NY Times twisting truth about Red Light District Amsterdam
A couple of days ago the NY Times posted an article and a video about the Red Light District of Amsterdam and the prostitution policy in The Netherlands. The video and the article gives an incorrect image about the Red Light District, as it also used only a very small portion of my one and a half hour interview with them, of which they only used the parts of me explaining how human trafficking works in reality.

Initially I was approached by them to do an interview, reluctantly I agreed, since this was the NY Times and they claimed they wanted to "show a different side". That turned out to be a lie, since they cut out all the positive things I've said during that one and a half hour, and the only thing they left in was about human trafficking. That is definitely not "showing a different side", in fact that's showing exactly the same thing that I oppose to. The interview was supposed to be about My Red Light, but none of the things I've said during that interview about My Red Light was ever used.

So let's start with the beginning of what's wrong with this, and that's a lot. The video states that after the legalization of prostitution in 2000, the Red Light District of Amsterdam was overrun by human trafficking. That's simply not true. First of all because the legalization of prostitution already took place in 1809 and not in 2000 as is stated in the video. I repeatedly stressed this fact, but somehow it got left out.

Secondly the Red Light District was NEVER overrun by human trafficking. This is simply not true. Yes, human trafficking does occur like in any other industry, but these are incidents. The explanation that is given by me in the video therefore also only applies to those situations where people have become victims of trafficking. Which certainly applies to my comment about helping victims of trafficking, and how these women should get help to enter the industry before they become a victim, because if you're starting to help these workers after they've started working, it's already too late, and they've already become victims. But I cannot stress this enough, that this only applies to those that need help with this and have nobody else to turn to, and therefore become a victim, which is only a small portion of the workers. The majority are not victims!

The video continues with my protest against the closure of prostitution windows in the Red Light District, saying I helped organized it. No, I didn't help organize it, I was the organizer. It was my idea, lots of people, including other sex workers weren't supportive of this idea and didn't think it could be done. I proved them wrong by organizing the largest demonstration of sex workers in the Netherlands ever!

The video also incorrectly states the response to that demonstration was My Red Light, and the article writes about how the protests led to 'regular meetings between the city and protesters'. This is bullshit. First of all, My Red Light was already announced in February of 2015 under the working title Project Own Window on nation wide TV. The demonstration came after this in April of 2015. So the project was never a response to a demonstration that had yet to take place. And I also was never invited after this demonstration by anyone to come and talk about anything. In fact, the mayor promised us a letter he never wrote. So none of this is true.

One of the interesting things someone from My Red Light says in the video, is that because of My Red Light sex workers don't have to hide anymore what profession they're doing. But this is simply not true. My Red Light hasn't de-stigmatized prostitution in The Netherlands, and the women that currently work there still hide it, because of the stigma on sex work. In fact, all the media outings of My Red Light thusfar, has only increased the stigma on sex work, by claiming that they're the only 'pimp free' brothel, furhter stigmatizing all the other sex workers as victims. And this was also what most of my interview was about, about how My Red Light has only further stigmatized sex workers as victims.

One of the people featuring in this video is also Jolanda de Boer, former public prosecutor on human trafficking in Amsterdam. She's a prostitution abolitionist who's already made a lot of false claims about prostitution in the Red Light District. She claims not every women is forced, but 'a lot of women are'. She fails to mention however what she calls 'a lot', because of course than she would have to admit that she handles only around 30 cases of human trafficking in prostitution in Amsterdam a year. And to give you guys some notion of scale, the Red Light District is only about 10% of the entire prostitution industry in Amsterdam, which is estimated to be around 4000 sex workers. And in the past 5 years(!), they have reported suspicions of human trafficking on an additional 7 sex workers in window prostitution in Amsterdam!!!!

The voice-over then incorrectly states that I would agree that 'some sex workers are connected to pimps, but that for many of them it's a necessary evil'. That's simply not true. I said some sex workers need help to get started in this work, and that's how some of them end up in the hands of pimps, but that many sex workers don't have a pimp. Most girls simply start working here without becoming a victim. Also because helping a sex worker is not a crime, as long as people don't exploit or coerce them. Just because you help a sex worker to get started, doesn't mean you're a pimp. And with pimp in this article I of course mean human trafficker, because the interviewer apparently doesn't know there's a difference between a pimp and a human trafficker.

