Alina Ambrosia* starts her day like many others. She gets up, has a coffee, spends time with her dog and then heads to the gym. Then, she’ll shower, choose an outfit, style her hair and put her make-up on — a pretty normal routine from the outside.
However, Ambrosia’s workday is a little different than most. She recently left her career in the media industry to become a courtesan — a high-class sex-worker who works exclusively with wealthy and upper-class clients.
Working under the name Scarlet on Samantha X’s coveted books as well as working under the name Alina Ambrosia on independent private escort service, Scarlet Blue, the 37-year-old describes herself as a “natural flirt, turned professional seductress.”
We sat down with Ambrosia, who answered all our questions about working in the sex industry. She’s a personal friend of mine, so we had a very honest and open chat.
It’s important to note, she was excited to share her story in a bid to help normalise the sex industry in Australia. There’s no denying it’s still stigmatised. Even publishing this story made us a little nervous about the response we’ll receive. But we’re focused on telling the stories of people in Australia, and Alina Ambrosia / Scarlet has an interesting story to tell — one that will help break down stigmas and shine a light on a topic that’s often discussed in hushed tones.
Our hope is that you learn something new, and see the work of the sex industry differently.
Below, Ambrosia explains how this work has always been something she wanted to do. It empowers her. She’s a feminist and she’s following her truth. We applaud her for chasing her passion.
Keep reading for our one on one chat.
Anita Lyons: The first thing we need to talk about is how you got into this industry and why the massive career change.
Alina Ambrosia: I had a very sudden redundancy after working in media for 17 years. I was having a horrendous six months, and I was over the 9 to 5 thing. I had been approached by Samantha X previously, she used to also work in media. She’d always wanted to have me on her books, so I just made the decision the day after my redundancy and I called her. It was all very calculated on my end — to decide I’m not doing media anymore.
Within 24 hours she had me on the books, out and about seeing people.
AL: I’ve heard of Samantha X, but could you please explain who she is for our readers?
AA: She owns an agency called Samantha X Angels and essentially, she is like a madam who manages a book full of girls, anywhere from their 20s to their 60s. So, she has a very diverse agency. Women in their 60s actually get quite a bit of work as well.
AL: You call yourself a “courtesan”, but what exactly does that mean? Is it considered a sex worker?
AA: Yes, it is considered a sex worker. It’s an articulate lady that can go and deal with anything from a lawyer to, a doctor, to someone that can literally own the date, but then also put out at the end of it [laughs]. She’s not necessarily a single type of person but she represents a lot of women that have specialty areas.
AL: You have two names, Scarlet and Alina Ambrosia. How does this work?
AA: Essentially when I work for Samantha I pay a commission. I like that this commission pays for my protection and the time wasting of ‘vetting clients’, but I also have a private escort file too, that I vet myself. This its to diversify my work and so I can keep 100% of the money.
“It was all very calculated on my end — to decide I’m not doing media anymore.”
AL: How do you vet clients yourself?
You need to be quite rigorous with how you’re doing it. The benefit of having an agent is the fact that you don’t have to do any of that yourself. You’ve got a backup or someone to look out for you. I charge a lot of money, so generally that weeds out a lot of the idiots.
You do have to do a bit of re-con on people. Generally, you have to get them to transfer a deposit or identify themselves via their license or email, or there’s a series of things that you do, depending on how much you trust the person or you get other escorts to give them a reference.
AL: I have so many questions, I hope you’ve put aside enough time for our interview. How much do you charge?
AA: In Australia $700-plus an hour and when I’m overseas, up to $1,500 an hour. But then again, I do have some specialties as well. I’m quite big into BDSM. I can take a whip-like nobody else’s business [laughs].
AL: So, does that mean you’re a dominatrix?
AA: I do both. Take it and give it out. My number one client who books me three to four times a week — he really got me into the BDSM scene.
I have a mentor who is Sir Dominic. Once or twice a week I’ll go to a dungeon in Surry Hills — it’s called The Kastle. He will take me there and teach me the ropes (literally). And now, generally, whenever we go, I’ll hire another girl as well and it’ll be me domming her and he’ll dom me. A very interesting way to spend the night [laughs].
AL: I’m sure they all differ, but how long does an average session last?
AA: It generally depends, but usually about two hours. I don’t do anything less than an hour.
AL: What was your first client like?
AA: It kind of felt like a date, really. I met with the gentleman at the QT hotel in Sydney. We had a couple of drinks. We had something to eat and then I almost had to push it into ‘OK, let’s go upstairs now.’ This, I think, was to save any residual nerves I had, but it all felt very normal to me.
