NZ brothels get thumbs up from UK grannies

Two women from Britain's Women's Institute who travelled to Auckland to check out brothels have given rave reviews of two establishments in a documentary to be screened in the United Kingdom on Sunday.

The documentary, The WI And The Search For The Perfect Brothel, will air on Channel 4, the Daily Mail reported.

The two women, Jean Johnson, the 62-year-old wife of a retired British Airways captain, and Shirley Landells, a 73-year-old engineer's widow, made a world tour of brothels to gather information for a campaign to make life safer for prostitutes in England.

The pair, backed by the Women's Institute in Hampshire, are lobbying the British Government to change the laws on prostitution.

The newspaper said the documentary milked the "jam and Jerusalem grannies see the inside of a brothel" angle and showed them sitting together in the window of an Amsterdam brothel.

In the United States, at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, they met prostitutes who had regular health checks, but the pair did not approve of the way the girls were brought out for the clients.

"It was a bit like a dog show," said Mrs Johnson ."

But in Auckland, they accompanied an inspector to the "gentleman's retreat" Purely Blue brothel and said: "It was lovely."

And at the Bonton, a boutique-style venue in a suburban house, workers had degrees and professional jobs.

"Magnificent," was the verdict from the British visitors.

"Very discreet, no one would know what was happening," said Mrs Johnson. "What I liked was there were two girls there, which provided safety for each other.

"It's what they call a small owner-operated brothel. And the hours were so civilised - 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday. Just like a regular job, really."

The pair said it was a perfect model for a British brothel: clean, safe and not seedy in the least.

The other brothel they liked in central Auckland was more luxurious.

"It was like a boutique hotel with antiques and designer robes," said Mrs Johnson.

"What was especially good was that the rooms have a peep hole, so if the girl doesn't like the look of the man knocking at her door she can turn him away ... I do believe the girls should have the right to say no."

- NZPA

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