Amsterdam: Red Light District
Русская версия Victor already described some sights of Amsterdam and is now completing his report with the story about the Red Light District. This post is more of informative kind, not a photo report for various reasons. We still hope that it would be interesting and Victor was right making notes of the Red Light District stories during chilly October evening, instead of staring around 🙂
I took a tour at the same place as free city tours. The cost was 14 euro (12 for students). Our guide was a funny young man who began his story by saying that is strictly forbidden to take pictures of prostitutes, because they are shy by nature, but their assistants can throw your camera away into the canal.
Nobody tried to check the truth of this statement, and me too, so there are no photos of naked women here. Also, in Red Light District they stand / sit in their windows in a bikini or sexy dress only.
We started with the Dam square and our first stop was the condom store “Condomerie” located at Warmoesstraat street and open since 1987. The window of the shop is popular, so we even had to wait to take some pictures.
Then we went to Oude church, which, interestingly, had contributed to the development of the red light business.
As you know, the city of Amsterdam is a port, and when the sailors arrived, they needed something pleasant and something purifying. Adultery is a sin. And how you could sailors and prostitutes live with that? That’s right: paying money. The evidence of this close cooperation is still visible. First, these are some works of art that are placed directly next to the church: a monument to boops and to a prostitute. Unfortunately, last month my laptop HDD broke, and most of the pictures from Amsterdam are gone, but the folder with evening Red Light District was miraculously extracted. Only pictures taken during the day disappeared, so I have to borrow them from other resources.
Opposite the church, there are windows in which even during the day, some representatives of the oldest profession remind you where you are. A nearby located prostitution information centre is opened both for employees and visitors interested in prostitution.
Prostitution was legalized in 2000, but since then brothels were closed and opened again for many times. There was a period when girls were allowed making sex only in a missionary position, with no anal or oral sex. Now there are not so many red lights you can see here, but a lot of pink-lighted windows with girls. If curtains are closed, it means that the client is there. Pink is not only a tribute to tradition, it is also a trick: the spectrum of light “embellishes” the girls, hiding some deficiencies. The oldest prostitute is 73, the youngest must be over 18. Mainly girls came from Eastern Europe, especially many from Romania and Bulgaria.
I just made some hidden photoes for the blog, but the quality in this case is very bad.
However, even at official information web-page, the quality is almost the same.
The girls are safe, as well as their customers. Each cabin is equipped with an alarm button just in case. The rent of cabin is not cheap, girls spend about 75% of earnings on it. The owners of the buildings are really rich. One of those who sold a bunch of his estate to the government even wrote a book. But why the government bought them? There was a project called 1012, aimed at reducing crime in this district. The government purchased 130 rooms for 25 million euros and opened cafes and shops here.
However, tourists come here not for shopping, therefore about 350 boxes with girls still attract visitors nowadays.
are different: there is “elite street” and a “budget corner” (Barndesteeg street) too. I asked there and at the narrowest street of the city – Trompettersteeg str, where, in my opinion, the girls were the prettiest.
In both cases, the price was 40 euros for 20 minutes of fuck and suck. If you make a deal you need to know that you might need to pay some extra fees, e.g. for a change of the position. Additional minutes will increase the final price, and often their price will not be proportional to the first 20 minutes. Some clients are nervous, some are drunk, so 20 minuted may be enough, and I can hardly imagine how to bargain in the process … So, make sure that you are ready and negotiate properly, that’s fine. Bargaining is not advisable, as the work can be performed without any enthusiasm.
Actually, walking around the area, I was somewhat sorry for the girls, and felt uncomfortable. A bunch of tourists stare, some poke fingers at them like in a zoo, but girls have to smile, scratch the window glass, and attract you …Ok. Red Light District is not for sorrow. It is better to look at the invention used to discourage those peeing in public places!
The area is also well known for its coffee shops, where you can smoke weed, but so much has been written about it, that I will not go into this topic. I met only one almost dead comrade who did not behave aggressively, just wanted to buy me a beer.
Many people come here to organize bachelor’s parties. The most popular bars for that were Old Sailor and Banana Bar. I didn’t hear why the first one is so popular, but the second is famous because banana here used not only for the cocktail…
In addition to many striptease bars, there are other interesting places, such as Casa Rosso Theatre, or Moulin Rouge where for 40 euros you can visit the real show, starting from the strip and ending with real sex on stage.
For the budget tourists, there is a Peep Show.
For two euros you can rent a small cabin, where you can stare at the girl, dancing or moving naked on the spinning stage for two minutes. If she likes you, she can show her body very close to you. By the way, all the glasses separating you and model are transparent, so you can somehow communicate. You can let her know that you throw next 2 euros coin and not leave after the first 2 minutes and she will like you. As a promotion, our guide arranged so that we could squeeze two persons in one cabin. I climbed into the booth with my female friend from the previous tour. It was funny.
Girls on the stage change over time. You can see who is at the “scene” on the board, providing the models’ pictures and highlighting the active one. My tour companions, who sat in the cabin after us, were more fortunate. As it turned out, they entered cabin, when a couple was on stage. They were very happy and even extended the time. Our walk lasted about an hour. Indeed Red Light District looks and feels completely different during the day and at night.
I finish the story with a picture of a kindergarten in the Red Light District.
We asked the guide: what do the children think when they walk through the working prostitutes. “Kids just know that prostitutes sell kisses,” the answer was. Not a bad explanation…