One thing I do remember is that in my personal life I thought that sex went very, very quickly, but in this instance, after two hours, it felt like it had been an entire day.
And this guy was just not the kind of person that I would normally sleep with. Actually, I still see him probably once a week now.
The thing is, over time, we form an extremely special bond that feels like you’re dating. They might not be the person you’d normally see yourself with, but it’s taught me a different kind of worth. I’ve generally dated complete assholes in my private life, so the fact that a man wants to see me a few times a week or fortnight, take me out and then we have hot sex, has really changed how I feel about myself as a woman. It has given me so much more self worth.
“It has given me so much more self worth.”
AL: Are some of the men looking for the “Girlfriend Experience”?
AA: Yes. So, I do GFE [Girl Friend Experience], PSE [Porn Star Experience], BJ [Bareback Blow Job] — like there’s all sorts of acronyms for these things. So, I’ll do a little bit of the girlfriend experience, I’ll do the porn star experience and I’ll do the BDSM stuff.
AL: Do you check for STDs?
AA: Yes, absolutely. Generally, you have to do a paper exchange and check their credentials.
I’m pretty across the board and I’ll do whatever I’m asked of, but only if I know the person. And generally, I don’t see new people. I’ve got a pretty set list of clients. I don’t need to take on new clients unless I’m on tour.
AL: What does ‘going on tour’ mean?
AA: I like to diversify my work. I like to travel, so I’ve gone to Hong Kong and Singapore and I tour Melbourne quite a bit. You advertise that you’re going overseas or interstate on Scarlet Blue and then book clients in off the back of that. Generally, you go and see five people within a day. And I would do three to four days overseas.
There are different laws in different states and countries that you need to work around, so overseas it’s just dinner dates and company, nothing else. You meet some amazing people, have great food and wine, and travel to an amazing city. Win, win!
AL: Did you say you see five people within a day?
AA: [Laughs] Yes! But sometimes they don’t last very long.
Generally, I tour with somebody else. We’ll go to Melbourne and wake up in the morning, go to the gym, have breakfast (and then have a threesome by 9am [laughs]), and then, we’ll each see some clients, and then we’ll go to dinner together like it’s a trip away with a girlfriend, tacked onto meeting lots of lovely new people.
AL: So you feel like you have had a normal workday?
AA: Yeah. It’s pretty straightforward.
AL: Are there any rules or boundaries that you stick to? Like, could you see yourself falling in love with a regular client?
AA: The men that I see are all very mature. They are hand selected by me. They’re extremely wealthy and they want their anonymity. I have extremely strong love for two of my special clients. I can’t not acknowledge how much they mean to me.
There has been one absolutely stunningly gorgeous man that I have had before, who has just booked me again, actually. He was Norwegian, 35, with a 12-pack. I’m like, “Oh, yeah.” [laughs]. I don’t think it’s falling in love for me with these ones, it’s just more of a, ‘Oh, is this actually really happening, that I get to sleep with a really, really hot guy and get paid for it?’
I don’t really do relationships and monogamy at the moment… Maybe soon. But I have found it doesn’t work well. No matter what a man says, generally they do get jealous and upset.
“No matter what a man says, generally they do get jealous and upset.”
AL: Is your career change all part of exploring your sexuality?
AA: Totally. Well, I was with someone for 14 years, from my early twenties, you know?
AL: Why do you think men pay for sex?
AA: Discretion. They just want discretion. They don’t want any hassles. They don’t want girlfriends. They just want someone to come in, have a chat with them, listen to their problems and have hot sex with them.
AL: Have you ever had a client that has been an acquaintance?
AA: Yes. Funny, funny story. My notoriety in media essentially meant that, of course, I was going to get a few people that booked me that were of that ilk. I’m not going to name names or give any direction as to who it was — but there were people that always wanted to have sex with me, so they paid me.
AL: Did you receive any sort of training before you started?
AA: I rocked up to the initial meeting [with Samantha X] with my notebook and all my questions and kind of interviewed her. I made sure that I asked everything that I needed to know.
I’ve probably been on her books for the longest that she’s had for years — which is seven months. I love working with her agency, and what I have learned is that the key to earning potential and longevity is diversification, which is why I also run my own business and specialise in different areas such as BDSM.
“There were people that always wanted to have sex with me, so they paid me.”
AL: How do you emotionally and physically prepare for a client?
