Interview with Maria van Daarten

Maria is a part-time prostitute from Germany . She has been working in clubs since her twenties. Working as a call girl doesn’t come easy. Her family, friends and acquaintances had to be kept in the dark about her profession. 

In her forties she got tired of hiding her profession and moved to Athens/Greece to start working there full-time as an independent female escort. This was an exciting time and she wanted to share her experiences with other people. So, when she stopped working in Athens, she started writing her first book about her time as a call girl. A second followed and currently she is writing her third book. She has a dream of decriminalising sex work!

Her first book, and others are available on Amazon

The following is a transcript of her interview, with Shakun

How old were you when you started working as a prostitute?

I started working as a prostitute when I was 25 years old. I started working part time in a club. I did it secretly. My husband, friends and family thought I had a job as a babysitter. This club was like a brothel and I went there 2 times a week in the evenings. 

However, my first experience of getting money as a gift for having sex with someone is a different story. Shall I tell you the story?

Yes Please.

I married young, I was 19. When I was roughly 23, I read a book about an innocent man who was imprisoned in Africa for 3 years. The story touched me very much. At the end, I read that he lived close by in the city of Aachen. I wrote him a letter, letting him know how much I felt for him.He responded immediately, inviting me to visit him. 

When I went to Aachen next, I gave him a call and we met in his office. By this time he was running  an estate agency. I was quite shy but he seemed to be an interesting person. Somehow, I was sexually attracted to him.

He invited me to visit him again and offered to show me his house in the Eifel. A couple of weeks later, we drove in his Porsche through the Eifel and stopped at a restaurant for lunch. He made me taste his food by putting his fork into my mouth. This was surprisingly sexy to me. 

When we entered his house they were only one room interesting for us: The bedroom! When I went home that evening, I found in the side pocket of my handbag 200 Mark… Where did it come from? I tried to think but I had no clue. 

Later, I met him in his apartment again and we had sex. When I was back home, 200 Mark was there in the side pocket of my bag. I guessed it was from him. On asking him, he admitted and laughed: “Buy something nice, only for you. You are a pretty woman and I am sure you know what to do with the money.”

My secret relationship with him lasted 6 years. But after 2 years, the sexual attraction for me was lost. I met him because I liked and adored him and also the money he gave me. Eventually, I wanted to know  if I can have sex with other men to earn money. That’s when I started working in my first club… my second followed and so on. I could do it. It was easy.

 So you weren’t really in need of money?

No. I always had a daytime job. Sometimes full-time, sometimes half-time. My husband worked and earned money too. Our income was okay. But I definitely liked the Easy Money as secret pocket money to buy nice clothes, shoes and also to put some into my savings. It made me feel good.

 Did you ever fall in ‘love’ with a customer?

I have to admit, yes. It was in my second year working in the club. I was so naive! There was a man who made me feel like he came to the club only for me. He booked me for 2 hours each time. When we first met he told me he is a veterinarian specialized for racehorses. Then he started crying because he had to put a horse to sleep that morning. I felt sorry for him and tried my best to relieve his mind and make him feel better. At the end we had sex and he told me that he had never had such tender and erotic sex before. I was very flattered and my hormones went crazy.

My madam, a young brothel owner, saw what had happened immediately. She warned me that he was a liar. She forbade me to meet him privately. I didn’t listen. It lasted only about 3 month until he just didn’t show up again. Maybe he ran out of stories? I was very disappointed and told myself that this would never ever happen again! We’re not the only ones who are pretending and putting up a show, the customers can do the same and enjoy it.

Did a client ever fall in ‘love’ with you?

Yes, many times. I think men like falling in love with prostitutes. Just like they fall in love with the girl behind the bar. One client brought me red roses each time; another man wanted to save my life from prostitution and another told me how fond he was of me and I think it was true. However, it never affected me deeply. It was just nice and I knew this client would come back.

Did you ever have a bad conscious because doing this kind of work?

Not because of the kind of work,  only because I could not tell my husband the truth. He would have never understood that it’s just work. He would havpictured me having sex with other men and cheating on him. That’s why I lived with a bad conscience during my marriage.

How did you feel hiding your profession from your family and friends?

I had to lie to them. Sometimes I felt really bad about those lies. I considered stopping work because of this reason. I had to decide between feeling happy, doing precisely what I want and being a liar or feeling sad for losing the work I liked and my self-determination to be honest with my family and acquaintances.It was a chicken and egg situation. I decided to be a liar.

Was it difficult to hide your profession?

Not really. I told everybody I had a job as a babysitter 2-3 times a week in the evenings. That didn’t bring up a lot of questions. I told tham, I am working for a wealthy business family in Aachen. Nobody asked me for details. I only have to give my husband more information. When I was at work in the club, I always had time to invent some stories about the kids and what I did with them. People are not really interested in a babysitter’s job.

Do you think your marriage suffered from you working as a prostitute?

