Excerpt from the new book "Dear and dear: What I learned about life in the puff", Ilan Stephani
Ecowin-Verlag, published on 12.October 2017
GIRL HOW WE
Frank was waiting for me. The housekeeper Vera opened the door for him while I sat on the bed next to Tim and listened to his theories about art. She brought him a glass of mineral water and comforted him, Paula would come in a few minutes. The world of eroticism may have been more exciting for Frank. Now I stuff the sheets from "Zimmer Tim" into the washing machine, comb my hair and ask Vera: "Do I know this Frank?" Frank can really be called anyone. "Yes, he says you know each other already," and I, belatedly, hurry into the room to greet Frank.
We already know eachother? I can not remember him. A young man who looks a little pale and helpless to himself and the permanent music from the Buddha Bar defenseless. I hope we know each other from here. I continue to smile ruthlessly, sitting down to face Frank without being intrusive, apologizing for the time he had to wait, and he's not angry with me, and I'm flipping my whirl between half-sentences, free shower, interest, and laughter , So I let out our embarrassment, and Frank leans into my energy and calms down: Everything is easy, and everything is fine.
"Do you know what?" I say, as if it were spontaneous and something that I say for the first time - as if I had a good idea right now: "Let's do that with the money now, then we do not have to Think about it. "A tricky point in my stage play, I stagger, but Frank holds me tight. He nods quickly, "Yeah, sure!" He says, now we both nod, then later we have more time for ourselves, what a good idea, and Frank reaches into his jacket pocket. Oh, I can see so clearly how ashamed he is now, how enter, careful and shy.
Of course Frank has already counted the money at home, so he does not have to look now if he pushes it in my direction. Frank paid, now he is staggering himself, because actually he just does not want to be the one who has to pay for sex and in the end even had to think about whether that has something to do with him. So Frank loses a piece of ground, but I catch him, for my movements are as inconspicuous as I take the money and count, without him realizing it, and he loves me for what I spare him now all. Frank takes a shower, I close his money - my money - in the locker, the rest becomes easy. We close the door behind us, sit down on the bed, lie down, Frank lies down, he trusts me, and in my body comes the memory of him, not of his face, but of his nature, his energy , his mood, and I relax.
The reunion between Paula and Frank is unspectacular, friendly and boring. I am not very excited and think about something else during sex. But I like doing Frank the favor of letting myself be pushed onto the bed from behind and moaning louder, so that Frank - for two, three moments - forgets his breathing, forgets his doubts and that he actually finds it problematic to go into the puff , His outbreak is over quickly. Seamlessly I am there for him, smile at it, even before I turn around again. Thats why I'm here.
How can Paula do that? How can she welcome a man as a friend, even though she does not remember him? How can she take money and pretend that she does not? How can she spare a stranger his shame, take him fears of which he himself knows nothing, and have sex with him so that he feels self-assured instead of embarrassed, lovable instead of guilty, right instead of wrong? Maybe Paula has a special talent or whore gene? No she did not. What is it then?
I was worried myself when I noticed how light-footed I was walking through the rooms in the world of commercial sex. Damn, what was going on? What was so different about me from other young women? I mistrusted myself - was there something in my past that I did not want to admit? I did not know, and I hoped I would never be asked. Because as long as I had no answer to the question of why, I had the feeling that in the case of Paula one would always sense a great dark secret in my childhood.
Finally, I suspected myself of compensating with the puff. Alone and without answers, I stared into the dark figures that exist for sexual abuse and knew: One of those women who had been abused and did not want to admit it, one of those innumerable little girls who had been traumatized so early that they did could not remember anything - one of those tragic cases could be me too, and it would explain everything else that seemed so inexplicable. How can prostitution become a home game? Then, when my body and soul had long since been destroyed. Or?
After half a year in this dilemma, Lea, my childhood friend, visited me, a well-bred, beautiful woman who studied architecture and with whom I spent the time until her confirmation. During innumerable church visits I had sat next to her and exchanged my life with her on the way back through the fields. Then I went to Berlin, and she studied in Munich.
Two cities and two worlds. Finally, after months without contact, Lea took the Berlinale as an opportunity to visit me. Right on the first evening we hid ourselves in a Kreuzberg pub and resumed our girl talks about God and the world. And I told her about Paula, my sex in Berlin and the puff. She stopped her hand movement on the way to the Caipirinha and stared at me motionless. "What did you say?" I expected her to ask me what I was myself already asked, "Why on earth? Why? And why you? "
But Lea did not say anything. Then she leaned back, stroking her blouse and laughing to herself. "Ilan ...," she said. And laughed even more. "What is it?" I became restless.
"Ilan," Lea said, "so often, so often have I imagined myself working as a prostitute! You can not imagine. So often. I mean, I can do whatever it takes! "
I looked at her speechless. Lea in the puff? She kept bubbling: "Tell me, if I'm wrong, Ilan, but I can - well, I can do anything. I know how to make men, and I can agree with them, no matter what they tell. "I could not help but stare.
It was a long, glowing night for both of us. We sat and talked and talked. Lea was the first woman I really told everything. What I thought about sex. Where I bought the condoms. And which colleagues I admired.
Two weeks after our adventurous night in Kreuzberg, Lea wrote me a letter she had addressed to Puff and Paula. The housekeeper handed it to me, and I tore it open, eagerly, with a throbbing heart. Lea's words flew toward me.
