“I know tons of girls who are pimped you know, but me, no. I came here to work to get money. I make about 50,000 euros during the two months I spend here….” She played with my hair, touching my arm
“Wow that is so much money….”
“Yes and then I fly back to Brazil and live with my children and husband.”
“Wait… you have kids and a husband? How old are you!?” I asked shocked… she appeared to be 26!
“35! And I’ve had four kids.” She replied calmly
I stared at her in disbelief, continuing to repeat the words “honestly!?” as she laughed.
I stared at this woman who had the most incredible body I have ever seen and wondered how she managed to stay in such amazing shape, and more importantly how she felt so comfortable with herself and her relationship, enough to leave her husband and kids behind for two months a year to make money in Europe, a location 5,702 miles away from home.
“Don’t you miss your kids!? And your husband knows what you are doing??” I ask
“Of course, our relationship is trusting. And my kids mean everything, but in Brazil it is very poor and why should I work 40 years in a field to earn a quarter of what I earn here in two months! I go back home, live in a villa and send my kids to proper school!” She chuckled as I nodded my head along.
Were things in Brazil really that bad? I hadn’t even thought that these women could have been intentionally coming from other countries to make a better life for themselves back home.
“So do you go and work for someone here?” I ask
“No, not a pimp or anything. Most of the windows are owned by pimps though. But I get charged 200 euros a night for rent.”
“You rent the room for the night?”
“Yes, it isn’t much and I am in charge of my business.”
“And what about all the men you sleep with? Do you have a say?”
“Of course. Since I work independently I decide who I sleep with. I don’t sleep with certain men who I [deem creepy]”
Note: I edited out this part because she said a few racial slurs that were a bit much to post, but she basically gave me a long list of nationalities she didn’t allow into her room to provide with services
I appreciated her bluntness. She seemed happy enough to continue answering questions as I pressed on…
“And it’s cool to just turn anyone down?”
“I don’t let them come in or simply say no. Most are fine with that.”
“And out of the customers that you’ve had have any had weird requests?”
She threw back her head in laughter and I giggled nervously along with her, unsure of what she was going to continue with.
“Oh my YES. Some customers are so weird. Like I have this one guy who comes in every week and collects all the used condoms from my trash bin.”
“He just comes in and grabs all the used ones?” I question
“Yeah he just wants that, nothing sexual. He comes and collects at the end of the night and pays me for each condom.”
“Whattt??? Anyone else come in and ask for heavy bondage stuff or anything?”
“Most men are a bit nervous when they meet me, like the whole first experience. This one guy paid me 5000 euros to take a shit on the floor though. So I did it you know, money’s money.”
Zach and I laughed along with her, cringing at the thought of how this guy must have looked when requesting that, and at our new friend’s honesty.
“I think okay, this is weird, but you know he wanted me to do nothing for money. So it happened.”
“How about foot fetishes and that?”
“Not too many, most men are so nervous. It’s very funny” She seemed to find it humorous and we joked along as if we had gone through a similar experience.
“Can I ask something that might be a little touchy?” I asked earnestly, trying not to pressure her into answering too many questions
“Yeah yeah of course” she replied
“Have you experienced any physical violence from customers? Like has anyone attacked you or been too rough”
“No no of course not. I know of some women who do but I feel safe here.” She insisted, clicking her tongue ring against her teeth, “A lot of girls here like are owned by pimps, and they can get hurt from them. Some get taken care of more than others.”
“And have you ever worried about it?”
“No, I turn down the ones I get weird feelings from.”
“Ah so like a screening process.”
“Yes, and we check genitals as well… anything that smells or looks off is a no. I mean I have sex yes, but I have a family. And the person who rents out this place is very good to me too. I get tested a lot.”
“I had noticed that other girls we had talked to refused to kiss their customers” I comment
“Yes, some girls think it is too personal. I’m fine with it, especially girls you know.”
“Are you bisexual then?”
“No, I mean I am open, but everyone makes out with their friends when they are young right? I just kiss girls but men sometimes want the girlfriend experience.”
We concluded the interview talking more about her lesbian experiences and eventually me commenting on her little room setup, sink included. We parted ways with a hug, and I asked if we would see her again later on during the week,
“No no, I fly home tomorrow to Brazil! Time to relax!”
Although our interview only lasted 20 minutes, the greatest look into the world of the Red Light District came to me not through simple observation, but rather a very intimate interview conducted with a woman who seemed to be prostituting her body for a [good] cause. She saw the potential for earning money in an economy that allowed her to go home practically a millionaire (considering the exchange rate), while being able to send her kids to a private school and keep her family happy.
She never commented on whether or not her kids knew much about what she did every year when she went abroad, but seemed happy enough to mention how her husband was well and truly aware of her work.
Note: First image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org. Second image courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org