In the third series of Satisfaction, currently showing on Showcase, actor Dustin Clare gets to remind viewers it’s not all girl talk.
Having joined the second season as sex worker Sean, brother of Mel (Madeleine West), his role as the only male principal allows contrast to the issues of the female cast.
As Clare tells TV Tonight, the research also netted him some useful storylines that have been woven into this series.
“I met with gigolos, female sex workers, booking agents and went through brothels,” he said. “I think the thing I got most about it was they’re willing to tell you the technicalities of the size of their piece, how long they can go for, how good they are it. And yet when I wanted to delve into how relationships affect their work and how work affects their relationships, and perceptions of love they were very guarded.
“You understand why when you’re doing the role. It’s to protect themselves and to keep something for themselves. But through that research we opened up a whole lot of storylines for my character. Things like ‘test driving’ the new girls in a brothel. There might be a new female sex worker who starts and the brothel owner will get in the male sex worker to test out the new girl. Does she need to work on her touch, or her ability to converse, or just the act of sex?
“We found out all that kind of stuff, so Sean is test-driving the new sex workers and giving them a score.”
Like his female co-stars, Clare is also required to perform scenes with nudity, but admits it isn’t something that fazes him, even if it means having to work around different issues for classificiation.
“I wouldn’t be part of the show if I had a problem being naked,” he says. “You can’t legally show an erect penis. And in the act of sex you can’t show any genitalia. You can show people chopping their heads off on TV but you can’t show two people making love. That’s how it is. So I basically wear a sock.”
Broadly speaking, this season deals with issues including rape, consent, drugs, and menopause. Added to what Clare describes as some of his most confronting storylines, Sean’s romantic interest in Natalie (Kestie Morassi) will be tested.
“Sean has some definite physical attraction to the new girl, Amy (Camille Keenan) and that’s going to develop. So it will be interesting to see how that triangle goes with Nat.”
With its intimate scenes, he also takes the role of making his co-stars feel relaxed very seriously.
“For me it’s about making the actresses comfortable. A lot of the time it’s guest actresses, including older, well-respected actresses. They’re taking a risk taking off their clothes, so for me it’s about making them really comfortable and safe and looked after in the environment. So that they feel like they can go anywhere with me,” he says.
“Once I find I’ve got someone in that safe place we can start working. So it’s all about setting that safe environment up.”
Satisfaction airs 8:30pm Tuesday on Showcase.