"You've got a great ass, but your tits are too small, frankly," [the madam] observes. "I mean, I'm sure you have no trouble getting dates, but the girls will tell you, men love breasts." Then she adds decisively, "I'm thinking $950 an hour."
Before I know it I'm dashing home to put on some makeup for a two-hour appointment with one of her clients. For the rest of the evening my name will be Violetta.
"Olivia recounts the time she was hired by a prominent hedge fund millionaire. "He took out all these large bills and placed them on the bed and said, 'Don't touch.' I was instructed to take my clothes off, everything. No foreplay. So I got on the bed, and he just stood at the edge of the mattress and stared. He told me that all the money was going to be mine by the end of the night. They were all hundreds—maybe 50 of them. Once I got naked, he got on the bed and unzipped his pants and told me to start playing with myself. I kind of just laid there and faked an orgasm. He started jerking off, and he shot all over the money." She smiles and hesitates for a moment before continuing.
"So then he grabs all of it in a bundle and throws it at me! I think he called me a dirty whore. Then he separated every bill and stuck them to my body. After he puts the last one across my mouth he looks at me and goes, 'I told you it would be yours.'" As the client watched, Olivia peeled off the bills and put them in a plastic bag. When she got home she let the money soak in the kitchen sink overnight, blow-dried it, and used it to pay her landlady. "I couldn't keep a straight face," she recalls. But didn't she find the experience upsetting? "You know, it was degrading, for sure. But so was cold-calling," she says, referring to a job she briefly held as a fundraiser for a local political advocacy group."
In 1999, after years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation that a) criminalizes the buying of sex, and b) decriminalizes the selling of sex. The novel rationale behind this legislation is clearly stated in the government's literature on the law:
"In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem... gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them."
In addition to the two pronged legal strategy, a third and essential element of Sweden's prostitution legislation provides for ample and comprehensive social service funds aimed at helping any prostitute who wants to get out, and additional funds to educate the public.
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