Posted on: June 16, 2020
Latest Amsterdam Red Light District update: From 1 July 2020, sex workers will be allowed to work in the Netherlands again. That was announced by the Prime Minister Rutte on 23 June 2020. That means that all sex shows in Amsterdam, all window brothels, strip clubs, private houses and all other erotically related companies can open again.
This Amsterdam Red Light District update gives a picture of the current situation in the most famous area of the Netherlands. Normally 3.1 million people visit the Red Light District every year (source). The Red Light District relies on tourism, from Dutch and foreign people. The tourism sector offers 69.424 jobs (source) and its good for the Amsterdam economy. Normally, 1 out 9 jobs in Amsterdam are in tourism. Amsterdam has about 18 million visitors per year who they spent 6.3 billion euros, creating about 2.7 billion euros in added value. (Dutch resource)
Amsterdam, Red Light District, 2 June 2020. A few tourists enter the city.
But since the corona crisis – mid-March 2020 – it has been pretty quiet in Amsterdam. Also in the Red Light District. It’s very special to see! After all, it hardly happens that the heart of Amsterdam isn’t so lively. Many companies performed maintenance during the corona crisis. Café and restaurant owners have had their business repainted so that it looks brand-new when tourists return.
Amsterdam, 29 april 2020. Maintenance at Cafe The Old Sailor.
Since June 1, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and museums in the Netherlands are open again. Many entrepreneurs couldn’t wait to restart their business. They’re very happy that they are allowed to do business again. There are already some people sitting on the terraces, some restaurants have visitors and Amsterdam is slowly becoming more lively again. But there are also many empty companies and entrepreneurs who look around and wonder if they see tourists.
Amsterdam, Warmoesstraat. Two employees get ready for business.
Currently, all restaurants, bars and cafes in the Netherlands may not have more than 30 people inside. Including staff. Restaurants often also require reservations and the staff should ask their guests specific questions. They are asked whether they are healthy and whether they come from 1 household. These measures makes it difficult for some entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District, 8 June 2020. Coffeeshop The Bulldog is emptier than usual.
Coffeeshops in Amsterdam were open most of the time during the corona crisis. Mainly only for take-away, but nowadays customers can also sit inside and outside on the terraces.
Amsterdam Red Light District, 12 June 2020. We hosted a tour again!
Guided tours in Amsterdam and Red Light District tours are allowed and can be booked again. In Amsterdam’s city centre guided tours can not have more than 15 persons (excluding guide) in a tour. Across the country and therefore also during the tours, it is recommended to keep 1.5 meters apart. People may decide themselves to wear a face mask. This is not mandatory though. Face masks are currently only mandatory in public transport.
The street markets in Amsterdam are also open. Including the Albert Cuyp market, the flower market and the market on the Nieuwmarkt.
Amsterdam, Oudekerksplein, 2 June 2020. Two tourists in love in front of the church.
The Oude Kerk Amsterdam (Old Church) in the middle of the Red Light District is also open again.
The people in Amsterdam’s Red Light District want the visitors to return so that they can earn some money again. And, of course, they also miss the vibrancy! They miss the “gezelligheid“. It can be noted that people hope that the situation will improve quickly and that measures can be reduced. The working people in Amsterdam’s Red Light District no longer want support from the government, but simply want to earn money. They want the visitors to come back.
All sex related companies in the Netherlands have to stay closed until 1 September 2020. That includes sex shows, (window) brothels, escort companies, private houses, lap dance bars, etcetera. Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 288 windows, dozens of sex shows (like Casa Rosso, 5D Porn Cinema, Peep Show, Moulin Rouge, etc) that are all closed at the moment.
Amsterdam, Red Light District, 12 June 2020. Closed window brothels.
Sex workers in the Netherlands feel very disadvantaged. They may only start working again from 1 September 2020. The Dutch government foresees major risks in these sex-related professions, which is why it has been decided that sex workers may not work yet. The sex workers disagree with this decision and believe that they can work safely. They think it is unfair that other contact professions (such as hairdressers and masseurs) are allowed to work, but they are not. They also indicate that they are used to dealing with risks and that they always take measures to deal with this.
Sex worker campaign: Working at home? I can not work anywhere. Sex workers have the right on equal treatment and support during the crisis! Stop the stigma.
25% of all sex workers in Amsterdam worked illegally during the corona-crisis. Others switch their way of working and started working through internet – via webcam sex for example. A campaign has been launched in Amsterdam Red Light District, in which sex workers are asking for the same rights as others and to be allowed to start earlier than 1 September 2020.
Furthermore, all sports clubs in the Netherlands may open again on July 1, 2020.
Amsterdam, Nieuwmarkt. When the sun is out, terraces are filled.
The number of visitors in Amsterdam strongly depends on the day. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the quietest, with Wednesday always being the quietest day of the week. And Thursday through Sunday is a bit busier, with Saturdays and Sundays being the busiest days of the week. Many Dutch tourists visit the capital during the weekends. Last weekend it was also a bit busier in Amsterdam. Many locals and German tourists enjoyed the beautiful weather.
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Posted on: May 29, 2020
De Wallen – the Dutch name for the Amsterdam’s Red Light District – is the oldest and most fascinating part of Holland’s capital. The Dutch liberal and open-minded culture can be seen everywhere in the Red Light District. Only here you can see a church that’s surrounded by window brothels with sex workers, cannabis shops, residential houses and a 5d porn cinema with a daycare next door.
This list contains 15 must see in Amsterdam Red Light District items that everyone finds special. Whether you like architecture, art, Dutch culture, history, religion, food or (erotic) entertainment. There’s really something for everyone. It’s not without reason that 4000 people from different parts of society also live in this part of town.
There are only two places in the world where there are statues for sex workers and one of them is in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District – just next to The Old Church. The Dutch are quite tolerant and open-minded too. Just two reasons why you can find this statue here, right in the old city centre.
During our Amsterdam Red Light District Tours our local guides tell more about this wonderful statue.
On one of the oldest streets in the capital you can find the oldest house. Funny thing is is that this house was only discovered to be the oldest house back in 2010. The old house with a wooden skeleton dates back to 1485 but stands hidden behind a facade dating back to 1800. Before this discovery the wooden house at the Begijnhof was considered to be the oldest house in Amsterdam. The funny thing is that Amsterdam’s oldest house is currently functioning as a gay-club named Dirty Dicks. During our Amsterdam Red Light District tour we’ll pass by this house!
Amsterdam has its very own little Chinatown. It was first established in the year 1911 and is the oldest Chinese neighbourhood on European soil. Since the year 2000 the area has had a Fo Guang Shan He Hua Tempel which is the largest Chinese style religious building in Europe. Besides this highlight this is the place you want to be for asian food. All types of Asian restaurants can be found in this area including Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Malaysian food.
Food lovers pay attention. This is the most iconic snack-bar in the Netherlands. Walk on in and pull a deep fried snack from the automatique. Try out local delicacies like the kroket – a breaded deep fried cow or veal meat ragout which is super crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. Or try the Frikandel, a minced meat deep fried snack that can be covered in a sauce of your liking. Tip: try it with mayonaise, curry and unions.
The CEO of the FEBO chain talks about his shops and Dutch food culture in our app Amsterdam Audio Tours.
Ever wondered what a brothel looks like on the inside? The Red Light Secrets museum is actually a repurposed former brothel. Inside you get to see the many different luxurious rooms. You even get the option to sit in a Red Light District window brothel. Try and find out if any of the passer-byes are interested in your flirting-skills.
A hidden church museum right in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This church is located in the attic of a completely restored 17th century canal house. This little hidden church is a great symbol of tolerance in Amsterdam. Back in those days celebrating mass was forbidden, but in the case of hidden churches they were tolerated. This museum is a must for those who’d like to see the inside of an old canal house and learn about world famous Dutch tolerance. You can find more information or buy your tickets via the link below:BUY TICKETS >
The 15th century former city gate still stands beautifully at the center of the Nieuwmarkt Square. The building has had many different functions throughout its life. These include being a guild house, a museum, a fire station an anatomical theatre, and currently it’s The Waag Restaurant. Rembrandt even made one of his art works here. The famous painting by Rembrandt called “The anatomical lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulip” shows an anatomical dissection taking place inside The Waag.
The first 5d Porn Cinema in the world. This truly unique experience is a must for those who want to have a laugh. Inside the theatre you take a seat in moving chairs as a 3d porn movie is projected on the screen. The movie is about someone who visits the Red Light District for the first time. A plethora of other effects including wind, foam and water are then added in sync to the pictures on screen. This is a fun ride that you can only experience Amsterdam.BUY TICKETS >
Amsterdam’s oldest building the Old Church stands proudly between the window brothels and coffeeshops. This church dates back to the founding of Amsterdam. The first records of the church come from the year 1213. A lot has happened since then and the church has undergone numerous reconstructions and a switch from Catholicism to protestantism. The wooden ceiling, which is the largest of its type in Europe, is made from Estonian oak and dates back to 1390.
Learn more about Holland, the Dutch culture and history during the Amsterdam History Tour.
The Red Light District is home to the narrowest alley in Amsterdam. At its narrowest point this alley is just 1 meter wide. Besides being very narrow it also has nine window brothels so this is quite an intimate experience. During our Red Light District tours we’ll walk through this alley and many others!
A visit to the Red Light District isn’t complete without visiting one of the 10 sex shows in Amsterdam. We’d advice you to go to Casa Rosso though. This is the largest erotic theatre in Amsterdam with the long reputation. Open since 1968 this amazing theatre offers seating for up to 184 persons. Expect live couple sex on stage, stripteases, banana shows and some audience interaction! For details and reservations click on the button below.BUY TICKETS >
The urban area is filled with street art from graffiti to actual bronze items. An actual bronze plaque was placed secretly at night on the street of the Oudekerksplein. After noise complaints from the neighbourhood from people stepping on the plaque it was removed by the municipality. The secret artist came forward and a deal was struck with the municipality. The plaque was placed at another spot and the artist remains anonymous. We’ll tell more about this during our Amsterdam Red Light District tours and during the Amsterdam Audio Tour.
Amsterdam has 164 coffeeshops. The first one was founded in 1972. Back in the 1990’s there used be over 400 coffeeshops in the Dutch capital. What happened with them? What are the drug laws in Amsterdam? Can you smoke outside on the streets? During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour we’ll walk through a large part of the Red Light District area and you’ll be able can ask any question that you have about Dutch coffeeshops. Did you know that growing cannabis commercially is totally illegal in the Netherlands? Learn everything about legal and illegal drugs during the Amsterdam Drugs Tour.
The list of 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam contains votes of over 200 frequent coffeeshop visitors.
The first shop in the world completely dedicated to condoms. The idea came to the owners at the start of outbreak of the HIV-Aids epidemic. They were of the opinion that the public needed a store with professional staff that could give advice on condoms. At the time you could already buy condoms at pharmacy but there were too few option, hardly any choice or any good information. Thus the Condomerie was born and it is a featured highlight on our Red Light District tour.
Theodoor van Boven is the founder and one of the 22 experts in the app Amsterdam Audio Tours.GET THE APP >
The best must see in Amsterdam Red Light District is of course a window brothel, or 288 window brothels if you’re lucky enough to find them all. Amsterdam and prostitution are inextricably linked. Prostitution has been legal in the Dutch capital since 1811 and prostitution has always taken place in De Wallen area. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see this. Learn more about this unique part of the Netherlands during a Red Light District with a licensed guide or with the app Amsterdam Audio Tours.
Posted on: May 19, 2020
This useful list contains 10 cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. It shows hotels in adjacent neighbourhoods, like Rembrandt Square, Raadhuisstraat, Amstel, etc. All hotel and hostel prices are based on a reservation for a single person (from May 6 to May 9 in 2021). The prices will most likely be the same for other dates too.
The Oudezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Amsterdam is not too big and it’s quite easy to get around. By foot, by public transport or by bicycle. It’s recommended to get an accommodation in the city centre (or close to central station) because it will safe you lots of time. If you’d book one of the cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District then you know for sure that many highlights are within walking distance. We would also recommend to get a bicycle during your stay (between May and September) because then you’ll see so much more than without one. It’s not for nothing that all Amsterdams have a bike. Not all tourists are up to it though because they are not used to cycle.
This is the view from the Amsterdam House Hotel – listed at number 10.
Another great advantage of a hotel near Amsterdam Red Light District is that public transport is within easy reach. Tip: use www.9292.nl/en for all information about public transport in the Netherlands. This is what all Dutch people use. It is totally free, also available in English and always up to date!
Interested in one of these cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District? Just click the green buttons to visit the website of the accommodation.
The most expensive on the list of cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. This beautiful hotel is situated in a monumental building and is located close to several entertainment areas such as Rembrandt Square, the Reguliersdwarsstraat and the Amsterdam Flower Market. It’s also one of the better cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. The hotel offers a great view over the amazing Amstel River. All the rooms have a private bathroom and tea/coffee making appliances. A large separate seating area is also provided. Most of the rooms have views over the canal.
97,- euro per night | 291,- euro for three night stay.MORE INFO >
This hotel is located at the Rembrandt Square entertainment area which is just a 10 minute walk away from the Red Light District. The area has many cafes, a coffeeshop, a club, restaurants and the Albert Heijn supermarket is also around the corner. This is where the locals get their groceries. The hotel offers free WiFi. The rooms in the Rembrandt Square Hotel have shared bathrooms. Coffee and tea facilities are available in the hotel lounge area. Another advantage of this hotel is that it’s just a 2 minute walk away from the Amsterdam Flower Market.
94,- euro per night | 283,- euro for three night stay.MORE INFO >
This bead and breakfast is located close to Amsterdam’s Museum Square that hosts among others the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The Red Light District can easily be reached via public transport or a 20 minute walk. The rooms at Dina Perla Lodges all have fully equipped kitchens. The bathroom is shared with other rooms. There’s free WiFi and a fitness area too.
91,- euro per night | 273,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
A beautiful hotel located in a monumental building. Situated at an ideal location close to the Anne Frank House, Westerkerk, Nine Streets, Dam Square and near the Red Light District. All rooms have a private bathroom and have a flat-screen TV. At Hotel La Belle Vue you either get a room with a balcony or garden view. The tram stops in front of the hotel. This hotel near Amsterdam Red Light District does not offer free WiFi.
87,- euro per night | 260,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
Hotel Hortus is located in the eastern part of Amsterdam close to the botanical gardens and Artis Zoo. Other attractions can easily be reached via public transport. The rooms are non-smoking and can provide accommodation for up to 6 people. Rooms have their own TV and safe. Bathrooms are shared and located in the hallway. Free WiFi is available throughout the building.
80,- euro per night | 239,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
Budget Hotel Tourist Inn is one of the cheapest hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. This hotel is centrally located close to the Anne Frank House and Dam Square. The Red Light District is just a 10 minute walk away. All rooms in Budget Hotel Tourist Inn have private bathrooms, a TV and air-conditioning. A daily continental breakfast in included in the price. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
77,- euro per night | 232,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
This is one of the most cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. It’s the latest designer hotel in town, but this one offers an affordable price! The hotel is located next to the Oosterpark – a beautiful park which is not yet discovered by tourists. For visiting the main attractions you will have to use public transport. All rooms come with airconditioning and a private bathroom with shower. Free WiFi is available throughout the building.
73,- euro per night | 220,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
The first hostel on the list is Ecomama. This hostel is located in the eastern part of Amsterdam city centre and within walking distance of the Red Light District and Dam Square. The hostel has a bar, a shared lounge area, a garden and the WiFi is free. The hostel also has an open kitchen, a great way to get to know your fellow travellers.
49,- euro per night | 147,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
This hostel is situated in a former laboratory in Amsterdam North, dating back to the 1920’s. Many of the original features of the time remain. Central station and the Red Light District are a short (free) ferry trip and walk away (around 10 minute). The hostel has many lounge areas, its own café and even a library. Prepare your own food in the shared kitchen. Free WiFi is available throughout the building.
48,- euro per night | 144,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
You can stay here from 34 euro per night! This accommodation is located on the Kerkstraat which is only a 17 minute walk away from Amsterdam’s Red Light District. It’s recommended for young travellers who like to meet other people who don’t want to spend too much on an accommodation but still like to have a centrally located stay. This modern budget hostel is situated nearby the Amsterdam Leidse Square. Both Museum Square and Rembrandt Square are within easy walking distance. Hans Brinker gives you the option of a private room or a shared dormitory. All the rooms at Hans Brinker have a private bathroom and a safe. WiFi is available throughout the building.
34,- euro per night | 102,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
Do you know other cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District? Please drop them in the comment section below.
Posted on: May 3, 2020
Before the corona-crisis, 11% of all jobs in Amsterdam were in tourism and catering. That’s 1 out 9 people.
35.458 people worked in the catering-industry. 12.108 people worked in hostel/hotels. 9.802 people worked in culture and recreation. 4.758 people worked in travel organisations and agency’s. (source: Data Amsterdam )
Normally, Amsterdam attracts 18 million visitors per year of which 3.1 million people visit the Red Light District area. They spend an average of 242 euros. This provides Amsterdam 6.3 million euros. Tourism accounted for about 4.5 % of the Amsterdam economy. (source)
Restaurant In de Waag Amsterdam is a catering company located in the second oldest building in the city, on the New Market Square (Nieuwmarkt) – next to the Red Light District and just few minutes away from Central Station. It’s the building where Rembrandt made his famous painting the Anatomic Lesson and even before that, it was used as a city gate.
Normally restaurant in de Waag Amsterdam receives many locals and tourists who enjoy a drink, a ‘bitterbal‘ or dinner. Inside or outside on the sunny terrace. But also this company is hit hard by the corona crisis. The Dutch have to stay indoors as much as possible and tourists now stay away. Dutch entrepreneurs are struggling and do everything they can to avoid bankruptcy.
For six weeks now, restaurants in Amsterdam have been closed due to the corona crisis, and quite a few have switched to a take-away concept. Restaurant In de Waag on the Nieuwmarkt goes one step further and invented something creative: people can cycle through our restaurant to pick up their meal.
‘It is the old city gate of Amsterdam. People used to go here in the city in this way. So we go back to our roots and try to make it fun in this way, ‘explains Priscilla Den Ouden – managing director of restaurant in De Waag Amsterdam.
