Kim candidly shares her unique experiences in the sex industry, and the challenges she has encountered, debunks common misconceptions and imparts invaluable lessons she has learned along the way. Have a question for Kim? Comment below or ask us on Twitter.
Want to learn more about Kim? Read our previous Q&A with her here.
How has being from Eastern Europe affected your work in the sex industry?
K: For some reason Eastern European nationals are kept at arm’s length. There have always been “where are you from?”, “I’m Bulgarian”, “Ah… errmmm where is your boyfriend then?” kinda remarks. The general assumption is that we all are trafficked, have pimps to force us into it or have some sorts of habit to feed so we have no other option in line but being a sex worker.
Can you describe the differences in how Western European sex workers are regarded compared to Eastern European sex workers?
K: Western European sex workers are always regarded higher as sex work in most of Western Europe is completely legal and regulated. So those ladies can charge higher rates for fewer services, let’s say, they are regarded as high-class companions while the majority of Eastern European sex workers are “conveyer belt” parlour or agency girls. To be able to make more money you need to offer more services, work all hours/days, and just be available whenever anybody might want you. Possibly charge extras for extra services. Definitely lower-class working girls. The general exception to the rules are Russian and Ukrainian sex workers.
Have you ever experienced discrimination or prejudice in the sex industry due to your nationality?
K: All the time. Even now, after 15 years here in the UK.
Have you ever experienced any form of abuse or exploitation in the sex industry and how did you deal with it?
K: Loads when I was back home in Bulgaria. The abuse and exploitation were the way things work over there at that time (2005-2008). You either get your spirit completely crushed or just get up, dust off and move on.
How do you view your experiences and what have you learned from them?
K: I can write loads of books and most won’t be “Pretty Woman” type of stories but we live and learn. This is my industry for better or worse. I’ve spent 21 years in it and I’m staying in it. Alongside my “normal world” alter ego, of course.
What are some misconceptions people have about the sex industry?
K: That we are all trafficked, that we don’t have any other options, that we are walking STIs, that we are all junkies and alcoholics, that we are all dumb with no education. Some of us actually have a PhD.
What improvements would you like to see in the regulation of the sex industry in the UK?
K: I want to see it completely and fully legalised and regulated! I know a lot of powerful people will lose their back door to it and lose a lot of money but it’s not about them but US. The people who put our lives and health (mental, physical, sexual) on the line every single day in the hope we can make ends meets.
What motivated you to share your story and how do you hope to help others with it?
K: We all have stories to tell but is there anybody to listen? I’m just one of the many people in this industry here in the UK and this is just my experience and my opinions. If I can help even one person in some way after reading this to avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made – I’ll be happy. You are a popular crossroad of sex workers, punters and the general public so hopefully, people reading this will get a bit better understanding of how this industry works before they start judging us.