Is it okay to have paid for sex?

Ex-prostitute on sex: "Men are so bad sexually"

Ilan Stephani worked in a Berlin brothel for two years. She describes her experiences in a new book.

Ilan Stephani: "If we taught girls to say no before we teach them to wear thongs, we would have a sexual paradise" Photo: Amélie Losier

taz: Ms. Stephani, you were delighted to walk to the prostitute organization Hydra for advice: You wanted to become a prostitute. What did you hope for in the job?

Ilan Stephani: I didn't want to become a boring student. I wanted close contact. And I had not had a good experience: My first friend cheated with a matter of course that I immediately felt the question of power in sex. I now wanted to gain social and sexual sovereignty. And as a daughter from a good family, I also learned to be fluent with different people. Those were qualities that I suddenly got honored in prostitution. That totally flashed me.

Is that hunger for life?

Yes. And that's the thing at the bottom of the ocean for all men who go to the brothel: I'm hungry to feel alive. And then they think, that's what a man needs sex for, that's bullshit of course. A man has just learned that this is how he should experience it now. But contact with a smiling person brings us to life.

Even though it's a paid and played smile?

Yes, people can turn that off quite well.

And the fact that you are having sex with men you do not feel like having at all, did that not make you hesitate at all?

But. But so often you have sex in your love relationship without really loving or wanting to have the other person right now. It's more about a sense of obligation. The difference to prostitution is smaller than you think. I've been a body therapist with women for seven years, and pretty much everyone has done what I paid for for free. And I had already experimented with anonymous sex. I was in the swingers club and had already got to know this normality and openness. And I was just excited about the social challenge.

What was it?

All these tricks: For example, you can make the money disappear completely inconspicuously so that it is best not for any of us to notice that it was a payment transaction. I play that I have to moan right now and am very enthusiastic, and at the same time make sure that the towel does not slip from under me. And coincidentally, after exactly half an hour, our wonderful encounter comes to a natural end - and people may have entrusted me with a few more secrets. You always talk to prostitutes as if we had signed a declaration of confidentiality. I was in control of everything. And otherwise the world isn't exactly waiting for little students. But these men were waiting for me.

Ilan Stephani: "Dear and dear: What I learned about life in the brothel". Ecowin 2017

They were in a small brothel run by women, with excellent working conditions. But still: They told the boys that they are great at satisfying a woman, even though many cannot do just that. If I put it strictly, you were a prop of phallic culture.

Yes. Prostitution stabilizes this culture. But as a concrete prostitute, I don't even go along with this patriarchal increase in erections. Men fail in phallic culture, that's their stress. They are supposed to have a brazen phallus, and then all they have is a flaccid penis. What do you think, how nervous you are often when you think you have to bring it now. I hear from it: “Release me from the nightmare of having to satisfy a phallus.” And then I say: “It doesn't matter whether you have a stand or not. It doesn't matter at all. You're right. ”But of course you're right in the end: In patriarchy, women have always confirmed men and rocked their balls.

Didn't that bother you?

Little. I was rather compassionate. Sexually, men are so badly off in this society. Worse than women because, unlike women, they don't even know what is wrong with them. If the cum in women who are playing for them is the climax of their sexual life - how sad is that? The brothel is just the symptom of the poor sex we have.

What is poor sex - and what is richer?

The poor thing is that we desperately long to touch and make each other happy in sex. And that we won't make it. Women fake orgasms, it's not just a fun topic for the gossip press. This is a failed sexual communication every time. And men say: What you feel like doing, sorry, I fall asleep, I need something awesome. There are so many misconceptions. Penis has to be in vagina, that's such a narrow conception of sexuality. And then in the romantic two-way relationship. Hollywood and the porn industry then commercialized that. From these false images sexual abuse, sexual trauma of women arise. And all of that weighs down on our sex.

Now you can say: Kismet, this is how our sex turned out, now we have to muddle through it. They think that something else entirely is possible. What would that be?

Proper sex must be free of definitions that make us stressful. Thoughts like "Sex is good with an erection" creates stress. We don't even know how to protect our sexuality from these definitions. For example, I discovered slow sex at some point. We lay together for hours, an ultra-relaxed little, un-erect penis in an ultra-relaxed vagina. Nothing happened for a long time - except my leg fell asleep and my boyfriend's back hurt. But after several attempts something came up, and that was much better than anything we had ever experienced. We had made our genitals sensitive and sensitive again. I had my first vaginal orgasm. Yes, my dear previous sexual partners, the first!

Was that the point where you stepped out of prostitution?

Yes. But I had already got bored beforehand. And then I went to a workshop where we were supposed to discover our G-spot in a women's group. I was actually quite numb vaginally. That was funny at first because we were fingering each other with latex gloves; at some point you get a cramp in your finger ... Anyway, we found it, and that was such a dissolved, prelinguistic, fluid, ecstatic experience! After that I was still in the brothel for three weeks. And then one morning I opened my eyes and thought: I'm not going any more. I finished it.

Didn't your bad experiences matter?

Not directly. It wasn't until later that I realized that I had been traumatized. I had a suitor who had sex with me forcibly. He was a very deliberate sadist. A polite, kind man. But at some point he just went over me, he touched me brutally and fucked me brutally. He didn't want consent. It was rape, although legally it wasn't, of course, because I didn't say no. He showed me how much I can't set limits because I wasn't prepared for something like that at all. I claim no woman is prepared for this because we are all brought up to be these smiling, nice girls.

The famous "She did not fight back".

Yes. I work with a lot of women who say, no, that wasn't rape, it was in my relationship, and I didn't say no. And I know exactly why she didn't say no.


Because we are the smiling girls. Because we are cuter when we cry softly than when we are angry. Our instincts, with which we could prevent trauma, are suppressed. The protective instinct: take control, say no, defend borders. And there is also no yes if you are incapable of saying no. If we taught the girls no before teaching them to put on thongs, then we would have a sexual paradise. Because then men would have to develop.

Aren't we trying already?

Oh yes? I see women who are terrified. They are afraid that if they say no, they will no longer have sex. That the guy turns away. And they think their only turn-on is to get "really fucked", to be a vessel. Women do not know their own strengths. Women's bodies are not inferior to men's bodies. It's a patriarchal lie. I am for sexual feminism. And that is the reason why I no longer work in prostitution. God knows I can do something better with my sexual strength than to say: "I am your vessel today."