A bicycle path has been created on the floor of the restaurant, which customers can use to cycle through the restaurant. A pedestrian crossing has even been constructed so that staff of the restaurant can cross safely. In the Waag, the staff is ready with the order, so that it can be taken immediately.
The entrepreneur of the restaurant still has many questions: There is government support, but is it enough? Are we going to get through that period? What will happen next if the guests are allowed to eat inside again? Will tourists come again?
With the Bike Through, the Priscilla Den Ouden hopes for some extra turnover. ‘You want to show your passion as an entrepreneur, you want to show that you are there. That we will not be forgotten. ” (source)
De Waag and Nieuwmarkt are two highlights during our Red Light District tours.
Posted on: May 1, 2020
After years of profitable tourism, Amsterdam’s Red Light District and its window brothels are now deserted. Is the silence a foreshadowing of an uncertain future for this centuries old vibrant area? Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf asked Cor van Dijk, the chairman of the entrepreneurs who are represented in the business association Burgwallen and also Managing Director of the Otten Group, that, among other things, runs the sex theatre Casa Rosso in Amsterdam.
Cor van Dijk – chairman of Amsterdam’s Red Light District business association.
11% of all jobs in Amsterdam were in the tourism and catering-industry, before the corona-crisis. That is 1 out 9 people. Almost 70.000 jobs.
In recent years there have been some complaints in Amsterdam about the crowds of tourists, especially in the Red Light District, that is now different. Many Amsterdam residents who depend on tourism hope for a quick return of visitors, says van Dijk. Since January 1 2020, he represents, in addition to the entrepreneurs who are located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, the entrepreneurs located on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudekerksplein.
How are things now in the empty Red Light District of Amsterdam?
Cor van Dijk: It really is a ghost town. I speak with window brothel operators. They are anxiously waiting for things to be allowed open again.
Amsterdam’s city centre is hit extra hard because tourists and visitors are no longer there. Locals are hardly ever found there anyway.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is an entertainment area where people also live. We find this very important for the neighborhood. We did not see the local residents before, but now we do speak to them. 90% of the residents in the Red Light District live here to their great satisfaction and never complain.
How will the Red Light District blossom again?
I’m afraid that a vaccine will not be available soon. But hopefully there will soon be a means by which people who become infected will not all end up in the intensive care anymore. When that happens, I think much of the fear will go away. We’re all huddled up together at the moment. I think that if people are allowed to travel and fly again, life will get going again here. But it won’t immediately be full, I suspect.
Are entrepreneurs already under water?
Yes, window brothel operators in particular! They are about to go bankrupt. These are the large window brothel operators with dozens of windows. They do not receive government support. It depends on how long it’s going to take, otherwise it will be really bleak here. The moment the window brothel industry disappears; you pull out the heart from Amsterdam’s Red Light District area. Maybe even from the city itself.
You have to wonder if the other functions around here still have a right to exist. Think of the theaters, restaurants, sex shops, you name it. Many tour guides and tour companies in Amsterdam are also seriously affected. There are also entrepreneurs who do have some “fat on their bones”, but they won’t last for years. If I look at our own company, the Otten Group, the reserves will run out in a few months.
What else do you hear?
I hear from entrepreneurs that (approximately 25% of all) Amsterdam sex workers now work from home. The demand for paid sex might have remained unchanged, but of course the supply is no longer there. I think that an alternative is now being sought.
1.5 meters distance inside window brothels, is that possible? Sex workers with facemasks seem rather clumsy to me, in this “contact profession”. Some people also claim that it could take a long time before the municipality of Amsterdam and Dutch government consider it responsible to allow paid sex again.
The sex work industry is not my industry, but I would find it strange if sex workers are treated differently than other contact professions, such as the masseurs. In any case, this crisis should not be used as an improper means of achieving long held city planning desires. In retrospect, the criticism on project 1012 was that criminal law was used to get city planning matters done. It would be inappropriate if that happens again.
The vacancies that would arise in Amsterdam Red Light District area in the future as a result of bankruptcies can be used by the municipality to “redesign” the area, right?
I don’t know if that’s the idea of the City of Amsterdam. Earlier there was talk about an alternative sex location outside this neighborhood (the so-called sex hotel), but that was mainly intended for the currently unlicensed industry. The second thing investigated was the costs that would arise if the window brothels were dropped. They are huge. I don’t think Mayor Halsema wants to get rid of the window brothels either. When I showed the mayor around Amsterdam’s Red Light District, just after she took office, she indicated that she thinks the prostitution industry with the window brothels serve a very important function. I don’t think she’ll use this crisis to clean things up.
The “Latin-American” corner.
What should happen next in Amsterdam when the economy restarts?
I think you should try to make things as easy as possible for small businesses. Any rules that stand in the way of that should be relaxed. Especially for the period that people need to survive. I am thinking, for example, of the terrace policy. Maybe you should increase the opening of other stores. It is difficult to explain to guests that the shops in the Red Light District are closed at 10:00 pm, while they can still buy things 200 meters away at Amsterdam’s Central Station.
How will things go at the Casa Rosso Erotic Theatre?
This week we measured how many customers we can have in the new ‘1.5 meter society’. We came to 47 people. When they’re couples, they can sit next to each other, we came to a maximum of 58 visitors in the theatre hall. Normally it can accommodate 184 people. We always had a continuous show, but we have to change that. Then, for example, you would have a show every hour, you have to make arrangements about when people can go to the toilet. We probably can’t serve drinks either. I don’t know if that is financially attractive. Perhaps the cost is greater than the income. That is also what I hear from the hospitality industry: for about seventy percent of the hospitality industry, the “1.5 meter society” isn’t profitable. Also not for window brothels.
Support Casa Rosso Amsterdam by pre-ordering tickets below:BUY TICKETS >
Also Amsterdam’s Casa Rosso Theatre is closed during the corona-crisis.
When do you expect the first stream of visitors?
I’m betting on June 2020. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think I should stay positive. It may first only be Dutch and European tourists. I think the tourists from other parts of the world will wait a while. We already spotted the first German tourists last weekend. They came here to take pictures.
Are you not afraid of the end of Amsterdam’s Red Light District?
I think this neighbourhood will always keep its appeal, as long as those functions remain: sex workers who will hopefully be able to get back to work in the window brothels and things around them. Then I think the old glory will return again. The Red Light District in Amsterdam is on many people’s wish-list to visit.
And that without mass tourism and its accompanying problems?
It was often only about the inappropriate behaviour that people were annoyed with: groups of drunk people who did not know how to behave. The moment that you start to enforce this properly, I think that this nuisance will also be limited. We can all come up with new rules, but every rule that we come up with and that is then not enforced confirms the prejudice about Amsterdam – also in the future – that everything is possible and allowed.
Posted on: April 22, 2020
From red-lit window brothels to iconic Dutch canals, every day we post great Amsterdam Red Light District images on our Instagram-account. We dived into its insights and analysed which images got most likes in 2020. Here are the best 10 photos that you have to see because they can be inspirational for your next trip to Amsterdam.
With more than 510 likes this is the absolute number in the top 10 Amsterdam Red Light District images. This shows the Old Church Square, Amsterdam’s oldest building, window brothels and a crooked lamppost. This is the middle of the Red Light District and also the oldest part of town.
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Hit like if you’ve been here. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #holland #netherlands #dutch #igersholland #europa #europe #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdam🇳🇱 #eurotrip #dewallen #nederland #thisisholland #church #travel #travelgram #traveler #travelphotography #travellovers #amsterdam🇳🇱 #tourguide #tourism #mokum
This is perhaps the most famous cannabis shop in the world. Maybe because it’s one of the oldest. The Bulldog has nine businesses in Amsterdam but this was the very first one.
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Coffeeshops in Amsterdam may only sell cannabis through takeaways. These corona-measures where implemented by the Dutch government on Tuesday. Customers are not allowed to sit inside anymore. Coffeeshop The Bulldog blocked its entrance with a bench and a bouncer. They offer their products via the side of the building. This photo shows the staff members waiting for customers. More info at the news section on our website. #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #weed #corona #cannabis #weedporn #cannabiscommunity #cannabisculture #cannabisindustry #weedlife #thebulldogamsterdam #redlightdistrict #iamsterdam #nederland #mokum #020inbeeld #news #nieuws #igersamsterdam #dutch #amsterdam🇳🇱 #cannabisgrow #travel #travelphotography #art #painting #amsterdamweed
Number three in the list of top 10 Amsterdam Red Light District Images is this one. In this picture we explained a part of Holland’s drug law. Do you want to learn more about drugs? Join the Amsterdam Drugs Tour with a licensed tour guide and get an answer on all your drug related questions.
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In 1976 the Opium law was changed in the Netherlands. For then on out there’s been a distinction in the Dutch drug law between soft and hard drugs. This also started the policy of tolerance when it comes to coffeeshops (=cannabis shops). Toleration regarding soft drugs means that the sale of soft drugs in coffee shops is a criminal offence but that the Public Prosecution Service does not prosecute coffee shops for this offence. Neither does the Public Prosecution Service prosecute members of the public for possession of small quantities of soft drugs. These quantities are defined as follows: 1) no more than 5 grams of cannabis (marijuana or hash). 2) no more than 5 cannabis plants. During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour (this Saturday) we explain everything about drugs, Dutch culture and Amsterdam’s history. Check out our website for more details and reservations. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #tour #holland #netherlands #weed #cannabis #drugs #travel #europetravel #amsterdamcity #amsterdamworld #cannabisculture #weedporn #weedstagram420 #cannabissociety #travelphotography #nederland #amsterdam🇳🇱 #traveltheworld #tripadvisor #lonelyplanet #weedlife #dutch #streets #amsterdamcoffeeshop #damsquare #rijksmuseum #art #cannabiscures
Did you know that the owner of The Bulldog was born and raised in the Red Light District? He came from a poor family and grew up in an area with prostitutes and pimps. When he was young, the leader of Amsterdam’s Salvation Army guided him and put him on the right path. Thanks to her, he has now become such a successful businessman. An entrepreneur and self-made man who is now in the Dutch Fortune 500.
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Because the sale or purchase of large quantities of cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands, coffeeshops (=cannabis stores) are forced into the underworld to get their supplies. What that means is tens of thousands of euros in cash, trade with shady dealers and there’s always the risk that criminals will take your newly-bought stock of weed from you after you just paid for it. These are the risks coffeeshop owners have to deal with to get some produce to their customers. Shop owners are forced to purchase every other day because they aren’t allowed to have large stocks. If they don’t do this they run the risk of not having any stock for some time. Transaction are always done in cash. 50.000 euro per transaction isn’t out of the ordinary. With these kinds of amounts it’s no surprise that so called ripdeals happen. Shop owners don’t always know exactly where the weed comes from. Some prefer buying from 10 smaller home growers than 2 bad types that can deliver a lot. No matter what you are forced to have to deal with organized crime. Coffeeshop owners would of course rather not. No tax is paid on cannabis in Dutch coffeeshops, while the yearly revenue off all coffeeshops is 1 billion euro. Learn more about these kind of things during our Amsterdam Drugs Tour (this Saturday). Visit our site for details and reservation. #cannabis #weed #amsterdam #holland #dutch #netherlands #cannabiscommunity #amsterdamcity #amsterdamweed #joint #drugs #travel #coffeeshop #amsterdamcoffeeshop #weedporn #cannabissociety #travelblogger #tours #coffeeshops #amsterdamlife #amsterdam🇳🇱 #redlightdistrict #igersholland #thisisholland #cannabiscures #nederland #tripadvisor #bulldog #europetravel #amsterdamshots
This is also one of the most popular Amsterdam Red Light District images. Most likely because it shows the Oudezijds Achterburgwal – the famous street – with a news update on the corona-crisis in Amsterdam.
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Due to Corona virus, all bars, museums, restaurants, attractions, window brothels and, sex) shows in the Netherlands are closed until April 6, 2020. Cannabis shops are only open for takeaways. Prostitutes dare not work. Locals stay inside and tourists stay away. The result is empty streets in the Red Light District. If this all is over, please come back to Amsterdam – the most beautiful city on earth. #corona #nofilter #holland #netherlands #europa #europe #travel #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #dewallen #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamlife #nederland #thenetherlands #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelguide #europetravel #travelcommunity #dutch #thisisholland #amsterdam🇳🇱 #thenetherlands🇳🇱 #city #reizen #tours #trees #citylife #nofilterneeded
This erotic theatre has been around for more than 50 years. Also this company had to close its doors due to the safety measures for the corona-virus. Luckily Casa Rosso Amsterdam will re-open the doors again on September 1, 2020. Did you know we also offer online tickets for this sex show?
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Take care of yourselves and each other. From Amsterdam with love. #redlightdistrict #netherlands #holland #corona #covi̇d19 #amsterdamcanals #nederland #netherlands🇳🇱 #netherland #igersholland #mokum #thisisholland #casarosso #city #citylife #cityscape #earth #world #europe #europa #redlightdistrictamsterdam #reizen #travel #travelphotography #traveltheworld #tours #health #tour #lonelyplanet #canals
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What a beautiful place!!! 😍 #redlightdistrict #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #europe #europa #dewallen #dutch #iamsterdam #travel #nofilterneeded #traveltheworld #europetravel #amsterdamcity #amsterdamlife #amsterdam🇳🇱 #Nederland #020inbeeld #amsterdamcanals #travelguide #thenetherlands #netherlands🇳🇱 #photooftheday #streets #traveller #travelphotography #traveladdict #canals #citylife #city
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Normally this is the liveliest part of the Netherlands. #redlightdistrict #amsterdam #corona #holland #travelban #streets #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #nederland #dewallen #redlightdistrictamsterdam #travelblogger #amsterdamcity #amsterdam🇳🇱 #Europe #europa #redlight #amsterdamstreets #igersholland #thisisholland #dutch #mokum #020inbeeld #amsterdamcanals #news #klm #schiphol #amsterdamworld #amsterdamview #netherlands🇳🇱
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The Oudezijds Achterburgwal is one of the best spots in the Red Light District ❌❌❌ #amsterdam #netherlands #holland #europe #travel #europetravel #dewallen #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #travelblogger #travelgram #traveltheworld #traveling #dutch #redlightdistrict #tours #damsquare #heinekenexperience #klm #thenetherlands #travelguide #eurotrip #amsterdamweed #citylife #cityphotography #lonelyplanet #tripadvisor #heineken #nederland #amsterdamcanals
The window brothels in Amsterdam have been closed since half March 2020. They will stay closed August 31, 2020. The next day they may be opened again. Sex workers had a really hard time and they hope that people will visit Amsterdam again soon.
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All window brothels in the Netherlands are closed. Some sex workers are working from home despite all health risks. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #holland #netherlands #europa #europe #sexwork #dewallen #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamcity #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #eurotrip #red #thisisholland #citylife #cityphotography #streets #mokum #sexworkers #travel #corona #covid #travelblogger #traveling #travelguide #alley #nederland
Posted on: April 15, 2020
Prostitution is known as one of the oldest professions in the world. There’s much to learn about this fasinating occupation which has always been around and which will never disappear. This article contains 20 books on the history of prostitution. This selection is wide ranging and should have something of interest to anyone who’s interested in prostitution and sexuality throughout the ages.
Dr. Kate Lister – university lecturer, researcher on history of sex work and owner of the well known Whores Or Yore Twitter account – provides the reader with a thoroughly entertaining and well-referenced historical tour of 2500 years of sexual practices, body parts and sex in general. A witty and well written book! Recommended for anyone interested in the subject of sex.
Kate Lister also shares her knowledge on sex work during our Amsterdam Audio Tours. This app contains interesting stories from 22 experts, photos, GPS and a virtual guide. This audio tour can also be listened from home as an audiobook. Subjects: Prostitution, history, drugs, Dutch culture, Amsterdam, De Wallen, sexuality, etc. It offers almost 2 hours of audio and cost just 4,99 euro.
The title has it: Playing the whore is an expression used to indicate that sex workers play a certain role. They need to be some kind of actors/ actresses. This used to be a frequently said Dutch saying: ‘de hoer spelen’. Translated: Playing the whore.
This is a book on how policies that are being advocated by police and many anti-prostitution feminists have the opposite of their intended effects. For those who are well read on this subject the book doesn’t offer much new information. It does however function as a great concise summary. It has a lot of good references for further reading.
A book for those who think prostitution is easy money, and those who actually do the work and are looking for advice. This self-help book for sex workers and erotic entertainers was written by Lola Davina, a former stripper, escort and porn actress. She provides the reader with solid advice on how to deal with the unique emotional toll that comes with sex work. One of those books on the history of prostitution that is timeless.
Number four in this list of books on the history of prostitution is this entertaining and provocative read. It offers a very concise and interesting perspective on gender roles and sexuality from the distant past right up until the modern age. Conventional wisdoms are challenged and the standard theories adhered to by most experts are shown to have serious flaws.
Writer Elizabeth Pisani, an epidemiologist, has been investigating and involved in the fight against AIDS for 14 years. This is one of those books on the history of prostitution where the writer lays out how rotten the state of the current research field is and how reluctant the government is to grant funds for vital HIV prevention to those who are in need of it most: prostitutes, junkies and gay men. The is a no holds barred read and will make you rethink all that you know on the subject of the AIDS-virus.
In this book Nina Kushner presents a perplexing look into elite prostitution in Paris in the 18th century. The book is based on a wealth of documentation as the Parisian police in those days surveilled many of the prostitutes and their clientele. This is beautifully written and highly readable scholarly work. One of the better books on the history of prostitution.
And now some great books on the history of prostitution in the Netherlands and its capital which got city rights in the year 1275. In this harbour-city, prostitution has always been around. Illegal & hidden. And, legal & out in the open.
Written by Mariska Majoor, ex-prostitute, founder of the Prostitution Information Center and Amsterdam’s most famous sex worker activist. This woman was even knighted by the royal Dutch family. Mariska is without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable prostitution experts in the country. She has been active in this industry for more than 30 years.
This book is not just a handbook for sex workers. It also provides great insights for those who want to educate themselves on one of the oldest professions in the world and it explains more about Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
This unique book by Marcus Segretto originally started off as a blog detailing his adventures on Amsterdam’s Red Light District, from a customer perspective. He wanted to provide an alternative view to the prevailing attitudes against prostitution. His blog about his visits to the sex workers in Amsterdam was a big hit with more than a million unique visitors. Fans of the blog encouraged him to publish his blog in book form, which he did. Many books have been written about prostitution, but very few that describe the experiences and thoughts of the clients. Therefor this one is one of the must have books on the history of prostitution.