Jolanda de Boer gets a say about why supposedly the sex workers initially involved with My Red Light where turned down. She mentions all sorts of serious crimes, such as money laundering, terrorism, drug dealing, fraud on a huge scale etc., none of which apply to the sex workers that where initially promised a position in My Red Light. So she makes it sound like there was a good reason to turn these people down, by mentioning all these serious crimes, but these sex workers didn't do any of those serious crimes.

Interestingly enough, the same background check they did on the sex workers that where turned down for My Red Light, also applies to existing brothel operators, and yet Jolanda de Boer and the city still claim these brothel operators are criminals or used to be criminals, even though they always passed the test to secure their license. And the only one time one brothel operator didn't at first passed the test, he sued the city for this, because he was falsely being accused of crimes he never committed and finally got his license renewed because the city lost the court case. In short, the explanation Jolanda de Boer just have in this video opposes the claims the city and Jolanda de Boer have made in the past about dirty money being involved in the Red Light District and how the Red Light District had 'criminal elements', and thus why it should have been gentrified.

Of course Jolanda de Boer, being the abolitionist, loves to question 'how many sex workers there would be in the Red Light District if there wouldn't be any pimps'. Well, the answer to that is quite simple Jolanda, just as many as there are right now. Because even though some are victims of trafficking, and occasionally it happens that one of these victims did not have the intention to start doing this job, fact is that more than 99% of the girls consciously chose to do this job, and there are plenty of other girls waiting to take over the window of others that do not want to work here.

The article further talks, like the video, about how Project 1012 would be focused on removing the criminal elements. I had an extensive talk about the fact that there where hardly any criminal elements in the Red Light District, which is also the reason why none of the brothel owners ever got their licenses revoked due to any criminal activities. Project 1012 has literally not removed any criminal elements at all, since they where hardly there to begin with. We have to thank for that, the strict screening Jolanda de Boer talks about in the video.

Furthermore the article also incorrectly states the fund behind My Red Light bought the buildings from the city, and thus all the ties between the brothel and the city are now cut. This is simply not true. In fact, my fiancé even send the journalist from the NY Times the official documents proving the city is still the owner of the property of My Red Light, and is official the owner of these brothels, and not the fund like how it's claimed in this article. So the the ties between the city and My Red Light was never cut!

Furthermore the article continues about the beautiful design of My Red Light. I also gave my opinion about this extensively during my interview. None of that was used however. Because the fact is, that the design is the biggest flaw of My Red Light. Window prostitution works because you draw the attention of people passing by with red lights in your room. My Red Light however has made all their rooms black with black tiles, resulting in the fact that all the rooms are extremely dark, and thus does not attract the attention of people passing by. It is the reason many sex workers tried My Red Light for a couple of days, before leaving those workplaces again. They simply don't make money there, because the rooms are too dark, and people can hardly see them.

I am extremely disappointed in this interview. The promises of what they said the interview would be about where never used. Of all the good things I said, all the criticism on Project 1012 and My Red Light, none of it was used. The only thing they used of my interview was my explanation about how human trafficking works in reality, in relation to how My Red Light doesn't solve this issue in any way, as opposed to how they claim.

This proves to me one more time that journalists are liars. I dare the NY Times to publish the full interview I did with them, uncut, so people can hear the real criticism and realities of the Red Light District, rather than this fake news article.
Original Tours making fun of trafficking victims and prostitutes
Ever wanted to have a fun time with friends? Well, how about visiting the Red Light District Escape Room, where you have to escape from a window brothel before your 'pimp' returns, isn't that a fun idea?! Yes, this is now possible in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. A great way to profit over the existence of prostitutes in the area, as well as profiting over victims of human trafficking, plus as as a  bonus you get to increase the stigma of sex workers as victims!

This is something that Original Tours & Activities Nederland B.V. is now offering in the Red Light District. A fun experience, where you get locked up in a fake window brothel, and you have to 'escape' by following the clues in the room within 60 minutes, before your 'pimp' comes back. According to the website the hilarious rating is 8/10, with a difficulty degree of 4 stars and an escape ratio of 63%. The costs? Only €14,50 per person, or €12,50 with 13 people or more. Or you can book the room with 7 people or less for €100,-.

