How I ended up in prostitution
It's the question burning on many people their lips, how did you end up in prostitution? I get this question so many times at work, and probably a lot of people have it on their mind as well when they're reading my blog here. Perhaps some people will think it was a pimp that told me I could have a good dancing career in Western Europe, perhaps they abducted me and too me here to work in prostitution by force.

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.

Dutch version
13 Responses
  1. Frans Says:

    Wonderful. It's as simple as that! Had you come to work in the hotel business making beds and cleaning rooms, or in the horeca business, no one would ask "how come?" You also would probably not have made good money, and almost certainly would not have felt the urge to begin a blog, figure out so many things about the industry of your choice and tell about them, and even tell us how you came to choose prostitution. The key word is SEX. It's everyone's normal condition and yet such a stigmatized secret. I think the stigma has gotten so much more violent in the last decades since the seventies because our sexuality has been pushing itself more and more to the surface of life and society, and still too many people (political leaders, rescuers) fear that their little "embarrassing secret" is getting less and less secret which makes them feel more embarrassed to than ever. Like little kids running to daddy and screaming, "papa, they're bullying me!!! Help!!!" Papa doesn't help, so they kick back, screaming and yelling like vicious street fighters.


  2. Donkey Says:

    Felicia Anny, would you like to go into more detail about how clients behave? How do you deal with situations where clients do things you don't want to happen? How do you determine your boundaries?

    Greetings, Donkey/Kris2


  3. Leo Myshkin Says:

    How does a woman feel when she first comes in a sexual contact with a man whom she doesn't love and propably she doesn't like? Is it a traumatic experience as most people think, or is it sth normal as if she was doing any other job for the first time? Doesn't this perspective of having sex with unknown men scares a woman before she begins this job, or is their a sexual curiosity which drives someone in prostitution as some researches say?
    ( http://sciencenordic.com/what-drives-prostitute ) This is my question and i want to thank you for all the information you give to us. You have really helped me a lot...


  4. Felicia Anna Says:

    @Leo Myshkin
    Actually people make it a lot more complex then it really is. Perhaps that's because it involves sex, which still is a taboo area for a lot of people. So perhaps the reason why people make it so complex for themselves, is not because prostitution is so complex to understand, but to reason things for themselves, because they have trouble with being sexually open with themselves.

    Let me first of all say that if you're not open about sexuality, than I don't think you should be doing a job in prostitution at all. That being said, most women working in prostitution have no problem to separate sexuality from love.
    Once you understand that sex is just something nice you can do with everyone, and doesn't require love or any intimate relationship with anyone, it becomes a lot easier to separate sex from making love with someone.

    If this job causes women to have a traumatic experience, they're clearly doing the wrong type of job. This job isn't for everyone, but only for those who are confident and open enough about their own sexuality to use it to make money with,

    Of course the first time you get nervous when you do this job. But I always compare it with being an actor who also gets nervous before he goes on stage to perform for a lot of people.

    Some women do it out of curiosity, but most simply do it for the money, and the part of sex really isn't as important to us as other people always think. They make the idea of sex so much bigger for prostitutes than prostitutes make a point out of sex for themselves.

    Sex is a normal human behavior we all have, it's nothing to be ashamed about, but apparently for a lot of people it's still a very big deal.

    Just like how homosexuality used to be a big deal too, with a lot of people having prejudices about it, the same thing is still true for prostitution. People fear what they don't understand. And they don't understand prostitution out of fear for their own sexuality.


