Sandra Corbin - Bridgetown, Barbados
Not afraid of controversy, Charles Lewis, pictured left, is continually pushing the boundaries, confronting issues that most of us would rather bury under the sand drenched beaches of the Caribbean. Lewis, who originates from Barbados, has just published his autobiography which charts his 25 years experience in the sex industry.
In the past, Lewis has utilised the information he has gathered from work in the adult sex business to help the wider tourism industry deal with the impact of the sex trade on the sector.
He started on his career path at the age of 19, later relocating to Los Angeles, USA, then Europe to gain experience in the management of all types of adult entertainment organisations.
Lewis used his personal charm on women from all walks of life, to open doors to money making opportunities and to gain access to high society circles all over the world. By the age of 23 he owned a couple of adult entertainment nightspots.
Eventually, Lewis became home sick and returned to the Caribbean. He found it difficult to adjust to life in Barbados as communities were a lot more conservative than the ones he had become accustomed to elsewhere. However, by exercising a great deal of discretion in his affairs he developed an exclusive client base.
Amazingly, by 2006 the Cricket World Cup's Local Organising Committee was one organisation that took Lewis seriously. Realising that he had access to important statistics, the organisation gained vital information from him to assist with its own research into the impact of the the sex trade in the Caribbean. The research project was set up because of national concern about the influx of sex workers in the region during this period.
Furthermore, the impact of sex related diseases led officials in the government Health Ministry to ask Lewis for help to gather information from the trade.
At last Lewis was given the respect he felt he deserved.
To top it all off in a Barbadian conservative culture Lewis achieved the seemingly impossible - a Sex Trade Impact Project, which included a workshop in Barbados targeting hoteliers. Those who mattered were finally beginning to take note.
Lewis met with me at a plush bar on the sort after West Coast in Barbados, the playground of the internationally rich and famous. When he arrived he was dressed immaculately in a European business shirt and stylishly cut trousers. After a few minutes talking to him one realised that he was exactly the way he describes himself. A man with the gift of the gab, good looks but with a keen eye for business.
Lewis explained why his type of enterprise was booming in the Caribbean.
"It's no longer about a number of individuals working on Nelson Street," he said. "When you have people working hard 40 hours a week and making $300 during a recession . . . when there is the possibility of making $500 to $1 000 in one hour, you can imagine that this would lure many people into the industry." he added.
However, he turned to writing his memoirs in an attempt to show the world another side of his life and character. Numerous Tv and radio interviews as well as the many newspaper and magazine articles about Lewis have focused on his life in the sex trade and made him infamous in the Caribbean, USA, UK and Europe.
His autobiography Reliving The Most Defining Moments Of My Life has just been launched online via an e-book. It promises to be a real eye-opener.
"The autobiography gives me a sense of who I am. To understand my history why I have been involved in what I have been involved in. A sense of myself. To relive my life and put some perspective on it. At this mature stage it helps me to look at the conflicts, where I have gone wrong and how I would have done it with this level of maturity now." He said.
He also regrets not being able to retire. Lewis said: "I am still in the industry. Once in you are never out of the business. Society does not let you retire. You become stigmatised by people outside of the industry."
In his book he talks candidly about the abuse he suffered during childhood which lead to him becoming a high-class male escort. Lewis also reveals his friendships with clients who invited him to sit at their dinner tables, attend their private parties and to stay as a guest in their homes. He also specialised in assisting clients in major cities around the world to book the most gorgeous female escorts for their Caribbean holidays.
Lewis views his profession with a sense of pride.
In his autobiography he says: "Thousands of people who never really knew Charlie hated him. Many envied his playboy, jet set lifestyle and numerous others were intrigued by the mystique of the man. Many women wanted to sleep with him."
Charles G A Lewis Online e-book can be found at: http://www.charlesgalewis.com