Nothing But My Body is a refreshing take on sex work that isn’t used for shock value or a dark or traumatic character arc to add flavor to a story.
Author, Tilly Lawless draws on her experiences as a queer sex worker in Sydney to deliver an unabashedly honest novel. These are the kind of stories we should be consuming; written by the people they are written about. It provides a perspective that people otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to.
The unnamed main character is likeable and surprisingly relatable. She is a simple, but not narrow-minded girl from regional NSW who moved to the big smoke. The backdrop of sex work gave it enough spice to not have to warrant an overly complex plot or character arc. The reader has space to breathe and soak up the concepts without the need for excessive scene setting. It is simultaneously intricate and interesting while also being an easy and effortless read. The yearning and unrequited love are things that every reader with a heart can relate to.
The casual references to sex, drugs, and other spicy topics read like the conversations we have with people who care about us and don’t bring shame upon the mere mention of those topics. They arise naturally, without taboo, in a way I think they would in a perfect world. Maybe the mere subject matter is provocative enough for some readers, however the literary voice is of such caliber that I implore conservative readers to try and sit through this without feeling like they’re among friends.