Thursday, March 29, 2007

Transferable skills



I have heard that most escorts who leave the industry tend to go into the caring professions. There is more information in the exiting article here.

I came across this article about German prostitutes who are moving into care of the elderly.

I like the fact that they can sue clients who will not pay the agreed fee,as prostitution is legal in Germany. ProFrida is an organisation that sounds like it is doing good work.


But her tired blue eyes light up and a disarming smile spreads across her face when she talks about her new line of employment -- as a geriatric care worker thanks to a new EU-funded job retraining programme.

"I have three older gentlemen in my care and we make house calls to shower and dress them. They give me an entirely different kind of respect compared to what I am used to. Now I am paid and I tell the clients what to do," she grinned

Melanie, a 34-year-old mother of two, is one of 74 women taking part in a pilot programme called ProFridA helping sex workers and victims of violence make a fresh start in basic nursing care or sales jobs.

One of the project coordinators, Gisela Zohren, said that although many prostitutes think they do not have viable job skills, they in fact bring a wealth of experience.

"In patient care you need to be good with people, you are often dealing with naked bodies, you tend to people's needs -- it is really the logical next step," said Zohren, 57, herself a former dominatrix and a 20-year veteran of the sex trade.

Although some employers are informed of their new recruits' previous job if they agree to work with ProFridA, their new clients and co-workers are kept in the dark to prevent any come-ons or rude jokes.

Over coffee and cookies at the prostitute help centre Mitternachtsmission (Midnight Mission) in the western city of Dortmund -- a nearly 90-year-old institution -- Melanie and Zohren say the European sex industry has changed for the worse over time.

"The new girls have no taboos," Melanie said, referring to an influx of eastern European prostitutes after the European Union took on 10 new countries in May 2004.

"They brought in kissing -- which was never allowed before -- and French without a rubber (oral sex without a condom), they would even pull clients away and say 'she'll do it for 100 euros (132 dollars) -- I'll do it for 60.'"

She said that with a surge in the supply of hookers combined with steady or declining demand, 30 euros (40 dollars) for sex was not uncommon here in the Ruhr Valley rust belt, often with "extras" thrown in for free.

"There's a so-called honour among prostitutes -- you don't take part in price dumping," Zohren said.

In addition to the falling income of many sex workers, ProFridA is also a dramatic illustration of Germany's rapidly shifting demographics.

Prostitution is legal in Germany and in 2002 sex workers became entitled to state health benefits and gained the right to sue clients in court who refused to pay the agreed price for services rendered.

Yet despite the ostensible improvements in the industry for prostitutes, the job still takes a heavy physical and psychological toll.

"You sell your soul along with your body," Melanie said.

"The paedophiles want you to play the little girl, there are the guys who want to act out rape scenes -- it really cuts to the heart."

Melanie said she knew few call girls who wanted to keep practicing the world's oldest profession.

"There are some who have a passion for it but it's a tiny minority," she said.

Gerlinde Iking of the Mitternachtsmission said most of the women bring with them a host of personal problems from mountains of debt to broken families.

"If no one is there to catch them when they fall, many will quit," she said.

Launched in Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia last year, ProFridA received 1.1 million euros in funding from the regional government and the European Social Fund.

Chief coordinator Rita Kuehn of the Protestant charity Diakonie Westfalen said the idea had begun by linking up existing institutions working to help women at risk regain control of their lives.

"We created a network with people from the labour market, from job training and with employers and then with the homes for battered women and prostitutes and looked at how we could provide them with optimal support," she said.

"The women are accompanied, advised and coached all the way through," she said, adding that such measures had kept the drop-out rate at zero and were even helping some women start their own businesses.

The programme, which runs over 20 months, provides a clear incentive for women to get out of the sex industry but it does not require them to leave the profession to get help.

"That is a very important point," said Renate Noebe of Madonna, a prostitutes' aid group and member of the ProFridA network based in the heart of the red-light district in nearby Bochum.

As the neon lights out the window flash "Table Dance," Noebe explains that a well-educated, self-confident prostitute with other marketable skills is much more likely to walk away from the trade.

Noebe coordinates the profiling and coaching of the participants to pinpoint their personal strengths, and runs the basic qualification programme that encompasses language training, computer skills and simple accounting.

She said the demand for the first ProFridA programme, which was based largely on job retraining for prostitutes developed at Madonna in 1998 and in other regional help projects, had been overwhelming.

The next group would be able to start in January 2008 if the financing from the EU and North Rhine-Westphalia is extended. Meanwhile the organisers are hoping that the federal labour agency will eventually integrate some of ProFridA's principles in its standard job retraining programmes.


Quotes from German sex workers look to elder care as way out of brothel by Yahoo news.

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Comments:
Good article.

In fact I believe that nurse do have a dominatrix module in their training, so there is certainly an overlap. Knowledge of enema procedures is also a transferable skill.

Ah, the good old days when all a girl had to do was to roll on a condom and give the john his five minutes worth up against the wall at the back of the pub. Now they are all kissing. Yech! Fings are not wot they used to be.

What "used to" be the case is a matter of perspective. On my blog I quote from an article about old times in Amsterdam, i.e. before the advent of AIDS that suggests that prior to about 1980 sex without condoms was the standard and that transmission of venereal diseases was rife.

Of course a single anecdotal reminiscence is not necessarily accurate history, so who knows?

Anyway, I am glad these ladies have found useful niches for their second careers.
 
I don't believe that Nia. I would even do as far as to suggest that it is ladies who have been in the caring professions who end up as working girls.

When the career as a wg ends they do other things, but never go back to working damned hard for little pay EVER again ( unless they really liked doing it previously)

I am a nurse and will not go back into health care when I reture. No way. I have done my time for the NHS with little reward either mentally or financially.
 
James,

Thank you for your comments. You are right. I know some Doms, that have medical backgrounds.

How can it ever be like the good old days!

Jo,

Thank you for your comments. Believe me, I have read about it, and met women who have moved to become carers.
 
Good grief! They must be gluttons for punishment then !
 
Nia,

you are correct in that Escorting and care-jobs go well together. Many of the Best Escorts I've know had careers in "care", or were about to go into that aea.

There is one other job-background for Successful Escorts that I've noticed: Retail/sales-jobs. Ex sales-ladies seem to make Really Good Escorts too.

In both cases, the "connect" factor, the human contact, the capacity to really listen is what seems to define the success.

But then, I hate to generalize, so please dont take this for gospel. I'm sure nuclear scienctists or ex-army officers also make good escorts (Acutally, I know one Lady...)
 
Peter,

Thank you for your comments. You know one lady...... lol.
 
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