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How a cast of Warwick Capper’s arse is promoting a new sex site bankrolled by Australian brothel royalty

Ben Harvey
The Nightly
6 Min Read
Warwick Capper and Maryanne Kenworthy.
Warwick Capper and Maryanne Kenworthy. Credit: ©Martin Philbey/©Martin Philbey

“It had to be the best male arse in Australia. I don’t think it would be beaten even today.”

It is a big call to make but the person passing judgment, Mary-Anne Kenworthy, is well qualified.

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As Australia’s most enduring brothel madam, she’s seen more than her fair share of boys’ bums bouncing down the hallways of her bordellos in Darwin, Canberra and Perth.

The owner of the arse being critiqued is in furious agreement about the pertness of his derrière.

Warwick Capper revelled in his sex appeal when he was in his 20s and the hottest player in what was then the VFL.

At 60 he is still brimming with the self-confidence that once saw him become the highest-paid AFL footballer in history, and the wearer of the tightest shorts in professional sport.

Age may have wearied the Wiz’s face but not the butt, which enthusiastic observers reckon is “still tight enough to bounce a 20c piece off.”

“I appreciate Mary-Anne’s honesty, she is absolutely correct about my gorgeous backside and yes it is still as hard as a rock,” Capper says.

Kenworthy and Capper were reunited in Melbourne on Saturday night, 24 years after they first met in the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie.

They were in the studio at Capper’s Balwyn North home, where the T-Wiz Podcast sees Capper and Tony Marks discuss pop culture and sport with a range of unusual guests.

Warwick Capper, Tony Marks and Maryanne Kenworthy.
Warwick Capper, Tony Marks and Maryanne Kenworthy. Credit: ©Martin Philbey/©Martin Philbey

It’s a comfortable format for Capper, who did his apprenticeship as a professional media boofhead on the Nine Network’s the Footy Show.

It was that gig that saw him wandering the streets of brothel-rich Kalgoorlie in early 2000.

“It was in March or April,” Kenworthy recalls.

“I knew Mark Jackson and he would always come and say hello if he was in town.

“I said to one of the girls ‘wouldn’t it be great to see that arse properly’.

“So I said to Warwick ‘why don’t you let me make a plaster cast of this wonderful arse before it disappears’.

“We were building a new front to the brothel and we asked him to dip his arse in some wet concrete out the front but it didn’t really work so we organised to use proper plaster of Paris.

“There was nothing sexual about it. He was on the massage table and we just did it as we were all chatting.

“Warwick’s got what we girls in the industry call a shower not a grower. It didn’t get much longer when he was on the job but it didn’t need to.

“When we were taking the cast it would slide out to one side like an elephant trunk and we’d need to get him to tuck it back in so it didn’t get covered in plaster.”

Warwick Capper at Langtrees Brothel in the 2000s.
Warwick Capper at Langtrees Brothel in the 2000s. Credit: supplied/supplied

Capper says he recalls the time well.

“I enjoyed every minute of it, I can’t share too much but let me just say the girls had a great time.”

Kenworthy genuinely likes the Sydney Swan-turned-Brisbane Bear-turned-porn star-turned-podcaster.

“He will talk to an 80-year-old woman as quickly as he will talk to a young blonde,” she says.

“He makes every woman feel good.”

But she wasn’t appearing on his podcast, with that framed plaster cast in tow, purely to reminisce about the good old days.

Like Capper, Kenworthy doesn’t walk past a promotional opportunity. She has just launched a new sex worker website and everything she does publicly is about raising awareness of Langtrees.com.

The website draws its name from the brothel Kenworthy opened 40 years ago in Perth (next to a police union headquarters, no less) but it has an international outlook.

The online directory currently caters to Australia and New Zealand and she anticipates a footprint in at least six other countries by December.

Blonde hair, tight shorts and high marks made Sydney full-forward Warwick Capper football's first pin-up boy.
Blonde hair, tight shorts and high marks made Sydney full-forward Warwick Capper football's first pin-up boy. Credit: Supplied

Langtrees.com is designed to give sex workers an affordable advertising platform.

