Known for its massive canals and fun-filled nightlife, Amsterdam was on my bucket-list for the longest time. In 2023, I finally decided to visit this stunning city and explore everything around it – EVERYTHING.
Yes, I did visit its famous red light district, De Wallen. I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical about going to the area at first because of a certain perception we have about these adult districts. However, I ignored it and went to see the window brothels anyway.
To be honest, it was far from what we imagine a red-light district to be. The roads were clean, the street was safe and it was not awkward at all. What makes the neighborhood so safe is the fact that there are certain rules and individuals – both, behind and in front of the glass door – strictly follow them.
In the article below, we have mentioned the rules that one should know and learn from one of the most famous and safe red-light districts in the world. Read on.
1. The Respectful & Ethical Photography
It’s essential to refrain from taking pictures of sex workers in the district. The sex workers value their privacy and capturing their images is disrespectful. If someone is found taking a picture, it can cost them €95 as fine. However, one can take pictures of red-hued streets or empty red-light windows during the day.
2. The Illegal Street Sex Work
Prostitution is legal in the nation, but just in three designated areas. In the De Wallen area, street sex work is strictly prohibited. In fact, it’s illegal for sex workers to work at home or in a hotel room. If a worker or a customer is found going against the rules, they can face a €115 fine.
3. The Red Light District Tour Guidelines & Regulations
The tour organizers need to adhere to regulations which state that if a guide has five or more tourists, they need special permission from the government. The maximum number of tourists can be fifteen. In case, the guide includes more tourists than that, the local authorities can end the tour and fine the guide. However, an individual can go for an individual tour that includes an audio tour, virtual guide, map and incredible stories.
4. Humanizing Sex Workers
It’s essential to remember that the sex workers are humans when visiting the area. It’s against the basic ethic to stare, gawk or laugh at them. Most of the sex workers lead dual lives and we should treat them with kindness.
5. The Prohibition Of Public Urination
It’s strictly banned to urinate on the streets of the red-light district and one can be charged €140 as compensation. In the area, there’s a remarkable restroom, Sexy Loo, that’s designed like the red-light district and also has fake red-light glass windows. Interestingly, the city has innumerable urinals, alongside the canals because reportedly, more than a hundred people fall into the canals each year.
6. The Restrictions On Public Alcohol Consumption
While one can witness several individuals drinking near the canals in the city, including the red-light district, there’s actually a ban on alcohol. If found guilty, violators can face a fine of €95 for breaching this serious rule.
7. The Minimum Age Requirements For Sex Workers
Needless to mention, the red-light district takes these rules and regulations quite seriously to maintain the decorum in the area. They have a strict minimum age requirement for sex workers is 21 years. The sex workers need to show their identity cards to the contractor each time they rent a window.
8. The Opening & Operating Hours
The business hours of the red-light district are from 8 in the morning to 6 in the morning, which is 22 hours. The sex workers follow 8-hour shifts, with 8 at night to 4 in the morning being the most common shift. There’s no restriction on the number of clients for sex workers. However, they can’t work for more than 11 hours a day.
Well, it’s good to see that they have a system in place for the often-neglected profession.