Tania Fiolleau’s book detailing her life in the world of Human Trafficking.

“Souled Out!” by Tania Fiolleau – How a former Prostitute and Madam

The following is an excerpt from the prologue from my newly released 2nd Edition of the book “Souled Out!”:

If I were to ask anyone, which of the known addictions he found most repulsive, his answer would probably be, “drug addiction.”  He would perhaps reflect the opinion of the majority. However, if we look at the afflictions that we can observe every day, many would turn us to revulsion.  Diseases, such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, influenza, and the rest of them, metamorphose the body into something we have a hard time understanding. Most of us are lucky to be on the outside looking in. Nevertheless, some of us suffer from a much more devastating disease than those I just mentioned. This affliction does not transform your body, but it kills your soul. It is something that we cannot beat with medication, or surgery, or even cure. Only three percent of the “patients” diagnosed will escape the everlasting torment if we don’t do something about it. Ninety-seven percent will die at the hands of evil thoughts torment and despair.  Yet, some have deliberately contracted this disease and many were forced into it. Either way it is not a disease that one would want… a walk down sex lane.

Do you really believe that anyone force all of these woman to take her clothes off and have sex with a man she has never met before and will probably never see again? Yes and no. Some women are forced into prostitution through human trafficking and pimps, others through circumstances, the customs, or the station in life impelling her to take the plunge into the deep, bottomless pit of prostitution.

In most communities of this world, women are not born to be prostituted but for many it is their destiny. Others are qualified as “escorts” or “companions” for the night or even for just an hour.  Whether we call them “whores”, “prostitutes” or “escorts” or “human traffic victims”, they are women, men and children who have less than a 3% chance of ever getting out.

I was one of them. I had to make a choice. It was either that or risk losing my sons to a brute that very easily could have killed my eldest son and myself  in a fit of rage if I weren’t able to stop him by getting custody of both my children.  Believe me; my eyes were wide-open when I stepped in the first brothel I had ever seen in my life. The devil took me by the hand then and showed me the color of money – lots of it. I could earn four-day’s pay in an hour. With that money, I could buy the services of a good lawyer and get custody of my two sons.

I make no excuses for what I did. I made the choice to be a prostitute because I saw no other way to earn big money fast. Although I went to college and I am somewhat educated, I had no time to get into the world, forge myself a career and become a “respectable woman”.  Literally, I had until the end of the first week to find $5,000 for a retainer to obtain a lawyer and save my boys from an obscene future.  Same as many girls do every day, I went on my first date, and then another and another. I earned $1,700 on my first night out.

When I went home, I could scrub my body as much as I wanted, I could not wash away the dirt that had already surrounded my heart and soul.

As the expression goes, “I felt dirty.”  Nothing could erase the images from my mind. They are carved in my memory forever.

Sex should be enjoyed by the couple who loves each other. Sex is a moment in time and space, which brings happiness into the marriage. It is not something to be taken lightly or with disregard for the loving kindness it entails.  Nonetheless, sex is too often taken as an act of release for the tension endured by men during the day.  Many men come to these brothels seeking release. They seek entertainment and relaxation or even sweet talks with someone they hardly know, and won’t recognize if they cross paths tomorrow.  Some “johns” request to have sex with the same woman over a long period, even years, but all the same, when their occasional but steady partner dies or is nowhere to be found, they ask for someone else as if the person was just a lovely figure they enjoyed, until it was discarded because it had been broken beyond repair.
What these ladies of the night need to realize is that they are somebody. They need to realize their self-worth and respect their virtues and be taught to become the “women” that God put them here on this earth to be. They need avenues to merge them back into society and recourses to help them be re-programmed, literally.

Surviving the disease demands strength of character. As I said, I made a conscious choice to become a prostitute, but I also knew that I could not and would not do this for years on end. Like most victims enslaved, I was tempted to buy everything I could afford and then some. While I was able to retain an attorney and fight for custody of my boys, I was also able to purchase a house, cars, clothes, shoes, jewelry and everything my heart desired at the detriment of my soul. I was getting unhappier day by day.  Although I had reached the top rung of my professional ladder – I was now a Madam – I was seeing myself being destroyed physically and mentally. Every time I was with a john, it took a piece of my soul. My spirit was breaking.  Slowly but surely I was going down the hill of despair.

