I earn £45 an hour to clean people's houses in the nude

Turning up for my first cleaning job, I was nervous. 

I wasn’t scared of the mess I might find on the other side of the door, more of the fact that I would be naked while tidying. 

I had previously been a stage manager in a theatre, a job I’d done for 12 years, but, rather suddenly, I found I’d fallen out of love with it – and you can’t really do a job like that if you don’t love it. 

I was 38 and didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. I thought I might set up my own gardening company, so enrolled to study horticulture. In the short term, however, I needed money. 

One day, my friends and I were browsing through a magazine when we saw something on naturist cleaning. Apparently, there are 4million naturists in the UK alone – which was news to me – and they wanted cleaners who would be willing to take off their clothes, too. 

My friends laughed and said they could never do something like that, but for some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. 

I’ve always been a bit of show-off, jumping at any excuse to flash my boobs, and this job appealed to my wild side. 

I was worried though, because while I’ve had exhibitionist tendencies, I’ve never really been comfortable with my looks. As a child, I went from skinny to butterball very quickly, and I always tried to make people laugh at my body, thinking it might change how I felt towards it. 

But once I saw how much clients were willing to pay, I quickly put my worries to the side. They were offering £45 an hour, which allowed me to study my gardening course, and the working hours were flexible. 

I spoke to my partner about it – he’s very liberal; he’s lived a life, too – and he was fully supportive.

That said, he did accompany me to my first job, and hung around a nearby café just in case. 

But as soon as my first client opened his door, I felt relief (and not just because he was clothed). I walked in, excused myself and went to his bathroom, where I took my clothes off.

I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘Right, let’s get on with it!’. 

Sometimes, some men do get a little excited, yes, but they soon get embarrassed about it, and the… excitement goes away again

I walked out, ta da, and got on with the job. The bloke was lovely, had also got undressed, and we had a nice chat. Soon after, he left me to the cleaning while he got on with his paperwork. 

I have to say that I’ve never had to clean for anyone yet who has made me feel creepy. They’ve always treated me with absolute respect.

No one has come even close to touching me – there is a very strict look-don’t-touch rule.   

Some guys follow me from room to room to chat – and, I suppose, to look – while I clean. It’s fine – they just want a bit of company. 

The whole psychology behind it is fascinating. They want to talk to someone else, but they also want to expose their own skin, and I can appreciate that. 

Sometimes, some men do get a little excited, yes, but they soon get embarrassed about it, and the… excitement goes away again. 

Most of them are actually incredibly sweet and really quite shy. Not all of them maintain eye contact – although some do – but then again, men talk to my breasts when I have my clothes on.

So you can only imagine what it’s like when I’m naked and they’re bouncing around! 

Anyway, once we’ve got over the initial novelty, we just talk, joke and laugh a lot. 

I really had no idea I would ever be able to do something like this. I didn’t realise it would also help me feel comfortable in my skin for the first time at 38. 

It feels massively liberating, especially for a curvy girl like me. I haven’t told everyone what I do, and I don’t use my real name. My partner knows, of course, but my stepchildren don’t, and I don’t think my mum would understand. 

My friends wouldn’t be surprised, though. I imagine they’d just think it was typical of me, something I would do, being a relatively confident person. 

I just think I may as well enjoy my body for as long as I can before it gets old and saggy. 

It’s definitely an unusual job, and I won’t do it forever – I still plan to be a gardener – but it’s got me out of a dark period, and it’s been liberating. I’ve got to tell you, I love it. 

The other day, I turned up to one flat, and the man asked if I’d rather do yoga with him instead.

Doing the downward-facing dog naked, and looking through my legs to see a naked man doing likewise… Well, that’s one for the memoirs, definitely. 

As told to Nick Duerden

Dishing the Dirt: The Hidden Lives of House Cleaners by Nick Duerden is published by Canbury Press.

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