Prostitution has never been a socially accepted profession but the past decade world’s oldest profession has been under renewed attacks from both Christian and Feminist interest groups. Legalising Prostitution offers a great overview of the current field. The author, Weitzer, writes from an American perspective and uses findings from European countries like the Netherlands and Germany to provide the reader with alternatives to current American practises when it comes to prostitution. What results in the in end is a handy overview of “best practices”.
The United States has a long history with (illegal) sex work, which is why this list also contains five top books on the history of prostitution in America.
Prostitution is probably the most interesting aspect of the American west story. This book will give you a perspective on those women for hire during the American west days. Besides learning about why these woman turned to prostitution you’ll also learn about the business side of their work including competition, location and marketing.
Writer Elizabeth Alice Clement presents a detailed and fascinating examination on both sexual and moral shifts that happened in New York in the first 50 years of the 20th century. An entertaining and enlightening read despite it being an academic book.
This book by Alexa Albert provides a great independent study of the sex work industry in Nevada, United States. Based on a lengthy six year study this books on the history of prostitution gives an honest look beyond the fantasy that the sex industry project outwardly. It presents the human reality behind that veil.
Lora Shaner takes you on a deep dive into to life inside a Nevada brothel. It’s a great study on all the characters of those working in, and visiting the brothel. Recommended for anybody who want to get an impression of daily life inside a legal Nevada brothel. For less than 5 dollars this is one of the cheapest books on the history of prostitution.
The murder of a youthful prostitute in New York, 1836 set off a shockwave throughout the nation. The story would be recorded in history as the first case of journalistic death and sex sensationalism. A practice that we’re all too familiar with today. Besides being an investigative piece this books on the history of prostitution also delves into that specific era and the rapidly changing culture of the period. For a super exciting, non-fiction book this is a real page-turner.
Long before America was discovered, prostitution took place in Ancient Greece. That is why there is 1 book that should not be missing in this list.
This is one of those books on the history of prostitution that offers a look at sex work from ancient Mesopotamia to the period of early Christianity. In those days, like to today, prostiutes were socially marginal. But they connected with a lot of aspect of daily life. Some led a life of luxury with famous poets and politicians. Others did not. A must read books on the history of prostitution, specifically for those interested in the history of women and classical antiquity.
This work by Henry Mayhew was the first 19th-century London sociological study and the first piece of oral history. For this work Mayhew traversed 100’s of miles of 1840-1850 London streets collecting statements from the city’s poor and forgotten. The stories that they told showed a part of London that was almost unheard to the higher classes. This book is an extract of the original work and is centred around crime; vagrants, prostitutes, pickpockets and rag pickers.
In addition, three fantastic books that explain the history of sex. They are not necessarily books on the history of prostitution, but since prostitution is inextricably linked to sex, these three top items contribute to get a better understanding of sex work.
Writer Eric Berkowitz presents a 4000 year historical look at how principally western society has been attempting to curb sexuality by law.
This is one of those books on the history of prostitution that perfectly illustrates that every age has well-intentioned policy makers who have warped ideas about what types of sexual behaviours should be punished. With more than 94 ratings it gets 4 out of 5 stars and is therefor recommended to read.
The only graphic book (comic book) in this top 20 books on the history of prostitution. The comics are really amusing, making this book a great option for those who are a little more visually oriented. In this book sexologist Phillip Brenot gives an exhoustive commentary on sex using history, sociology, anthropology and psychology.
In this work world renowned intellectual Michel Foucault (1926 – 1984) explores why we constantly talk about and analyse sex. Furthermore it presents the history of sexuality and lays down arguments against the theories of sexual repression.
In this 304 follow up work to The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, Foucault analyses the ancient Greeks and how they perceived sexuality. A quote from this book: ‘In Athens, certain laws protected free children from adults who at least for a time did not have the right to go into schools; from slaves, who incurred the death penalty if they tried corrupting them; and from their father or tutors who were punished if they prostituted them…
Bonus material in this top 20 books on the history of prostitution is this one. In this third and final book on The History of Sexuality, Foucault looks into the period of the Golden Age in Rome. In it he shows a subtle yet conclusive breach from the Classical Greek interpretation of sexual pleasure. He presents how distrust of pleasure and anxieties on sexuality appeared and the ramification of this cultural change. This in entire collection of books on the history of prostitution by Foucault should be owned by anyone interested in the subject of sexuality.
Prostitutes working from home is a concern for the municipality of Amsterdam now that erotic venues are closed due to the coronavirus. Mayor Halsema is investigating whether erotic sites can be blocked.
50-year-old Marloes has been a prostitute for 25 years in various clubs in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. She is not registered at the Chamber of Commerce as a freelancer and cannot claim special assistance from the Dutch government. “I fall outside any scheme,” says Marloes (her working name). “But I also have my fixed costs. Money is written from my account every month, for example for my car, which I pay monthly. I have children who have to eat and send money to my family abroad.”
Amsterdam’s most narrow alley with nine window brothels.
Her income has drastically decreased since all erotic venues in the Netherlands had to be closed. She estimates she earns about 25% of her normal income and now has to invite customers to her home. Her children, who are already studying, know what work she has.
She doesn’t advertise, she says. “I have a regular customer base. Those customers approach me. The need for prostitutes is greater than the fear. That’s what you’re human for. Of course, she’s also afraid of contracting the coronavirus, she says. “I first let my customers take a shower at my home. Then it is clean on the outside. I make sure there is no saliva contact: no kissing and always safe.
A lot of customers are also afraid themselves.”
Window brothels in De Wallen.
She currently has about eight customers a week. A number of appointments are also in her agenda for next week. “In the beginning, when the coronavirus had just arrived, it was a lot quieter. When Prime Minister Rutte had been on television, I only had one customer. People were very shocked.”
Others prostitutes also work from home now, she says. “I know more prostitutes who work from home or rent a place somewhere or work as an escort and also go to customers myself.” She doesn’t see that as dangerous. “My limits and requirements, like showering are made clear from the start. I make it a fun game: I do not stand aside, it’s showering together. You try to make it fun. At home it’s already straightforward.”
Amsterdam has approximately 4,000 to 7,000 prostitutes. “The largest group is at home. It is estimated that about 25% is working from home,”says Heleen Driessen, confidential counsellor for Prostitution and Health Center P&G292.
“The sex workers still need money. For rent or for their family. A Bulgarian prostitute recently said: “I just have to send money to my family, because they really have nothing.” She now works from home.
Mayor Femke Halsema announced in a committee of the city council on Thursday that she is investigating whether erotic sites can be blocked, due to the risk of infection for prostitutes. Sites like Kinky, SexJobs and Planet Romeo are still online with their ads. Halsema tempered expectations; such a blockage would not be simple.
The inside of a window brothel from MyRedLight.
Male escort Lyle Muns (26) of MyRedLight does not work himself, but he does see a group that continues to work.
“They are prostitutes who are not registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and are undocumented. These are people who are in financial distress if they do not work, because they cannot claim the special assistance.”
He is concerned about the risks. “If they continue to work, there is a risk of infection. In addition, prostitutes who normally work in clubs or behind the windows are used to safety. The brothel operator is nearby and comes immediately when the panic button in the room is pressed. That safety disappears.” But it is also a question of supply and demand. Lyle Muns: “It works both ways. There are also customers who want to meet. ”
Posted on: March 26, 2020
After fourteen years of discussion with critics, judges, banks and the municipality, the new Asian theme hotel MAI Amsterdam on Geldersekade has finally opened its doors. A new hotel on one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam.
Founder Arjen Van den Hof on Amsterdam’s newest hotel addition: ‘The story of the building and the neighborhood play an important role in my interest in a possible new project. In this project, the rich (cultural) history and development of Chinatown in Amsterdam’s Red Light District turned out to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration. From the beginning I was flooded with ideas. With Hotel Mai Amsterdam I would like to create a place where travellers and locals come together and enjoy design, art and hospitality – a place to Meet Asia In Amsterdam.’
Each hotel room is enriched with a work of art created by fashion designer and artist Claes Iversen. He made an Asian-inspired series of paintings especially for Mai Amsterdam. Iversen artistically edited his homemade photos of Chinese architecture with paint and other originally chosen materials. In addition, flower paintings, made in combination of paint and embroidery, are a common work in this series.
The 81-room hotel MAI Amsterdam has been open since Chinese New Year – 25 January, 2020 – fourteen years after the first plans. Long years, with a crisis, banks that first became enthusiastic and then reluctant and – when there was money again – contractors who were too busy. And there was the objection, as with other recent new Hotels in Amsterdam, among others: more crowds, nuisance, mess. “On the last day that an objection could be lodged, someone still objected to Hotel Mai Amsterdam,” owner Kin-Ping Dun says in the lobby. The individual properties have long been in his family, which also owns the Asian Shop Dun Yong. “The warehouse contained items for the Asian Shop and our wholesaler, as well as all kinds of art objects that my parents had collected. In the other part, we created a Chinese shopping center at the end of 2001. But that never delivered that what we had hoped for.”
When the Chinese wholesaler moved to Sloterdijk, a future as a hotel was the most obvious one. According to Kin-Ping, there were hardly any alternatives. “The layout of the buildings did not comply with the building rules for permanent residence. Then you would have had to demolish almost everything and build new structures, right in the middle of the Red Light District. When the government was still a strong advocate of new hotels, the municipality, district, Stadsherstel and NV Zeedijk all strongly agreed.
This was not the case for everyone in the area, which is why it’s an objection. The resistance to Hotel Mai Amsterdam did not seem defensible to the family. Since the designs date from 2006, they never fell under the hotel stop that the city council later announced in its attempts to curb the tourist crowds. The judge ruled otherwise. “We had a permit for 83 rooms, but there was a typo in a hotel list of the municipality; there were 63 rooms. The court found that so important that they immediately destroyed the entire project. We had nothing left at all.”
“It hurt because the building had been empty for so long. What we earned at the Asian Shop disappeared into this project. It couldn’t have lasted much longer. We are not a project developer who has all kinds of funds to deal with that.” He understands the concerns. “We’ve been a part of this neighbourhood for so long that I really see what the objections are. We promised not to sell the hotel anytime soon and knew very early on that we would partner with Vondel Hotels for the operation. We went to their Hotel De Hallen with a bus full of local residents, to show what kind of hotel group that is. That did help. But you don’t convince people who don’t want to believe it.”
In the end they had to take it up to the Board of State level to dismantle the consequences of the typing error. The family made more promises, laid down in the permits. The hotel has a separate restaurant, MAI Kitchen, with its own entrance on the Zeedijk. That entrance is not for Hotel Mai Amsterdam guests. “That was the agreement with Stadsherstel; no trunks on the Zeedijk. ” Another deal concerns the Elleboogsteeg between Zeedijk and Geldersekade, which separates the hotel buildings. This alley was closed for years, now it opens again. “That is a wish of the city district; not our idea. We would have preferred to have made it part of the hotel, covered. But that went too far for the district. Understandable, because it is public space.
That meant that we had to go over it with a glass passage, which was quite difficult. ”Kin-Ping is satisfied with the final result. “It has not become a hotel with red lanterns. It is a look that I do not know, but that feels very good. Arjen van den Hof, had a lot of contact with my parents. Much of the art that now stands here comes from our store. I see some images still exactly in place in the racks, under fluorescent light.”
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Posted on: March 20, 2020
One of Holland’s most known sex worker expert – Mariska Majoor – shares her secrets and expertise about one of the oldest professions in the world during this exclusive interview. We frequently speak to experts in order to provide the best information, on our website and during our tours.
Mariska has been a sex worker herself. She founded the Prostitution Information Center, was the initiator and chairman of the Dutch union for sex workers and she even received a royal honour for her decades of commitment to sex workers and the Red Light District.
So Mariska, you started working as a sex worker when you were 16 years old…
Mariska: Long, long time ago.
The Red Light District of Amsterdam.
Nowadays the minimum age to become a sex worker is 21 here in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. What do you think of this?
I do think 16 is too young. I agree with people who always told me that. I see two sides of it. People say that you’re an adult when you turn 18. From then on you can drink alcohol in the Netherlands or buy cannabis. A lot is allowed from that age, but you may not offer sexual services.
I was always against raising the minimum age to 21 because of all that. But nowadays I think it’s better. when you are 21 years old, you are more confident and more capable of making decisions. Especially about complicated stuff like sex work. But working at a younger age should never be criminalised. That’s asking for trouble.
You were a sex worker for 4 years. Could you explain the positive sides of being a sex worker? What did you like so much about the job?
Statue for sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
It’s not really about positive or negative. I mean it’s a job, sex work is work. We all have to work to make a living, create an income. Not everybody is always happy with the work that they do. I wasn’t a sex worker because I enjoyed it a lot, I was a sex worker because it came on my path. I didn’t really care and was okay with being a sex worker. But the most important reason why I did it was because I needed money, just like anyone else.
I think it’s not fair, the discussion about sex work is not an easy one. It’s not fair to talk about sex work as a positive thing or a negative thing. I think it’s time that people start looking at it as work. it is a way to have an income. It has positive and negative sides just like anything else in life.
For some people sex work is great. I mean if you enjoy sex as a game where you don’t mind doing it with different people. If that’s your hobby, then it’s definitely a great way to make a living! But I think that for most sex workers it is just a way of making money.
You know many sex workers personally and also met many abroad. What do you think they like most about the job?
The most important thing is money. That goes for everybody. But besides money, it’s absolutely freedom. The freedom to make your own choices.
Playing with people in a sexual way and sexuality in general. Those are the things that make the job more interesting. That makes life interesting. But those are not on the top of the list.
Is it also like being strong, feeling powerful?
You feel powerful but that is not because of the work that you do. Let me give you an example. For my most recent book-project called “united under a red umbrella“, I visited some countries with my daughter where people are poor. My daughter and I created this book together and we met a lot of sex workers.
Mariska and her daughter Robin.
Some of them did not make a concise choice to do this. It came on their path just like it came on mine many years ago. A lot of sex workers do not have the most easy circumstances. But the fact that they are able to make some money and to feed their children – and in many cases also the rest of their family – that is making them powerful.
So I’ve met a lot of people who felt more powerful since they started working as a sex worker. But I find it difficult to say that sex work makes you feel powerful because that is just too easy.
So you think that many sex workers do this job because they can change their future and have a better life?
It depends on the country. In The Netherlands the circumstances are different as in Nigeria, India or the Dominican Republic. The countries that we visited for our book. I mean in the Dominican Republic we spoke to transgender sex workers who were kicked out of school at a very young age. They were kicked out of their homes at a very young age. All because they are transgender and thus not accepted in society. Sex work was the only option available to them. So their main problem is being a transgender and not being accepted because of that. They started to work as sex workers with the sole purpose of creating an income. Is it their first choice? No. They’d rather do something else, sex work is a way to survive.
But at the same time some of them started a sex workers organisation, helping each-other and talking to politicians about their situation. So there is absolutely an empowerment aspect to sex work. But I find it hard to explain, I hope you know what I mean. You know in the Netherlands our circumstances are so different. The Netherlands is not a poor country, so the stories of the sex workers here in Amsterdam’s Red Light District are different. We have less issues with corrupt police officers than abroad.
Sex work is legal in the Netherlands, society is a bit different. The Dutch are more tolerant about complicated issues such as sexuality and prostitution. So here it’s easier to stand up for yourself. We also have issues with stigma about sex work. But in the Netherlands people don’t throw stones at you or throw you in jail, when you’re a sex worker. They don’t kick you out as easily as they do in other countries.
You also think that this is why foreign women come here for sex work because the situation is better here? So they can create a better future for themselves?
Most foreign sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District specifically come from Eastern European countries, Africa and Latin America. But sex workers from Africa or Latin America cannot come to the Netherlands as easily as before. But yes, they come here to make a better future for themselves and sometimes for the rest of the family too. And you cannot blame them. I would do the same thing. Legally or illegal, we all want a better future for ourselves and for our children. If you can’t find that in your own country you try to find it in another country.
In 1994 you founded the Prostitution Information Center (PIC). Did you also have many foreign women coming to your place with questions on how to become a sex worker? Is that correct and if so how did you help them?
In 1994 when I opened PIC, there was juste one other organisation for sex workers. Especially in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, PIC was the first and still the only place that everyone can visit and ask questions about sex work. So it was quite a special place then. I still think it’s still a special place today but especially in the 1990’s it was unique. Also for sex workers themselves and those who wanted to start working or quit working.
Or customers, tourists and people who wanted to start a brothel. It was before the internet. if someone wants to become a sex worker nowadays, he or she can just search on Google. One can find information on how to organise things, where to find a brothel or how to rent a room for example. It’s quite easy to find information about that. But in the beginning of the 1990’s it wasn’t that easy, so I had a lot of new sex workers that came to PIC for information.
You also gave courses to help potential sex workers. What were the things that you told them and which you considered important?
You must understand that I was quite young when I started PIC. I was like 23, was a smart-ass and I was doing crazy stuff. Putting male sex workers behind the windows and all that. Stuff that I enjoyed. Doing at least 1 or 2 big projects a year and made a party out of that. Like a school for sex workers was one of those crazy ideas. Not crazy in a sense that you shouldn’t take it seriously. But I thought it was great to start with history lessons or to learn how to put on a condom with your mouth. We organised role playing with a fake customer who’s one of my friends. He was a pantomime actor that played a drunk or aggressive customer and then we’d all practise on how to deal with guys like that. It was a lot of fun, really a lot of fun. But at the same time I took it very seriously because when you start to do something like sex work you have to realise a couple of things in order to not get in trouble with your own sexuality. With different things in your life like family, friends and relationships because those are the things that make the work complicated.
Sex work itself is about sex, that’s easy. We all know how to do that. What makes it difficult is how do you talk about this with your parents or what do you tell your children? Do you keep it a secret or not? First of all you have to make that choice and then you have to live with that choice. I mean at the moment that you decide that you keep it a secret you live a double life.
Living a double life isn’t easy. Those are things I still think people have to realise when they make a decision to do this profession. Some people can make that choice but there are also many people who don’t have that choice. In many countries they don’t have the option to make a conscious choice. When it’s a matter of life and death you cannot dwell on making conscious choices. You just have to make money.
