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Inteview with Zaneta, Slovakia

Interview with Žaneta, 47 years-old Bratislava

How long have you been working in the sex industry?
Z: Four years.

How did you start?
Z: I was involved with guys, the classic relationship, but everyone wanted me only after I had sex with them. And because every woman also has her needs, a few time, I have. But when it’s the next day and they didn’t call or anything. I felt stupid, a low sense of self. For two years I had a lover, only for sex. It was not out in the open. There was no courtship, no invitations on trips, to the lake, or to the cinema. It was simply about sex but I still had to love him. It was always just the night, and then I had to head back home to my house in Bratislava.

Then the time came when my work stopped and I urgently needed to support my children. I was also divorcing for which I also needed money. I started to browse in Avize, a publication where I found an ad that called for a “private girlfriend”. At my age! So I gathered my nerve and went, that’s what I say about that! But when I got there I saw the work that was expected of me. There was an elderly lady, so I picked up my courage and on the first day, went to “work a room”. I found that it is nothing weird. After two weeks it already felt commonplace to ask for money. It was practically, almost the same as when I was selling coffee to someone. Except that it is clear that we gain from each other a better feeling, that I am more than that. I'm appreciated. They got what they wanted and needed and it was all mutally agreed to. I didn’t do anything I did not want to do.

You began working in sex voluntarily?
Z: Voluntarily, involuntarily, especially for the money.

Where do you work?
Z: For myself at home. At first I worked in a private establishments, where I picked up the trade, but I did not stay there. There were not always good relations with other colleagues. And I need some peace and quiet rather than annoyance and spite.

What do you do with the money they earn? Delis be with someone for profit?
Z: I pay to rent an apartment, to pay for advertisements, for the washing and routine maintenance of the flat, for sexy lingerie – those are expensive enough
items on their own ! My money also goes to pay social and health insurance. I also tried to pay taxes on my work [and contribute to a pension plan] but it is not official work, you can not do this business officially. Because of this, I must seek to ensure my own future, so that I do not have to rely on the State.

Have you had to deal with violence at work?
Z: An individual has insulted me on the internet. Although I have become accustomed to it over the years, I had to deal with it, but he knows it hurt.

I once had a customer as an escort. He paid and then he spoke to me very aggressively saying that I would pee on him or he would force me to. I felt something that could have been a knife against me. I managed to free myself from him and to escape from the apartment. This was my worst experience during work.

And what was the best?
Z: Usually normal, decent men come. They tell me that I am beautiful, that I have beautiful breasts. I keep getting praise, recognition, they send me an sms. I have beautiful experiences with these gentlemen, we chat and enjoy beautiful moments together. This is the reason that I have survived in the business for so long.

Have you worked abroad?
Z: No.

What are your experiences with the police?
Z: I have only had contact with customers. They are cool. One colleague had a bad experience with police because they caught her by asking and paying for services.

Have you ever met with a breach of your human rights or discrimination?
Z: I am not open about my profession publicly. Only certain friends know, those that I can trust. That is the case of people in this industry. Those that know what I do, do not condemn me, we continue to remain friends. They know that I am an ordinary person, I'm still the same person.

How you managed to deal with customers?
Z: Customers contact me on the phone. If they express themselves indecently or strangely, I politely decline to see them. When they come, they are not aggressive. Usually, they are rather scared of meeting new people. As I mentioned, they are mostly well-behaved.

What would you like to change about sex work?
Z: At the moment, it suits me.

What would you like to say to those who condemn sex workers?
Z: Do not judge the life you have never lived.

To read interview in Slovakian click here.