Most women that have chose in this profession start out with trying to hide their sadness by purchasing everything they have ever wanted. They hide behind a mask of beauty and a fabricated smile. They avert their eyes from anyone wanting to take a closer look at them. The shame that soon takes hold of their behavior is like a security blanket. It serves as justification for what they are doing. That until the day they can’t take it anymore. Then they go down the road of temptation once again and try smoking a joint or two, or snort some cocaine on occasion or even get into a heroin or crystal-meth habit.  When you go down that path, the next port of call is the street. One thing leading to another, they soon enter a vicious cycle that calls for them to sell their body for money, money they will use for buying drugs and drugs that will keep them right where they are – in the street, until they die from an overdose.

The statistics will classify them as “drug addicts” or “one more dying from aids”.

When I was in the trade, I managed four brothels. Two were legal brothels and two were top secret penthouse brothels that catered to the elite, famous & discreet. I have had a sum of approximately 500 women work for me over the years. When I took over the second one, it was considered the “grandfather of all brothels”, but its revenue was the lowest of all those that were still in business at the time. I turned the deficit into profit in less than a year. Why?  Because I cared and I needed the money. I cared for my girls. I wanted them to have the best. I wanted them to feel comfortable, not forced into anything they could not or would not do. I needed the money as my custody battle ended up costing me over $350,000 and going all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Mind you, I was ruthless and dispassionate about the whole thing. I had learned to divorce my business mind from my conscience or the compassion I felt for the girls in order to survive.

Yes, for me it was a business, and for them it was steady employment. Both business and employment came at a cost. They were losing their youth, pride and self-esteem, and I was losing my mind to grief, self-loathing and a guilty conscience.
Without a shadow of a doubt, in my opinion, men could be despicable beasts. However, to put all men in the same bag would be unfair and unjustified. Nevertheless, those who seek sex outside their relationships are only animals responding to the vilest of instincts. They have absolutely no respect for the women or victims who entertain them. They return to the brothels or pick up a girl at the corner of a street for only one reason: to get a fix for their sexual addiction. Even if they are “happy” in their marriage or relationship, they need more. They need a “different” partner and they need it now. When their middle-age crisis is over, they offer the excuse that their partner is no longer interested in having sex with them. However, it’s often the other way around. They are not interested in having more of the same with that partner who’s devoted her life to them in many cases but not all.

Prostitutes are not the only ones suffering from the shame perpetuated by their actions – many of their “Johns” are as well. Most of these men cannot let anyone know that they’ve bought a woman last night. They can’t let the cat out of the bag for fear of losing their reputation if not their life in the process.

What we can do about it, you ask. There is a lot we can do about this plague, in fact. Pointing the finger is not the solution. Judging is not the answer. Such as we try, too often in vain, to take people off the street, we could, with much better results, help themen, women & children of the industry; get out of the rat race.  Knowing the industry such as I do, I want to see the ninety-seven percent of no return to normal life decrease. I want to help these girls get out of the vicious circle before we find them dead in some dark alleys or become another statistic in the wrong column.

Talking to them should be the first step. How many people do you know have ever had a normal conversation with a prostitute?  I’m sure not many of us have. Talking sense, and helping them realize that life doesn’t stop with their next shopping spree or their next appointment or their next fix.  Showing them the way to a better, more constructive life, is the way to go. Taking the devil’s hand away and replacing it with a loving and caring arm across their shoulders is the way to an exit from this devil’s pen. It would be a ladder to climb out of the pit of despair. Of course, the world wasn’t made in one day, and neither would this project. Like one of my friends said, “To make all your secret dreams come true, just take that first step, then follow through.” And I am determined to take that first step and to follow through. If I only could save one victim from endless torment, I would be satisfied to have taken at least one step in the right direction.

“Souled Out” is simply an account of my life in the industry. Yet it is also an appeal to every one of us, to lend a hand to those who have nowhere to go but six feet under.

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