  5. Frans Says:

    The recent tragedy in California of Elliot Rodger going on a killing rampage, prompted Annie Sprinkle yesterday to a comment on her FB page that is one example why woman who become prostitute for some reason, stay in it because it offers them so many chances, often unknowingly, to make a real difference in a total stranger's life. If clients would tell their deepest truth we might be stunned... We just don't know but must have confidence in the power of the wholesome, playful, intense, and kind attention a prostitute can give her clients. By the way, Annie's comment fits the US situation where compared to Holland (gun) violence is rampant and all prostitution is illegal. As we know from so many blogs of US sex workers and supportive activists, more than regularly prostitutes suffer from brutal police attack:

    Elliot Rodger, made [a] video saying: "I'm 22 years old and still a virgin, never even kissed a girl. And through college, 2 1/2 years, more than that actually, I'm still a virgin. It has been very torturous,” he said. "The popular kids, you never accepted me and now you will all pay for it. Girls, all I ever wanted was to love you, be loved by you. I wanted a girlfriend. I wanted sex, love, affection, adoration.” This may sound wierd to some of you, but I believe that if prostitution was not illegal, and wasn't so frowned upon, this young man could have been kept from snapping. He could then easily have gone to some generous, loving, compassionate prostitutes. I know this first hand. When I worked as a loving prostitute for twenty years, I know for a fact that I comforted, loved and cared for some very disturbed, lonely, frustrated, mentally unstable, socially handicapped people. I chose my work, enjoyed it, and worked in a safe place where I was not alone. (Harder to do now or it's a "criminal enterprise." So I partly blame the people who put and keep laws against the profession of prostitution, as prostitution can in fact help society at large in a big way. Prostitutes already relieve millions of unwanted stress, tension, loneliness, frustration... the list goes on. Every day! My heart goes out to all the families involved and to Elliot Rodgers as well. So full of resentment and hate".


  6. Anonymous Says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm coming to Amsterdam in September and would like to visit your window if you're still working.


  7. Felicia Anna Says:

    @Anonymous June 15, 2014 at 10:54 AM
    I'll still be working there for quite a while, but for where exactly I'm working in the Red Light, read my FAQ here:
    http://behindtheredlightdistrict.blogspot.nl/p/faq.html


  8. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks. I certainly understand and respect your need for privacy. Hoping to find someone nice and polite during my visit in September. It makes things so much better than someone who is trying to get me in and out as fast as possible. I've had a couple of good experiences and one bad one.


  9. BLM Says:

    Very interesting read - I was a subscriber to another girls blog (Alicia Casiraghi) who mentioned you and your blog so followed her link to your blog and very glad I did.

    I myself have been on the other side of the fence having grown up in care and all boys boarding schools. I never did well at school and never learnt the art of pulling girls and interacting with them as I never grew up with them in my formative years so sadly have only ever had 1 girl friend and didn't loose my virginity to very late in life. Sadly living in UK they always say prostitution is wrong, and girls are forced etc., so alas this always scared me away from trying to find solice that way - not to mention it was illegal and didn't want to be caught solicitiing.

    I see Escorts advertised on adult sites here these days but sadly for me the prices just seem to much so don't go for them - also maybe partly as I am to nervous about calling and visiting a stranger for sex.

    Any way long story short I have been to Amsterdam 3 times in my life and first time I was to scared to visit a window girl - so just window shopped. On my second visit/holiday I did towards the end of my holiday one night after a few beers that I guess relaxed me enough to go for it and fact it was not so busy I did end up going inside after being beckoned by a woman and have to say it was very nice - the lady kind of offered a girl friend experience all be it only for 20 minutes.

    It made me wish I lived in a progressive country like Holland where I could do this as I had not had sex for about 5 years - which I can tell you is confidence killing and soul destroying as a hetro sexual man with lustful frustrations. How nice it would be to be able to treat myself once a month being lonely and single but alas back in England I can not do this easily or legally.

    I have to say I am glad that first time was nice and lady was kind as my last and second experience was the complete opposite - so much so I felt robbed and had that been my first ever experience may have put me off prostitutes and window women for life.


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  12. This is a real good topic. I believe not wveryone as as lucky as you were. Some girls trust the wrong people, which pretend yo be "good" and when the girl facebthe true self of the people that brought her into the job, she doesnt know st some point what is right or either wrong... Its a other world i am talking about. There are goid, but there are bad stories, too. So, I believe till some point it is good that already exist an "exit" from prostitution, but why there is not a safe door open yet. It is way more important. Way more safe and predictable.



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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.