Not at all! It was quite the contrary. Our sex life improved because of my growing confidence and skills. I know my husband enjoyed it, seeing me more open minded, willing to try different things, wearing sexy outfits and seducing him. Even outside the bedroom I considered his needs more than before. I paid more attention towards his feelings and I wanted him to feel good. This was not only because I was very fond of him but also because of my bad conscious.

What is for you the difference between paid sex and private sex?

I know people think it’s different but the sex is the same. The feelings make the difference: If it’s work, certain feelings are missing. The feelings of lust are missing, no sexual or carnal desire. You concentrate on the job. That’s it. You might allow yourself to have an orgasm, but that’s not because you want this person or his body, it’s only a treat. On the contrary if you are longing for somebody, if you seek to touch, kiss or have sex with someone, if you want to be close to this person, if you feel sexual desire then it is private. Amorousness or love can be included.

Back to your job: Were you satisfied with the amount of money you earned in the brothel, pleasing one customer?

Not really. When I worked in Germany in the clubs, I was paid half of the money and the brothel owner got the rest. If a client paid 60 €, I got only 30 €. Calculating the costs of the upkeep of the building, the rent, the electricity, the cleaning, decoration, telephone, advertisement etc., I think it was fair for the brothel owner to pay us only half of the money. Yet, I wasn’t really satisfied. That was too little. Imagine everything that’s included: A massage, a blowjob and sex in different positions. The client can touch and lick the woman all over her body! There is a huge cost for sexy outfits, stockings, shoes, the manicure, pedicure, make-up, hair and so on! For all this 30 € is not enough. That’s very little! 

Why don’t the brothel owners ask the clients for more money?

I think the brothel owners could do it, but there is huge competition between them and sadly lots of men are only looking for cheap deals. They compare prices and push them down. That’s sad, it is only because sex workers and their job don’t get the respect they deserve from society.

 Why did you change your life and go to Athens?

First: I always wanted to live in the sunshine by the sea!

Second: I was tired of working secretly in the clubs and earning only little money for my service. My dream was to work fulltime in this business.

Third: In some years,I travelled around southern Europe during the winter. I took jobs as a day worker in the agricultural sector. I harvested salads, olives, oranges etc. The work was physically demanding. When I came back to Germany in the spring, I worked next to my part time job as a prostitute in a factory task work,  I had the position of a swing worker. I worked at the pub on the weekends. This was exhausting and I developed problems in my arm. That was the time I started longing for easy work. Not long after, I packed my suitcases and flew to Athens/Greece to give my dream of working as an independent callgirl a try.

That was quiet courageous, or not?

Definitely! – And I didn’t know if it would work. But luckily it did, with a lot of discipline, diligence and cleverness, if I may say so. Success never comes easily. I worked very hard in the beginning. It was exciting, I learned a lot and enjoyed it!

So, did you earn more money when you went to Athens? How much did you ask for?

Yes. When I worked in Athens as a self employed call girl, my price for one hour sex including a blowjob and sex in different positions was150 €  in the beginning . There were no extras included and I was happy with the amount of money I earned. I mean there were exceptions where I got less money, but only if I agreed and only after weighing the situation up. Depending on what service I offered, I asked for even more money. 

Do you think they should be something like a fixed price for sex work?

No. My opinion is, each sex worker should be able of offer her/his own price that she/he is satisfied with. Selling sex as a service can be tricky. It varies in quality, style, length; there are so many kinds of roles – being a devotee, being a domina, being a schoolgirl. Is kissing included? Is anal sex included? Is golden shower included? It all matters! There is the possibility to be a companion with or without sex and so on! You see, there are almost boundless possibilities.

How did you feel about your clients?

The well-being of the client was important to me. In Germany we have the saying: ‘The guest is the king.’ That’s one of the sayings I grew up with and followed during my career as a prostitute. My attitude towards them was always friendly and apart from very few clients who were drunk or rude or behaved badly, I only had positive experiences.

Was it difficult to lead a double life?

Yes and no. It was difficult and exhausting to face my own lies. When I was working in Germany, living with my father, meeting my friends, going out with them, I suffered from it! When I came to Greece, nobody knew me. I felt relieved! It was a temporary end to my double life. Only when I spoke to them on the phone or wrote letters, I had to invent a new story about me and my life in Athens. But that was only minutes and I could just be myself again.

This changed when I started writing my first book. So far only my husband knew about my history and about the topic of my book. I am working hard. But I can’t tell anybody who knows me what I am doing.

Some friends who have no connection with my family and my old friends from my native home know about my writing. They are my test readers. So the question is not, was it? But is it?  And my answer again is: Yes and no. In general I am not confronted with the question: What is your job? People think I live with my retired husband and don’t have to work. But on the other hand I find it shameful that I can’t even talk freely about my writing only because it would reveal that I was a prostitute and lead to social disadvantages. I could be despised, discriminated against, ostracized and insulted by a lot of people.

Do you sometimes regret your life as a prostitute?

No. I am proud of my life , how I lived it and how I live it!

Do you have any advice for women who want to work in this business?

Yes. The most important thing is to be friendly to the clients. Because what goes around, comes around.

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