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May 21, 2010

David Campbell typical of Ken's double-life clientele

There will be a number of nervous politicians today in the wake of the David Campbell scandal. Not that anyone should be surprised, writes sex industry insider Chris Seage.


There will be a number of nervous politicians today in the wake of the David Campbell scandal. Not that anyone should be surprised.

The NSW transport minister resigned from his ministerial post last night after a Channel Seven news crew filmed him coming out of a well-known Sydney gay sauna, Ken’s at Kensington. The media is reveling in revealing each sordid detail of the sexual activity inside.

It appears that the justification of outing Campbell was that he used his ministerial car to journey to and from the gay sex on premises venue. However under NSW parliament rules Campbell has full rights to the car, including private travel.

The fact that the Seven crew stalked the gay sauna waiting like vultures to attack their prey has sent shivers down the back of other politicians who lead double lives.

What I would like to know is who dobbed Campbell in and told Seven he would be frequenting the gay sauna? Surely not the good folk at Ken’s at Kensington?

There is a time-honored code within the NSW sex industry to never reveal customers’ identities as doing so would be a serious breach of privacy. It would also be the death knell of the sex venue concerned as no one would ever return for fear of being outed.

Back in 2007 I reported for Crikey about the code and that I knew the names of five current and former NSW pollies that frequented brothels and sex on premises venues. Campbell was one of them.

Ian, the owner of Sydney’s leading gay brothel Knight Call Male Escorts told Crikey this morning that bi-sexual married men marry for the sake of their family, thus living a double life.

“They can use a brothel to release their gay needs. In turn this may decrease the amount of divorces relating to finding out your husband is gay”, he said.

He said most of the bi-sexual married men were in the 40-plus age bracket and came from a variety of backgrounds, including high-end leaders in the corporate world, movie stars and entertainers.

He also mentioned that many were from TV stations. We dare not mention their names…

Update: Originally in this article Ken’s at Kensington was referred to as a brothel. This is not true, it is a sex on premises venue.


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23 thoughts on “David Campbell typical of Ken’s double-life clientele

  1. (the other) BernardK

    Chris – you refer to Ken’s as a brothel. It isn’t.
    Are you ACTUALLY saying that as well as making use of Sex on Premises Venues, that Campbell ALSO frequented brothels and paid for sex – as distinct for paying to be on premises where you can have non-commercial sex?

    If you’re happy to breach the “code” by outing Campbell as a client of a brothel, why not out the other 4 – and mention the names of the reporters etc.

    This deserves a nomination for the Wankleys mate.

  2. BobBarker

    Bernard your so right. Chris in your haste to jump on this bandwagon you’ve got it completely wrong. Your point about a ‘code of silence’ may also apply to sex venues but still…. get it right.

  3. Tomboy

    I thought the NSW Parliament was known as the “Bear Pit”…

  4. Leon Osborne

    I back up the above comments Kens is not a brothel. By stating it’s a brothel, it appears that he paid for sex. It is a sex on premises venus

  5. Chris Seage

    Sex industry premises comprise premises where sexual acts or sexual services
    are provided, and sex on premises venues. These include:

    (i) Brothels;

    (ii) Safe house brothels for street-based sex workers;

    (iii) Sex on premises venues;

    (iv) Swingers clubs; and

    (v) Bondage and discipline parlours.

    Sex Industry Premises are:

    Premises used for sex between clients but where sex services do not take place in exchange for payment (such as sex on premises venues, swingers clubs).

    Swingers’ clubs and gay saunas (where an entrance fee is charged) are classed in the same category as brothels and sex-on-premises venues, all of which require the council’s consent.

  6. paddy

    Actually, the responsibility for this piece of garbage (masquerading as journalism) rests with Crikey’s editor Sophie Black. She decides what goes in the daily newsletter and the manner in which it appears. (To misquote a certain ex pollie.)
    WTF were you thinking Sophie?
    How did this rubbish get past your mouse? 🙁

  7. Bob the builder

    you should at least out any of the miserable media sc*m who back up Campbell!

    PS Apart from the fuzzy use of ‘brothel’ I think it’s a fairly uncontroversial article – why the fuss?
    Paddy, hope you’ve already told your best friend Guy that this is nowhere near as good as his writing.

  8. (the other) BernardK

    So Chris – you concede that Ken’s is not a brothel, but for planning/council purposes is treated as one. So are you going to stand your ground and confirm that, yes it was your intention to say that he frequented brothels as well as sex on premises venues?

    Or are you saying that the other pollies or ex pollies whom you decline to name used “sex industry premises” – which includes (i) thru (v), but maybe not the commercial sex ones?

    To the best of my knowledge no one else in the media is suggesting that Campbell partook in commercial sex; you have. I suggest you either apologise and withdraw or put up, and incur the wrath of your former colleagues for telling tales and breaking the omerta

  9. Robert Hughes

    Chris: Ken’s is still not as brothel, plain and simple. And Crikey: shame on you for not proof-reading this drivel.

  10. Jason Whittaker

    Beloved readers,

    We’ve amended this report to clarify that Ken’s at Kensington is a sex-on-premises venue, not a brothel. We agree that this is an important distinction; sorry for not picking it up earlier.


    Jason Whittaker
    Deputy Editor

  11. paddy

    Jason W. Thanks for the quick work at picking up and fixing the howler.

    I know Crikey runs on the smell of an oily rag and the pressures of the deadline can be a bastard, but this one really *did* need fixing.

  12. Tom McLoughlin

    sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex ….

  13. kindnessmatters

    Doesn’t declaring there are five NSW pollies at this point invite the media to look for the other four?

