Part One of Five: Beyond the Red Lights

This is a bit of a sensitive post, but I hope that this interview can bring attention to what is going on in Amsterdam, both for the women who choose to be prostitutes and those who unfortunately don’t.

All parts of this interview did happen and I have tried my best to remember exactly what was asked during the interview.

A special thanks to the woman who gave Zach and I a wonderful set of responses, and to the people who we met in Amsterdam that helped shape my ideas about the sex industry in Holland.

Red-Light-District-Amsterdam-SFB Amsterdam

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      My memory flashes back to June of last year when I spent an entire month living in an apartment in Westlandgracht, an area outside the city of Amsterdam. The weather in June was extremely hot those days, and at night the lights of the Red Light District rained down across the narrow cobble stone streets.

Our first visit to the sex district introduced us fairly well. Sex shops advertising bondage gear, dildos and whips lined the small passageways.  During the day the lights and curtains of the street windows were mostly shut, and girls worked during the evening due to heavier demand. Lights were coloured either blue or red; blue indicated transgendered occupant while red showed non-transgendered individuals.

My immediate instinct upon first seeing the lights and the girls, some in bikinis and some in lingerie sets and costumes, was to feel pity towards them. I had heard that all of the women here were victims of sex trafficking. The smiling faces were just an act of obedience put on by an evil pimp.

We pass a brunette in a black thong with two tiny suspender straps barely managing to cover her nipples, hair tied into a ponytail and a pair of fake glasses resting on her nose. She is tall, tan and wearing clear platform shoes. An audience of men gather in front of her door and she waves to them cooly, a smile plastered on her face.

“She looks friendly!” I say to Zach, warding off his look of laughter.

I head towards her door, which she opens for me as soon as I approach, flashing me a warm smile. She is super friendly and her name at this point in time unfortunately escapes me. She asks if it’s for the both of us and if my “boyfriend likes to watch”.

“Hah, hah, no. We just want an interview.” I state sincerely. I pick up on a slight accent and a tongue ring when she talks.

“Yes yes yes okay come in.” She ushers us in, shutting the red curtains in front of the window behind her. She starts asking if this is our first time while pulling off her suspenders and underwear, towering above Zach and I in her platforms, now completely naked.

“Is this your first time? What would you like me to do to you?”

“Just an interview!” I plea, handing over 100 euros to her [a normal rate] as she pulls me over to the bed and insists that Zach takes a seat on the edge of the bed.

DSC01070

A pretty identical looking room, minus the mannequin
[Image courtesy of travelblog.org]

I get a good glimpse of the room despite my nerves. It was bigger than it had appeared on the outside, but still very narrow. There is a small twin bed in the corner of the room and a fluorescent red light snakes itself along the mirrored wall beside the bed. A garbage can and a small sink with soap and paper towels sit near the door, the light bounces off the rest of the tiled room. She sits beside me and grabs my hands.

“And have you and your boyfriend had sex often since you first met?” She starts asking me personal questions immediately, all with a flirtatious smile I assumed came with the job.

I answer honestly, figuring our time together was going to be about trust building, although her very open personality made me believe she already trusted me, “And so young too! Wow I have not talked to many young like you”

I smile nervously, she is a very gorgeous women by any means and the fact she was so comfortable with herself, sitting in a room with two strangers fully naked on a bed across from me all the while holding my hand made me have so much respect for her.

I finally ask about where she is from

“Brazil!” she exclaims with excitement, her eyes flicker as she mentions the name,”And where are you from beautiful?”

She was very touchy at this point, making it clear that she was an extremely sexual person-that or she felt bad for making me pay so much for a talk!

“Toronto!” I said, “Pretty far away really”

“Oh I got my second boob job in Toronto, the surgeon messed it up though. I must get fixed. But you travel here all alone? How come?”

“Well we met online… so… I flew to England to meet him and then we decided we wanted to go on vacation so we came here!” I reply modestly.

“You met online? Whatttt? And it worked? How did this?” Zach and I laugh, finding it funny how a prostitute in Amsterdam seemed so strangely fascinated by our unorthodox meeting given our current situation.

“Yes! We just talked and it happened….”

The small talk continued, including a good 5 minute discussion on breast implants, mostly fuelled by my own curiosity. She started asking more about my sexual lifestyle, seemingly fascinated about what others did during sex. She gave off a naturally sexual vibe-not because she was naked-but because her loud, energetic attitude transformed her into quite a dynamic character. She never faltered when it came to topics, discussing her enjoyment of Amsterdam and frequently laughing at Zach sitting with his hands in his lap unsure of what to do.

Finally I took the opportunity to ask her questions about “how this whole thing worked”

To Be Continued…..


Note: Top two images courtesy of Bethany Salvon and www.notforsalecampaign.org  

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