Author: Mia Walsch
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.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.