Last week I got on a plane and set off on my first ever holiday with my boyfriend. A city break I received from him as a Christmas present. Our destination was Amsterdam: the home of legal weed, 204743803 museums, reckless cyclists and of course the red light district. Most girlfriends would drag their boyfriends away from this place, littered with sex shops, naughty nightclubs and the opportunity to window-shop for girls. I took a rather different approach, I wanted to see the girls standing behind the glass, shaking what their mother/surgeon gave them. On the last night of my holiday, I sent my boyfriend and our new friend (one half of a couple we met) Rob out to ask the girls some questions. I even asked two myself.
I went out alone first to ask two girls. I’m personally not interested in girls but I wanted to see if the price for me would be different than the price for a male customer. The first girl was very confident, completely comfortable, she opened the door, gestured to me to come over and when I simply said the phrase “how much?” she said 50 euros. I walked away and approached another girl, she was very uncomfortable and I had to walk up to her before she reluctantly opened the door. She also said 50 euros but it was clear she did not want custom from a girl.
Now let’s get serious here, obviously myself and the other girlfriend didn’t want our boyfriends getting involved with the girls but curiosity melted that worry away. The girls wouldn’t proposition our boyfriends (although a few did proposition him and I as a couple, more money for them I guess) while we walked past holding their hands so we could not go along to watch. We sat in the bar, had some drinks and waited for the boys to return.
All quotes are from him.
“My heart was kind of beating out my chest as I got up to leave cause I’d read stuff on the internet about the prostitutes being aggressive towards people who are dickheads to them.
It was a weird feeling walking up them cause it was totally not authentic from any party involved, me or the prostitute. It was fake, I wasn’t going to use them or pay for their services and they didn’t genuinely want me doing anything with them.
They’re all really up front, they know what they need and they know how to get it. At the end of the day, they are businesswomen, they have that business kind of mind where if they sense any prospect of money being made or interest from you, they’ll totally jump on it.
The first one that I spoke to initiated the contact with us, we were walking past and she opened her door and shouted me over. She started asking me where I was from. When I said Scotland she started talking about Scottish stuff, some Scottish movie… She was the first one and I didn’t really know what to say.
A lot of them ask you where you’re from and they all cut to the chase really quickly, they’ll straight up tell you how much they want. If they don’t like you, they’ll just close the door in your face.”
Girls usually let their customers have 15 minutes in their rooms which includes a quick wash to make sure that those using their services are hygienic. A red light means working girl and a blue or purple light means a transgender worker. Apparently there is a whole ‘Blue Light District’ with transgender workers (always male to female transition) but we did not find this on our trip. There are no fully male sex workers for female or gay male customers. Pictures of the girls are not allowed but I tried to take a sly picture of the workers across from the bar, one with a blue light.
We timed a few customers during their visits with the prostitutes. One took an above average 16 minutes 30 seconds, one took a respectable 9 minutes 12 seconds and one took a miserable 4 minutes 9 seconds. The prostitute that had the quickest customer had the biggest, fake-est, bounciest t shirt twins I have ever seen, so hopefully that clears up why his visit was so fast.
We wanted to know just how much the girls charged for the full sha-bang, if they kiss their customers and just how much it would cost for a few special moves not included in their normal price.
“I think they all have their own rates for different things. One of them that Rob and I spoke to… We were asking if we could go into her room at the same time and she wanted 400 euros each. That would be 800 euros from one visit. The one before her was only holding out for 50 euros each. She would’ve made 100 euros from that, so there’s a 700 euro difference there for the same thing with different girls.
We went out originally to ask if they would do any relationship type stuff like kissing, cuddling and all that. The first one I spoke to almost seemed kinda shocked that I even asked and said there was no way she would do that. She even said “you can ask any girl out here and they’ll tell you the same thing” which turned out to be false because a few of them did say that they would include it.”
Some charge 50 euros flat for every sexual act and some want as much as 400 euros but this isn’t very common. Obviously every girl working on the red light district has a say in how much she is paid by customers so these rates may vary from window to window.
Costs on Average
Oral – 50 euros
Sex – 50 euros
Anal – 200 euros
Kissing included – most will not kiss but some will if paid extra
I wondered why some girls had higher rates. I could never know for sure but some girls may charge more because they’re more experienced or they believe they can still get business from such a high rate. Other girls may charge the same for everything because they’re new or they could be desperate the money.
“I’d recommend the experience to anyone, anyone who claims that it’s not what it’s made out to be is lying. Even just walking down it, it’s a really strange atmosphere, you’re always on edge when you’re walking down there.
The prostitutes themselves seemed to have a good sense of humour and normally you’d feel sorry for the girls for ending up in that situation, that that’s how they have to make money. I only really felt sorry for one of them, the majority of them seem really light-hearted as if they really enjoy what they’re doing. The one I felt sorry for wasn’t charging much, I don’t know if she was insecure or desperate for money or just new to the game but that one definitely made me feel a bit sad.”
It seems like innocent fun walking down the street when you see it as a tourist attraction but we forget that these workers are humans too. They might have chosen this path or this may be a result of desperation or the underground sex trade. This cannot be said for every girl because it did appear that a lot of the workers were enjoying themselves, laughing, waving and generally looking happy. This may have been an act to attract more customers but that’s not to say some of the workers don’t enjoy their jobs; taking money from customers simply by looking attractive and having meaningless sex.
If you get the chance to be in Amsterdam, visit the Red Light District for a very interesting experience. The museum of prostitution ‘Red Light Secrets’ is extremely informative about the place and lets you walk through the life of a prostitute. You get to stand in the window and experience a point-of-view screen of what it’s like to be in the window.