I am in my late twenties.
I have been inside the sex industry for a number of years. I was first involved in the sex industry as a go-go dancer in my home country. I have been involved in the sex industry in Scotland for over two years.
I hope to fully exit the sex industry soon.
I love to cook and love entertaining friends. I am currently completing a number of courses and I hope to return to my home country to buy a flat and open a business.
I’ve been living in Scotland for over two years. Before I came here, I had in my mind that everyone in Scotland wears like the kilt. So, once I came here I was like, “Wow. Very different!”
I was a go-go dancer in my home country but then I had cancer. It was quite big surgery and now, I have a scar left. Not good for go-go dancing. I have to find something else to make money because my friends at home, they paid for my treatment, hospital and surgery – it was a lot of money. I had to pay my friends back, even if they say, “No, you don't have to give me back.” They work for that money, it was their savings for maybe their holidays or for a car. I couldn't take all that off them.
I had a girl who I was dancing with and I told her, “I really need to work.” She said, “Oh, I think I can help you with that. Let's meet next week. I have a friend and he can help you somewhere in Scotland.” Next week she phoned, she was with her boyfriend and he said, “Look, I can help you to go Scotland work as an escort. It's very, very good money, you can make the eight thousand in like a month or so” and of course, I was like, “Really?” Yeah. I was like, “Wow.”
These guys, they ask me to pay the tickets that month, to pay for the rent. They ask me to pay the rent two fifty per week cos they say, “Oh, we pay one thousand five hundred pound per month and your part is two fifty per week.” When I was just here, I said, “Okay, I will try to stay here and maybe after a month I get the money and I go back home”. I didn't want to stay too long, just make money to pay off my debts.
I was with the pimps when I arrived here. I was sent to Aberdeen to a house was full of girls. It was a house with two bedrooms and one living room – used as a bedroom.
Inside it had like seven girls and three males. I didn't like it and I told one of the guys “Look, I'm not happy to stay here, you know. I need my privacy” and he said, “Okay, I can take you to another town.” I said, “Okay, but is it safer there, is it better?” He told me, “Yes, yes. I have a house there, another girl's there and there… it has more privacy”.
I moved and it was like a two floor house. There was three or four girls. There was a pimp also but he was living in London and his girlfriend was there taking care of the other girls. One of the girls – she was doing unprotected sex and everything. She was nineteen year old girl and she was orphaned, she had a small baby back home. We start to speak the first morning over coffee. I ask her, “What services are you doing?” and she said, “I do this, this, this without a condom” and I saw black in my head, you know. I don't want to stay one more day in that house. The guy, he ask me, “Why?” “Well, because she is doing sex without condom.” He said it was ok – I could just use another room and not be with her but I said, “I can't do that because that's not fair. If you don't take me from here I'm gonna leave back home.” I was asked to leave the house.
He took me to his other place, another flat where there was two Romanian girls and I stay with them. From the beginning he told me I'll have my own room where I will sleep, where I will work but again I had to share with the other girls who I didn't know. When I arrived, he said if I want to go sleep, I must sleep with make-up on and everything be ready. If someone's calling I have to answer phone even if I'm sleeping. So you kinda have to be available and ready, twenty four hours. All the time. I was like, “Really?” Sometimes I had to wake up and to take the customer straight away, middle of night and early morning.
I had to pay my side of the rent, bills, my websites and everything plus two hundred for protection per week. They ask me for more money so I lent them money.
After that they start to ask me for more and more and more money. That wasn't what we agree. I just felt they try to get everything from me. Like, they are with the other girls. They never gave me the money back, you know?
With me they were nice but one of them, he try to become my boyfriend so he can get all my money. All the other girls, he was sleeping with all of them, as a boyfriend and he was taking all their money. The pimps pretended, “Oh I love you but don't tell them, the other girls you know, nobody else must know.” He tried the same with me, he invite me here in pub to have a bottle of wine together. I took one of the girls from the house because I didn't want to go alone with him because “Maybe he will take me somewhere and kill me. Someone must be with me.”
Some of the girls, they work for those pimps and they still have no money. One of them, she had a baby girl in Spain. She was here I think a year or so in a pimps house. I ask her, “Okay, how much money did you send for your daughter home?” and she say, “None, nothing.” and I say, “How because somebody has the money?” It was the guy, she fall in love with a pimp and he was taking all the money. You know, I'm not coming from countryside. I've seen a lot of things in my life. In my home town, I saw all these things, who controlled the escorts – I wasn't naive. I didn't want that.
I knew when I came here it would of course be about sex. I didn't know exactly what it would be like and I was like very worried. At first I was like, what happens here? What kind of things? What are you meant to do? I had to be drunk that whole first month. I had to drink like every day to get tipsy and drunk. A bottle of vodka. If I wasn't drunk or something, I couldn't go in the room with the customer. I was feeling shy, I didn't know what to do.
My advert that was put on the internet – I didn't do that. The pimp's girlfriend did. I told them I don't do unprotected, I don't do anal.