My dear, dear Ilan, what a madness, that we have found each other again! Thank you so much for telling me about you, about Paula ... It has broken a line in me. I've had the idea of prostitution for a long time, I think since Paulo Coelhos Eleven minutes have read. I was able to identify so incredibly well with the protagonist. And now I know: that is possible! I can do that! I am not in the way!
I knew, I want to pursue this. I thought I could just perfect the game that I've been playing all the time, push it to extremes, and then make money from it. I just had the feeling that that's what I do best. Make people believe everything possible - depending on who my counterpart is, just play along. Being nice, being complacent, flirting, playing with the charms, playing pleasant, interested, always responding appropriately. And then there would be a bit more sex. But I would manage that already.
So I was - watch out - on Monday at Hydra! There was an informational event and I had a longer talk with a social worker from there.
My heart was beating in my ears. I looked up, as if I had done something forbidden. I did not want Lea to work in the puff because of me. But Lea wrote on.
I asked Hydra everything I wanted to know about the profession. It was a normal, calm conversation. I do not know what I imagined, but certainly not something unspectacular. For Hydra, it's just a job that the sex workers do. And if they have problems with the job, Hydra will take care of it. After this conversation I was very calm. And I realized that I really do not want prostitution right now. That I might try it someday, but the charm of the forbidden, the secret underworld that one would belong to, was gone.
I let out a breath and let the letter sink. Something in me became quiet. Through Lea, I finally understood why I found it so easy to work in the pouf. Something, the decisive something, Lea knew better than me.
The following days in the puff I watched myself and my encounters differently. How to reassure Klaus by mentioning that I'm "above all a student". How I could excite Axel by moving to the wellness music in the background on a pole dance pole. How I felt that Michael especially wanted me not to expect an erection from him. And no sooner had I started watching it all, my aha moments did not stop. I fell like scales from my eyes, what I had overlooked.
Was that Paula and the puff on my childhood? Oh yeah. I was actually a woman with a past. But in a different sense than the one I feared. I was not sexually abused, I did not fall victim to any offense that we treat as a crime. I was just educated to be a "good girl." And so I'm not misunderstood: This education does not mean the values of my parents, but the values of the society in which I grew up. "To be a good girl", I already learned that in elementary school. The pretty dress to which my friend's mother smiled admiringly. The long poem for the Christmas party - how nice I had said that. After elementary school, I learned Latin instead of football, jumped a class at high school and was with 17 years the year's best in high school. My teachers were proud of me and celebrated my glorious prospects.
Although no one had encouraged me to sexually explore and get to know my own body. Nobody had celebrated my first menstruation with me and taught me how nice it is to be a woman. But I knew how to behave in discussions, how to listen to men, how to smile and dress appropriately for the occasion. I knew how to play over embarrassing moments and exaggerated situations with feminine charm. We girls from a good family. It was, as Lea said: Then only a little bit of sex is added.
When many years later, in my room in Berlin, a man named Frank realizes he has an educated young wife in front of him, he asks, "Why are you here then?" So many men asked me and made a face of it be here a rare phenomenon on the track. Incidentally, countless of my colleagues were asked the same question. "You are privileged, intelligent and talented - what did not work for you when you had so many opportunities?"
I do not think any of you or any of my colleagues ever gave you a correct answer. After all, the question "What does a person like you do in prostitution?" Seeks to explain something special. And that's the wrong question. My story is special only on the surface - in truth it is completely normal. The puff needs no special explanation, because our entire society supports him. Thousands of gifted, highly sensitive girls learn here in Germany, which made me as Paula so successful. Complacency, discretion, consideration for the ego and self-image of men. Is it any wonder that some of these gifted, intelligent girls feel good only as a whore - where they finally get the money to become so "right"? And is not it even more surprising that not even more daughters from good home desert the puff?
Today, I can no longer see a fundamental difference between a whore and a non-whore. It seems to me that the Puff is just any setting and that women here and there have to fight against the same messages about what is "female" and what is not.
It is a struggle with the unrealizable dictation of how a "real woman" should look, how she must live and think and act. We should be beautiful, but modest. Read and be quiet, friendly and exciting, confident, but not at all unpleasant, we should be modern women with great careers, great kids and in bed anything but tired. I could not help it, but after reading Lea's letter, the other questions came to my mind. When I saw my classmates, how they dressed and how they studied, how they wrote chores and nodded and smiled, when our lecturer corrected their work, I asked myself, "Gosh, if she knew. What does one do like that not in the brothel? "I had already learned all the social forms I needed as a whore at school.
We say stupid fucks well. May well be. But smart fucks better.
When we talk about sex for money, we pretend that there is a world of difference between Paula and Leah. Paula, we complain, is an object of male desire and is reduced to fulfilling the wishes of a man. Paula's free will, Paula's pride and dignity are in danger - but Leas life is the beautiful, self-determined expression of a woman who has all the doors open.
No, this world breeds its prostitutes not in dives or in shadow worlds, but in broad daylight and during the week, in the values and schools of our society. We train for the occupation of the puffs not on the street, on the line, in misery and in drunkenness, but officially: in the values of a meritocracy, in a woman image that rubs between sex goddess and mother, and in a sexuality, which no longer serves ecstasy, but only pacification. In other words, the education of a daughter from a good family is the education to the whore - and all by chance. Prostitution does not arise marginally but at the heart of our society.
For Paula, a single face became unforgettable in this circus, that of Nathalie, in our narrow parlor kitchen. Nathalie, bending her head to one side, blinks and says, "What's our job here, Paula? For half an hour not to say what we think! «