My name is Alexandra. I’m a 24-year-old South African currently living in Romania as I attempt to learn the language (an arbitrary personal goal of mine). I have a degree in conceptual advertising and will soon be starting my next in psychology. I have held a few positions since my graduation – my favourite of which being the strategic manager of a camming studio in Bucharest which I only recently moved on from in the hopes of pursuing my own entrepreneurial dreams.
This naturally means that now more than ever I am open to opportunities so when an abbywinters.com recruitment specialist first approached me via an online platform, I was intrigued. I had never considered featuring in ‘real’ pornography, however, after my own recent brush with the adult entertainment industry I found myself drawn by their approach – natural, realistic and aesthetic content is something I already believed to be lacking in the sphere and now I had the opportunity to not only engage in heated debates but to also actively participate in creating the type of content I want to see.
Their onboarding process immediately impressed me. The copy was worded in a straightforward, transparent and relaxed fashion and after a little due diligence (background research on Google) I found very little that was negative and plenty that left me feeling excited about the opportunity. I decided to go for it, thinking to myself that I could back out at any point should I feel uncomfortable. I needn’t have worried. The initial vetting process is nothing if not thorough and left me joking with my friends that I could pass an entry exam on the ‘abbywinters.com Shoot Producing Method’
My first shoot was scheduled to be in Amsterdam and I was put in contact with my Shoot Producer, Gulia (pronounced “Julia”). I felt a twinge of excitement as this was all finalized. I had never been to Amsterdam and haven’t done much travelling since the 2020 pandemic started – now it was time to start prepping for my next trip! The main few things to get in order were the required props, clothing for the actual shoot as well as all the extra documents required thanks to the pandemic. The latter had me mildly concerned but as it turned out I struggled more to find appropriate colorful clothing!
I packed and repacked, talking to Gulia via Whatsapp regarding the suitability of my choices. In the end we narrowed down my massive selection into something that would more realistically fit into my luggage and I piled everything by the door.
The following day I made my way to the airport for my 3pm flight from Bucharest to Amsterdam. I flew with KLM air and things ran smoothly. I had an address as well as instructions from Gulia with regards to where I was going. I was grateful to be travelling the day before my shoot so that I wasn’t too stressed about making it anywhere on time.
Upon arrival in Amsterdam I hit my first complication as I realized that the SIM card in my phone wasn’t working! Prior to my arrival my network provider had informed me that it would be fine, so this was unexpected as well as inconvenient. Thankfully Schiphol Airport’s free Wi-Fi was easy enough to connect to and use and I had pretty detailed instructions from the AW team!
First thing I did was save the city into my ‘offline’ Google Maps so that I could navigate my way to the apartment, I then contacted Gulia and updated her. I also double-checked which station to take the train to and bought a ticket to Central Station as instructed. I then lugged my baggage around the airport as I hunted for the train! It was a little confusing as it was underground and I didn’t quite understand the ‘check in/check out’ procedure. But I managed to figure it out and jumped on board. In the train I watched the unusual buildings pass by and felt the excitement build within me as it always does upon arrival in a new country.
At Central Station I was grateful for the little information desks. They helpfully directed me to the metro. I bought a ticket and easily found the right line a few minutes later.
The metro dropped me off 850m (930 yards) from my desired address and so I opened ‘offline maps’ to direct me to the apartment. It was a little stressful as I knew Gulia would be waiting for me and I now had no way of contacting her to figure out exact times. Punctuality is something I hold in high regard so I think I looked a little crazy as I determinedly marched down the street to the address! Along the way I spotted a tiny shop that appeared to sell electronics. I wasn’t sure how these things work in Amsterdam but I figured it was a good place to start on my search for a local SIM card! I was right and within a few minutes the issue was resolved. 4 minutes later I arrived at the apartment! I paused and took a deep breath before knocking on the door.
Shoot Producer Gulia opened and greeted me warmly, offering me a glass of much appreciated water. She showed me around the apartment which I was informed would be mine alone for the next few days. I felt grateful, as it was not only beautiful but also rather closely aligned with the type of apartment I would have chosen for myself. The shelves were lined with interesting books, the furniture high quality yet simple, and most importantly – filled with plants!
Gulia and I discussed logistics for a short while, confirming things for the shoot on the following day before she handed over the keys and I was alone again. I am fortunate enough to have a friend living in Amsterdam and we had agreed to meet that evening. I quickly had a shower before heading out into the city. I was immediately struck by how beautiful and green it is! I had a lovely dinner next to a canal as I watched the boats pass by and caught up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in years. After dinner we wandered around the city for a while, stopping by the famous red light district. Exhausted from the travelling and wanting to be fresh for the following day, I didn’t stay out too late and caught the tram back to my cozy little place.
Had dinner next to the canal with a friend I hadn’t seen in years.The morning of the shoot I was awake earlier than necessary after dreaming about the day ahead! I was a little nervous. Getting ready took way less time than usual as I didn’t have to put on any makeup, so I prepped all my clothes and props on the table, paced a little on the balcony before making some coffee and settling down to wait for Gulia.
When Gulia arrived we immediately got started setting things up and discussing angles for the shoot. The environment was relaxed. It was a good combination of professional and friendly and I ended up really enjoying myself. The main thing that struck me about the shoot was that it was a lot more focused on getting to know me as a person than it was on purely sexual play. This also meant that it was easier for me to relax as I casually chatted nearly the entire time. The duration of the shoot was a good number of hours – From about 10:30 – 17:30. It was long and definitely tiring but also overall a positive and enjoyable experience. By the end of the day I felt that I had been friends with Gulia for years (I guess being in all sorts of positions naked in front of someone will do that to you!)
That evening I wandered off by myself to explore the local cocktail bar scene (mixology is a hobby of mine). Unfortunately as it was a Monday most places were closed but I did manage to find one bar that made a truly fantastic negroni! I ended the evening at one of the famous ‘coffee shops’ before making my way home on foot.
That night I slept fantastically! It’s cooler in Amsterdam than it is in Bucharest at the moment and the combination of fresh evening air; dark curtains and a day of hard work were earnest contributors to my good nights rest. This was just as well because the following day would be jam-packed full of exciting activities as I attempted to make the most of my last day in the beautiful city.
My alarm went off early and I arranged with Gulia to hand over the keys. I made my way over to a little breakfast place, drank mimosas and ate heartily before setting off to the Central Station once again to drop off my luggage at the deposit lockers within (might I just add that this is the most fabulous thing ever!).
I then set off for the Sex Museum. The museum boasts that it is the world’s oldest sex museum. They house an extensive collection of erotic images, paintings, visual material, objects etc. I spent two hours exploring the beautiful 17th century building making my way up the impressive central staircase. I was particularly impressed by the collections of private photographs. It was visually striking to see normal people having sex captured in a medium that I am only familiar with in family albums. I felt that it spoke strongly about how natural sexually explorative acts are and always have been between people throughout the ages.
I then made my way over to the Museum of Prostitution, which was also interesting, but perhaps more geared towards tourists and not to people familiar with sex work in general. I found it to be less a rigorous presentation of the domain than what I was hoping for.
I met with my friend again for a quick lunch before heading back to the Central Station. I then retraced my steps to the airport and headed to the appropriate gate to wait for my plane.
On the plane I pulled out my journal to record the previous few days and started to reflect on what it was that I had just experienced.
I flew to a new country, featured in pornographic content, visited a sex museum, smoked weed legally and drank one of the best negronis to date. I think I rather enjoy the life I am currently living and feel appreciative towards the company that is attempting to capture pornography in a way in which I can be proud to participate. I look forward to seeing the final results!