I don't do hard sports and stuff like that but they put everything in the advert. They say that I do all of that, all those services. When a customer phone and ask, “You do this? You do that?” I have to say “No, no no.” They want to know “But why on your profile it says yes?” I had to fight with the customers but I didn't speak very good English at that time. I was like basic talk. I don't know how to negotiate all that.
When I look back, I don't know how I did it, how I managed to keep saying, “No.” I don't want to have problems with the customers in case someone punch me in the room because it says on the profile I do something. I was thinking about everything that can happen you know? Because in this job anything can happen. If someone slapped me, I was not in the same position to kind of fight back. So I was afraid and I told the pimps, “No, you just write what I will offer you know because I don't want to fight with customers.” They listened to me because then I was making them money.
If anything happens, the Romanian girls won't go the police. I was afraid because the men and pimps they say, “Oh, be careful with the police because you can go in the jail blah blah.” Of course I was afraid. The other girls, they don't know that the police will be supportive. The Romanian pimps, they tell them even if the police come and catch all of them, the police will keep the girls, three, four, five days in the jail and they will keep asking, “Who is your pimp?” you know.
The girls all are told that they have to say, “No he's not my pimp, he's my boyfriend.” or “He's the boyfriend of that girl” but not to say he's a pimp 'cos, if they say that, the pimps have friends back home which will go after the girl's family. Lots of women don't tell families back home what's happening in Scotland. So it's a huge threat, for those women. For me, I was lucky because they have no way to trace my family back home.
I moved a long time ago so they could go the address from my ID but there is nobody. I was lucky about that. I didn't care.
A friend told me to tell the pimps I only have an ID card. “Look, don't tell them you have passport. They may keep your ID and if you need to run, you need passport. Keep it, hide it. Nobody knows you have it so you can always have a document.”
One holiday time, the pimps went away. In my head I just think, “Okay, where is the protection?” I pay them around two hundred pound per week for that. I needed that protection if someone is coming and kill us. I was scared of course.
While the pimps were away, I went out and met a local guy out in a club. The next day I had a call on the working phone, a customer asking to see me and if I have a friend available too. I say, “Okay, I have a friend.” Two guys came and one of them was the guy I had met in the club. At first I didn't realise because he had a hat on. When we were in the room I just, I say, “Oh my God, this is the guy from the club.” He knew it's me. That's why he came. He had found me online and had come as a customer.
We stay speaking and after that, like almost every day, he start to visit me often and to be more like boyfriend/ girlfriend thing. I just stopped working and I was spending more time with him. He told me, “Look, if you want I can help you to rent a flat here and stop working for the pimps. If you want, you can work for yourself.”
He found a flat so I went with other girl. She wants to come with me too, she wants to leave as well. We moved some of our stuff to the new flat so we had everything there ready to go. The pimps came back just as we were about to leave their house. They were very angry and arrogant with me. I said “Look, you are not my pimp. I collaborate with you, I pay you money for my protection and that's it. You are not my pimp. I have no contract signed with you.”
I told them, “This is all I want, respect. Even if I do this work you know?” We had to go drive around and around to make sure they are not following us. I was scared of them.
My boyfriend told me that if I have problem, just phone the police. I didn't know that. I didn't know until he told me that I can phone the police. My boyfriend he said, “No, if something happen you have to go to the police because they will help you.” and I was, okay.
A guy in a club one night, he assaulted me. He start to say, “Oh, you don't think I know what you do. You are prostitute and I'd like you to work for me soon. I'll come after you and I will take all your money. I know people in this town who run prostitution and no-one doesn't work for us.” I just look at him and I say, “Really? Who do you think you are? Nope, I'm going to the police.”
I went and I spoke with the police lady. They were nice, yeah, really nice. I was like, “Wow, I can't believe they are so nice people” and they were speaking really well to me and said, “Don't be afraid. If you really are an escort it's okay but just tell us so we can know. If there is someone behind you who takes your money or something.” and I told them, “No, there is nobody anymore.” I was shocked when I saw how really involved they were, they tried to help me and I was like, “Wow. I can't believe it” so from that time I felt like, really safe with them.
I was happy I had got away from the pimps. I don't need a pimp. I don't need someone to take my money. It's my work. I do everything on my own, so it's my work and I have to keep my money. I took the profile they gave me on the internet and did my own advert. After two hours my first customer contacted me. Some days I think, like forty/ fifty would contact me.
If I don't like the way someone speak with me by text or by phone, I don't see that person.
He must say, “Hi, thank you, bye.” or “Please.” If he's speaking like this then he's a genuine gentleman. I usually accept the bookings and see the ones that have profiles already on the website. If he have over five feedbacks by four/five different girls then I accept the booking. I don't really find out too much about them before I meet with them.
I see maybe four or five customers a day. Sometimes just one or two. Depends if I'm in the mood to work, if I feel good enough to work. Sometimes I dont have any customers – it is a nightmare because I really need money and nobody calls. I have some regulars and I text them, “What are you doing tonight?” “You want to meet up?” and I make them like offer, “Okay give me one hundred per hour and that's it.” They come. Money sorted.