Apparently Original Tours things it's hilarious, I think it's the most disrespectful thing you can do to make money on. Original Tours signed on the 3rd of April of this year a convenant with other tour guides and the city. The goal of this convenant, among other things, was to respect sex workers who are working in the Red Light District. It's one of the reasons why some of the rules include not taking pictures of prostitutes behind the windows, not to stop in front of the window brothels or in narrow alleys where there are windows.

But Original Tours doesn't seem to care about the sex workers. They only seem to be interested to make profit over them, and even further stigmatize them as victims with this 'fun activity'. But worst of all, think about how those victims of trafficking must feel that now people can have 'fun' experiencing what they experienced, and that people are even making money over this. In fact, they seem to think it's hilarious to have to escape from a pimp with a rating of 8 out of 10. I wished the people behind this company would experience it for real to see how much fun it is to be a victim!

This is the most disgusting way of profiting from sex workers I've ever seen. Not only are they making fun of trafficking victims, and stigmatizing the sex workers that aren't. They make it sound like having a pimp and escaping one is an 'exciting' thing to do. This company is absolutely disgusting for offering something like this. It shows they have absolutely zero respect for us as sex workers, and I sincerely hope the politicians in this city are going to do something about this. This company should be banned from the Red Light District forever!

Scrap these people from the list of companies that signed the convenant, ban them as a company to organize any activities having to do with the Red Light District or prostitution or human trafficking. Whether you care about sex workers right's, or about the victims of human trafficking. Whether you support prostitution or not, this should not be allowed!

Please share this post and raise awareness over the disgusting way these people are making money over our backs, and raise more awareness over sex workers right's.
Prostitute services in the Red Light District
So I get a lot of questions always about what prostitutes will and will not do in the Red Light District. For example many people ask if also girls can come inside with a prostitute, or if there are also men behind the windows as sex workers, or if couples can also go inside.

Important to know with the Red Light District is that each and every single prostitute is running her own business. We're all enterperneurs, which also means we all can decide for ourselves what we do. It's not like in those trafficking stories that you have to let everyone do whatever you want, you're the boss, so you make up the rules of whom you're gonna let in as a customer or what you're willing to do with someone else or not.

This also means for example, that what you are willing to do with one customer, might not apply to a second customer. And more importantly, you can refuse customers. Like I wrote already a long time ago, prostitutes in the Red Light District often refuse more than half the people that come to our door. We don't have to take anyone in, since we run our own businesses. So if I don't like someone, I just won't let him in.

And as for men working behind the windows. No, there are no real men behind the windows. It's not that it's not allowed or anything. But male sex workers apparently don't see it as an interesting idea to work behind the windows. I'm not sure why. For male sex workers aimed at female clients I can still understand it. To please a female customer as a male, you simply need more time than the regular 15 minutes in the Red Light District. So the costs will go up for a female customer, meaning it doesn't really become interesting for many women anymore to step inside. But I have no idea why gay male sex workers never tried it, perhaps that is because the Red Light District is more a male oriented area.

As for threesomes. Yes, some prostitutes will do threesomes, but not all. Again, this depends on the girl herself, and what she is willing to do. Some will do it, some won't. The only way to find out, is to go door by door to ask them, until you find one that is willing to do so.
Now a threesome for a guy with two prostitutes is more common than a couple seeking a prostitute. But it still happens, and sometimes you can see a couple going from door to door to ask what the possibilities are for them. I did it a couple of times, and occasionally I still do, but not very often. Doing a threesome with a colleague to please a guy is fine, but I can't do anything with a girl very much.

And that brings me to girls going to a prostitute. It doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes there are girls that are willing to go inside with a prostitute. A couple of weeks ago I had three girls who wanted to come inside with me for some lesbian fun. But I'm just not into that, so I turned them down. They still flocked around my window all night though. But some prostitutes do take girls inside, and it is possible with some prostitutes. But again, this is a choice the prostitutes can make for themselves.

And the same thing applies to other weirder or kinkier requests. Some prostitutes will be willing to do them, others won't. There's not a standard rule or something about this, and I can't speak for every girl that works in the Red Light District of what is possible and what is not. I simply haven't gone around talking to each and every girl in the area to ask them what they will or will not do.

But kinky or weird requests are also things that frequently happen. So you're a customer who wants to be peed upon? You're not the first one. And although I've tried, and it's really not my thing, and I will never do it again, but there are other girls that are willing to do this. But of course, the weirder the request, the more money you'll have to spend on it. Kinky and weird fetishes aren't my thing. But some girls have no problems with it, they just ask more money for it because it is an unusual request. I have friends who kicked guys in the balls for their pleasure, I myself walked a man around my room collared and leashed like a dog. Yep, easy money.

