WEIGHT: 53 kg
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In Italy, much like every single other country in the world, it's not uncommon to see girls—with or without penises—stalking street corners, watched over by some volatile pimp in a pleather jacket and a bad haircut. The act of selling yourself isn't actually a crime here, but aiding or inducing the sale of yourself is, which makes hooking kind of tricky, especially if you're not particularly into the thought of spending your evening inside a cell. For those who want to make a little extra change in partnership with their vagina, however, Switzerland—just across the border—is a haven for sex workers, being one of the few European countries where prostitution is legal.
Bar Oceano, a historical, family-run brothel in the Swiss border town of Lugano, is one of the landmarks of the Swiss sex industry, so my friend Georgio and I drove up there to have a chat with Ulisse, the brothel's year-old owner, and Nicola, his right-hand man. After being greeted by a monolithic bouncer, we were led inside to the brothel's reception. We quickly found out that Ulisse had already gone home for the day to sit in his pyjamas, but he had left his year-old niece, Diandra, in charge.
Diandra told us a bit about how the brothel usually functions. Diandra gave us some good advice, should we ever feel like forking out cash for sex at any point in the future: "Never pick the first girl, they're always the most desperate. You have to be registered to prostitute yourself professionally in Switzerland, which, by law, only EU citizens are allowed to do.
Until last year, the Swiss government would turn a blind eye, meaning girls from all over the world but mostly South America and Eastern Europe would flock to its brothels, but since they cracked down, there are only Romanian girls left. Despite the fact that everything seems to be running by the books, the brothel still has its problems with the police. After we'd been given the full run-down, we asked to chat with some of the girls. Diandra took us through to the VIP lounge, where we were told to choose any one of the girls on offer.
The first girl we spoke to was Paola, a year-old Romanian who'd previously worked in Spain but had been living in Switzerland for the last couple of years. She didn't appear to have any reservations about her line of work, because "a job is a job and I do it for the money. Paola does everything—"everything everything"—in her very pink, pungently-scented, IKEA-heavy room: pisses on people, licks feet, sodomizes men, and dresses up in costumes.