How old were you when you told your parents that you were a sex worker?
Before I came to the Red Light District in Amsterdam I worked in a private sex house. And before that I worked in a strip club in Amsterdam. I was 15 back then. In that period of my life I was often stoned or drunk, or both (laughs). In those circumstances you do crazy things. At the moment that I decided to work in a strip club, I called my parents to very happily say that I finally found a job which was the most stupid thing to do.
Amsterdam, Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
I come from a very catholic family, so my parents did not appreciate it that I was working in the sex industry. They don’t see it as a common job. It was a foolish move of me. My parents were not happy with that at all. It was a big thing in the family. I did it anyway and broke off contact with them.
Later I started to do real sex work. My parents told me years later that in the time that I worked in the private sex house, there were rumours in the family, that I was working in a private house but my parents didn’t believe it. They found out later.
I was sick one day around a year after I had started doing sex work from using too much drugs. I used speed at the time. I called my parents if I could please come home for a while because I was very ill and needed rest. I had bronchitis. In the time that I was recovering at my parents house, the owner of the brothel called my parents if I was feeling better. He called a couple of times. One day, my mother one day asked about why that guy is always calling.
I was so fed up with lying all the time that I just told her. My mother was very upset and I had to leave the house. She kept it a secret from my father for a while because she was afraid that he would completely lose his mind. She was right.
This is the problem for most sex workers. Being afraid of what the family might think of you.
But they found out very early, around the age of 17?
Yes, and after that I told them that I would stop and never do it again. Then I moved to Amsterdam. I started working in the Red Light District and after that in a private sex house again. My parents found out about that years later when I started the Prostitution Information Center. That was actually the time that I became more open about it, but that was easy.
But why didn’t you tell it right away? What was the reason not to tell them about it again?
Because they were very upset. We human beings don’t want to upset our parents too much. There was also a time when I tried to improve the relation with my parents again. It was bad for a couple of years. I thought that it was easier to deal with my parents keeping sex work as a secret from them than the confrontation and the fight, the worries from them about this. You know I spoke to so many people about this; sex workers or people that want to start working as a sex worker that had to deal with this. Do you tell your parents or your other relatives and friends about this or not? And sometimes I think it’s easier to be open about things instead of living with this huge secret. And other times it’s better to keep it a secret when you deal with people that can simply not accept this and cannot deal with this. You know, people that are very religious or very scared of this type of work. There are people who will never understand. In those cases it’s better to keep it a secret, and to keep the contact good between you and your parents or whoever they are. Better than making them worried, feeling sad or frustrated or whatever.
So you were raised as a catholic?
My parents tried (laughs).
Do you think that your religious upbringing influenced you in making you decide to become a sex worker?
No, I was always curious. Curious and a bit of a bad girl when I was younger.
Yeah that’s a nice word! But also a thinker… I was raised in a small Dutch town and I found that quite boring so I kind of escaped from that. I think.
So you were looking for excitement and then you moved to Amsterdam?
First to Hilversum, because that was also quite exciting in the 80’s. Big drugs scene, coffeeshops. That’s why I skipped a lot of school. I was 12 when I started smoking joints, so it started a bit with that. The boys were more interesting than school. Sex was interesting for me as-well so I started experimenting a bit with that. And you meet people in a certain scene. You know you feel attracted to certain people and certain places where you go out as a teenager. And then things come on your path. That’s the same with everybody. The things that come on your path attract you or they don’t. All the excitement that came on my path I took it with both hands.
Did you finish high school?
No, I only did 1,5 years high school and then I dropped out and never went back.
Do you regret that?
Yes and no. I always felt a bit underdeveloped but at the same time I’m streetwise. I know a lot of people that are very highly educated but they haven’t done half of what I did or what I still do. Of course miss things, absolutely.
Right now I’m very interested in writing. I did write a couple of books but those weren’t big works of literature. I like writing, but what I miss (because of my short time at school) is word knowledge. That’s the reason why I sometimes say to myself: “You stupid fool! That is your lack of education.” But besides that, I do think schooling is important, I’m a mother and my daughter had to finish school. I always give myself as an example and bagged her to finish high school at a bit higher level than myself.
Did your daughter finish school? She’s now how old?
Yes, she did! She’s 22 now.
And is she studying now?
She did a year and a half on the photo academy and at the moment she’s working in the hospitality industry at a grand cafe. And she’s like her mother she wants to start her own business. And I’m very supportive in that, I think she’s the type for it!
How did sex work change since you first got involved with it?
As I mentioned before, sex work is sex work, it never changes. A blowjob is still a blow job! (laughs). I mean what you do in a room, the actual work. The way you deal with a client, all that is still the same. What has changed is all those things around it. Policies have changed and the way things look have changed a bit. In the time that I worked here in the windows there was still carpet on the wall and it was still dark and old with cockroaches.
Outside the brothel?
Yes, and nowadays the walls inside the brothel windows are covered in tiles, no carpet anymore, because it has to be hygienic, easy to clean. Policy wise a lot of things have changed.
Do you think it has become saver?
Not necessarily, we always had an interesting system here in the Netherlands. We had the so called policy of tolerance. I think sex work in The Netherlands was unsafe before they started that. But this policy of tolerance was something that almost grew naturally in say the last 50 years. Even before that for centuries Amsterdam had brothels and also in other big cities of the Netherlands. Sex work is only unsafe when its happening in the streets, in dark alleys or parts of the woods. Or parts of the city where there is nobody to watch you which is the case in many countries. In the last year that we did this book project I’ve been to places in Rumania, Hungary and France. Really dangerous places where you have to stand in the dark or you have to step into the car with a guy and you don’t know where he’s taking you. That’s dangerous. In The Netherlands this is not really the case. In the time that I worked we had officially illegal but tolerated brothels. Those places were pretty safe. The police was always around in the Red Light District and responding to the alarmbuttons that we already had at that time. We had our boyfriends, pimps, brothel owners or girls next door that would help out as well. It’s still the same these days but now it’s formally legal. In practice it is not all that different.
And in the time that you worked here in the windows, was it also mandatory for sex workers to register at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce?
Nooo way! It was a lot easier in my time to work, you didn’t even have to show your passport. With the more responsible ones yes, but not all establishments. I wasn’t 18 when I started to work. In the time that I started to work here in the Red Light District I had vice police coming to my door once and I gave the name of one of my friends who wasn’t working on that day, and she had just turned 18, and the police told me to bring my passport next time. I of course said yes and that I would do that. But I never saw them again.
You just said that you started working in a strip club when you were 15. I guess the minimum age wasn’t 15 right?
No way, I wasn’t allowed to work there.
What was the minimum age back then?
It was 18. But that strip club was a bad place. In the back it was possible to have sex for money which ‘officially’ wasn’t allowed. And I left the place at the moment that the owner told me I was capable of doing that as well. That it was time for me to start doing that too. And then I ran away screaming; “I will never do that!” (laughs) but a couple of months later I started doing it. For a good reason! I needed money to buy a dog! (laughs.)
You bought a dog?
Yes, with the money I earned from two customers. A German shepherd, big love of my life.
You said you didn’t like sex work that much, but did you also have nice customers?
Oh absolutely! Like I mentioned before I was always interested in sex. Sex for me it was a nice game to play. It was not necessarily a thing that I only wanted to do with people who I’d have a relationship with or was in love with. And that’s what I always try to explain to people.
You can do sex work if you can separate sex and love from each other. I don’t say that all people should deal with sexuality this way, it’s your own choice. But if you can make this separation being a sex worker isn’t that a difficult thing to do and it can also be pleasant of course. But if it’s your work you cannot be too critical with who you let in as a customer. You have to create an income so you also work with people you don’t necessarily feel something for or you feel an attraction towards.
Of course you can make choices in this. If somebody is too aggressive for example, I don’t like aggression. I don’t like the macho type you know, the pumped up big guys so I would refuse a guy like that. I had no problem with working with older men, I was very young, but having customers of 60, 70 even 80, no problem. But it had nothing to do with my own pleasure. Just business. And sometimes you had somebody that you did feel attracted to or that was just a nice guy, that’s possible too. But for me one of the great things about that work, and especially the way I did it in the windows, that I prefer over working in clubs and private houses, is that you were completely independent. And it’s so easy to make choices you know, to refuse a guy or to set your own prices and to make your own business decisions. What you do with a customer and what you don’t do with someone, which is a lot harder to do in the clubs.
And did you enjoy the flirting in the windows?
That’s a great thing, one of the greatest things of being a window worker. The whole flirting game is fantastic. It’s still nice to do, but I don’t feel as confident anymore about my body and myself as when I was younger. But if I’d still have this fantastic body I think I would still stand in the window for fun. I did workshops for a couple of years on window prostitution and that was one of the greatest things for me to do. People had no idea, they walk around in the district and see the girls in the windows and they think o my god they are standing there for the whole world to look at, but that’s the fun! People have to understand that that’s the fun.
So one of the positive things about being a window sex worker is the flirting, the game, the excitement?
Yeah, as long as this is something that you choose to do, of course. I don’t want to burn my hands on percentages, I leave that stuff up to other people, that’s not my thing anymore. But I know for sure, I can guarantee, that most of the people that work in the windows in the Red Light District choose this profession themselves. It can sometimes be a very boring job but overall standing in the window is fun. It’s about flirting. You know when you stand there you have such a good look on the street and you can easily see already from a distance who’s a potential customer and who’s only walking around and only having a look. So you focus on the people who you think might be a customer. That’s the one you focus on, the rest disappear. And then playing the game with that person is half of the job. You make them come to the window, you negotiate at the door about the prices, times and things that he wants to do. That’s also fun.
There are many people that can’t believe that the women standing in windows are standing there on their own free will. What do you think of that?
That’s a very tiring and frustrating thing. I mean, where to begin. People are very judgemental. They create an opinion usually based on two thing: what they hear the most in the media for example, and how they personally feel about the subject. Prostitution is about sex and sex is a complicated topic for people, still. We don’t live in the Middle Ages anymore but people still find it hard to believe that you can have sex for fun and sex for money. They cannot see themselves doing this so they project that onto others. It makes me very angry. I can get very pissed off when I see people doing that, project their own ideas and opinions on people around them. Even worse is when they don’t believe the actual people that they speak about. So when I say I work as a sex worker and I enjoy it they don’t believe it because they can’t see themselves doing it. I always find that difficult to deal with.
At the same time I understand where it’s coming from. Human trafficking, forced labour, all that is an issue in the whole world. But the mistake that people make is that they focus a lot on prostitution in this whilst human trafficking and forced labour are happening in many sectors of the economy. But when it’s about sex it’s worse for people somehow. I think that’s not fair and people analyse this the wrong way. They exaggerate a lot too. They also use it a lot as an excuse to simply discourage sex work in general. Worldwide there’s a huge lobby against prostitution that is coming from Christians and feminists that are against sex work. They join hands these days, they’ve found each-other in this battle against prostitution. Using human trafficking as an excuse whilst they both have different reasons to fight against prostitution. Christian morals and feminist ideas, they both see sex work as a morally wrong thing that should not exist. I don’t like the way they fight against it. I think it’s very unfair, they refuse to listen to sex workers. They refuse to use the words sex work. They think sex can never be work and that they should fight against it and totally ignore the voice of sex workers worldwide on this, they only want to speak about human trafficking because that’s how they view sex work. To be able to understand where I’m coming from, where my activism is coming from, you have to start separating human trafficking from sex work. They are not the same but two completely different subjects.
Some people find the Red Light District outdated and feel that it no longer belongs to this time. What do you think of this position?
I think there’s only one group who can decide that and that is the sex industry itself. If it’s really true that the age of window prostitution is over, it’s up to the window sex workers to decide that. If they no longer want to stand in a window they will leave. They’ll stop renting the windows and then we could say that. But this isn’t really the case at the moment. There are still a lot of people interested in window prostitution. Because it’s a legal profession in the Netherlands they deserve the right to work in a window brothel. It’s a legal way of making a living.
The fact that you see a lot of empty window brothels during the daytime is used in this discussion, but that’s not really fair because what’s been happening in Amsterdam’s Red Light District in the last couple of years is that window sex work is being discouraged, and because of tourism. Tourists are making photographs of the sex workers and the Project 1012 gentrification project for the area, those scared away a lot of the sex workers. There are a few things happening at the moment.
I believe that we do not have empty window brothels during the day because of less interest in prostitution.
Some people find window prostitution disrespectful. What do you think of that?
A mistake! Window prostitution is not disrespectful but the way that people act towards window prostitutes is sometimes disrespectful. Again, in the whole discussion about the future of window prostitution in the Red Light District I think people approach it from the wrong perspective. They speek about closing down the windows to protect the women because people aren’t always respectful towards them. Then I think, hello guys! This is a strange approach. If you think that you have to protect sex workers from people that are disrespectful then don’t take away their work places and educate people that work around the Red Light District.
I hate it too, when I see people having a big mouth towards the sex workers in the windows or see people taking pictures without asking them. But then someone should talk to those people instead of telling the sex workers to leave because people are being disrespectful towards them. That’s stupid!
Have you heard of the four scenarios that the mayor of Amsterdam created? One of them is to close the curtains of window brothels and make the sex workers work behind the curtains so that the people on the streets don’t see them anymore. I find this scenario quite strange.
The mayor wants to do something good for sex workers. The mayor wants people to have more respect for the sex workers. She proposed a scenario that sex workers won’t be longer visible from the streets. I am against the closure of windows, but I appreciate that the mayor pays attention to the human rights of sex workers.
I think it’s more important to inform visitors of Amsterdam’s Red Light District how to behave towards sex workers in the windows.
Nowadays it’s mandatory for tour guides to inform their guests that it’s not allowed to take pictures of sex workers. Do you think that tour guides should be around in the Red Light District to inform tourists?
I think that tour guides have a very important role to play in educating the visitors of Amsterdam’s Red Light District! People who join Red Light District tours have no idea or completely wrong ideas about sex work. But after doing a Red Light District tour with a good guide someones opinion can really be changed. This has benefits for sex workers because they get more respect in the end. That’s why I always gave tours myself and I think the same reason applies to all tour guides. They really have an important role to play.
Tourists should be told not to film or photograph the sex workers. One must behave. Don’t stare. Be respectful to the sex workers. Don’t look at them like a monkey in the zoo. That is not the way to do it.
I think it would be good idea to experiment a little bit more in the Red Light District. Sex workers need choices on where and how to work. Some don’t care, even with being photographed. But most do care.
In certain countries like Sweden it’s legal to be a sex worker but illegal to visit a sex worker. What do you think of the Nordic model approach to prostitution?
Mariska: A big mistake. A very big mistake! I’ve seen in countries like France what that is doing, the harm that it’s doing to sex workers. It’s such a stupid idea and proof for me that the people who come up with these ideas are not interested in sex workers safety or rights. Governments and countries that are in favour of this model simply do this to discourage prostitution with the hope of banning it completely from their countries. They say that they’re doing it for the sex workers but I don’t believe them at all. It’s very clear what this law is actually doing to sex workers. It’s forcing them to work in very dangerous circumstances. It discourages sex work in a way but in practice sex workers continue with their job legally. It will only make them more protective of their customers so more willing to work in circumstances that protect their customers. Those places are often the streets, the woods, illegal brothels or home based prostitution. Where there is no control or help if anything goes wrong. What I also see happening is that the good customer, the well paying customer gets afraid to visit a sex worker. You lose the good guys as customers. The people that don’t care will continue to go and those are usually the customers that are higher risk, and have less money.
Would you like to see sex work being decriminalised all over the world?
Decriminalising sex work is number one! I also want sex work to be more seen as a normal job by society in general. In the Netherlands for instance I think a lot people do not realise how -not- tolerant they are. Perhaps more tolerant than in other countries, but what’s interesting in the Netherlands is that people are tolerant towards prostitution as long it’s not to close to them.
We noticed that with this campaign that we did with posters stating “Sex work = work.” A lot of people said; “Oh yes, it’s work it is what some people choose, that is fine by me.” But if you ask them: imagine that your own daughter, cousin or mother chooses becomes a sex worker, then people suddenly get scared.
So from a distance it’s fine. Just the same with Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Dutch people come to get entertained in the area but in their own hometown if someone wants to open a brothel next door, then people say ‘no way’!
Sex workers campaigning in Amsterdam.
Do you think that sex work should be discussed at schools (in the Netherlands)?
This topic should definitely be discussed in high school. You don’t have to start early. I don’t like groups of young school children in the ages of 9, 10 and 11 walking around the Red Light District area.
But in high school you can absolutely explain sex work. And one can explain it in combination with other things, like sexuality or poverty for instance.
What are you doing nowadays?
Mariska: I launched my own website: MyAmsterdamStories.com which is like hobby and a learning process. I like writing but I’m not good, but want to be good! So for me it’s like practising. So I write short stories about Amsterdam. About Tamara, a window prostitute in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, which is based on my own experiences. I write a little bit about the Red Light District but also about the woods. Every weekend I’m at the Veluwe in the Dutch woods.
I write a little bit about things that I see in the Netherlands. The birds, the trees, being homeless in Amsterdam, etc. I was homeless myself for a short while when I was younger, so I feel attracted to that part of life as well. So I visit homeless organisations to speak to people for inspiration and I want to write little pieces about that subject.
For next year, I plan the write a book about being homeless in Amsterdam. Writing is a hobby, I would really love for people to follow me on Instagram and MyAmsterdamStories.com. Please read my short stories and let me know what you think. I would like develop as a writer.
I also have another website where I offer real Amsterdam cookies. Artisan freshly baked butter cookies with lemon zest and vanilla for an affordable price. And, the logo of Amsterdam is part of the cookie too. A part of the profit even goes to the homeless in Amsterdam.
Mariska’s daughter at the printing house.
In addition, I also made a Dutch book about the Amsterdam Red Light District, which will be released on May 6, 2020. It is called ‘De Wallen, toekomst van ons verleden’. Translated: The Red Light District, future of our part.
Mariska Majoor is one of the 22 experts who are part of our app Amsterdam Audio Tours. It offers very interesting stories of the Red Light District which you can listen to in the area, or from home as a podcast. In this app, police officers, prostitutes, historians, sexologists, local entrepreneurs, drug consultants, residents, sociologists share their expertise.GET THE APP >
Posted on: March 17, 2020
The normally lively streets of Amsterdam are deserted due to the measures against the corona virus. We experienced this during a bicycle tour at 11 am through Amsterdam. These three videos is what Amsterdam in corona crisis looks like.
