How I ended up in prostitution
Well, no. It's as simple as that. The whole dancing career story doesn't happen to girls working in Amsterdam. It's mainly a story some guys use in clubs in Romania, to find girls to work in prostitution in countries where prostitution is illegal (meaning not regulated and illegal by law).
Girls working in Amsterdam for the large majority, and all the girls I know, knew exactly what they came here to do. Even those that became victims of human trafficking, knew they where going to work in prostitution as you can find out from actually reading court cases of human trafficking. So unlike so many people think, those girls weren't tricked into working in prostitution, they knew it and they agreed on it.
And the same thing is true for me. I came here because I wanted to work in prostitution. Not because some guy told me something different, and not because he made me fall in love with him and emotionally forced me into this job. No, I simply wanted to come here to do this job, to make a lot of money.
It all started more then 5 years ago, back in my home country of Romania. I finished high school and started to work different jobs. But everywhere where I went a job paid about 150 to 200 Euro's. Since prices are a little lower than in other European countries, but the salary we get in Romania is about 10 times lower, I realized quickly it would take forever before I could get a house of my own and perhaps even a car.
Some friends of mine had moved to Italy, and started working there in restaurants and bars. Hoping I could follow them, I asked them if they could help me find a job in Italy. They promised me they would look for a job for me, so I could come to work in Italy. I was up in the air, I could go to work in Italy, make good money there, and with a few years I could go back to Romania to buy my own house and my own car.
For a long period I waited on them for an answer. But nothing happened. None of my friends ever contacted me with a possible job in Italy. Thinking about what to do next, I got in contact with someone else who had friends working in Holland in prostitution. It was a couple, and the girl worked there in prostitution herself as well. They told me I could make a lot of money in prostitution. At first I said no, thinking I would still get that job in Italy. But as time passed, and none of my friends ever contacted me about a job in Italy, I slowly started to think about the other offer.
Yes, perhaps prostitution wasn't the dream job I had in mind, but then again so weren't a lot of other jobs I did before. On top of that I could make much more money in prostitution than I ever could make in Italy working in a restaurant. The fact that I could be working in prostitution in another country, without my family or friends ever having to find out about it, made it a lot easier to make a choice.
What holds back a lot of people of doing a job like prostitution, is not so much themselves, as more the social acceptance of prostitution, and people's judgement on it. I had many prejudices about prostitution myself, from what I've heard from the media. But the more I started to talk with the couple offering me a way into prostitution, the more I began to realize my ideas of prostitution and the reality of prostitution where very far apart from each other.
I always thought for instance that you had to have sex with everyone, but as they explained it to me, that wasn't the case, and I could refuse anyone I didn't like. I also had the idea that people who went to prostitutes where old, fat and dirty people, but as they explained me, this was very far from the truth. I also always thought that many girls where forced into this job, but also that turned out to be a big lie as I talked to them.
The more I talked with them, the more I became convinced that this job was a better option then working in a restaurant in Italy for 800 Euro's a month. I could be making much more money in prostitution, than I ever could in Italy. On top of that I would be working for myself, in stead of for a boss telling me what to do. The freedom prostitution offers to women is so much more then any other job could offer. You can decide yourself when you go to work, when you go home, when to quit the job, and nobody tells you what to do.
You're basically your own boss.
With a salary that dwarfs the salary in most other jobs, and having more freedom then any other job could offer, plus the knowledge that nobody would ever have to find out about it, I decided to take the step.
I talked with the couple that offered me a way into prostitution, as I was still worried a little bit about all the stories I had heard about prostitution. They however made it very clear to me, that I could just try the job for a while, and if I didn't like the job, I could quit the job at any point and go back home, no strings attached.
The only thing they wanted was that I would pay them back the money they had spend on me, plus a little extra for all the effort they put into it, which sounded like a fair thing to me. After all, if a friend brings you with a car all the way to another place, you also pay back your friend for the effort he took and the money he spend on gas for the car.
I decided to take the step, and they would help me out to get over here and get started. They bought me a plane ticket to come to Amsterdam, and once I was in Amsterdam I could stay in their apartment as long as I wanted. They helped me out with getting a working permit so I could work here in Holland (before 2014 Romanian and Bulgarian people where not allowed in the country without a working permit, and the working permit could only be given to people if they started a company of themselves). They helped me to set up my own company, since in window prostitution all prostitutes need to have their own company. They even moved to a bigger apartment, so there would be enough place for the three of us to live in.
Because getting all the papers I needed to work here took a while, I couldn't work the first three weeks I was living with them. In order to bridge the gap between working and not having any income, they gave me enough money so I could pay for everything I needed in those first few weeks.
After about three weeks I finally got all the papers I needed to work, and went to one of the window owners for a room to work. Quickly I started making money, and I paid them back the money they owed me, and after I paid them everything they told me if I wanted I could move to an apartment of my own. I however decide to stay and live with them, since they where very nice people.
Eventually of course I did move out after about one year, and started living on my own. The couple helped me to find an apartment for me, and ever since I've moved from one apartment to another. Sometimes sharing an apartment with another girl working there because we became good friends, sometimes living all by myself. I preferred however to live with other girls, since when you're living in a country where you don't know anybody else, and you don't speak the language, you quickly become lonely and bored. Living together with another girl that speaks the same language isn't just financially more interesting because you can share the rent, but also offers you some company.
These days I live together with my boyfriend, who I've been together with for more than two years already. I've never regret the choice I made to come here. I have a good live, have enough money to do whatever I want to do, and have all the freedom in the world to do what I want, whenever I want to. The couple that helped me where very nice people, and helped me a lot to get started over here. Too bad the law still sees them technically as human traffickers (as you can read here), in stead of people helping girls to find a good paying job over here.
It's strange really, that this rule only exists for prostitution. If I would have chosen any other job over here, the couple that helped me would have been seen by the law as an employment agency, in stead of criminals.
My question is to you is, how else are girls like me, who want to start in prostitution, supposed to get started here? Who is going to help girls like me, to get the finances we need for this job? Not the bank, because they refuse prostitutes. Who is helping prostitutes to find an apartment that accepts prostitution as a normal job? Who is helping the girls into prostitution, in stead of getting out of it?
We have so many organisations claiming they help us. But all they do is help us to quit the job. Nobody helps us to start this job in a safe way for the girls who want to do this job. Myself and many other girls didn't have any problems with the people that helped us, but it's no secret that there is a small group of people taking advantage of a few girls, and exploit them. If nobody offers you an alternative, then this is the end result of it.
If people really want to fight human trafficking, then give girls who want to work in prostitution a good way in, and not just a good way out.