During one really quiet time, I went and I check Viva Street realising, “Okay, there's a lot more adverts and profiles out here.” Then I know why it has been quiet. The pimps they have five real girls and for that five girls there's another maybe ten/fifteen fake profiles. It might be looking like there's all these women but actually they're a smaller group of women that these feed up into.
With customers, I think about my safety. I have very high heels. They are my weapon in case I need them. I wear them but all the time I keep them very close to me because if something happens with a customer, I have to do something. I will use them. I will not stay there and be killed. I have to protect myself.
When I arrived in Scotland, I saw that a Romanian girl escort was killed. I was really, really scared. A couple of months ago, I saw another girl was killed. I was again scared.
I don't see young boys, I see only over twenty four and why is that? Because the young ones, I don't know, they don't know how to do sex maybe. The way they are doing it makes me crazy, like makes me angry.
Some of them, they have sex and it never finishes. It takes too long. They don't know how to do or maybe they are too shy. It's really hard to work with young ones. That's why I just see over twenty four years old but I prefer the old ones over fifty. They are good, they finish quick. Yeah. Less work for me. The old old ones after seventy is good because they come more for massage. Which again less work for me.
One dodgy customer, he tried to rape me. I push him to get him out from the house and I told him, “If you are not leaving now I am pressing the panic button and the police will be here in less than a minute.” He take the money out from his pocket and said, “Look, look I have money. Take the money and let me stay.” I say, “No. If you pay me a thousand pound I'm not gonna see you anymore so leave now” and he just grab my face. I press the button and he run. He left then. I now have a support worker, she told me about a way to report bad customers. I gave her some numbers and she's already using that scheme on my behalf. It's a good thing and I can hand that information over to her.
I haven't told other people what I do. When I am with a nurse or a doctor, I feel ashamed to tell them. I am not comfortable telling doctors everything, not really. I have my friend from home I speak with. She knows everything and all the time, I phone her and I speak with her. I have another friend and every time I'm sad or something, I phone him and I'm okay after.
I can't tell my family what I am doing because that would be a big disappointment. I don't want to hurt them in this way. My sister knows I was a go-go dancer in my own country and she thinks I work here in a nightclub, still as a go-go dancer. Not a stripper. In my country – go-go dancers they don't take everything off. She's not that open minded. I can't tell her that I am an escort. Maybe she knows already but she don't want to tell me because she can still pretend she doesn't know.
Back in my own country – there are no services for women who escort. That's why when I started here, I didn't know they existed. I will never do this in my own country. No way. Never. Never there.
It's very dodgy. I had a friend in the clubs before and she was escorting. At first she was on the street and after she start to go hotel or something. There it is pay per hour, one hundred euro per hour. They want to have sex for the whole time. They punch her, you know, they slap her face. They would fight with her and take her money back after they had the sex. I would never want to go to do that. No.
For other girls who are thinking of coming to Scotland – I would advise them to try to open up their eyes before doing it and try to find out more about where they are going, what they're going to do and make their safety plan. Their way to get out.
Some women will say it's a job like any other job but no. It's not really because, it's very risky like, really risky. You can die any time because you don't know who's coming in your house. You can get any illness from the customer even if you protect yourself – you know? There can be a lot of danger. When you have a normal job, it's not so much danger involved in. So all the time I have to think, plan and know what I have to do to just make them customers leave.
I have a niece. I would never want her involved. No. Oh my God, no. No. I don't want her to take the same way I do. I told her once I go home and set up my business – I help her to work you know. I don't want her to be the way I was. I had nobody to help me before. Just my friends. My family, not really. No, I don't want that for my nieces, no, never.
The money has been the good thing. It's not really easy money. Other people say its 'easy money' but it's not. It's meant I manage to stay here and to meet new people but I have had to grow up faster.
Before I did this, before I was really shy girl, really shy and I wasn't confident in myself. I couldn't speak very good English. Now, I am more confident. I changed. I am not the same, even my friends from home, they tell me every day I grow up faster. I'm talking different than before. I am stronger. You have to be even if you don't know you are strong. You have to be because if you are not strong then you can't do this.
I met last year a girl, she was working here and was with her husband. Before she was in Germany. They left because their friend, she was in a customer house and he cut her head with a hammer. The girl managed to get to a car with the hammer in her head. That's because it's legal there you know. If it's legal even if the customer is doing something wrong, he will not do jail or have fine to pay, you know. I think legalising it – that's not a good thing. I really want is that women are not criminalized.
I can't believe people would want to remove laws around pimping. Pimping? Legal? Oh my God.
No, that way no. I think maybe escorting, women indoors to be legal. But not pimping because if the pimping will be legal, you'll see like every two houses is an escort house. This will bring more pimps, some of them they will also bring drugs. I don't think nobody wants to have too many crimes. It won't be safe for the other girls because if there are too many girls in even in the same city, the pimps, they will start to go after the other ones, the independent ones, those they don't control and will make them leave. So only their girls make more money. You know, people will die because of it.
I just prefer to still do this maybe, till next year. When I can get the money to buy my flat. I save because I want to buy my flat in my own country. What I'm thinking now I'm nearly thirty and I have to do something with my life. I promised myself since I was twenty, before thirty I will have my flat, my business. I will have everything I need.