The video above was recorded on March 17, 2020. It shows New Market Square (Nieuwmarkt), China Town and Zeedijk street and several streets within the Red Light District area. This is what the city centre of Amsterdam in corona crisis looks like. Numerous events have been postponed and bars, restaurants, daycare & schools are closed until April 6, 2020. Also all erotic venues (like Casa Rosso, 5D Porn Cinema & Club Bon Ton) and window brothels are closed too. Most sex workers are afraid to work during the corona crisis.
On March 26, 2020, Amsterdam Red Light District Tours published the following statement: I think I’ll visit Amsterdam within 6 months. In other words: I’ think I’ll visit Amsterdam before September 2020. This poll reached as many as 8,416 people and a total of 956 people voted. The response rate was therefore 11.35%. 58% of the respondents were positive and answered yes on the statement I think I’ll visit Amsterdam with 6 months.
Prime Minister Rutte on 16 March 2020 during his national speech. (ANP)
Everyone with minor health problems is strongly advised to stay at home. Dutch Prime Minister Rutte repeated it again on Tuesday evening in his speech: ‘these are unprecedented measures for the Netherlands in peace time. Prime Minister Rutte is no longer afraid to say that citizens should “follow” the directions “to avoid groups, bars, restaurants, etc.” “For the sake of people who are more vulnerable.”
Yet the prime minister also marked the limits of the policy he wants to pursue. He absolutely does not want a total lockdown of the Netherlands, such as Spain does. “Such a rigorous approach may seem attractive at first sight, but experts point out that it certainly wouldn’t be a matter of days or weeks.” In fact, that could take “longer” than “one year”.
Closing the country could cause greater damage to the Netherlands. Without mentioning that, he appeals to the economic and socially disruptive consequences that would occur. “The Netherlands is an open country and as long as there is no vaccine, the coronavirus will continue to spread through the world like a wave and not skip our country.” (source)
The residents of Amsterdam take Rutte’s advice to heart, as witnessed by the two videos this article. It shows Amsterdam in corona crisis. Far fewer people on the streets. Some describe it as ‘dead’ or ‘extremely quiet’.
Cannabis shop The Bulldog blocked entrance and only sells via take-away.
Last Sunday all coffee shops in the Netherlands were also told to close their doors within hours. This then lead to masses of people who quickly visited the coffee shops (Dutch term for cannabis stores) to stock themselves. Once the coffee shops closed, many illegal street dealers took over the drug market. Therefore, the Dutch government decided to reopen coffee shops, but only for take-aways.
The video below also shows coffeeshop The Old Church II and coffeeshops Smokey’s on Rembrandt Square.
The video above starts at Rokin street and continues at Munt Square, Amstel, Rembrandt Square and Utrechtsestraat.
The video above was recored on 18 March 2020 in the middle of the Red Light District. It shows empty window brothels and closed shops.
Most Dutch people and tourists avoid the streets in Holland’s capital, for now.
Posted on: March 16, 2020
Dutch coffee shops (local name for cannabis stores) are allowed to open their doors again to offer cannabis (weed & hashish) at collection points during the Corona-crisis. The Dutch government has decided that the same rules will apply to coffee shops in the Netherlands as to the Dutch take-away restaurants. They are allowed to provide customers with food and drinks, as long as they do not put them at a table.
Dutch source: Dutch Coffeeshops May Offer Cannabis Again
A lot of people visited the Dutch coffeeshops since yesterday afternoon, when they were told that coffeeshops in the Netherlands had to close their doors at 6 pm. There were long lines of people who soon wanted to buy hash or weed during the Corona crisis.
Ook de locale dealertjes zien hun kans schoon voor wat #Marketing. Ze delen kaartjes uit. Vast een adres van thuisbezorgd voor een lekkere maaltijd.
____________________________#coffeeshop #coffeeshops #Coronavirusnl #corona #COVIDー19 #COVID19NL #drugs #joint #hamsteren pic.twitter.com/PzCT6gaWKr
— Vincent (@v_baartmans) March 15, 2020
Street dealers share business cards to cannabis shop visitors.
The video above was recorded on March 15th and shows two illegal street dealers sharing business cards to customers of coffeeshops in Amsterdam.
Mayors in the Netherlands already urged the Dutch government today that the coffee shops should be allowed to open their counters again. They feared that the illegal drug street trade would flourish again due to the forced closure. So they hear their call.
Customers of takeaways and coffeeshops are advised to avoid crowds. Also, the purchased items may not be consumed on the spot.
The Dutch government is still looking into the possibility of allowing restaurants that do not currently have a take-away function to open such a facility. This way they can still earn something during the corona crisis.
Dutch sources of this article: Coffee Shops Open Again For Cannabis Takeout and Dutch Government Re-Open Coffeeshops During Corona Crisis
Posted on: February 22, 2020
Wanna do something fun and learn more about Dutch culture, Amsterdam’s history, legal prostitution & legal drugs? Check out this useful list with five fun things to do in Amsterdam.
A few of the 292 window brothels in ‘De Wallen’.
For those who want to learn about legal sex work in the famous ‘Wallen’ area this tour is a must-do! The Red Light District represents the liberal and open-minded Dutch culture. In this neighbourhood residents live just next to window brothels and cannabis stores. Only here one can see a church that is surrounded by window prostitutes. And there is even a daycare literally next to window brothels.
Learn how the legal sex trade works in Holland, where the sex workers come from, hear about the safety measures, what they earn and how they are fighting the Municipal government to keep their working places. Highlights during this Amsterdam Red Light District tour include; world’s first condom shop, Chinatown, the Old Church, Nieuwmarkt, windows, Buddhistic Temple, coffeeshops and much more!
These Amsterdam Red Light District Tours are hosted by tour guides who have an official permit of the Municipality of Amsterdam. They are all locals and know the Red Light District as their backyard. We even have a tour guide who’s married to a window prostitute!
Also read: Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban still allows tours in the area.
Chinatown in the Red Light District.
Duration: 1,5 hours
Price: from 19,50 euro per person
Burn: 419 calories
After the tour there are many other fun things to do in the Red Light District:
Coffeeshop The Bulldog 90 in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Did you know that Amsterdam has 164 ‘coffeeshops’? Did you know that just 7.4% of the Dutch adults uses cannabis once a month? And did you know that in Netherlands it is not legal to produce cannabis commercially? Only a small insight into what we are going to teach you during our tour
Drugs are a big part of Holland’s international image but why is this? How does the Netherlands actually deal with legal and illegal drugs? The Amsterdam Drugs Tour offers the best insights of the Dutch approach to drugs and what makes it so different from almost all other countries in the world. Hear when and how drugs first appeared and what the societal reaction was to it in the Netherlands.
Get informed about hashish, weed, tobacco, XTC, cocaine, alcohol, magic truffles, laughing gas and whatnot. See the highlights scattered throughout Amsterdam’s historic city center together with an expert guide. Always wanted to know more about drugs? Book the Amsterdam Drugs Tour!
The main street of the Red Light District.
Duration: 1,5 hours
Price: from 19,50 euro per person
Burn: 431 calories
The Prinsengracht – a highlight of the Amsterdam History Tour.
Learn how the Dutch turned a tiny swampy village into the centre of world trade. The story of Amsterdam is one of the most interesting historical stories in the world. Modernity started in Holland’s capital. But how and why did it happen here in Amsterdam and elsewhere? During this tour you’ll get all the answers whilst exploring Amsterdam’s medieval centre and the UNESCO World Heritage canal ring. Hear what makes Amsterdam’s story so unique in world history. Highlights of this Amsterdam History Tour include: city’s oldest building, the Royal Palace, Magna Plaza, the Anne Frank House, the Wester Church, house boats, the canals, LGBT-monument, and much more.
Shopping centre Magna Plaza.
Duration: 110 minutes
Price: 19,50 euro per person
Burn: 431 calories
At the strip-pole during the Amsterdam Brothel Tour.
Get a peak behind the curtains with this Amsterdam Brothel Tour. If you’ve always wanted to visit a brothel and learn more about sex work, this is the experience for you. A sex worker guide will show you around Amsterdam’s newest and most exclusive brothel. During the tour you get to ask her any question you might be interested; what are the working hours? How much do they earn? What is their most bizarre experience? You name it. It’s located almost next to the Heineken experience so you could easily combine a visit to both.
The stripclub area of this brothel in Amsterdam.
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: 20 euro per person
Burn: 118 calories
Explore the Red Light District with 22 experts in your pocket.
With this new Amsterdam Audio Tour you can discover the Red Light District on your schedule, at your pass. Navigate the so called ‘Wallen’ area with the help of GPS, virtual tour guide Sophie and 22 experts that you’ll ‘meet’ along the way. One of the main benefits of this app is that you can now get a guided tour whenever you want, with whoever you want. Walk alongside the best narrators and hear all the interesting stories that are part of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Had enough? Just press pause and pick up after having a rest in one the many great cafes in the area.
The experts in Amsterdam Audio Tour: local police officers, a Romanian prostitute, historians, entrepreneurs, residents, drug consultants, sociologists, sex-historians, a male sex worker, the Fokkens twins, the Salvation Army, a smart shop owner and many others.
The CEO of FEBO Amsterdam is one of the 22 experts.
Duration: 110 minutes
Price: 4,99 euro per person
Burn: 431 calories
Posted on: February 21, 2020
NEWS: From 1 July 2020, sex workers in the Netherlands will be allowed to work again. That was announced by the Prime Minister Rutte on 23 June 2020. That means that all sex shows in Amsterdam, all window brothels, strip clubs, private houses and all other erotically related companies can open again on the 1st of July.
All kinds of sex massage in Amsterdam are possible for you to enjoy. Think of a body 2 body massage, Thai massage, sensual massage, 4 hands massage, Nuru massage, oil massage, Tantra massage, erotic massage, etcetera.
All the best sex massage in Amsterdam services in this list work with escorts. If you want to know more about this, read these free & useful tips on how to use the services of escorts in Amsterdam. Below we give you 10 options for sex massages in Amsterdam including great tips for the best experience.
A good and simple tip for those new to this massage experience is to shower in advance. Do this in your hotel or accomodation. A shower beforehand will make you feel fresh and clean, but more importantly: it ensures that no “dirt” is massaged into your skin. In addition, make sure you have a freshly made bed and fresh towels. Your escort always likes to freshen up before she leaves. With these tips in mind the experience will be most pleasant for you and the masseuse.
Get fully relaxed by a professional erotic masseuse. Desire Escorts offers more than 40 female masseuses. After the massage you can top off the experience with some extraordinary sex with one of these amazing women. Desire Escorts offers this option to its clients. If you don’t like oils all over your body, this is a very good massage option for you. We recommend using their service of at least 2 hours. This way you can take your time and enjoy your company in peace. Click on the link below to see all the women, possibilities, prizes and reservations.VISIT WEBSITE >
If you’re looking for an erotic Asian massage then we would recommend this Thai Massage Amsterdam. For those who are unfamiliar with an erotic Thai Massage; during a session the masseuse uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques so that your whole body gets relaxed. The Thai massage technique is originally actually from India.VISIT WEBSITE >
If you’re staying in Holland’s second biggest city Rotterdam, the women at Escorts In Rotterdam are probably your best option. This company offers erotic massages with an added option for a happy ending. During an erotic massage the masseuse focuses on your erogenous zones with the sole purpose of relaxing and arousing you. If you’d like they also offer a happy end to relieve all that built op pressure.VISIT WEBSITE >
Looking for some sensual relaxation and release between flights near Amsterdam Airport? Escorts In Schiphol has great massage services! Enjoy an erotic massage from an experienced and gorgeous escort. This professional company offers more than just the basics.VISIT WEBSITE >
Contact Escort Angels for a high quality Nuru massage. Nuru is an erotic massage technique originally from Japan. Translated Nuru means slippery/ smooth. You might have an idea where this is going; during a Nuru massage one or more masseuse rub their body against yours. This happens after you and the masseuse are both covered with and odourless and tasteless massage oil. More details are described on the website of Escort Angels.VISIT WEBSITE >
At Escort Amsterdam they offer full Body 2 Body massages. Your entire body is massaged, with time the escort will just move a little bit further until her entire body rubs against yours. If you ask nicely you might even get that special happy treatment with her hands.VISIT WEBSITE >
The female masseuses at Amsterdam Finest offer you the best sensual and tantra massages (loving touch with full attention and presence). You can give them a call at any time, night or day. This company is known for the gorgeous women that they employ. Don’t miss out!VISIT WEBSITE >
If you find it hard to pick just one masseuse and prefer two, Passion Escorts offers you the 4 hands option. Experience two different massage techniques simultaneously. One woman will massage away all the tension from your muscles whilst the other takes special care of the more intimate parts of your body. Guaranteed relaxation!VISIT WEBSITE >
Another great service for those staying in or close to Rotterdam. This massage company offers it all: body 2 body, tantric, Thai, Nuru, you name it! Contact them easily and discreetly via the chat option on their website. Experience a massage that is completely tailored to your personal needs and desires.VISIT WEBSITE >
Last but not least this company near Amsterdam Airport knows how to provide every massage option that you can imagine. They offer their services 24/7 so you have no excuse not to get one of their heavenly massage escorts delivered to your hotel room’s front door. Prices start at 150,- euro per hour. Look at their website for further details.VISIT WEBSITE >
Posted on: February 14, 2020
Yes, it will still be possible to go on a tour in Amsterdam Red Light District from April, 1st 2020. And yes, you can still join our educational Red Light District tours. However a few things will change in Amsterdam city centre from April 1st, this year. There’s no complete Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban. Just some things will change. It is as follow:
With an exemption/license from the City of Amsterdam (which our guides have) it will still be possible to give guided tours for groups up to 15 participants in Amsterdam’s city district – also in the Red Light District. This used to be 20. From the 1st of April 2020, guided tours will not be permitted to walk on streets with window brothels. However there are many other streets in the area which don’t contain windows brothels and where people can still be educated about the area. One can still be educated about legal prostitution, the Red Light District, Amsterdam and Dutch culture. On these streets it’s still allowed: Warmoesstraat, Zeedijk, Nieuwmarkt, Oudezijds Kolk, Beursplein, Geldersekade, Papenburgsteeg, Oudebrugsteeg & Nieuwebrugsteeg.
And, there are a few other exceptions…
The last local law (mentioned above) was implemented on 1 January 2020. Since then, Dutch and foreign tourists need to pay entertainment tax when being part of a city tour in Amsterdam.
The Oudezijds Achterburgwal is the famous street of Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District area – a.k.a. De Wallen – has many streets where there are no window brothels. For example the Warmoesstraat, the Zeedijk street, Nieuwmarkt, the Geldersekade, Beursplein, Stormsteeg, Kloveniersburgwal, Beursstraat, Oudezijds Kolk. This is where guided tours can still go after the 1st of April 2020. A map of Amsterdam Red Light District with approved and restricted streets is shown below.
Tours can still go here, on the Geldersekade, in the Red Light District.
When the “Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban” will be introduced on April 1st, 2020 it will still be possible to do tours on the streets mentioned above. One can still be educated by licensed guides about the Red Light District, Dutch culture, Amsterdam’s history and also about legal sex work. There are a lot of ambiguities about sex work. Many visitors want to learn more about this. An Amsterdam Red Light District tour with a licensed & knowledgeable guide provides a better insight into this old, mysterious profession and ‘De Wallen’ itself. Teachers and instructors are not part of the new “Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban” and can still provide guided tours throughout the area (including the streets with window brothels). In that case it concerns people who usually do not get paid for the tour.
The map below displays Amsterdam’s Red Light District with the streets where tours can and can not be hosted from 1 April 2020:
Green = allowed to host tours. Red = not allowed to host tours.
From April, 1st 2020 it will also be allowed to escort groups in Amsterdam’s Red Light District from one location to the other. For example from a touring car stop to a museum, restaurant, attraction or hotel. Or from Dam Square, through the Red Light District, to Casa Rosso for example. In that case, the host have to be able to show a reservation for the location that the group is going to.
The definition of escorting was described by the City of Amsterdam as follow: It means that the group is walking directly from A to B without standing still or the host is telling about the surroundings. Hosts do not need a license/exemption (from the City of Amsterdam) for escorting groups. They must be able to show the reservation of the destination. This escorting-policy only applies within the city centre of Amsterdam, including the Red Light District.
After 1 April 2020, it will still be possible to guide tours in Amsterdam’s Chinatown – also located in the Red Light District.
The temple above is situated on the Zeedijk. A street in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.
So, the new Amsterdam Red Light District Tour ban is not an actual/complete ban. The new policy made by the Municipality of Amsterdam just changed a few things in the exciting local laws that are stated in the exemption system (locally known as an ‘ontheffingsstelsel’)
In addition to the two ways mentioned above to go on a tour, it is also possible to get a tour with an app.
With the app Amsterdam Audio Tours you can discover the Red Light District on your schedule, at your pass. Navigate the so called ‘Wallen’ area with the help of GPS, virtual tour guide Sophie and 22 experts that you’ll ‘meet’ along the way. One of the main benefits of this app is that you can now get a guided tour whenever you want, with whoever you want. Walk alongside the best narrators and hear all the interesting stories that are part of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Had enough? Just press pause and pick up after having a rest in one the many great cafes in the area.
The experts in Amsterdam Audio Tour: local police officers, a Romanian prostitute, historians, entrepreneurs, residents, drug consultants, sociologists, sex-historians, a male sex worker, the Fokkens twins, the Salvation Army, a smart shop owner and many others. You can listen to the audio tour in the Red Light District or just at home as a podcast.
Amsterdam Audio Tours – stories that take you places.GET THE APP >
The City of Amsterdam will implement these laws because:
The municipality can not ban groups of people in Amsterdam. However, they can ban or restrict groups of people which are part of a tour, hosted by a guide. That’s why they came up with these new local laws.
In 2018, the municipality of Amsterdam commissioned a study by the Strabo research agency. Through surveys, Strabo questioned 203 respondents (residents, entrepreneurs & sex workers) about the Red Light District and tours in the area. 14 of these respondents worked in the sex industry, of which only 10 sex workers. Amsterdam’s Red Light District area (De Burgwallen Oude-Zijde) counts currently 4.295 residents, 292 window brothels and an estimated 350 sex workers (who work in day and night shifts). In other words: 2.85% of all prostitutes participated in this study.