So yes, probably also for your request there will be girl in the Red Light District willing to do it. As long as it doesn't harm them of course. But don't expect every prostitute to take you in 'because we're just prostitutes'. It doesn't work like that. First of all we're human beings, and being a prostitute is just our job, not our life. And don't make the assumption of thinking we'll do everything because you think prostitutes are low life, because we're not. We're probably more human than you might think.

Dutch version
First tour company co-founded by a prostitute
I have some exciting news to share! After a long time of thinking about this, I've finally decided to be a part of a tour company that offers guided tours through the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Which means that from now on you can actually book a tour and get to meet me!

I came up with this idea already more than a year ago. Every day I see tour guides showing the Red Light District of Amsterdam and talking about us, like they know a thing about us. Often talking complete bullshit, it has become a hassle for many girls. Even more so because some of these groups are quite large (even up to 80 people!) and they more and more often stand in the wrong places (in front of the windows for example), and don't respect the rules of the neighborhood. And it wouldn't be so bad if it would bring in some customers for us, but reality is that they don't. They show the neighborhood, they point us out, talk about us, but leave with the group and you never see those people back anymore.

So basically it comes down to the fact that they're making money from our existence, while we don't get a single cent from it. After all, if we wouldn't be there, there wouldn't be a Red Light District, and they wouldn't be able to ask people money for a tour through the Red Light District. So they're profiting from us, without sharing that profit with any of us.

So I thought, why not do it myself? But because there are so many tour guides already in the area, I needed something unique, something no other tour guide is offering. So I talked the idea over with someone else a while ago who also does tours, and he suggested that I should be a part of the tour to talk about my experiences during the tour. After all, there is no tour out there that features a real prostitute. And to make things even more exclusive, we talked with my brothel operator if we could show a window brothel on the inside during our tour, which he was happy to do.

And now, after a lot of hard work on the website, we're finally open for business.  It's the first tour company co-founded by an active window prostitute. We offer daily tours through the Red Light District with several options. Our standard Red Light District Tour is offered with our tour guide. If you want a meet and greet with myself, and hear about my experiences working behind the windows and ask me questions, you can book the Meet A Prostitute Tour. You can also pay a visit with a tour guide to a real window brothel, and take a look behind the scenes inside our workplaces. And for those that want everything together, we offer the ability to meet me inside one of the window brothels, where you can take a look inside a window brothel, and I'll explain how everything works, and I'll talk about my experiences.

I'm really excited about this new business, because it gives everyone the opportunity to talk with a real working prostitute from the Red Light District, and even to take a look inside a real window brothel. So no more bullshit stories, no more false information, but the real story behind the Red Light District from a real prostitute who actually works there!

Tours can be booked on our website, which you can find at RedLightDistrictAmsterdamTours.com

Dutch version


The bullshit of My Red Light
I promised myself that I would never pay anymore attention to My Red Light. But today again there's a media storm about My Red Light, which bugged me so much that I simply have to write about it, in order to set a lot of things straight.

Let's start with the first and most important thing. My Red Light was supposed to be a brothel run by sex workers. Well, that failed. It's as simple as that. There's an entire board of so called 'experts' in a 'Council of Supervision' who have the real power and control over this brothel. These people include people from aid organisations such as the SOA Aids Fund, HVO Querido, a former public prosecutor, a bar/restaurant owner and people like this. But no sex workers apparently because we're not smart enough to do this, right? We're not educated enough, right? Because everybody always try to offer us some form of education, like we're dumb or uneducated or something. Little do they know that many sex workers working in the Red Light District finished their college, have a degree or even finished university!

Sex workers that participated in this project since the very beginning where turned down jobs to run the brothel, because they didn't get through the 'screening'. In other words, they wouldn't be 'good enough' to run the brothel. In stead of picking a sex worker with experience behind the windows at least to be the manager, they actually picked one of the other brothel operators as the manager in My Red Light. I'm confused. I thought these where the people that treated us so bad that we needed to start our own brothel, and now you hire them as manager?

