‘I’m a whore and proud of it’

Madame Lisa, the manager of the biggest brothel in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, has spoken out about the joy she derives from her profession in her newly published memoirs.

'I'm a whore and proud of it'
Madame Lisa

The mother of three, who is now in her forties, describes her life at the brothel Venusia in Geneva as “beautiful”.

“I am a whore. And proud of it. According to the Petit Robert Dictionary, I am also a pimp, because I draw earnings from the prostitution of others,” she says in the opening lines of her book

Venusia is a 700-square metre brothel, kitted out with a large Jacuzzi, a cigar room and other themed rooms. Madame Lisa describes it as her life’s masterpiece, online news site Le Matin reports.

Although she is proud of her job, Madame Lisa said she would not be pleased if her 15-year-old daughter wanted to follow in her footsteps.

“I was careful in writing this book not to be apologetic for the profession. Because I do not want all the girls to apply for it. We earn a lot but it does not last,” she said.

The France-born madame started her career after her first marriage at 18 years old, first with nude modelling and then in a strip bar. One day a friend suggested she come to her house to join in a threesome.

To her surprise, not only was the sex quite tame, but she found an envelope in her bag with several thousand francs in it. It was then that she realised how she would make a comfortable life for herself.

After dedicating her working life to the sex trade, she said writing the book had now helped bring her closer to her parents.

“My parents realized I thrived in this profession but it hasn’t been easy. The book has been beneficial,” she said.

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Mandatory contact tracing in Zurich brothels stirs controversy

A lawyer for the Zurich sex industry is taking legal action against new tracing rules being implemented for prostitutes working in the Swiss canton.

Mandatory contact tracing in Zurich brothels stirs controversy
A prostitute walks by 'sex boxes' which Zurich set for their safety. Photo by AFP

Starting on October 1st, Zurich has mandated stricter protection rules in the brothels.

Sex workers must now not only collect their customers’ ID and contact details, but also check on the spot whether the cell phone numbers provided by the clients are correct.

But Valentin Landmann, a legal counsel for Zurich’s sex work industry, filed an appeal against the new regulations, claiming they “violate the principle of equality”.

“These conditions are more extreme than in any other profession involving physical contact”, he told SRF television in an interview.

Landmann added that stricter measures are not necessary in the sex trade.

“The normal protection concepts are already being observed. So far, there have been no coronavirus cases in legal companies”.

However, Zurich authorities see it differently.

The cantonal director of security Mario Fehr told SRF that the new measures are necessary to ensure effective contact tracing, so that clients can be informed in case a coronavirus infection occurs in the brothel.

He added that if establishments fail to adhere to the requirements “we will close these businesses”.

READ MORE: Five things about Switzerland that may surprise foreign residents 

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland and considered as a ‘regular’ service industry, with the same rights and obligations as other sectors, including declaring income and paying taxes.

In May, the brothels implemented safety rules for workers and clients to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections. 

The measures include ventilation in rooms, the use of gloves, condoms and disinfectants, and washing of sheets after each client. 

Also, sessions should be kept to a maximum of 15 minutes, and kissing – which was already rare before the measures came into place – is strongly discouraged.