Sugarbabe by Holly Hill Random House, HK$215 Holly Hill, fortysomething part-time prostitute and author of the much-hyped Sugarbabe, billed as The Controversial Real Story of a Woman in Search of a Sugar Daddy, is, we are repeatedly told, 'lucky enough to be considered darned attractive'. She has 'big, puffy Angelina Jolie lips on an equally big mouth' ('my big fat lips are perfect for facials,' she gracefully informs one client). Hill's egregiously lurid self-descriptions create expectations of an urban Salome seducing readers with her seven veils. But the only vaporous aspect of Hill is her intellect. Her portrait - featured on the Random Australia website against the phallic backdrop of what looks like the Elan apartment block in Sydney's King's Cross - reveals a homely sort with a cleavage like two uncooked chicken fillets shaken loose from their tray. 'Controversial' only in its diabolical idiocy, this memoir's narrative is straightforward: a woman with low self-esteem and promiscuous-father issues seeks a father figure to make her a prostitute and thus validate her low self-esteem. Lest the reader assume that lines such as 'he gently pulled apart the flaps', 'he looked like a giant hippo' and 'my personality was exhibiting adjectives [sic] it had never known before' were written by a Year 8 schoolboy, Hill announces that she is a psychologist ... on almost every page. 'I did psychology' (p1); 'she was a far better clinical psychologist than I' (p3); 'my work as a psychologist' (p10); 'You're a psychologist' (p13); 'I was a psychologist' (p18); 'I am a qualified psychologist' (p19); 'you are also a qualified psychologist' (p26); 'I am a qualified psychologist' (p28); 'this is probably inherent of [sic] being a psychologist' (p30); and so on and so forth. Supposedly qualified to translate the Morse code of behavioural dysfunction, Hill muses: 'How a zillionaire with two children could possibly be bored and unfulfilled was completely beyond me.' Her walking wallet buys her underpants with a credit card. 'A black Amex, that is. I hadn't even realised there was anything beyond platinum.' Suddenly she has a 'fabulous' camera, a 'high-powered' telescope, a 'beefed-up' computer, and - in keeping with the Wal-Mart catalogue style - a 'high-tech' DVD player. Her 'sexy smile', she realises, comes from the 'vastly increased sense of self-worth' imparted by underwear and hardware. Predictably, the zillionaire casts his covetous chorine asunder, whereupon she weeps over her bills. Cue best friend, who offers the kind of advice every qualified psychologist yearns to hear: 'Why don't you become an escort? Get yourself a sugar daddy - some rich, married dude.' A floodlight switches on in Hill's empty head: 'I felt a boundary falling away. I think it had something to do with morality.' And so begins Hill's descent into prostitution. The price of eternal vigilance? 'I took a deep breath and mentally placed a A$1,000-a-week [HK$6,600] sticker on my forehead.' Hill places an ad on a website; the usual trolls, freaks, gimps and hornswagglers respond. 'Sarcasm aside,' she swoons, 'my heart was pounding. I was considering entering the sex industry, crossing a forbidden threshold ... A low, sexy moan escaped me ... I felt hotter and sexier than I had ever felt before ... here I was, the daughter of Mrs South Port Stephens, feeling horny because I'd put myself up for sale to rich men.' Yes, reader, her idea of controversy is selling the use of her body parts to corpulent granddads. 'I was desirable,' she pants. 'I was wanted. I wasn't a joke. I was a commodity.' Jubilant with refracted self-loathing, she gushes: 'I wanted to be this man's chattel!' Being 'treated like a whore' or 'slave' doesn't make her feel trashed or degraded - if anything, 'it's monogamy that's disempowering because it removes choice!' After all, even when 'badly injured' she 'scarcely let out a whimper'. When asked what she would do if asked to drink from a dog's bowl, Hill, believing she's witty, replies: 'I guess it'd depend on whether or not it was clean and if it was on the table.' Cue best friend: 'I can't believe he's paid you three grand and you've only f***ed him once! ... You must be on the best wicket in the world.' The fact that Hill actually submitted this swill for publication demonstrates not only her obliviousness to the abject tragedy of her life, but to the suffering of the untold millions who, through the feminisation of poverty, coercion or psychological mutilation, find themselves taking considerably less pleasure in being treated as chattels.