The claims about My Red Light being a brothel where women don't need a pimp and wouldn't be depending on brothel operators are a lie. First of all, women in the Red Light District don't need a pimp, that's why we have the police. It's also implying that other brothels are full of girls with pimps, and they wouldn't be, but also that is complete bullshit. They have just as much chance to have girls working there with a pimp as any other brothel.

The argument that because of My Red Light sex workers wouldn't be depending on a brothel operator anymore is an argument that even a 3 year old can see through. My Red Light IS a brothel operator. So yes, we're still as depending brothel operators now with My Red Light as before, nothing has changed! They're just pretending to be better, which also makes me kind of wonder why they need to do that, if they really are better. Trouble finding girls to rent your rooms, people? Is that perhaps the reason you need to attract so much attention? And is this perhaps the reason why none of the girls I know want to work there?

The working conditions would be better? That's also bullshit. The working conditions are the same, since they do exactly the same thing as other brothel operators. There is absolutely nothing new about this. They're just another new brothel, that's it. The rental conditions are mostly either the same or much worse than with other brothels.

For example:
I want to rent a room. At My Red Light this will cost me 160 euro. But two of the biggest brothel operators offer me a room for 150 or 155. So they're more expensive. Heck, there are even brothel operators that rent out rooms for 130! So that's not certainly not an improvement, they're the avarage price. So no improvement there.

Second example:
I want to rent a room for the whole week, but want one day free. At other brothels they give me one day free and I don't have to pay, some even offer 2 days free. At My Red Light this is the same.

Third example:
I want to go on holiday for a month. At My Red Light I can't, because they only allow you 3 weeks of vacation max. But with my current brothel I could even go for 2 months maybe and it wouldn't be a problem. So that's much worse.

Fourth example:
I want to quit my job, because I really don't want to do this anymore. At my current brothel operator I can just leave, just like that. But at My Red Light you have to cancel your room one week in advance! In short, they're actually forcing you to work one more week! I thought this project was aimed to be against forcing women to work, not actively doing it!

Fifth example:
I get sick and need to stay in bed for a couple of days. With my current brothel operator I don't have to pay for my room. But at My Red Light I have to pay the first two days that I'm sick. How is this better?!

So the rental conditions aren't much better, but slightly worse at best. They're even forcing you to work when you want to quit, by having to cancel one week in advance, a rule that no other brothel operator has!!!

And of course also they will offer you again courses to do something else, an exit program basically. As if there aren't enough exit programs and organisations offering prostitutes to find another job. People, seriously! Is that the only thing you can think about? She's a prostitute so we have to rescue her? Because the rental conditions certainly aren't any better than other brothels and neither are your prices or the way you treated the sex workers involved in this project.

And then let's talk about the decoration of My Red Light. An 'architect' designed it, as if it was a NASA space program. Come on people, it's a window brothel, it's not that fucking difficult! But guess what?! They managed to even fuck up that! They made rooms black! From all the colors they could've picked, they chose black as a color for a profession during the night! And the only way they could've compensated for their black rooms, was by pumping in a shit load of light to gain some attraction. But the lights are hardly noticeable!!! In a black room!

Or what's even worse. The alley which they have, there are no red lights on the outside. Just a big lantern with white light. So people will just pass that alley thinking there's nothing there, because there's no red light in that alley. Especially because there hasn't been anything in this alley for years. Heck, there used to be big red TL lights on the sides of the building in this alley. Why didn't they just leave them there? Why did they take them out? Or at least replaced them, with red led lights or something? But no red lights on the outside? Just one giant white lantern? Maybe you guys should've called this project My White Light. It's the only really noticeable light that you have anyway.

And I also don't get it. You use the same huge lanterns on the other buildings. But the red lights you've put in them give much less light. And the led strips with red light on the inside are also hardly noticable. What are you guys scared to put red lights in your brothel or something?

Seriously everything about this project is fucked up. The working conditions are worse. They're pushing down other brothel operators as criminals, but you hire them to work for you as managers. You pretend to be a better brothel than others, while your rental conditions are either the same or worse? And I'm getting really fucking tired about the fact that you keep pushing other brothels, and with that other sex workers, down to promote yourselves. If you're really as good as you claim, you wouldn't need that. But apparently it's the only way you guys know how to work. Because a good business doesn't need promotion, it's business promotes itself.

Dutch version
Mariska Majoor knighted for her contribution to sex workers rights
Today was a special day for sex workers rights in The Netherlands. Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Center (PIC) and PROUD, the Dutch union for sex workers, got knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau. She received her knighthood for her contribution to sex workers rights in The Netherlands which she has done for more than 20 years. Mariska dedicated the honorable award to all sex workers.