There is strong doubt about the reliability and correctness of Strabo’s research. During a study with surveys it is essential that the sample size is correct. When the total population size of sex workers is 350, and when the confidence level should be 95%, then the sample size must be at least 184 sex workers. But only 10 sex workers participated in Strabo’s research. Almost 18 times too little.
Nevertheless, despite its low respondents, this study was still decisive for the policy of the Red Light District. The Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban is based on this rapport with associated surveys of just 10 sex workers.
In the same year of the study (2018) the co-owner of this research agency (Strabo) wrote publicly in Dutch newspaper Parool that he is against prostitution. He wrote: “Also prohibit prostitution in the Red Light District…Close the coffeeshops. Also reduce sex in the Red Light District.” (source)
Over the years the municipality of Amsterdam introduced new local laws. It all started with Project 1012 – named after the zipcode of the Red Light District.
In 2007, the City of Amsterdam decided to decrease Amsterdam’s Red Light District (Wallen) by closing window brothels and coffeeshops. A gentrification-plan (called Project 1012) led by former alderman Lodewijk Asscher, ensured that 112 window brothels were bought with tax money from brothel operators, and eventually closed down.
The municipality ensured that the Red Light District became much smaller, by decreasing the windows brothels in the area from 404 to a total number of 292 windows. The spread of people also deteriorated. The largest Dutch daily morning newspaper De Telegraaf claimed that Project 1012 costed 108 million euros (source). One window brothel owner (Charles Geerts) received 25 million euro tax money for selling his 18 properties with 70 window brothels to the City of Amsterdam (source). In other words: 357.142,86 euro per window brothel.
After that, most of these windows were changed into art-galleries, fashion shops, waffle-stores, pop-up-shops and whatnot. The local government wanted more variety.
However, most visitors in Amsterdam Red Light District are not interested in the products of these new shops, so it seemed. These relatively unpopular companies can continue to exist despite the fact that they make little profit because they have low rental costs. Cooperatives, which are partly funded by the (local) government, ensure these low rental costs.
There used to be several window brothels in the building where The Upcycle Store (shown in the picture above) is located at the moment.
When Project 1012 was launched, the number of visitors in Amsterdam already increasing. In 2006 Amsterdam had 11 million visitors. In 2013, the company IAmsterdam was founded. This is the marketing company of the city. Since 2013 the city started to promote itself considerably through this organization. The city wanted to get more tourists. This organization also placed the letters Iamsterdam on the Museum Square, in front of the Rijksmuseum.
In 2018 Amsterdam had 18 million visitors. Partly due to the activities of the marketing company of Amsterdam. In other words: Within 11 years tourism in Amsterdam increased by 64%. Project 1012 ensured that the number of coffee shops and window brothels in the Red Light District decreased considerably during that period.
Conclusion: more visitors came to a smaller area. This was one of the main reasons why nuisance in the area was more noticeable.
Since 2016, the municipality of Amsterdam has been talking with guides, tour organisations, a few sex workers and residents about tours. In 2016, the municipality of Amsterdam started discussions with stakeholders about guided tours in the Red Light District. In 2017, this resulted in making agreements in the form of a Red Light District Covenant Covenant.
In 2017, the Red Light District Tours Covenant with accompanying guidelines was drawn up in consultation with tour operators, the local police, representatives of sex workers, other stakeholders and residents. More than 50 parties signed the covenant. We liked this Dutch approach and we were one of the first to sign the convenant to improve things in the Red Light District together with others.
The local parties agreed in the covenant an evaluation would be carried out six months after signing. This showed that the vast majority of the covenant partners and parties who had heard of the covenant adhered to the agreements. However, some of the 4.295 local residents still experienced some inconvenience from groups in this neighbourhood that receive more than 3.1 million visitors annually. Therefore a reason to adopt stricter policies. This was partly because some large parties did not participate in the covenant.
Since April 1, 2018, there has been an exemption policy in the Red Light District and is for guides not allowed to give a tour in the Red Light District without exemption1. Various conditions are attached to the exemption, such as a maximum group size of twenty people. The conditions are largely the same as the agreements made in the covenant and written on the back of the exemptions – which the guides must carry.
At the beginning of 2019, due to the large crowds in the Red Light District, it became suddenly forbidden to give guided tours in the exemption area (2018) after 7 pm after 1 April 2019 after 7 pm. This applied only for tour groups with 5 attendees or more. Red Light District tours with a maximum of 4 attendees may still go through the area after 7 pm because these small groups are not part of the exemption system.
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, the municipality of Amsterdam sent an email to all touroperators and guides (in their database) containing the final decision and the associated details regarding the so-called new Amsterdam Red Light District Tour ban. In this email (with attachments) it stated that the maximum allowed number of participants in guided tours in the city centre will be decreased from 15. And it showed that guided tours within and around the Red Light District area are still allowed on certain streets.
The city of Amsterdam also indicated that tours in the Red Light District are still permitted on certain streets in the area, such as Warmoesstraat, Zeedijk, Nieuwmarkt, Oudezijds Kolk, Beursplein, Geldersekade, Papenburgsteeg, Oudebrugsteeg & Nieuwebrugsteeg. All these streets are located in the Red Light District.
PROUD – interest group for sex workers: “We are against the prohibition of group tours in the Red Light District. We name three arguments:
Prostitution Information Center asked the city council to reconsider the new local law, to allow tours by professional organisations, to change the local legislation to be able to enforce certain behaviour and consult the stakeholders in the area by conducting proper & thorough research. (Source)
The chairman of Business Association Amsterdam Red Light District.
Business Association Amsterdam’s Red Light District: “The nuisance in the Red Light District is not caused by organised informative tours, but by unaccompanied groups. Drunk bachelor parties for example. It is very disappointing that the municipality of Amsterdam is not using a policy to improve the Red Light District. They could actually use good guides to inform people about the etiquette in the Red Light District.”
Tim – guide: It’s a loss for Amsterdam the lessons of freedom that can be taught in the unique, old part of town.
Henri Struylaart – member of the Dutch Guide Organization: Local guides are ambassadors for Amsterdam. Not being able to show guests around in Amsterdam’s unique area and to tell about local habits, is a big loss for the city.
Yes, From April 1st, 2020 it will still be possible to get a Red Light District tour with a maximum of 15 persons via certain streets. Also, when a host is able to show a reservation for a group for an attraction (or a hotel) in the area, then he/she can still escort the group to the destination within Amsterdam’s Red Light District.BOOK A TOUR >
Posted on: January 26, 2020
We offer a brand-new, super interesting and exciting walking tour through Amsterdam’s historic center. A unique tour that tells everything about all drugs (in the Netherlands). A tour that is more than ‘just’ an Amsterdam weed tour. During our new Amsterdam Drugs Tour we cover cannabis and its culture but our local guides also delve deep into all other legal and illegal drugs that have shaped the Dutch history and culture. Including drugs like magic truffles, XTC, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamines, laughing gas, etcetera.
Did you know that Amsterdam used to have a legal cocaine factory? Did you know that addiction-care is fully reimbursed in the Netherlands? And did you know that here people can get their illegal drugs tested legally on the content and quality?
Smartshops offer magic truffles, drug test kits, laughing gas, etc.
The Dutch are known to be very liberal and openminded. Especially Amsterdammers. A good example is the liberal policy on drugs in the Netherlands. To really understand the drug policies of the Netherlands you need to know about a lot more than just cannabis. During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour we explain all kinds of drugs, the history of drugs, the effects, the legal & illegal trade, availability, the war or drugs, smuggling, coffeeshops and much more.
This is a fun and very interesting way to get a better understanding of the Dutch culture, Amsterdam and its drug policy.
Good to know: These kind of Space Cakes will not make you high because it only contains CBD and no THC.
Up until the late 1950’s the Netherlands was considered to be one of the best behaved countries of the world. That all changed with the Dutch cultural revolution which started right here in Amsterdam at a spot that we visit during the Amsterdam Drugs Tour. Our local guides show how every cultural change since then was accompanied with a different drug that specifically sooted the cultural mood of that time. And how this resulted into the first cannabis store (aka coffeeshop) in Amsterdam in the year 1972.
Did you know that producing cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands? Here it’s tolerated to buy and sell cannabis but growing it for commercial purposes is illegal. This is due a religious political party (CDA) and former president of France (Jacques Chirac). Do you want to know why? Join our interesting Amsterdam Drugs Tour.
In the Red Light District it is not allowed to drink alcohol on the streets.
The number of coffeeshops (= cannabis shops) in Amsterdam has drastically decreased. In 1993 there were more than 400 coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Amsterdam currently has 164 coffeeshops. (source)
In 2017, 7.2% of all Dutch adults had used cannabis in that year. In 2017, 79.5% of all Dutch adults had drunk alcohol in that year. (Source: Nationale Drugs Monitor)
Of course weed and coffeeshops will be discussed during our Amsterdam Drugs Tour. We’ll answer questions like; why is cannabis not completely legalised in the Netherlands? How does owning a coffeeshop work in practice? And what effect has decriminalisation had on Dutch society? During this tour we’ll also discuss how Chinese Triad gangs ended up in Amsterdam and started a heroin epidemic in the 1980’s unmatched in size and scope in Dutch history.
Dutch weed in front of coffeeshop Jolly Joker in the Red Light District.
In 1976 the Opium law was changed in the Netherlands. For then on out there’s been a distinction in the Dutch laws between soft drugs and hard drugs. This also started the policy of tolerance when it comes to coffeeshops. Toleration regarding soft drugs means that the sale of soft drugs in coffee shops is a criminal offence but that the Public Prosecution Service does not prosecute coffee shops for this offence. Neither does the Public Prosecution Service prosecute members of the public for possession of small quantities of soft drugs. These quantities are defined as follows:
Another smartshop in Amsterdam
Highlights include: the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The Dutch East India Company headquarters, world’s very first corporation. Amsterdam’s second oldest coffeeshop (the first one got closed down). Amsterdam’s China Town, The Zeedijk street and Spui Square. We’ll walk past many other coffeeshops, smartshops, canals, Nieuwmarkt and much more…
During the Amsterdam Drugs Tour we’ll also show you a memorial of one of the most notorious drug addicted musicians, who actually died in Amsterdam. At another stop we’ll explain how the Dutch government was one of the top drug dealers in Asia and how that strange situation came about. We’ll explain how cocaine has been part of the Netherlands, since the founding of the Dutch Cocaine Factory. We’ll also share the latest trends in Amsterdam’s drug scene. Our local guides also tell more about the so called ‘Mocro Maffia’. We share insights in the (financial) drug trade in the Netherlands. And we explain how harm-reduction and addiction care works here.
Are you thinking about taking an Amsterdam weed tour? Join our Amsterdam Drugs Tour! Our local experienced guides will teach you everything there is to know about drugs and Amsterdam. Legal drugs like weed, hash and magic truffles will be discussed but also illegal substances plus drug history, fun facts, statistics, law enforcement, money laundering and drug trends.
Get a better understanding of drugs, the liberal Dutch culture and Holland’s capital with this interesting, fun & exciting tour.MORE INFO >
Posted on: January 24, 2020
During our walking tours through Amsterdam we often get drug related questions, including questions about Magic Truffles. We made a useful list with frequently asked questions and answered them with the right information.
Sclerotia, also called Magical Truffles or philosopher’s stones, are a hallucinogenic product of mother nature. Sclerotia influence your consciousness, so that you start experiencing yourself and the world around you more intensively. Many users find this experience beneficial and very valuable.
Yes, Magic Truffles are legal in the Netherlands. Magic Truffles are mostly offered in so called smart shops. Here one can be informed and advised about this drug. Employees of smart shops often give tips on where and how these truffles can be used.
The use of drugs, alcohol or medication is never without risk. It’s good to inform yourself about the effects and risks of a substance.
Up until 2008 magic mushrooms were also legal in the Netherlands. The risks of magic mushrooms were considered acceptable and the harm reduction approach (through information) became the main focus of the Dutch government policy. This all changed when an under aged French girl (17 year old) jumped from the NEMO Science museum back in 2008. She had taken magic mushrooms.
Drug expert August de Loor finds it difficult to say anything about the case. “We don’t know the exact situation of this case. When someone has suicide plans, the use of stimulants is always dangerous. Is this also said if alcohol is involved?” (source)
Just about all the magic mushrooms that grew in the Netherlands were banned after that incident, but in the end the Dutch government did not ban Magic Truffles.
Yes, you can get pretty high from these Magic Truffles. This legal drug alters your perception. Colours seem more vivid. Textures and patterns can come to life. Kaleidoscopic structures can even appear before your eyes – especially in the twilight or with eyes closed. Other characteristics include floods of laughter, intense joy and satisfaction.
The main difference between Magic Mushrooms and Magic Truffles is that magic truffles grow below ground. This is also the main reason why the truffles are still legal in the Netherlands. You see, when the Dutch government banned Magic Mushrooms they simply forgot to put the magic truffle called the Philosopher’s Stone on the list. This truffle, not a mushroom, grows underground. You can still buy these truffles at smartshops in Amsterdam and the effects are pretty much the same.
The price for 10 grams of truffles (the maximum amount for a beginner) is between 10 to 15 Euro in Amsterdam.
Yes, there’s a change you get a so called “bad trip” or actually get physically sick from using truffles. The most common negative side of these truffles is having a bad trip. In the worst case scenario this involves unpleasant physical symptoms like getting chills, nausea, vomiting and even headaches.
TIP: If you think you’re having a bad trip, always try to remember that this is the result of the truffles that you’ve taken. The sensations will pass. You may have repeated ideas come to you in a continues loop, especially in the first 1,5 hour. These compulsive thought patterns can be easier to break through if you drink some fruit juice (vitamin C helps) or an energy drink, by eating something, or by taking a little walk.
It’s advised to only eat these types of truffles on an empty stomach. It’s not recommended to combine it with anything else. The reason for this is that these hallucinogenic drugs can be difficult to digest, so this can give an easy feeling on the stomach. This can be bothersome at the start of the trip. To reduce the chance of nausea it’s advised to chew them to small bits and on an empty stomach.
These hallucinogenic drugs also effect your tastebuds. To enhance your experience try these during a trip: Passion fruit, Blueberries, Ice cream, Nutella, Tofu & Sashimi.
Yes, it’s a natural product so this drug can go bad. When you buy the truffles via a Dutch smart shop the truffles normally last around one month. After that the effect that produce gradually fades over time.
The short answer is no. The long answer is; the psilocybine in the truffles causes an overflow of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. The increase in serotonin gives you a euphoric feeling and energy, so you probably won’t be able to sleep.
It takes around 4 – 6 hours before the effects of a magic truffle trip to wear off. The trip itself comes in waves and will slowly decrease in intensity with time.
Did you know that an average of 3.3% of all Dutch adults ever took magic mushrooms (480.000 people) and just an average of 0.4% last year? And did you know that 2.1% of all Dutch adults took Magic Truffles ever in their life. (Source)
Learn more about these psychedelic truffles and all other (legal & illegal) drugs during our Amsterdam Drugs Tour. This super interesting & exciting tour shows the best drug highlights in Holland’s capital while learning everything about drugs. One of the highlights is visiting a smart shop – where legal magic truffles are offered among others.AMSTERDAM DRUGS TOUR >
Posted on: January 15, 2020
This list shows our 10 best Amsterdam Red Light District photos containing most likes on Instagram in 2019.
With 438 likes this is the picture that got most likes on our Instagram account. Here’s number one:
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Did you know that just 7.2% of the Dutch uses cannabis occasionally? #amsterdam #netherlands #holland #europe #weed #redlightdistrict #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamcity #amsterdamlife #amsterdamcanals #joint #cannabisculture #cannabiscures #cannabissociety #dutch #nederland #thenetherlands #igersholland #europa #weedporn #weedlife
With 399 likes just is the 2nd best Amsterdam Red Light District photo.
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We took this picture on the main street of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. #holland #netherlands #europe #amsterdamcanals #europa #dewallen #redlightdistrict #mokum #020inbeeld #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamcity #amsterdam #travel #igersamsterdam #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #schiphol #damsquare #rijksmuseum #nature #citytrip #thenetherlands #nederland #travelphotography #lonelyplanet
At number three, this Red Light District photo has almost the same number of likes as the number of window brothels in Amsterdam.
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Did you know that Amsterdam has 385 window brothels? #holland #netherlands #europe #redlightdistrict #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #redlightdistrictamsterdam #lonelyplanet #travel #schiphol #damsquare #rijksmuseum #thisisholland #igersholland #thenetherlands #dewallen #amsterdamcity #amsterdam🇳🇱 #travelgram #traveleurope #amsterdam
There so many reasons to visit Amsterdam’s Red Light District and this photo shows just that. It has 355 likes.
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Another reason to visit the Red Light District. 😎🥂 #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #europe #dewallen #beer🍻 #thenetherlands #europa #holiday #travel #redlightdistrictamsterdam #eurotrip #citytrip #schiphol #dutch #klm #klmcityhopper #iamsterdam #thisisholland #holanda #igersholland #reizen #travelblogger #travelphotography #heineken #amsterdamlife
At number five, this picture shows the main street of ‘De Wallen’ and has currently 341 likes.
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Greetz from Amsterdam’s Red Light District. #tonight #windowprostitution #nofilter #holland #netherlands #europe #earthporn #amsterdam #igersholland #dewallen #mokum # #amsterdamcity #amsterdamworld #europa #travel #tours #lonelyplanet #travelphotography #streets #dutch #nightpixels #citytrip #schiphol #thisisholland #amsterdamworld #nederland #reizen #sexwork
This coffeeshop can be found in every Amsterdam travel guide and has become a world famous brand. This photo has 324 likes.
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Coffeeshop The Bulldog is one of the highlights of our Offbeat Red Light District Tour with a local guide, because it’s one of the oldest and most successful cannabis shops in the world. Our local experts explain how the Dutch cannabis system works by explaining the laws, the history, the statistics, the pro’s and cons, etc. Very interesting! Join our tours (today) at 3, 5, 7 or 9 pm. Visit our website (link in bio) for more information and reservations. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #cannabis #tours #travel #holland #netherlands #cannabiscommunity #cannabis_cuties #cannabis #cannabisculture #weed #marijuana #amsterdamweed #amsterdamcity #dutch #thenetherlands #igersamsterdam #travelblogger #damsquare #amsterdamworld #travelguide #art #painting #dewallen #netherlands🇳🇱 #klm #schiphol #travelers
This post actually contains five Amsterdam Red Light District photos, shows the most narrow alley in town and has 322 likes. Just two less than the previous photo.