It feels like I’m in a relationship with most of my clients because I see them multiple times per week, or I’ve travelled internationally with them or I’ve travelled interstate. So, I don’t need to prepare mentally for those ones. I just have to get myself ready as per the way they enjoy (lingerie or a special body suit, or a collar and cuffs).
AL: I can imagine being in your line of work can have mental effects. Is there any therapy offered at all?
AA: There’s no therapy offered per se but the way that I’ve approached this has been that I was ready to do this, now.
I never would’ve been ready to do this in my 20s. My insecurity based on my marriage, and mental state — I know I would’ve been messed up about the entire thing.
I’m extremely cognizant of my mental health. Some of the girls I work with, if we’re doing a three-way at 9:30am in the morning, they’ll be drinking. I’m very cognizant of making sure that I keep to my days off and that I don’t triple handle myself in terms of clients’ demands. And then you just need to make sure that you keep a schedule similar to the corporate world, I think.
AL: There are a lot of myths surrounding the sex industry in Australia, what would you like to debunk?
AA: The myth that everyone’s a drug addict, that they do this because they have no other choice.
I know with myself and Brookelyn Bennett [whom she tours with], we are both entrepreneurial and both have investment ideas in mind.
I’m about to buy my second home, she’s about to buy her first.
We have a podcast coming out shortly about our experiences and we are both writing books. I study psychology and yoga teaching, she is also a pilates instructor and investor. There’s nothing sad about that!
We’re using this to our advantage and it’s not forever. This is a choice purely based on trying to empower ourselves and move our lives in the direction that we want. We’re empowered entrepreneurial businesswomen.
“We’re using this to our advantage and it’s not forever.”
AL: Do your friends and family know what you do?
AA: Pretty much everyone in my life knows apart from my mum and dad. I don’t know whether or not if it’s that they choose not to tell me, or whether or not they genuinely don’t know.
I’ve had quite a few questions from them of late about how I’m having this kind of lifestyle with no actual… job [laughs]. So, I’m “contracting” according to them at the moment.
In this forum though, I want to assure my entire group of friends and family, that I am the best I have felt in years. I am moving my life in a new, free direction, embracing my womanhood and natural entrepreneurialism. I love what I do. I will soon be a yoga teaching, psychologist and a sex worker. What an amazingly juxtaposed life.
I also want to say, I love all of you for your love and support… you know who you are!
AL: What about your sisters? I know you’re close.
AA: I just blatantly told both of them. The funny thing is they don’t talk really a lot about it. I mean, they’re intrigued. I would be intrigued as well, but we just choose not to talk about it really, which is strange. At Christmastime I had a voucher from a client and they sat with me and we bought lingerie online together. They just don’t ask me about it.
AL: A lot of your former peers seem to know. What has been their reaction to this?
AA: My personal trainer is in the suburb where I worked and this is where I still go to the gym. So, I see them on the street all the time, and they don’t quite know what to say or to do.
They’re like, “How are you?” I’m like, “Work is so good. Work is busy. Everything’s amazing.”
You just have to kind of confront it head-on. That’s been my approach to it.
The people that didn’t call me are the people that I don’t speak to anymore. And I am extremely disappointed at some of these people who I called very close friends.
As per every courtesan and escort, I am still the same person. I am just more truthful and on top of my own destiny than ever before. Not sure what is shameful or scary about this, but I certainly do know how we all mourn the disintegration of these relationships.
Funny story. I did actually have a girls’ luncheon put on in my honour to discuss the entire thing, which I was not invited to clearly [laughs]. All the people that didn’t call me or bring it to my attention that they had gotten this email [one that shared her new profession], I don’t speak to them anymore. It’s helped me to weed out quite a few people as friends.
AL: Is working in the sex industry more common than we think?
AA: Yes! I mean some of the girls that I work with and that I book doubles with and whatnot, they have a 9 to 5 job and they literally work it around their lives. They’ll go from an office job in finance, to a sex dungeon, and then back into the office again an hour and a half later [laughs].
There’s so many people doing it. It’s become more acceptable.
AL: How do you keep anonymous?
AA: You have to make sure you stick to your aliases, wherever you are. I have a lot of clients that I work with that are on my work Instagram. But you just have to try and ensure that you keep your work life separate to your other life.
My number-one client is amazing. He knows my actual identity, but then again I know his real identity.
AL: In terms of what you buy for yourself, lingerie etc, can you claim it on tax?
AA: Yes, everything from condoms to lube, to lingerie.