She received the royal decoration from the mayor of Amsterdam himself. The knighthood is not just a well deserved recognition for all the work Mariska has done in the past decades for sex workers in The Netherlands. The award is hopefully also another step into the direction of sex workers becoming more accepted by society.

Mariska has been one of the few people who really understood me. Both having worked in prostitution behind the windows, we had a connection like few other people would understand. Mariska has been on of my biggest supporters for the last couple of years in writing this blog and for organizing the demonstration against the closure of windows in the Red Light District. Last year she sadly had to quit her activities at the Prostitution Information Center and PROUD because of health reasons. But her fight for sex workers rights have not been in vain, as it's now also been recognized by this award.

Seeing Mariska leave the PIC and PROUD left me feeling lost. One of my biggest supporters was gone, and I'm so happy that now she's being rewarded for her fight for more rights for sex workers. I wish Mariska all the best and I am so proud of her and of what she's achieved, and I hope this reward and her hard work inspires more sex workers to stand up for their rights. She truly deserved this award, a recognition of all her hard for sex workers in the Red Light District, The Netherlands and world wide.


Fake news about home prostitution
Legal brothels closed down by the Dutch government
Yesterday the Dutch newspaper NRC came with a sensational article about home prostitution. The headline of the article was (again) disputing whether or not prostitutes work voluntarily. The article showed very much how the police works, but mostly how they think. Searching online for sex advertisements to make a fake booking with a prostitute, to 'check' if the prostitute is working voluntarily. And if they can't find anything, they just take away your passport apparently, as is written in the article, because FUCK YOU!

But besides the fact that it just show more how the police thinks, rather than what's wrong with prostitution, since in the article they don't find any victims at all, although the police constantly doubt everything. The most interesting things are the statistics mentioned in the article itself.
Part of those statistics come from the police themselves. For example they claim that 95% of the Eastern European women don't press charges. But than again, in the past 5 years there were only 45 suspected victims of trafficking in home prostitution from the European continent excluding The Netherlands itself. In short, this does not just include Eastern European prostitutes. So it's not so weird that 95% don't want to press charges if there are so few women suspected to be victims in the first place.

Another interesting statistic they mention is that according to the police in 60% of the cases they find 'wrongs'. But than again, this doesn't say anything about human trafficking, because the wrongs they speak of include not paying your taxes and children who are present in the home while the prostitute is working. But last time I checked there's no law against having your children at home while you work, also not in prostitution. So why do they call these 'wrongs', if there's nothing wrong with it? Or is it perhaps just another way to cranck up their number to 60% to make sensational claims?

But the most interesting thing about this article is the statistics used from the National Rapporteur Human Trafficking in The Netherlands. According to the article between 2011 and 2015 there would be 4100 suspected victims of human trafficking working in home prostitution. According to the article about 25% of all home prostitution. Really? That's interesting! I didn't know we knew how many prostitutes where working from their own home. Last time I checked we had no idea at all, not even the slightest. But based on this article we should assume there would be 16.400 prostitutes working from their own home? Really?

The statistics in the article are made up. Checking the numbers of the National Rapporteur it turns out there where 582 suspected victims of human trafficking in home prostitution from 2011 till 2015, and not 4100. That's a big fucking difference. In fact, it's 7 times a big as the actual number! So in that case it would be 3,5% of all the home working prostitutes, not 25%, assuming 16.400 prostitutes would be working in 5 years time in home prostitution.

It's sad to see that people will just make up numbers to make sensational claims about prostitution. And it begs the question why they would do this. But than again the article itself gives us some indication as to why this might be the case. After all, the last piece of the article is about the legislation for prostitution, which is now in the senate awaiting approval. The new legislation would allow prostitutes working from home without a license, basically allowing them to work like any other person that is self-employed. But the police fears this idea, that prostitutes can work without a license, and calls it a 'disaster'.

Ironically the police point out the fact that home prostitution without a license makes them loose sight of the prostitutes. That's true, and that's also what we warned the government for, for years already! But let's not forget why so many prostitutes these days work from their own home illegal, without a license. That's the because many cities closed down brothels all over the country, in total 46% of all the legal brothels, like for example also in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. So how are you supposed to work legal, if they close half of the places where it is legal down? That was legal, but they wanted to kick us out.

