, or just want an engaging read, this would be worth checking out.

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