â€œMy first phrase in Khmer,â€ the Cambodian language, â€œwas, â€˜I want to sleep with you,â€™ â€ she said. â€œMy first phrase in English wasâ€ â€” well, itâ€™s unprintable.
Sina mostly followed instructions and smiled alluringly at men because she would have been beaten if men didnâ€™t choose her. But sometimes she was in such pain that she resisted, and then she said she would be dragged down to a torture chamber in the basement.
â€œMany of the brothels have these torture chambers,â€ she said. â€œThey are underground because then the girlsâ€™ screams are muffled.â€
As in many brothels, the torture of choice was electric shocks. Sina would be tied down, doused in water and then prodded with wires running from the 220-volt wall outlet. The jolt causes intense pain, sometimes evacuation of the bladder and bowel â€” and even unconsciousness.
Shocks fit well into the brothel business model because they cause agonizing pain and terrify the girls without damaging their looks or undermining their market value.