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This is Amsterdam’s narrowest alley which has 9 window brothels and is located in the Red Light District. Let our local guides show you this unique alley during our walking tours in Amsterdam’s most fascinated area. #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #europe #iamsterdam #redlightdistrict #redlightdistrictamsterdam #dewallen #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamworld #mokum #ajax #amsterdamshots #alley #streets #amsterdamcanals #igersholland #thenetherlands #amsterdamlife #travel #citytrip #netherlands #dutch #thisisholland #red #igersamsterdam
Did you know that one of our tour guides is married to a window brothel prostitute? He’s Dutch and she is Romanian. They met each other in a window brothel in the Red Light District of Amsterdam and fell in love. That was more than 8 years ago. She still works in the window and he’s okay with that. He’d love explain everything there is to know about legal prostitution in Amsterdam and what it’s like to have a relationship with a sex worker. Contact us if you want to have a Red Light District tour from him.
This photo in Amsterdam Red Light District shows the oldest canal in town and has 322 likes.
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Today at 4 and 7 pm, our tours will be hosted by the husband of a window prostitute. 7 years ago, they met each other in a window brothel and fell in love. Just like the movie Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere! Our local guide like to explain you everything about legal sex work, what’s like to have a relationship with a prostitute, what they talk about when she gets home, safety measures, taxes and everything you need to know about Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Go to our site (link in bio) and join this super interesting tour. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #tour #holland #netherlands #nederland #dewallen #redlightdistrictamsterdam #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamcity #020inbeeld #mokum #travel #damsquare #lonelyplanet #thisisholland #igersholland #schiphol #amsterdamcanals #dutch #thenetherlands #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamworld #sexwork #rijksmuseum #reizen #travelphotography
With 321 likes this is one of those Amsterdam Red Light District photos that perfectly shows liberalism in the Netherlands and open-mindedness of the Dutch.
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Holland is one of the most liberal countries in the world and Dutch people are very open-minded. You will experience this during your trip to Amsterdam or through our posts on Instagram. #travel #europe #netherlands #holland #redlightdistrict #amsterdam #iamsterdam #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #eurotrip #igersamsterdam #streets #travelphotography #travelblogger #traveling #travelholic #travelguide #travelgram #020inbeeld #holanda #thenetherlands #redlightdistrictamsterdam #travellers #amsterdam🇳🇱 #travelbag #lonelyplanet #nederland
Another example of liberalism. Where else in the world do you find religion literally in opposite of prostitution? Where else do you see an old church next to window brothels? Only in Amsterdam’s Red Light District! This photo has currently 314 likes.
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On the left: Amsterdam’s oldest building; a church. On the right: World’s oldest profession; prostitution. #redlightdistrict #holland #netherlands #europe #europa #travel #travelblogger #amsterdamcanals #eurotrip #lonelyplanet #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #schiphol #rijksmuseum #igersholland #thenetherlands #traveleurope #amsterdamcity #amsterdamworld #travelgram #travelguide #traveladdict #dutch #amsterdam #amsterdamshots #europetravel #annefrankhouse
Also have a look at the Amsterdam Red Light District Map and all over 60 Frequently Asked Questions About Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Posted on: December 28, 2019
Are you looking for fun things to do in Amsterdam? And would you like to learn a thing or two about this beautiful city and its liberal Dutch culture? Check out this useful list with 10 great city tours in Amsterdam.
This is one of tours in Amsterdam, that you will never forget in your life!
If you really want to have a good opinion about one of the most unique neighborhoods in the world, then it’s necessary to have all the right info. Get to know Amsterdam’s oldest and most fascinating area during our Red Light District tours with local licensed guides. After you’ve done this tour, you’ll have a much better understanding of (legal) prostitution, the Dutch drug policy, sexual education in Holland and Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Learn everything about legal prostitution in Holland! Did you know that the window brothels in Amsterdam have been present since the 1950’s? Did you know that the window brothels here stand in opposite of a big church? And did you know that 4.305 people live in the Red Light District? (source)
When was prostitution legalised in Amsterdam? How many window brothels are there in Amsterdam? What does ‘it’ cost? Do prostitutees in the Netherlands have to be tested for STDs? What’s the difference between legal prostitution and decriminalised prostitution? Where do the prostitutes come from? Are they self-employed? Which safety measures are there for them?
Get the answers to these and many other questions during our super interesting Red Light District tours in Amsterdam.
During the Amsterdam Red Light District walking tours local guides explain legal sex work, local laws, Dutch drug policy, sexual education in Holland, a bit of Amsterdam’s history, the ‘coffeeshop’ system and the famous ‘Wallen’ area. Of course you’ll get to see most of the 292 window brothels and the sex workers.
Some highlights during our Red Light District tours are: the window brothels, world’s first condom shop, the Old Church (Oude Kerk), Nieuwmarkt, China Town, cannabis shops (a.k.a coffeeshops), Prostitution Information Center, ‘smart shops‘, and much more great things. Our guides can also point you in the direction of the best, hidden places to tourists never see. Good local bars, great restaurants, fun to do tips, you name it.
Fox News listed this tour as one of the wackiest around the world.
The Red Light District Tours in Amsterdam are (still) available daily at 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm & 9 pm. They take approximately 1,5 hours and cost from 19,50 euro per person.BOOK HERE >
Good to know: This is not only a history tour but also a super informative & fun city tour that explains a lot about Amsterdam and Dutch culture. Plus, the route is beautiful!
Amsterdam is an old city with a fantastic, rich history that has determined the rest of the Netherlands and the world. But how old is Amsterdam actually? Did you know that the Netherlands was one of the richest countries in the world during the 17th-century? There was a Dutch company that was worth even more than Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, MacDonalds and Samsung combined!
Find out why Dutch people are so tolerant & liberal. Learn how such the Netherlands was/is one of the most important players in the world. Join our Amsterdam History Tour and learn everything about its fascinating history while taking one of the most beautiful routes in the city centre.
You’ll get to see the UNESCO canal-ring, Anne Frank House, Westerkerk, Royal Palace, Amsterdam Stock Exchange, New Church, Dam Square, Gay Monument and many other highlights. It’s hosted by licensed guides who were born and raised in the Netherlands. They speak perfectly English and are proud to show you Holland’s capital. This is not only a super informative and fun tour, but also a very healthy tour. You’ll burn 440 calories!
These History Tours in Amsterdam are offered on Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s at 2 pm. They take approximately 1,45 hours and cost 17,50 euro per person.BOOK HERE >
This is probably one of the most special tours in Amsterdam. An exciting tour that you can do best in Amsterdam! During this walking tour, our local guides will teach you everything about legal and illegal drugs in the Netherlands. Get to know the interesting history of drugs in Amsterdam. Find out why the Dutch are so tolerant towards drugs, while exploring the beautiful city centre.
Did you know that Amsterdam used to have its own legal cocaine factory?
During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour you’ll learn all about the liberal Dutch drug policy, drug laws in Holland and our free addiction care. We’ll discuss all types of drugs: weed, hash, magic truffles, ecstasy, alcohol, cocaine, laughing gas, amphetamines, opium, etc.
Our licensed guides explain the Dutch drugs laws, local prices, effects of the drugs, market size and popularity in Amsterdam. We’ll tell more about the biggest drug lords in the Netherlands as well.
The average THC percentage of Dutch weed is 16.78%.
Get informed about the first cannabis shops in the world. Here why they are called ‘coffeeshops’. Did you know that Amsterdam has 164 coffeeshops? When and why were the coffeeshops introduced in Amsterdam? Which laws do coffeeshops need to follow? Why is allowed to buy and sell cannabis, but why is it still illegal to produce cannabis? We’ll tell you during our awesome Amsterdam Drugs Tour!
“A smart shop is a place that offers legal psychedelic drugs.”
Did you know that magic truffles are legal in the Netherlands? Magic mushrooms – locally known as ‘paddo’s’ are illegal though. Did you know that only 7.2% of the Dutch use cannabis once per month? And did you know that in the Netherlands people can get illegal drugs (like XTC) tested legally on its content at legal drug testing centers?
This is one of those tours you have to do in Amsterdam! The Amsterdam Drugs Tour gives you a very interesting insight into the liberal drug situation in the Netherlands. A situation that won’t find elsewhere in the world. Join this fascinating tour, while exploring the best drug highlights in Amsterdam!
The Drug Tours in Amsterdam are offered on Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s. They take approximately 1,5 hours and cost 19,50 euro per person. Including a free sniff of cacao and a visit to a smart shop.
Bookable from 4 January 2020.BOOK HERE >
What is like to be a prostitute? How does someone decide to work in the prostitution industry? And why is decriminalized prostitution even better than legal prostitution? What kind of men visit these places? How much does a prostitute in Amsterdam earn? Some prostitutes prefer to be called sex worker, why is this?
What’s a better way to get these (and many other) answers from a real prostitute as a tour guide?
This interesting Amsterdam Brothel Tour is hosted by a real sex worker in a beautiful brothel – next to the Heineken Brewery. There won’t be any real customers inside the brothel. Just you, the other participants of the tour, the guide and some staff-members.
You can ask the prostitute everything you’ve always wanted to know. No need to be shy. Ask whatever you want to know. Learn everything about legal prostitution in Holland. She will show you the entire brothel, including the club section where normally stripteases take place. And if you want, you can also show your best skills on the strip poles. Hear all the interesting secrets of real prostitutes.
These Brothels Tours in Amsterdam are hosted on Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s between 1 pm & 6 pm. They take 1 hour and cost 20 euro per person.BOOK HERE >
Would you like do a Red Light District tour without a group or a tour guide? Then this is for you!
We developed a travel app that allows you to get to know Amsterdam’s most fascinating neighborhood through stories from 22 experts. This app contains a super interesting audio tour in the Red Light District with real stories from locals prostitutes, historians, police offers, drugs experts, sociologists and many others. Even Louise and Martine Fokkens – a.k.a. the Fokkens Twins – are in it. They worked as prostitutes for 50 years!
The app is called Amsterdam Audio Tours and includes a virtual guide, a map, GPS-tracking and dozens of beautiful pictures. Virtual audio guide Sophie will show you around in the Red Light District and will introduce you to 22 experts.
You’ll see the whole Red Light District, window brothels, ‘coffeeshops’, Oude Kerk, the FEBO, Chinatown, city’s oldest streets, a hidden church, beautiful canals, Nieuwmarkt, a peep show, magic truffle store, the Waag, narrow alleys, the Salvation Army, and much more!
Smart shop owner Veronique in the Red Light District.
If you want you can also just listen to these all interesting stories from home, your hotel or at the airport – just like a podcast. So, it is not perse necessary to be in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.
The app Amsterdam Audio Tours is always available and can it can always be listened to. It costs just 4,99 euro, contains dozens of photos and more than 100 minutes of audio.BOOK HERE >
It’s always great to see Amsterdam from the water. Whether you have seen it once or very often, it is different every time. But it’s always beautiful!
There are many tours in Amsterdam from different companies with which you can admire the beautiful canals and the great Dutch architecture. Small boats, big boats, open and closed deck boats. But there are not so many companies that offer boat tours on which you are allowed to smoke cannabis while exploring the canal ring. During this typical Amsterdam boat trip you can bring your own legal weed or hash and enjoy smoking a joint. Don’t forget to buy it beforehand because they are not allowed to sell it on the boats. In the Netherlands it is only allowed to buy cannabis in ‘coffeeshops‘.
Of course the atmosphere on the boat is very pleasant and relaxed. The staff is friendly and the other young passengers are always laid-back and in for a chat. The proud captain and the host like to explain things about the city, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.
The Amsterdam Weed Boat Tour cost 25 euro, has a duration of 60 to 70 minutes and it includes one drink. You can choose between a Dutch beer, French wine or soda. The boat is also equipped with a toilet.
Bookable from 19 January 2020!
Cycling in Amsterdam is really not as scary as it all seems. It is not for nothing that all Amsterdammers have a bicycle that they use every day. With a bicycle you can see so much more of the city. These are just a few reasons why we would recommend doing a bike tour in Amsterdam. And believe us, the locals immediately recognize tourists by bike and will therefore take that into account by giving space.
During the Amsterdam Cycling Tour you’ll be accompanied by a local guide who’ll teach you basic things about riding a bike in Amsterdam. After a quick introduction, the guide will bring you to some of the best highlights in the city. You’ll also be educated about Amsterdam itself, Dutch people and the liberal culture in the Netherlands.
During the tour you will see the aspects of the different neighborhoods in Amsterdam which all have their own character. Especially when it’s dry or sunny, this tour is highly recommended.BOOK HERE >
The canal cruise on the Herengracht in Amsterdam.
Do you prefer a canal cruise where people don’t smoke (cannabis)? Then this is an excellent choice!
During this 75-minute boat tour you’ll get to see the Anne Frank House, the Seven Bridges, the Wester Church, the house of Amsterdam’s mayor, the UNESCO protected canals, the wonderful Dutch bridges and much more. Stare relaxed out the window, watch all those people cycle through the city, view the beautiful old buildings and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.
Did you know that boats in Amsterdam do not have a fixed berth in the city? Locals often claim a boat spot by hanging a sign with the name of their boat on the side of the canals.BOOK HERE >
Whoever says the Netherlands, say windmills. This is one of those tours in Amsterdam where you get to see some of the most beautiful windmills in the whole country.
Near Holland’s capital there are a few smaller, cute places that are called Volendam, Marken and Zaanse Schans. These villages are known for delicious fish, tasty cheese, beautiful windmills, traditional clogs and a Dutch appearance. During this half-day trip you’ll get to see a bit of Holland’s countryside. Some of the highlights include: entrance to historic windmill, ferry boat ride between Volendam & Marken (only in the summer), watch how clogs are made, see Dutch fishing boats and a cheese factory.
Good to know: Sure you can visit these places on your own – without doing a guided tour, but Volendam, Marken and Zaanse Schans do not have a train station. It’s quite difficult to go here by public transport. It’s much easier and more educational to go there with a guided tour. Therefor we recommend to do this Amsterdam Windmill Tour.BOOK HERE >
Soon online and bookable.
Posted on: January 8, 2020
In this top 10 we present you the very best and funniest Amsterdam Red Light District jokes we ever laid our eyes on. 10 hilarious jokes who anyone can remember. For when you need a fast funny joke, here are great jokes to get anyone giggling.
An old man is walking in Amsterdam’s Red Light District and passes a prostitute standing at her door. She says to him: “Hey Grandpa, why don’t we give it a try?” He says: “No thank you. That is no longer possible for me.” It was a slow night, so the prostitute says: “Oh, come on, what have we got to lose; let’s give it a go.” So, they both go inside the window brothel and he acts like the young man he once used to be. “Oh my goodness,” says the prostitute breathlessly afterward, “I thought you said sex was no longer possible for you…” Says the old man: “Oh, my body is still highly capable; it’s the paying that is no longer possible.”
Two prostitutes are sitting in an airplane. Because it is quite a long journey, one prostitutes asks the other after a while: Say, don’t you want to sit at the window? The other prostitute looks surprised and answers: No thanks, I’m on vacation now!
A man wanders around in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. He sees a beautiful prostitute, so he walks towards the window brothel and asks, “How much does it cost?”
The sex worker answers “That’s 50 euros” to which the man answers: “That’s cheap for double glazing !!”
A Japanese goes to a prostitute. He tells her that he cums 30 times, but after every time he cums, he has to take a breath outside. The prostitute thinks it’s fine, because she has earned poorly lately. So they start having sex, and the Japanese comes, and as agreed, he goes outside, and a moment later the Japanese comes back. This happened 30 times, but after the 30th time, the Japanese is not coming back! So the prostitutes runs outside and asks a woman who is just passing by: “Have you seen a Japanese run away here?” The woman says: “No, but I just saw a bus of Japanese driving away!”
Three women are talking about their children. The first woman says: I am so proud of my son, he is a surgeon, has a nice house and he has a white Bentley in front of his door. The second woman says: my son is a lawyer, lives in a villa and there is a red Ferrari at the door. The third woman says: I am also proud of my daughter, she is a prostitute, sometimes there is a white Bentley and sometimes a red Ferrari in front of her door!
A teacher asks in class who of the children’s parents earn a lot of money. Peter says: “My mother is a prostitute, she earns a lot of money.” Anne: “My father is a policeman, he also earns a lot.” Steven is rather embarrassed and the teacher asks: “And Steven, does your father earn a lot?” He replies: “My father is a truck driver. If there were no prostitutes and police officers, he would also earn a lot of money…”
An old man goes back to a prostitute in the Red Light District after 2 years. “Is it still 50 euros?” He asks the girl. “Yes, she says. Take off your clothes, I’ll be right there.”
After 5 minutes, she comes back and sees the old man standing naked in the room as he throws his clothes out the window. “What are you doing?” She asks. On which he replies: “By the time I’m done, my clothes are out of fashion …”
A stupid man visits a prostitute in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. She says: “that is 52.50 euro”. To which the stupid man responds: “That’s strange, how do you get such an amount?” The prostitute says: “With me, you also get a drink, so that’s 2.50 Euro extra on the normal price of 50 euro.” The stupid man: “Ah, then it’s fine”.
“But I have to tell you one thing,” says the prostitute. “I don’t have a clitoris.” “Oh, that’s okay,” says the stupid man. “A coke is just fine.”
Two nuns are walking in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, one says to the other:
“What would these prostitutes earn?”
“No idea,” the other nun says.
“You know what, let’s ask.”
So those two nuns walk to a window brothel and ask a prostitute:
“Hi madam, can we ask you something?”
“Of course,” says the prostitute, “just ask.”
“Well, what price do you charge for a blowjob?”
“That’s 50 euro”, says the prostitute.
“WHAT!” say the nuns, “That much?! Then the priest can fuck off with his two bars of chocolate!”
Wesley arrives an half hour late at school half. When the teacher asks where Wesley is coming from, he says:
“From the prostitutes in the Red Light District.”