“That’s an advantage I never had when I first started out,” she says.

“Sex workers got gouged anytime they took out an ad. We were charged twice as much for a newspaper ad as a real estate agent and three times more than a car salesman.

“It was completely prejudiced and has made me furious for longer than I can remember.

“Langtrees.com has a commitment to treating all segments of the industry with dignity, fairness and integrity.”

It’s a dream 20 years in the making.

“The idea came about at a meeting 25 years ago where the question was raised ‘how does a sex worker retire after 20 years in the industry and get back into the workforce?’

“I envisioned a single online platform akin to the Yellow Pages, recognizing the need for a system that could efficiently manage the large clientele base while empowering advertisers with industry expertise to craft effective ads.”

The first version of Langtrees.com was based on a revenue-sharing model with advertising companies involved in the sex industry.

From 2009 to 2014 Langtrees.com version two was developed.

The inclusion of images saw it rocket up Google’s search chart but the site was crippled by bugs.

“The product was flawed and we removed it from the web,” Kenworthy says.

“Then it was back to the drawing board to develop version three, which eventually became the platform available today.”

Kal-Brothel: Mary-Anne Kenworthy outside 181 Hay Street, Kalgoorlie, the centre of a row with the city council.
Kal-Brothel: Mary-Anne Kenworthy outside 181 Hay Street, Kalgoorlie, the centre of a row with the city council. Credit: Supplied

The motto “Safe Sex is Great Sex” tackles head-on the worrying trend for sex workers to offer unprotected services.

“You won’t see them say ‘we won’t make you wear a condom’ because it’s more subtle,” Kenworthy says.

“They’ll promote ‘natural’ sex,” she says, or certain sex acts.

“That kind of advertising is prohibited. It’s the responsibility of sex workers to educate the public on safe practices.”

Advertising from “sex worker-friendly businesses” will contribute to langtrees.com’s revenue also.

“That can be everything from a hairdresser to a beautician,” Kenworthy says.

“You can’t sit there for three hours having your hair done or getting a wax and not talk about yourself. We’ll make sure we connect workers with services who are sympathetic to the industry.”

Brothel madam Marie-Ann Kenworthy.
Brothel madam Marie-Ann Kenworthy. Credit: Michael O'Brien

Kenworthy is now immersed in a world of statistical analysis.

She estimates that between 10 and 20 per cent of the sex industry will find the website suits their needs at a price that will be considered affordable.

Up to 40 per cent of clients in any given jurisdiction will be drawn to the site, each of which will spend on average 1.26 minutes on a particular profile.

Making the site easy for clients to use was the hardest thing to get right, she says.

She drew on decades of experience understanding what was going through a man’s mind when he paid for sex.

“I was sitting in my car outside Langtrees in Perth years ago and I was watching this particular man walk to the front door and then back to his car at least three times,” she recalls.

“He must have driven around the block at least twice. In the end I pushed him through the door.

“He was about 56 or 57 and he had lost his wife to cancer a couple of years prior and been her carer for many, many years before that.

“It meant he actually hadn’t had sex for about 13 years and he wanted to know everything worked properly because he was about to start dating again.”

Kenworthy is convinced Langtrees.com will become a billion-dollar business. In the meantime, she is doing well in the traditional bricks-and-mortar trade.

Her Darwin brothel has since closed (“I still own the properties though”) but Langtrees Perth (“it’s where I started) and Langtrees VIP Canberra (“the only liquor licensed brothel in Australia and the only place we are treated as a business with no prejudice”) are still going strong.

As for her podcast work, Kenworthy says she has been approached by The Footy Show alumnus, Sam Newman.

“He wants me to go on his podcast,” she says. “There was one segment on the Footy Show about how the massage room at the Fremantle Dockers was called the Mary-Anne Kenworthy room.

“He was asking ‘who is this Mary-Anne Kenworthy’ and when he worked out what I did it blew his mind.

“He is more my age so I may flirt with him a bit if I see him. I am 70 in two years time.”

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