Friday, February 23, 2024

The History of Amsterdam's Red Light District

Amsterdam's famous Red Light District doesn't call itself that. To the Dutch, it's De Wallen, or the Wall. The term "red light district" is mainly to tell you what's going on there, and that's sex work (called "pleasure work" here), which has only been legal in the Netherlands since 2000, and only between consenting adults. But the history of the area goes back hundreds of years. Everyone knew about it, but police turned a blind eye because it was considered a necessary evil and there was a lot of money to be made, you know, like in the rest of the world. Now that pleasure work is legal there, the De Wallen is globally famous, and even more money is made from tourists who just want to be there and see it. The pleasure workers are regulated, pay taxes, and belong to a union, but there are still underground businesses that operate under the radar illegally. And the neighborhood's history has plenty of seedy episodes. This video is not explicit, but it's probably not safe for your workplace.


lolarusa said...

I didn't know it was illegal before 2000. I was in Amsterdam in 1990, and there were sex workers on display exactly like the ones in this video.

Anonymous said...

I was in Amsterdam in the late 80's and saw a lot of Dutch Masters, but no Dutch masturbators.

Miss Cellania said...

Yeah, it was technically illegal back then, but tolerated in the city unless it caused it problem.