The cobblestone streets of Tallinn’s old town are full of restaurants and bars, souvenir shops and hotels. Everything a tourist needs, so maybe it isn’t that strange that there are a few places a Brit, a German or a Frenchman might appreciate too: erotic massage parlours. Serena works in one of them, a studio tucked away in an alley next to a Chinese restaurant and a bar that broadcasts English football.
She started working in this parlour five years ago, before she worked in another one.
‘A normal one,’ she laughs. ‘But I like this type, erotic massage. Though I don’t have sex with the clients. I am naked with the client, but there are clear borders, what the client can and can’t do. No kissing either. And I never go out with a client, to a restaurant, for example, even though they ask – and want to pay a lot for it.’
She is thirtyish (how old are you? ‘I don’t remember.’ Is it that long ago?), a brunette, slim and fit. She looks like a yoga teacher. ‘I do yoga, I hate sports though: I don’t like competition.’
Do people know what you do?
‘They know. I have good friends, they are open-minded. I have a boyfriend and he is fine with it. He trusts me. We have a very good relationship, a good sex life. Most people don’t know what this is, they think it is dirty, while it is sensual.’
You should tell them, maybe write about it!
‘Why?’ She doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
What do you think of girls who go all the way?
‘If girls go further it is okay, if it’s what they want to do. Of course there are women who do it for money, for them there is no other way, but there are women who do it for pleasure.’
For how long will you continue doing this job, you think?
‘For maybe one more year, five maximum. I might create my own salon. Where girls work for me. In my salon I want women to come too. It will be more spiritual, therapeutic also. Not only men need touching, warmth and intimacy. I also do tantra massage, which is better. Slower, not hurry-hurry, because the client needs a happy end, it’s inner work,’ she says softly.
You are from Tallinn, right? Have you seen many other countries?
‘Quite a lot, I’ve travelled quite a bit, but I don’t want to anymore. It’s become boring. I’ve seen enough. I prefer to stay at home, I love the beaches here, the sea, I love swimming.’
What do you think of the EU?
‘Not a lot. Politics is not for me. Of course there are plusses and minuses – it depends on what you want to see. Travelling has become easy, that is good. But because of the euro things have become really expensive. But they don’t help us deal with Russia.’
Do you feel Estonian or European?
‘I’m just a human being.’