“I’ve always been attracted to the artistic world. As a child, I used to ask my mother to take me to TV castings. And I was so good-looking that people often said to me, “Oh, you must be a model!” So at 15 I started a modelling career that lasted several years. Besides that, I did a lot of modern dance. I was part of a dance group at university which travelled all over Brazil. Before going on stage, I always had a lot of stress. The first time, I was shaking so much! But as soon as I’m on stage, I forget everything. My shyness disappears completely. It’s weird! I think it’s because it’s a character who walks in, it’s not me. And this character has more courage than me, for dancing, for modelling, for everything.
In my early teens, I wasn’t really attracted to guys yet. In my life, I always attracted women, and I was always attracted to them too. So I often had girlfriends. I was still in the closet as they say (laughs)! One day when I was 15, a guy at the pool seduced me. We started talking and when we got into the pool he touched my penis. I shouted, “No! Don’t do that!” I was a bit confused. And from that moment on, I started to have fantasies about men. But I didn’t know what it meant. When you’re young it’s not clear in your head. And I didn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t want people to know. I assumed it was a period that would pass, and that normal life would resume. But that was a lie… It doesn’t pass!
At 21, I had my first relationship with a man. I kept going back and forth with girls but after a while I wasn’t attracted to women anymore. Once you’ve tried it with men, it’s over (laughs)! Then I started a relationship with a locally known writer. One day I accompanied him to a TV set for a live interview. At one point he said to the journalist, “There’s my boyfriend in the audience!” The camera turned on me, and that’s how I got thrown out of the closet (laughs)! At first I was scared. What will my family and society say? But I said to myself: I don’t care! As I loved my partner, I was ready to be in the open. And in the end, my parents, who are very religious, told me: “We don’t want this for your life, but we respect you, it’s your decision.”
When the relationship ended after a few years, I was very sad and wanted a change. I got a contract in Italy as a dancer and left on a whim. After 2 years my contract was not renewed, but I didn’t want to go back to Brazil. I wanted to stay in Europe to have a better life and help my family. That’s when I met a woman who was working in the sex business here in Switzerland. At first I thought I didn’t have the courage, because I come from a very strict Catholic background. But I agreed to come and see anyway. When I arrived, I had no papers, I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t have much choice, so I committed myself to this job. And the truth is, I was also attracted by the money.
My first time… It was a total stress, I was shaking with fear. I was wondering how I was going to do it. But once I started, I was fine. Everyone knows about sex! I got used to it, and above all I started to see the money coming in, coming in, coming in. I said to myself: well, it works! Some clients were beautiful, and with them I had the money and I enjoyed it at the same time (laughs)! And if the client wasn’t beautiful, I had my own tricks. Before he arrived, I would touch myself in front of a porn film, and I would drink a little whisky to warm up. And then I would get carried away (laughs)! Afterwards, I would look for a place on his body that I thought was beautiful, and I would concentrate on it. I always managed to find something interesting. Nobody is 100% ugly (laughs)!
A common experience that sex workers share is that we are also psychologists. We listen to the clients, their concerns, we get to know them. And all this creates bonds. It’s not like friends exactly, but we are connected to these people in a way, just because we are human beings. We’re not cold as rocks! For example, if the client has problems, I feel sorry for him. And good clients, after years, become like lovers. I have a client who I’ve had for 17 years, and the other day I went to see him in hospital. He is suffering from cancer and has decided to die by euthanasia. I came to say goodbye to him for the last time. We started to talk about the times we had together and we both cried. It was very hard…
Shortly after arriving in Switzerland, I met my partner. I told him straight away: “Listen, it can’t work between us because I do sex work.” He was surprised but wanted to see me again. After a while we got together and it’s been 20 years now! In the beginning he asked me several times to stop this work. But I said: “Are you going to pay me everything I earn (laughs)?” And with time, he finally agreed. The Swiss are very open about that! Besides this job, I’ve always had other jobs, especially in the artistic field. So I always presented myself as an artist, and I always hid the fact that I was in the sex business. It’s a profession that I’ve never really accepted openly. I think it’s because of the education I received.
Now I’m sick of this job. I’m tired of playing the game of seduction, of clients falling in love, and I’m tired of being touched by strangers. I haven’t advertised for a few years now. I used to spend my time on the phone answering clients. I got tired of all their questions: How big is your sex? Do you do this or that? It was all getting tedious for me. So I only kept a few clients that I’m used to. But I still have the idea to stop completely. I want to concentrate on some social work I started some time ago and also on my artistic activities which I like very much. Sex work has been good for me, I don’t regret it. But in life, everything has to come to an end at some point.”
Published as part of the mini-series “90’000 things in my head“, produced in partnership with Aspasie.