It always starts with money problems
Rossi says nobody gets into prostitution unless they really need money, and fast. After moving from Italy to Berlin for her studies in 2001, Rossi was supporting herself, as well as a boyfriend who couldn’t legally work in Germany. She was trying to get by on odd jobs: "everything from babysitting to cleaning toilets in a nightclub and working at call centers," she said. "A lot of call centers.”
But the meager cash flow didn't make ends meet. Rossi considered giving up her schooling to become a waitress, though that hardly seemed like a solid long-term plan. Eating all that ramen grew mighty depressing.
That’s when she saw an ad looking for webcam girls.
It’s a slippery slope
Becoming a prostitute usually happens by a chain of events -- not some overnight decision. It took Rossi about a year. At first, she was just doing live webcam shows.
“It was nothing," she said, "there was nobody in the room. The money was better than working as a waitress, but we still couldn’t really pay the rent.” After a few months, she started working at a massage parlor, offering just that. But women who offered more encouraged Rossi to do the same. "'It’s too bad you’re not doing it all,' [they told her] 'because you could earn much more... If you’re doing one thing, you can do the other.'”
Before long, Rossi agreed.
“With the very first guy," she said, "I was very frightened and shy. After awhile, it become a routine. One day, I decided I could do everything, because it didn’t matter anymore.”