But an Instagram influencer from Houston, Texas, who moved to Ukraine as the war raged, is the only one describing herself as an “emotional support stripper.”
Volunteering alongside Ukraine’s heroes has led to a bout of intimate relationships—mostly with Ukrainian soldiers—and Fan-Pei Koung, 33, now refers to herself as a “sex tourist.”
Koung has used her social media presence to create an OnlyFans account that is free for Ukrainian soldiers, volunteers, and the occasional local civilian who she thinks could use some cheering up.
On the site, she refers to herself as a “globe-trotting girlfriend, now volunteering in Kharkiv.” She added that she makes content about “everything from free emotional breastfeeding to soldiers and volunteers,” to collecting donations to distribute to volunteers.
The OnlyFans model had her hair pulled back in a messy bun and glasses when she met with The Daily Beast in late July at her apartment in Kharkhiv. “I’m the sexy girl in Ukraine who wants to volunteer, and will probably put out,” she said.
When Koung visited Ukraine for the first time in November 2022, romantic relationships were not at the center of her mind. She had decided to volunteer in women’s shelters and orphanages in Lviv, the western city in Ukraine that has been deemed a “haven” throughout the war.
Far away from the eastern front, the city has been spared some of the most brutal attacks of the war. Koung had recently moved to Europe, where she believed she could make a new start in her life, far away from all her problems in America. She met a family of Ukrainians in Croatia, who spoke with her about Russia’s invasion and encouraged her to volunteer inside the country.
“Everyone was telling me, ‘Don’t go, don’t go.’ When you’re a foreigner here, everyone who cares about you at all will say anything to change your mind,” she said.
Back in America, Koung said she had lived “multiple lives,” which include winning the first prize at a NASA Space Health Challenge in 2014, being deferred from an Ivy League school, and competing in the Miss Taiwanese American pageant in 2015. For the last five years in Oakland, CA, Koung worked in children’s events.
When she began volunteering with children in Ukraine, the work seemed like a natural progression. “The orphans flooded me. They were running, screaming, and hugging me, and I rehearsed some Ukrainian to tell them. We were dancing together,” she told The Daily Beast.
But the child care role was not enough for Koung. “It didn’t feel like anything unique to what I had back in the States. I wanted more. I wanted to be with the military,” she said.
One month after arriving in Ukraine, Koung left, but outside of the country, she still thought of Ukraine non-stop.
“I had flights to Tulum [Mexico] because I was going to live with this other fabulous, sexy, Asian influencer, and we were going to do a sexy, fabulous, Asian influencer dream team,” she burst into a series of laughs before she carried on, “But as soon as I left, I desperately wanted to come back to Ukraine. I was losing my mind trying to get back.”
Koung has an Instagram following of more than 50,000 people and has built a platform as an influencer, posting anything from lingerie modeling photos to video memes of her day-to-day life.
Since visiting Ukraine for the first time in November 2022, Koung has also begun to post content related to the war. “I’ve lost about 5,000 followers since this whole Ukraine thing. Because I went from being a sexy influencer to a sexy influencer who won’t stop talking about Ukraine.”
In February 2023, one year into the war, Koung moved to Ukraine full-time, where she volunteered and lived among Ukrainians in Kyiv, the capital city. The longer Koung spent in Ukraine, the more she began to enjoy the company of Ukrainians.
On a romantic level, Koung said in America, “My standards are too high because I only want men who can care for themselves and think about people other than themselves. None of them [Americans] met my standards. And then I came to Ukraine, and everybody here thinks about people other than themselves”
“Ukrainian men, they treat me like an infant. They need to know what I want even before I know what I want. I’ve never been treated like that in my life,” Koung said.
In Kyiv, Koung met her then-personal trainer, the first man in Ukraine with whom she had an intimate relationship. “He carried my 50-pound luggage up 13 stories during a blackout,” Koung said.
Since then, Koung’s volunteering has taken her to the eastern Donbas region, where she has delivered water to people who remained in the destroyed towns and worked as what she describes as “an emotional support person for English-speaking soldiers.”
And—where there is a mutual attraction—Koung might begin a romantic relationship with some of the men she meets. Currently, the OnlyFans model is dating a Ukrainian drone operator, a power plant worker, and two information technology workers.
Koung has been learning Ukrainian and said she could speak at the level of a 2-year-old. Still, artificial intelligence comes in handy when she cannot communicate efficiently with Ukrainians.
One man, for example, named Sasha, “Just speaks Ukrainian and Russian, so we just keep our phones next to each other, and we just translate into it, and anything he doesn’t get, I’ll explain it to him. Ideal communication with him is two phones and one laptop. We can get anything we need that way,” she said.
At times, Koung has also dated international soldiers who have come to Ukraine from other countries to fight. After a group of soldiers suffered casualties in Donbas, Koung went to their unit to comfort them. There she met a soldier from the United Kingdom who had previously fought in Syria before moving to Ukraine.
“I’m there talking with him for six hours about how he’s coping, his relationship issues. I feel so safe with this guy. At some point, I was holding him and stroking his hair, and he said, ‘I feel precious like a kitten. I haven’t been touched in two years,’” said Koung.
But despite the sometimes light-heartedness of Koung’s time in Ukraine, she told The Daily Beast she had experienced judgment from other Western volunteers about her activities.
After being added to a volunteer group chat with fellow Westerners, Koung claimed to have written a message reading, “Hi, I’m Fan-Pei thanks for having me on this humanitarian group chat. If any of you want to go east, please take me with you, I’m very good company,” before adding a quick joke that she wanted to have intimate relationships with some notable Ukrainians.
“These guys just tore me for three days straight! I think there’s a couple hundred people in this group, and they said, ‘You want to make porn off of mass graves? People were writing reports about how they were ready to discipline me. I just wanted to prove myself, but this has been haunting me. I feel like every volunteer in the humanitarian group has an opinion of me,” said Koung.
“If I were a man going to Ukraine to volunteer, no one would question me about anything. But since I’m a girl, it’s been a non-stop shit show. It’s a trip. It really does make a difference if you’re a man or a woman,” she added.