    Another look from the editor maybe, in the interests of walking the Crikey talk.

  14. Chris Seage

    Oops….. looks like I’ve offended the gay lobby. Sorry for being honest!

  15. BobBarker

    Chris, its not ‘honest’ to conflate a brothel with a sex venue. Nor is it ‘honest’ to attempt to cover up your error with some pathetic argument that in some regulation somewhere or other they may appear in the same category.

    The dynamics are very different as is the public understanding of the different types of premisis.

    As a ‘former’ industry lobbyist your lack of understanding is concerning.

  16. paddy

    Belated apologies to one Sophie Black. (Will she ever forgive me?)
    Apparently, she was on holidays when this little “hiccup” occurred. 😳

  17. pk1

    Semantics. The fact is you still pay to enter the place so you can have sex with someone. Under NSW Planning laws these places are considered brothels. Some of you need to get a life and find a real issue to take to task.

  18. (the other) BernardK

    no PK1 the semantics are not that cut and dry.

    There is a big difference between the sorts of “sex industry premises”; and way more than that, planning laws show nothing about the difference between the user of those premises.

    The original article which has been amended stated that Campbell used brothels. Not that he went to a sex-on-premises-venue. There is a big difference. Not much of a difference if you are taking a “he made a vow to his wife”, but there is a huge difference between a straight married man who cheats on his wife, and a guy who in an age (33 years ago) got married and has stayed with her and his family for that time. In doing so he has been the (almost) model of a family man.

    Going to a brothel means paying for someone to satisfy you; by paying a covercharge and going to a sex on premises venue he was taking the risk/opportunity of finding someone who was consensually attracted to him and having a short lived but mutually satisfying time with.

    If that sort of (presumably) occasional release was able to keep him in his marriage (while a, his innate sexual desires or needs weren’t met, and b, his wife has been extremely sick anyway) then that is a major difference than forking out hundreds of bucks to get moan-on-demand at a brothel for an hour.

    Sure, it would have been better for him to have not gotten married if he was “confused” about his sexuality, but often people do. Even in this day and age. 33 years ago was even harder to consider the alternative. It seems as if he has done everything to protect his family from divorce and bitterness, and it is way to easy for people to criticise that without looking at his background.

    He has alos NEVER been a morals merchant, and has voted with his conscience on gay/gender/feminist matters in parliament.

  19. pk1

    Your original post referred to as ‘non-commercial” sex. The fact is he paid a fee to the place in expectation of getting sex. There is no difference mate. It’s all nonsense this campaign you’re on about the use of the word brothel.

    Under NSW Planning laws if Kens did not have consent to operate as a gay sauna, guess what councils do to close it down? Answer: They issue a brothel closure order under the EPA.

    So please enough of the semantics. Campbell had gay sex. He paid for it when he paid his entrance fee into the place.

  20. Blair Martin

    PK1 – your bandying of semantics is quite breathtaking. The debate raging over whether Ken’s is a brothel or not falls not on your reading of its status based on council planning permits etc but on what the public perceive to be a brothel. Using the term “brothel” in the article as originally written implies red lights, secret doorways, lace and chintz curtains, tiffany lamps etc etc and a madam presiding over an exchange of cash and a short exchange of whatever with someone else.
    As I have read through the comments, I took the discussion to be about what the PUBLIC perception of what Ken’s would be from reading this article and that a correction was in order.
    And besides, if I enter a SOPV and pay a fee and don’t receive or give any sexual favours, did I just enter a brothel (in your terminology)? Or if I pay a door fee at a nightclub/danceparty/rave with the expectation of getting jiggy with some other punter(s), does that then class that venue as a brothel? (Including events that have cover charges and have “spaces” for people to enjoy connubial activity?)
    Do you see how silly this is getting, PK1? (But, how it passes the time of a dreary, dull late autumn morning…)

  21. BobBarker

    PK1, though NSW legislation is really not the issue here (as its really an issue about public perception) its also important, that you properly refer to the relevant law.

    The definition of brothel in the ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT ACT 1979 (NSW) (see section 4) links to the definition in the RESTRICTED PREMISES ACT 1943 (NSW) (see section 2) where you will see brothel defined as various premises where prostitution occurs. As has been clearly stated previously Kens is not engaged in prostitution.

    While a brothel and a sex on premises venue may both be “sex industry premises” I cant see that they are the same thing either in the relevant legislation nor in the public imagination.

    This is really about accuracy mate. Not semantics.

  22. pk1

    Bob Barker you are the one that’s confused mate. You get your jock strap in a knot by saying I didn’t read the legislation properly. You didn’t read my post properly as I was referring to “brothel closure orders”.

    Such orders may also prohibit premises from being used for ‘related sex uses’ which means the
    use of the premises for the provision of:

    Related sex uses include the use, in exchange for payment, of
    premises to provide sexual acts or services or for massage services (other than
    genuine remedial or therapeutic massage services) or for adult entertainment
    involving nudity, indecent acts or sexual activity either in exchange for
    payment or ancillary to the provision of other goods or services.

    My whole point is that there is a fine line between “brothels” and “sex on premises” venues under NSW planning laws. To make such a big deal is just going over the top. Surely you people have better things to argue about.

    Blair Martin’s analogy of comparing a gay sauna with a normal night club is stupid. How many night clubs have you been to where the occupants are clothed only in a small towell with a stiff penis protruding?

  23. BobBarker

    Who’s over the top now PK? Sorry I didnt get your point. Perhaps it was poorly made.

    Anyway, I am glad were in agreement they are not the same.


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