It’s safe to say that anyone who’s spent time working in the sex industry will have more than a few notches on their bedpost. But one woman really takes the biscuit.
After 15 years working as an escort in Australia, Gwyneth Montenegro has slept with 10,091 men (and counting).
Let that sink in for a while.
Now, having retired from the industry, she’s written a book entitled ‘10,000 Men And Counting’ that exposes the reality of life working in the sex industry.
Ms Montenegro – as she was known in the trade – retired aged 33 after a roller-coaster 15 years that were filled with extreme highs and devastating lows.
She eventually left the industry after meeting her current business partner, but it wasn’t the first time she’d tried to throw in the towel.
Ms Montenegro had previously tried to give up her job to become a pilot, but unfortunate circumstances – she was diagnosis with kidney failure and unable to apply for a new pilot licence – meant she fell back into her old ways.
We caught up with her to find out more about her experiences as an escort.
Can you remember your first client – if so, what was it like?
At the time I was in a very bad place emotionally so it was a rather surreal and out of body experience. I remember having a few scotches before I went to work to do my first shift; I needed dutch courage.
I’d been a dancer for the previous three years and so taking my clothing off for strangers had become rather normal. But when I saw my first client naked, it really hit me – I would actually have to have intercourse with him.
Thank goodness I was quite drunk and just imagined having sex with someone else to block him out – and before you know it, it was over.
Once you complete the deed and exchanged your body for money once, what is done is done.
What was the high point and the low point during your career?
The high point of my career was when I was working for an elite escort agency in my mid-twenties and earning a lot of money per hour. This would be sometimes between $500- $1000 per hour (£272-545).
The low point of my career was taking the cocaine and speed five times a week for about 6-8 months and just bouncing off the walls constantly on a high. When the drugs wore off and then crashing and feeling so isolated and lonely once the drugs wore off. I hardly had any friends and didn’t know how to relate to people. I felt very alone in the world. I began to resent being on the outside of society and had some major walls up.
Why did you decide to quit?
Deep down I loathed my job and the isolation that came with it. I was totally disconnected with the world. I hated people and I hated myself even more.
What advice would you give women considering becoming escorts to pay their bills?
It’s not for me to say “don’t do it”. At the end of the day financial pressures have forced most of us into doing something we dislike to settle the debts. Having said that I would strongly suggest that if there is an alternative, choose the alternative. The sex industry comes with it’s own baggage that can affect you for a lifetime.
What has being an escort taught you about sex into terms of advising other women?
That most men really love to please their woman sexually. They want to know what pleases you and they want to deliver that.
It’s not all about them. It’s about you. Nothing pleases a man more than knowing that he has fulfilled you.
What did being diagnosed with kidney failure teach you about life, and how did you emerge from it stronger?
To be honest, looking back, I felt as though I had wasted the vast majority of my life in frivolous activity and in doing so managed to lose contact with most people whom I had previously loved. Suddenly I was faced with the very real reality of losing my life.
After losing so much of myself during the past years it was devastating to accept that my life could end and mean nothing to anyone. At that moment I understood, or at least started to understand the value of friends and family.
Obviously circumstances eventually had me return to the job that I loathed but deep inside I never forgot the lessons learned that day.