Now that they got about 50% of the prostitutes to loose their legal workplaces, prostitutes start working without a license from their own homes, because they still need a place to work. So who's fault is it really that they are loosing sight on prostitutes? The government's their own fault, because they closed 46% of the legal places down, yet make it impossible to work legal. For example, In The Hague you can't work at all from your own home. So how are these women supposed to work legal if you're not allowing them to? Maybe they should not close down so many brothels, and make it easier for prostitutes to get a license, than we wouldn't have this problem in the first place!
The Blue Light District
There's this myth that there's a Blue Light District in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. This apparently ended up one time in a travel guide once in the US, and ever since then people have been telling the fable of this 'Blue Light District' being located somewhere in Amsterdam's Red Light District. This blue light district is supposedly an area featuring only transgender sex workers, which could be identified by blue light (aka blacklight) in their windows instead of a red light.
The information from this travel guide apparently found its way to many of the tour guides that these days that walk around in the Red Light District, because many misinformed tour guides mention this. But fact is there is NO Blue Light District in Amsterdam.

So here are the facts. There's no Blue Light District, there are a couple of streets here and there where sometimes (but not always), transgender sex workers work. But since they're scattered around the Red Light District, you can't really speak of a 'Blue Light District'. Also the fact that it's called the Blue Light District is misleading. It comes from the idea that transgender sex workers would use blue lights to identify themselves as transgender sex workers, in contrast to the red lights that would be used by female sex workers. But fact is that this isn't true a all. All sex workers, both female and transgender, both blue and red lights. So the idea that a transgender sex worker can be recognized by a blue light is simply wrong, since every sex worker has blue light.

The use of blue light, or actually a blacklight as it is really called, is necessary to give some contrast to the otherwise completely red look you would get if you'd only use red lights. Otherwise everyone would look like a freaking tomato.

The misinformation that is out there, mostly coming these days from tour guides is huge. Many tour guides have no idea what they're talking about. They have no real knowledge about the area, no good information, and only based their story on what they heard from others, without verifying if it's true or not. So don't let yourself be fooled by many of these tour guides giving out wrong information, often it's only partially true or not true at all. Especially many of the big tour operators seem ignorant and uninformed. But even worse, they don't seem to care. It are also these big tour operators that lead around very big tour groups around, sometimes even up to 80(!) people, groups which are way too big for the small area that is the Red Light District with its narrow streets and alleys.

But the misinformation about this so called Blue Light District also has had a very negative side effects for the girls working behind the windows. Because potential clients have been misinformed about the use of blue lights in the area, clients often walk around for hours, searching for sex workers without a blue light, because they have been taught that a blue light means it's a transgender and not a female sex worker. This eventually leads to clients either giving up on their search for a 'female sex worker', because they can't find any, because they think every sex worker with a blue light is actually a transgender. Or they walk around for hours, and become confused as to who is transgender and who is not, making them scared to come in, because they don't know who is female and who is transgender.

Especially for the female sex workers that work in the Bloedstraat, that is often called out to be the 'Blue Light District, this is difficult. The confusion about this street comes from the fact that during the day this are is almost predominantly transgender sex workers. However, during the night behind a portion of those windows are just regular female sex workers, leaving clients confused who is female and who is not. The misinformation from the tour guides therefore often has as a consequence that many clients looking for female sex workers avoid this street, making it very difficult for the female sex workers in this street to make some good money.

Basically there are a few places where transgender sex workers can be found, and not one specific area or only in this area. The Bloedstraat during the day is pretty much all transgender, but during the night it's a mix between female and transgender sex workers. But the Barndesteeg is both during the night and the day also mostly transgender sex workers. But even a popular street such as the Stoofsteeg has some transgender sex workers, even though most people don't even know this. But also on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal during the day and night you can find transgender sex workers, although the majority are female.

With all this misinformation about who is female and who is transgender, sex workers often loose clients for no good reason other than being poorly informed. There is actually not one area with only transgender sex workers. There are streets where they sometimes are in the majority, but there's no area specifically that can be dubbed a Blue Light District. Nor is it true that only transgender sex workers use blue lights, or that you can recognize them by the use of blue lights. All sex workers use blue lights, so don't keep walking around for a sex worker without a blue light, because you'll never find it.

Dutch version


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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.