AL: Do your clients ever give you gifts?
AA: Anything from lingerie to a custom-made collar from the number one client. It’s gorgeous and worth thousands of dollars. He also flew me first-class to an amazing overseas trip recently and put me up in a six-star hotel for a week. He then took me to Agent Provocateur and let me go crazy. I’m literally the luckiest girl in the world. I also fly interstate with him. I’ve done that multiple times, but, I mean, that’s the most lavish gift I’ve ever been given — a $50,000 holiday, plus I got paid… The conversations we have are what I cherish the most.
AL: You’ve spoken a lot about the “number one” client. Tell me more about him.
AA: He’s my number-one client based on the fact that we spend so much time together and it’s a real thing. He’s extremely generous with me, and has built up my self worth beyond words. I never thought that would happen in this industry.
“The conversations we have are what I cherish the most.”
AL: Does he think he’s in “love” with you?
AA: Yes. He tells me all the time how much he is in love with me. I mean, to a certain degree he’s a soulmate of mine ’cause we have so much fun together, but we both know the deal. Real life vs. our life is just impossible.
AL: Tell me about one of your most memorable experiences.
AA: Oh wow, so many. But I have one you might enjoy. I have a guy that pays me to essentially bring him into my hotel room in Melbourne, I put him in the shower — and of course I’m wearing amazing lingerie at this point — and I take him out of the shower and put him in bed and pat his head and tell him to go to sleep like a good little boy.
I don’t actually have sex with him, but he’s the “mummy client”, so I’m his mummy and he’s my baby. He’s my 60-year old child.
Clients are memorable if it’s just anything BDSM wise though. For example, being hung over a rack and whipped for two hours is fairly crazy as well. Anytime I’ve gone to a sex dungeon anywhere, it’s just been crazy. I am down to try, and not afraid to tell you when enough is enough. This is such a juxtaposed working enviornment of my own creation, and I am very proud of the business I have built, the relationships I’ve formed, and the self worth I’ve gained. I never felt so vital or satisfied in my ‘real’ life. I felt defeated by bullies and jealousy. This is definitely my preferred career.
“This is definitely my preferred career [laughs].”
AL: How does it feel to cross this line of work off your bucket list?
AA: It is just empowerment, really. I love the fact that I’m an entrepreneur and the fact that I own my own business and the fact that I can do what I want, when I want, and make my life maneuver around it. It’s brilliant. I can’t ever tell you, to not beholden to a 9 to 5 job.
AL: Did you ever in a million years think you would be doing this job?
AA: I used to read a lot of books about it and be intrigued. I think a lot of girls do the same thing. I’ve taken it to the next level. I never thought when I was married and with my work that I would ever do anything like this. And then it just seemed like the most natural thing in the world when I decided to do it. It’s really funny, the juxtaposition of what I thought and now my reality. And now I just feel so free.
The only way I can describe it is that I just don’t care about what people think, and I am living my fantasy with amazing men and women in tow [laughs].
AL: I’ve known you for 16 years now and one thing that has always stood out to me is the fact that you are unequivocally who you are.
AA: Completely. It’s not a shock to me that this is where I’ve graduated to. If anything, the reality that I was living in before was a bit of a lie if that makes sense?
Trying to do all of the things that you’re meant to do. Have the career, have the husband, just trying to be what society deems as a good person. Feeling useless and redundant can break a person. I can still be a good sister, daughter, entrepreneur and person at the same time as looking after men’s interests. If that makes sense? I’m sure it does to many of your readers.
As I mentioned before, this isn’t just a one-dimensional money grab. I’m investing. I’m studying as well. I’m becoming a yoga teacher and I am becoming a psychologist at the same time. This job has allowed me the freedom to do all the things that I always wanted to do, rather than being stuck in a 9 to 5 job.
“This job has allowed me the freedom to do all the things that I always wanted to do.”
AL: My final question is about you and you alone. How do you navigate your own self-pleasure?
AA: I navigate it by governing it. I have been extremely pleased with all of these men. I don’t want a relationship. I just want to be fully in charge of my own pleasure and “I’ll call you when I’m ready”…
To a certain degree though, I have noticed that this attitude drives some men crazy.
I’ve just taken back my own power and am owning my truth.
I don’t have all of the old traditional beliefs that I had before, or maybe I never had them, I just… I’ve taken control of that.
Alina Ambrosia and Brookelyn Bennett are releasing a podcast called “2 Girls 1 Mic”, coming soon.
*Not her real name