The teacher gets angry and tells Wesley to go to the principal. Wesley tells the director why he was sent out. The director has heard enough and sends Wesley home, and the principal calls Wesley’s mother.
When Wesley arrives home he gets a for his head and his mother tells him to go to his room. Wesley walks up the stairs in tears. At the top of the stairs he shouts to his mother: “Next time dad can go get his jacket himself.”
Posted on: November 15, 2019
NEWS: From 1 July 2020, sex workers in the Netherlands will be allowed to work again. That was announced by the Prime Minister Rutte on 23 June 2020. That means that all sex shows in Amsterdam, all window brothels, strip clubs, private houses and all other erotically related companies can open again on the 1st of July.
This article contains the Amsterdam Prostitution Menu. What’s for sale, where to get it, what does are the prices and how about the local laws? This article offers all the information you need. Amsterdam’s famous window brothels will be discussed together with more exclusive options like private brothels and escort services.
The prostitutes do not work by one set of rules and do not have one menu. This Amsterdam Prostitution Menu shows what is generally offered in the Red Light District.
Yes, in the Netherlands prostitution is a legal and regulated profession. Brothels, escorts, homeworkers, window prostitution, etcetera… it’s all legal! As long as the rules, laws and obligations are adhered to. For example: the minimum age to work as a sex worker in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is 21 years.
So what does the Amsterdam prostitution menu looks like? Below you’ll find a very useful overview divided into three parts, each part dedicated to their own unique experience and accompanying prices. Please note that this Amsterdam prostitution menu shows what is generally offered. It is wise to discuss everything with the sex worker beforehand and to make clear agreements about the services and additional prices. You can always ask respectfully, if she (or he) is up for the thing you’re looking for.
Amsterdam’s window brothels can be considered as the most accessible form of prostitution. Amsterdam has three Red Light District area’s and around 360 window brothels. The biggest and most famous Red Light District of the Netherlands is locally known as De Wallen. Most tourists talk about this area as Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This is also where we host our tours with local guides. The area has currently 292 window brothels and approximately 300 prostitutes who work during the day or night shifts.
Most prostitutes are from Eastern Europe, but there’s also a big group of sex workers who are from Latin-America. Just a few are actually Dutch. Foreign prostitutes work here because in the Netherlands they can work safely. Window brothels in Amsterdam can be rented by the prostitutes during the day or the night. So usually there are different sex workers between 10 am & 6 pm than from 7 pm till 5 am.
The window brothels are set up for a relatively short visit. Generally customers pay 50 to 80 euro for around 15 to 20 minutes of sex. But if you want, you can also stay longer (30 to 60 minutes). Obviously this cost more. The sex workers in the window brothels differ in the services that they offer and everything can be negotiated. As long as it is done respectfully.
The starting rate for every negotiation is usually around 40 – 50 euro. It’s good to know that the window brothels in Amsterdam are quite small. They’re just small rooms with a plastic or leather bed, a washing table, a chair and toilet in the back. It’s nothing fancy like a “normal” brothel. This is also why prices are lower at the window brothels compared to brothels like Club LV or Club BonTon that are mentioned below. All window brothels are clean though.
The prostitutes who work in the window brothels of Amsterdam accept only cash money. No credit- or debit card payments. The Red Light District has many ATM’S.
The sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District only do safe sex. So with a condom. They only accept their own condoms, which they often buy at the Condomerie – world’s first condom shop – located in De Wallen area.
In the Netherlands it is not mandatory for sex workers to be tested on sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). Prostitutes are regularly tested on a voluntary basis. They can be tested for free and anonymously by professionals. For example at the Geneeskundige en Gezondheidsdienst Amsterdam (GGD) or at P&G292. In general, the health of the sex workers is good. Prostitutes in the Netherlands know the risks of their profession and take it into account through safe sex and regular STD tests.
Starting rate: 50 – 70 euro for 15 – 20 minutes.
What’s on the “menu”: Oral sex | Sex | Erotic massage | Hand-job | For anything else, ask at the door.
Club BonTon is one of the newest erotic venues in Amsterdam. It’s a stripclub and a brothel. The great thing about this chique club is that you can enjoy the atmosphere of a beautiful strip-club and when you see a lady that you really like, you can take her upstairs and have some more fun together in a private room. Not all the girls inside offer these extra services though.
Rates: Entrance: 50,- euro | Lapdance: 20,- euro | Private room: 350,- euro
What’s on BonTon’ Amsterdam prostitution menu? In the club: Lapdance | Upstairs: Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | | Trio with male | Trio with female | S&M role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Sex Toys
Club LV has been Amsterdam’s most exclusive brothel for over 14 years now. Enjoy a delicious cocktails, champagnes or nice wines in the bar area and let yourself be seduced by one of the 12 ladies that are always present. Pick the one you like most and take her upstairs to one of the 8 luxury private rooms equipped with large bathtubs and master beds.
Rates: Entrance: 75,- euro | Private room: 350,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | S&M role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys
One of the advantages of escorts is that you can experience them from the comfort of your own hotel room or take them on an adventure through Amsterdam, to a restaurant or a club for instance. Most escort services in Amsterdam work with a flat hourly rate. This flat rate includes the standard services like regular and oral sex (with protection). The other services that are advertised fall outside of the flat rate and cost extra. These extra services are not guaranteed beforehand and can only be negotiated when the lady has arrived at your place. The lady decides what extras she’s up for and will set the prices then and there.
Below you’ll find an overview of 5 escort agencies in Amsterdam. Included are the services that they generally offer (this may vary depending on the individual lady) and rates. Follow the links to see the individual ladies and their services.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Amsterdam Prostitution Menu: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | S&M role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Clubbing
EscortAmsterdam.com has almost 40 professional sex workers, most of whom live in the city. This escort agency wants to offer as much diversity and realism as possible, so that it becomes easy for men to find the right lady. This company distinguishes itself through a simple & safe ordering process, 24/7 accessibility, very serious discreetness and the best escort service in Amsterdam. All their escorts are licensed professionals who know how to provide for someone’s sexual & nonsexual desires. The ladies are displayed on with pictures, additional information and services on the site of this agency. Escort Amsterdam can be contacted via phone, the live-chat or the booking form on their website.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: Sex | Erotic massages | Tantra | Oral sex | Threesomes | Stripteases | S&M | Golden showers | French 69
Staying in a hotel in Amsterdam? Hotel Escort Amsterdam it the company for you. It has been serving clients at many hotels for quite a long time. An added bonus is that the ladies always show up in normal clothing. They know how to discreetly get to your hotel room. A massage, regular- and oral sex are all included in the flat rate.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | SM role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Club
Desire escort Schiphol and Escorts in Schiphol are both good options for those who are staying in a hotel close to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Holland’s main airport). The services of these specific companies are useful for layovers or a short visit to Amsterdam. With these companies you can expect gorgeous, experienced and friendly escorts. They maintain a minimum age of 21.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | SM role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Club
Perfect Escorts Amsterdam has just perfect ladies. This company operates 7 days a week. Like all other escort companies in Amsterdam their workers get regular medical checkups and they all practise safe sex with a condom. Your health and the health of the ladies is a top priority. Tip: a lot of the ladies at this company are specialised in erotic massages.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | SM role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Club
Posted on: November 6, 2019
For the first time since 1800, prostitutes are being criminalized again in the Netherlands, at least if it’s up to this Dutch cabinet. Under the banner of “protection”, the prostitution law Netherlands is a new attempt to introduce a national register of sex workers, now through a permit requirement.
For such a permit, the sex worker must be at least 21 years old, be allowed to work here under the Aliens Act, and must undergo a ‘self-reliance test’: a conversation with an official who determines whether she (or he) is ‘self-reliant’ enough to be involved (allowed) in prostitution work. If the sex worker is found to be too light or there are suspicions of coercion, the permit will be refused. The argument is that by forcing sex workers to register there would be “more insight” into the prostitution industry and that this is necessary to prevent human trafficking.
Force doesn’t work without sanctions. A fine of more than 20 thousand euros can be imposed on sex workers without a permit. Clients of “unlicensed” sex workers risk one year in prison. Moreover, under the title “pimp prohibition”, the work and private relationships of “unlicensed” sex workers are criminalised. Examples include bookkeepers and drivers (maximum 2 years in prison). For clarity, this has nothing to do with coercion, violence or deception, but only with sex workers who refuse to submit to forced registration. Coercion, violence, exploitation and deception have long been punishable; whether it’s forcing someone against his or her will to prostitute or forcing someone to donate money or to work under un-free circumstances. This bill doesn’t change anything and adds nothing. The use of the word “pimp” in the bill is therefore primarily false rhetoric and framing the debate.
It seems that this bill is more focused on combating prostitution than on combating coercion and violence. That would also be consistent with the beliefs of Mr Segers and his ChristenUnie (Christian political party) colleagues. The major driving force behind this new bill. The problem is that anti-prostitution laws tend to promote coercion and violence. If the government were really concerned with combating abuses, there’s a growing body of research that shows that any form of criminalization has negative effects on the safety, health and rights of sex workers. This is the reason why Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch argue for complete decriminalisation of sex work as the only way to guarantee the human rights of sex workers. This includes protection against coercion, violence and exploitation, the exact opposite of this bill.
This isn’t the first attempt at introducing a national registration obligation for sex workers. The last one died in the Senate, among other things, because the registration obligation itself creates a new “illegal” circuit. A considerable group of sex workers will not want to or cannot register. They do not want to, because they want to protect their privacy because of the stigma in view of possible other work, family, children and the possibility of ever being able to change work.
There is a great fear that data will become public and confidence in data protection and the government is small. Consider the student who pays for her studies with sex work, but who may later become a judge or politician. Once registered as a prostitute, it will hang over her head for the rest of her life. Or those unable to register, because they are under 21, do not have the correct papers or do not pass the “self-reliance test”.
This group will include the most vulnerable sex workers: young and non-European sex workers. They too become punishable, at the expense of their access to and accessibility of healthcare and assistance. And when they are confronted with coercion and violence, they will no longer be able to go to the police safely. They themselves would be breaking the law. Until now, emergency workers could promise victims that, whatever they were told, they themselves are not punishable. That is no longer possible in the future.
It also seems to be a misunderstanding that human trafficking is primarily about saving “innocent” girls, which means non-sex workers. But sex workers are also victims of human trafficking. They have the same right to protection against violence as non-sex workers. If there is anything that needs to be combated from a feminist and human rights point of view, It’s the idea that women’s protection worthiness depends on their sexual purity.
Finally, consider sex workers as partners in tackling abuses rather than as mischievous children or “controllable objects” by police, state, and operators. Or even worse, as “enemies” who have no eye for the victims. Sex workers are mature people, they are the first to have an interest in a clean sector. They know their sector like no other, including policy makers. Sex workers are not the problem, they are part of the solution.
What do you think of this new proposed prostitution law in the Netherlands? Let the world know by posting your comment below.
The newly proposed Dutch prostitution regulation marginalises sex workers and can increase the chance of human trafficking, writes Rik Viergever in the Dutch newspaper NRC. Rik Viergever obtained his PhD on “care after human trafficking” and was a project manager at CoMensha. Since this year he has been a director at the non-profit brothel My Red Light in Ansterdan’s Red Light District.
There are many different types of prostitution in the Netherlands: escorts, window workers, home workers, solicitors, workers in private homes, bdsm mistresses, cam workers, strippers and much more. Sex workers are made up of both foreign and Dutch women, men and trans-persons. Among Dutch students, 6 percent have “sex-worked” and 27 percent have sometimes considered it. One in four men in the Netherlands has paid for sex and 5 percent have done so last year.
Last week the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security presented a new law on Dutch prostitution regulation for consultation, everyone can respond. This law proposes – broadly speaking – two measures. The first is that every sex worker in the Netherlands must have a permit to work and is entered in a national register. The idea is that as a result, overseers can more easily find sex workers and in permit interview they can check whether they really want to do this work.
At first glance, this seems like a good idea. But Dutch authorities are already able to find sex workers: they can visit anyone who works in a brothel and all other sex workers need to advertise to get customers. The police and municipalities scan those advertisements and they’re getting better at it. Various municipalities and police departments, for example, use a so-called web crawler: a software program that browses through the Internet methodically. They have achieved successes in tackling human trafficking and unlicensed sex work using this method.
When it comes to sex workers, it seems unlikely that a victim will say in one conversation that they are being forced or exploited. The police and the judiciary sometimes spend years building a case, precisely because victims are so scared or have other reasons not to mention the abuse they are undergoing. A permit therefore does not mean that the risk of abuses disappears.
At the same time, a licensing obligation has disadvantages that are guaranteed. I know from practice that many sex workers do not want to be registered. They fear that information will leak out and that they will experience problems when people discover their profession. That fear is real. Sex workers are still stigmatized and the profession remains a taboo. For example, I regularly hear about sex workers who have been evicted from their homes because of their profession, even by government housing associations. When you are a sex worker, It’s also more difficult to buy a house, open a bank account or take out insurance. So it’s guaranteed that sex workers will start working illegally as a result of the new Dutch prostitution regulation. This is of course very worrying as there’s evidence that abuses occur more often when sex workers work illegally.
In addition, these sex workers will contact the police less or not at all in case of abuse, all the more because of the fines (up to 20,500 euros!) that will be imposed on work without a permit. For the same reasons, health workers are concerned that fewer sex workers will be tested or seek help because of the proposed Dutch prostitution regulation. Municipalities that have tried to introduce a permit requirement in recent years have been criticized by the Dutch Data Protection Authority because of these very reasons.
The second major measure in the Dutch prostitution regulation is that there will be uniform national rules for sex businesses. This is basically a good idea. But one of those rules is that brothel holders lose their license when there’s a sex worker at that company who’s a victim of human trafficking. This sounds good of course, were it not for it that the sex business acquires an interest not to report suspicions of human trafficking (anymore). Instead, they will send a potential victim away. This puts the victims out of sight of the police and social workers. Moreover, human trafficking is often hidden. Often it takes place behind the front door, where a victim is forced or exploited by her partner. You cannot expect from a sex company that they can always signal that.
In terms of approach, the new prostitution regulation is similar to the current sex work policy in many municipalities. The emphasis is on combating human trafficking. This focus is due to official embedding: the development of sex work policy is usually done by departments that deal with safety, rather than what you would expect, social affairs and employment. The new prostitution regulation is also written at the Ministry of Justice and Security. Contradictory enough, a focus on safety usually marginalizes sex workers, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to human trafficking.
The right approach is reversed: allow as many sex companies as the market demands and create a sector that is as transparent as possible. Do not register sex workers but make it as easy as possible for them to seek help. Work together with sex companies in tackling abuses. Ensure that these have the potential to properly identify human trafficking, for example by training employees. Do not punish when there is human trafficking or other abuse, but when companies fail to report it. This approach has been successful for years in identifying domestic violence and child abuse. There are good reasons to believe that this also applies to human trafficking.
Finally, much is still needed to make sex work a good, emancipated and safe sector in the Netherlands. As mentioned earlier, banks, insurers and payment services regularly refuse sex workers. In addition, there is hardly any money for good projects and research in the sex work sector, the sex worker trade union (PROUD) is grossly under-funded, and sex businesses are completely banned in a quarter of the municipalities (the ‘zero option’) while legally speaking this is not allowed. The new Dutch prostitution regulation does not solve these problems and will even allow the zero option.
This is my main criticism of the new prostitution regulation: it takes the wrong starting point. The law is largely about preventing and combating abuses. This is very important. Human trafficking, for example, is a terrible crime. But the prevention of abuse should not be the basis for a labor sector law. That basis should be: the creation of a good, emancipated and – yes, also – safe labor sector. Such an approach starts with ensuring a good legal and social position of the workers. There is so much to do to get the sex work sector up to that level. And this law works against that goal.
Posted on: October 18, 2019
Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema is taking the next step in the debate about the future of the Red Light District of Amsterdam (locally known as ‘De Wallen’). She will investigate the relocation of prostitution to other parts of the city, including the neighborhoods where those new workplaces can be found. A prostitution hotel outside the Red Light District of Amsterdam is one of the options, she said during the council debate yesterday on Thursday 17th October 2019. At the request of the city council, Halsema also wants to investigate whether sex workers can be given the opportunity to attract customers online or receive them at home, which is not yet permitted.
Mayor Halsema uses this to pick out the points that can count on a majority in a further divided city council. The debate is slowly shifting in the direction in which Amsterdammers have to take into account that new workplaces will also be created for prostitutes outside the 3 area’s in the city with window brothels, which are: The Red Light District of Amsterdam (De Wallen), the Singel area and the Ruysdaelkade street. Few political parties object to this. The party Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy) is against the relocation, but in favor of strict enforcement, closure of window brothels in case of violation and then no new window brothel in return.
The number of window brothels in Amsterdam are currently +- 365. The Red Light District (De Wallen) counts 292 windows, the Singel area has 37 windows and the Ruysdaelkade also has 35. De Wallen used to have more window brothels before the start of gentrification-plan Project 1012 that changed window brothels into art-galleries, waffle stores, recycle stores, record shops, etc. 112 window brothels were closed in De Wallen since 2007, which costed 108 million euros in tax money. On 26th of June 2018, Amsterdam’s Court of Audit came with hard conclusions after analyzing Project 1012: “Gentrification-plan in Red Light District of Amsterdam failed”.
There is disagreement about whether this relocation will subsequently lead to fewer windows in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. The Socialist Party (SP) and Labour Party (PvdA) want to sacrifice part of the window brothels for this. The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Christian Union (CU) and Party of the Elderly (PvdO) even want all windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District to close.
Green left (GL), Bij1 and Democrats66 (D66), on the other hand, want the window brothels to remain open and that, added together, there should be more workplaces in Amsterdam. Mayor Halsema leaves this in the middle for the time being. “I first want to work out this scenario better.”
A few of the almost 300 windows brothels in De Wallen Amsterdam.
Red Light United, an union for window prostitutes in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, surveyed 170 of the approximately 375 sex workers in that area. The survey concluded that 90% of the 170 prostitutes want to say in the Red Light District. They see nothing in moving windows from Amsterdam’s Red Light District to other parts of the city. They want to stay where they are. Their website states: “Sex workers Amsterdam’s Red Light District: It’s not too crowded and we don’t want to move away!” “Over 93% of the sex workers are against plans of relocating prostitution to another part of the city, and prefers to keep working behind the windows.”