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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Person

MTVera Kulakova
Vera Kulakova, 24,Sex shop sales consultant

I was searching for a job when a boyfriend told me about this place. He knew I was interested in sexual relationships. I like looking at the things in our shop, touching them.

"We get from five to 50 customers a day. Men, mostly. They relate to sex a lot more simply than women, they're more liberated. One request is: 'I want variety.' And I say: 'In what direction? What relationship do you have with your wife or lover?' I try to find out what kind of things they've done, what they've tried.

"Whips, vibrators and handcuffs are the most popular purchases. The St. Andrew's cross? It's a good device, quality-made, it's very comfortable to be fixed to it. I like it. It's also sort of my fetish -- I like this theme, BDSM.

"We very rarely get perverts in here -- perhaps one or two people in the three or four years I've been here. They weren't right in the head, they were exhibitionists.

"In our firm there are two men and 10 or 12 women working in the stores. It's intellectual work -- the basic problem here is to get talking with a person. It's relaxed, and you have to be patient, understanding. Probably not everyone is able to do it. Our director wants to bring in uniforms -- a black skirt and a white top, nothing erotic.

"I was born in Tula. I wanted to become a doctor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist. I started off studying medicine. And now I've done better than I wanted -- I'm finishing my studies as a sexologist, and I work in a clinic.

"I earn $1,500 a month, and work here nine hours a day, five days a week, and two nights from 8 p.m. to 11 a.m.

"My friends were dreadfully interested when I started working here. I'd be glad to speak about it in a relaxed way with my parents, but they don't entirely understand it. They're glad that I'm interested in it, that I enjoy my work, but they had a different upbringing."