The Seamy Side of Russia’s Sex Industry | Price of Vice. Episode 1. Sexploitation in the age of the internet

“Price of Vice” is a documentary series attempting to provide a glimpse into Russia’s sex industry. It has dramatically changed over the past decades, as have the girls offering their love in exchange for money. Gone are the days when prostitutes worked street corners in the sketchiest of neighbourhoods. Instead, a new generation of call girls mostly looks for potential clients online. Nowadays, they proudly call themselves ‘models’, ‘masseuses’, and ‘escorts’, and many have Instagram accounts worthy of princesses. Society also seems to have become more tolerant. The promise of easy money and a storybook life sucks thousands of girls into the trade.

Olesya Malibu, an escort and a social media celebrity, insists high-class escorts aren’t prostitutes. According to her, they are entirely different because they don’t work in brothels and can maintain lavish lifestyles, jet setting with their “friends”, who sponsor their plastic surgeries and expensive tastes. Porn actress Lola Taylor, however, disagrees, saying, Escort? It’s the same thing. It’s also sex-for-money, but pricier.” Elena Filitovich, the head of a “School for Kept Women”, insists a woman must use her assets to safeguard her income, and there’s nothing wrong with being a kept woman, as long as your man is eager to support your lifestyle.

Psychotherapist Lev Scheglov, on the other hand, notes that for younger people, moral lines have become completely blurred. They don’t see much difference between working as a prostitute and an office clerk, hence the never-ending stream of young people willing to join the ranks of sex workers, whose army numbers between 1.5 and 4 million people in Russia alone.