Next time you’re searching for a ‘brothel near me’ or ‘nearest brothel’ in Google on the latest iPhone, remember there was a day not that long ago in Victoria that it was a little more difficult to find a brothel. Back before mobile phones and the Internet, people used directories and most likely word of mouth to find their nearest brothel.
Let’s take a look at the history of the sex industry and brothels in Victoria and Australia.
History of brothels in Victoria and Australia
Here is a quick snapshot of brothel history in Australia. It is likely prostitution was conducted at the time of the first fleet in 1788. Prostitution has been described as the world’s oldest profession, so this is no surprise. At this time women would have worked from their homes, not in organised brothels, so many people’s nearest ‘brothel’ was probably very close by!
Prior to federation, in Victoria, laws surrounding prostitution and brothels existed from the mid-1800s. From around 1851, all brothels were illegal and people who were found guilty of prostitution could face up to 12 months jail or be incarcerated in a hospital. The laws did little to stop activity. If you lived in Melbourne, your nearest brothel district was the block contained within Spring, Exhibition, La Trobe and Lonsdale Streets. Today, you’ll find Madame Brussels Lane in this block, named after one of the notorious brothel owners.
While other laws were enacted in the ensuing century and a bit, this did little to curb brothels. According to Wikipedia, in the 1970s many brothels evaded prosecution by operating as massage parlours (which still happens today) but community sentiments were moving towards regulation rather than prosecution.
Your nearest brothel is legalised… Perhaps!
Remember 1984? OK, perhaps you weren’t even born by that stage or were still in nappies, but back in 1984 if you spoke to your phone and asked it to search for a ‘brothel near me’ or the ‘nearest brothel’ you wouldn’t have got a response. Unless of course someone overheard you and they probably would have grabbed the phone from you to call the nearest asylum.
Anyway, before 1984 brothels may have been tolerated but they were illegal. Legislation was passed in 1984 in Victoria to legalise and license brothels to reduce the involvement of organised crime and protect women.
Does this mean the nearest brothel to you is a legal one? Possibly not, as there are still plenty of illegal brothels and massage parlours around. And, of course, there are still areas of Melbourne where sex workers can be found on the street, which is also illegal. However, if you’re lucky, your nearest brothel will be Blue Krystal in Dandenong and you can be guaranteed that we are legal and licenced to operate.
Blue Krystal – possibly not your nearest but definitely the best brothel
If you live in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Blue Krystal may well be your nearest brothel. But even if we aren’t, we certainly are the best and are worth travelling a little further for.
So next time you do reach for your phone to search for ‘brothel near me’ or ‘nearest brothel’, go to your maps app instead and type in 16 Greens Road Dandenong South. You’ll find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow right there!