Sex recruiters hit Russia’s towns. Part 2

KP journalists decided to find out just how strictly the law treats the adult-services industry

Girl from the North

We met a girl from chilly Yakutsk named Katerina. She had a sly look a bit reminiscent of Lenin. She smelled like a perfume stall that had been ransacked by hooligans. She was open, clean and tall with long legs and a C-cup.

I fed Katerina a Snickers, gave her a Martini and started to ask her questions. She answered them all without hesitation — even the most intimate. She had left Yakutsk after a misfortune love affair. She arrived in Ivanovo hoping to enroll at the Textile University. But she failed the entrance examinations and began working as a dishwasher instead. She only made 2,000 rubles per month. And all her money was spent on food and renting a room at the dormitory. Like many young female factory workers, Katerina wanted a full pretty life. She was forced to enter the growing sex-services industry to support herself. Now some days she can spend 3,000 rubles on her loved ones.

One and the same women

Our applicants varied in size and shape. But their personal histories were similar. Nearly all of them were from rural towns and broken families. They all had experience in the sex trade. They started selling their bodies when they had financial difficulty. They were cautious about our proposed move to Moscow.

The 20-year-old Svetlana is a blond from Ryazhsk with big breasts. Some days she earns 2,000-3,000 rubles. She used to work 6 months sewing and made a salary of 10,000 rubles per month. Today, though, she sells her body for 1,600 rubles per hour. She gives her boss half the amount. Girls in good shape handle 4-5 clients per day. Some months Svetlana makes 30,000 rubles, although her clientèle is unsteady.

Spending cash money

“Isn’t that a lot — 5 clients per day?” we asked Svetlana.

“If they aren’t drunk it’s okay. And if they aren’t black,” she said. “And if it’s one at a time and not a whole bunch at once.”

“Does that happen, too?” I asked in disbelief.

“With me it hasn’t,” Svetlana said after a moment. “But my girlfriend had to do 15 at one time. They didn’t even warn her. Bastards.”

We sat smoking despondently.

“What do you buy yourself for 30,000 rubles per month?” I asked.

“I buy sweets and expensive clothing,” she said. “Chanel perfume… I bought a cardigan yesterday for 1,500 rubles.” She touched the transparent top delicately. “I also buy toys for my younger sister,” she added. “I sent her a plush teddy bear Friday. The package weighed three kilograms. She’s 11 years old. I’m planning on buying her a mobile phone soon.”

“Do you have any hobbies? What books do you read? What films do you watch?” I asked.

“My girlfriend and I usually watch ‘Clone.’ And someone stole my book… It was about love. The husband kept cheating on his wife and she cried.”

“That sounds familiar,” I said. “Who is the author? George Sand?”

“Who the hell knows?” she said exhaling loudly. “My hobby is going shopping.”

“But you don’t really like doing this… business?” I asked.

“Well it’s better than sitting behind a piece of machinery all day like an idiot,” she said. “And today everyone’s doing it.”

“How much money do you need to be happy?” I asked.

“$100,000,” she said without a moment’s thought.

“Why?” I asked.

“To buy an apartment and have a child,” she said.

“Without a husband?” I asked.

“What the hell would I need him for? I lived in a common law marriage with one jerk. We only had problems,” she said. “He came home drunk everyday.”

“Okay, well, let’s go have a look at you in all your beauty, so to speak,” Meshkov said like a old gynecologist.

“Should I wash first?” she asked livening up. READ MORE

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