A poll of 80 prostitutes from the greater area of Warsaw and Gdansk by Polish police last year gave a worrying result: a third of the girls tested positive for HIV. But when you're doing twenty dicks a day, what do you expect? We spent four days with the prozzers who work on the roadsides between Krakow and Katowice. During that time their pimps tried to beat us up, the girls spat at us for trying to photograph them, and we met Magda and her 17-year-old daughter – a wholesome fuck team if ever we saw one. We gave them coffee and cookies and they told us their story.
Vice: So have you been in this business for a while?
Magda: I'm 43 years old but my job makes me feel younger. I'm here five days a week from 9 AM till 4 PM. Most of my johns appreciate my experience a lot.
Well, I can imagine that. The guy at the gas station told me that you took your daughter here for the first time today. Don't you want her to go to school and get a job?
I will teach her everything. I'm the greatest whore around. I've been doing this for over 25 years now and I have great knowledge about how to please a man. Her dad doesn't want her to go to school either because it's a waste of time. She can be on the street and earn money instead. The young and fresh girls earn a lot of money in the beginning, and Agnes is a real beauty so she will make a lot.
Can you give me an idea of how much money you bring home on a good day?
That is hard to say. Back in the days when I started working, I earned up to $10,000 a month. On a good day that was like $350, on a bad one $300. Today I make way less...
Can you imagine doing this job for maybe ten more years?
Next year they want to rebuild this road, so I'm not sure where I'm supposed to stand then. On the other hand, the new highway will probably bring more international truck drivers to us and that means more johns for me. Also, I'm sure the construction workers will appreciate me during their breaks...
Come on, let's be honest, you saw a lot of girls come and go. How many were HIV positive?
When it comes to HIV, I'm afraid I can't really help you. All the girls here are clean. I'm sure none of us has HIV because we are looking after each other. I know that one girl had it and died a couple of years ago, but that is really the only thing I know.
Do condoms rip sometimes?
Yeah, that happens from time to time but I'm always very careful.
Where is the sex happening? In the car or do you take your tricks to certain places?
Mostly in cars. You just have to watch where they take you because some of them are really into S&M and bondage and that is where things get dirty. In the better cases they take me to hotels. Those guys are usually Germans. They have no idea how cheap we are in Poland and they treat us well. A while ago I had one German man who gave me $200. He must have really liked me.
Do they pay in Zloty or Euro?
I prefer Zloty because most of the time Euros turn out to be false money. One day, for example, I had this john who payed me 100 Euros and right after I put the money in my pocket, it started to lose its colour. It was pretty bad. I told my daughter to only accept Zloty.
When there is a problem like that, do you call your pimp?
We don't really have a pimp. My boyfriend, who is also Agnes's dad, is taking care of us. He watches some other girls here, too. He treats them well and cares about them a lot. Some girls are beaten up by their pimps. A friend of mine always gets a black eye, broken nose, or broken leg when she says something. Then she can't work, so she's even more in trouble.
What's up with drugs and alcohol?
My drug days are over. I just drink vodka. When I come home after a rough day I sometimes take anti-depressants. I told Agnes not to touch drugs. When you don't watch yourself you get addicted pretty fast and then you start doing everything your pimp tells you to do. I don't want that to happen to Agnes. I want her to have a good life.
Vice: Hi Agnes, the guy at the gas station told us that today you are here for the first time.
Agnes: Yeah, but I started with my first johns about half a year ago at home. My mum took them home so that I could slowly get used to it.
Was she like a teacher and gave you lessons?
The first thing you need to know is how to get dressed. A miniskirt and garter belt are a must. Then you need to start getting flirty on the street. My mum told me that I should put my hand between the end of the miniskirts and the garter and that I should give the guys horny looks. After that I need to negotiate a good price. Then I have to be pretty clear and straight about the whole thing. Fifteen minutes and that's it. No extras. Ten dollars minimum for a blow job, 15 dollars for sex. Most of the times they pay more money.
Did your mum tell you anything about diseases?
She told me that I should take a look at the guy's dick. If it smells bad, I shouldn't have sex with him. Also, I should not do anything without a condom.
Is your mum proud now?
She told me when I do ten guys today, I'm a good girl and she'll buy me some new boots. She told me that I never ever have to worry about money when I do this job because I can buy everything I ever wanted. Maybe one day I have enough money to buy a car, maybe a BMW.
(photos by Michal Jedrzejowski and Tomek Liboska)