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The city that allows women to sell sex

(166 Posts)
Mumom0 Tue 12-Apr-16 18:42:11

I heard this story earlier, which is about a designated prostitution zone in Leeds - this scheme has moved prostitutes from residential streets to places where businesses operate in the day but not at night.

There was a short interview with a male business owner who felt there was an impact on his business, but what about women business owners or workers - current or future?
This place becomes effectively a no go area for women, or worse an area where sexual harassment is legalised as 'other' women should not be there.
Interested in what others think as I used to live in an area with a reputation for on street prostitution, and there was more harassment (to non sex industry women) from men driving through the area to have a look and shout abuse than actual prostitution.

PalmerViolet Tue 12-Apr-16 19:06:40

Yes, there was a woman murdered there not so long ago.

I also used to live in a notorious 'red light' district, so know exactly what you mean.

It seems that there are some people who think that leaving women out on an industrial estate is a great idea, because then the prostitution doesn't affect their house prices or something.

VestalVirgin Tue 12-Apr-16 20:32:33

This place becomes effectively a no go area for women, or worse an area where sexual harassment is legalised as 'other' women should not be there.

This is reality in Germany. In fact, 'decent' women are more or less officially not allowed to go into the red light areas. (I am not sure this is even legal, looks a lot like sex-based discrimination, but as you can imagine have no desire to go there and challenge it)

Iflyaway Tue 12-Apr-16 20:44:32

I worked in a restaurant bordering the red light district in Amsterdam.

And no, I never had a problem going home. Even way after midnight.

Everyone working - brothels, cafe's, restaurants, etc. has to be registered, police station diagonally opposite, heaving with wandering tourists and locals on their way home.

Even tho it's got loads of arguments against, it's still known as "the oldest profession in the world" and I would rather it was all regulated.

Sad thing is, it used to be a local thing, now it's all globalised and too much women trafficking which the authorities are cracking down on, thank god.

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 20:49:47

A 21 year was murdered in December and the 'controlled' area remains??

The problem with this is that I feel it is now a police duty to monitor the area. A woman was murdered under their noses!! What nonsense is this?

From the article I presume sex is had in public as condoms litter the street?

Some people are forced into this whilst others make a choice for whatever reason, but I hope it's a last resort out of desparation. I can't believe people think I love sex so much I am going to endanger myself in this way.

What do you think these women (who feel helpless, trapped) should do if they need money? I can understand the rationale for this controlled zone but disagree.

I believe the sex trade would go underground and become more dangerous without the community involvement but this new initiative is not working!

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 20:52:20

Iflyaway I agree with you. Some seedy parts of Amsterdam but the regulation does appear to work.

I don't know any stats on crime against sex workers but whilst visiting the city it all seemed 'safe' and 'respectable'.

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 21:22:15

"This place becomes effectively a no go area for women, or worse an area where sexual harassment is legalised as 'other' women should not be there."

What are you basing this judgement on?

As others have said, I have visited the Red Light District in Amsterdam on many occasions and seen many other women in the area, during the day and at nighttime, on the streets and inside strip clubs. There was no harassment.

GreenTomatoJam Tue 12-Apr-16 21:45:56

I've not lived near a red-light district (I think), although I've lived in 'party' areas for tourists in multiple countries.

In my experience, if you're not looking for a 'party' you should stay out of those areas. If you don't, then you will receive no sympathy from locals/expats/friends (luckily I have no idea about police).

I can't imagine the situation is any different when it's prostituted women vs. drunk girls on holiday in a hot destination.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 12-Apr-16 21:46:58

I don't think Amsterdam is a particularly good example to try to prove red light districts are fine.

I've lost count of the number of times I've been in Amsterdam but I've only been in the Amsterdam red light area once. I agree the area is safe to walk around in. There are shops apart from the prostitutes' windows (there is even a branch of upmarket chocolatier Puccini Bomboni) and lots of tourists. It's also in the centre of Amsterdam, tiny and in very close proximity to other key tourist areas -less than 5 minutes in any direction will take you back to "normal" Amsterdam.

I really don't think it is comparable to a deserted out of town business park after working hours (or even Leith before it was tidied up and Scottish government used to have to issue guidance for female employees leaving the government's new office at night)

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 21:48:50

Except that it is different.

You should visit Amsterdam and see for yourself.

GreenTomatoJam Tue 12-Apr-16 21:54:09

well, maybe Amsterdam is different as Lass says.

I've known where the districts (kind words - now I think about it, it's always been rarely visited by anyone industrial estates) are in places I've lived, and they've all been considered dangerous (for loan women especially, but not somewhere any man would go unless in company or desparate(!)). If I've driven through them on the way somewhere else, it's been clear that stopping would be ill-advised (I remember having to swerve to avoid when on a motorbike rather than in a car in my younger, less careful days)

GreenTomatoJam Tue 12-Apr-16 21:54:46

dear god lone, not loan - Freudian slip there.

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 21:56:45

Most cities have dangerous neighbourhoods. So?

Was there legal prostitution in those places where you felt unsafe?

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 22:05:03

So what's the solution? Would regulated brothels be acceptable? If it's going to happen it will, so....

My question is about keeping sex workers safe, how can that be done?

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 22:09:04

Obviously, sex workers will be safest in legal & regulated spaces.

ClaudiaApfelstrudel Tue 12-Apr-16 22:14:39

when we visited Amsterdam we were offered cocaine on several occasions, I though it was very scary and there didn't seem to be any police around at all, it was in the red light area but also outside of it

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 22:16:00

But this controlled zone is deemed legal but a year in a woman has been murdered. It all seems (to me) to be unmanaged and still unsafe.

This is an interesting read on Amsterdams sex trade regs -

Under the monitoring section there is a sentence that includes illegal aliens. Am I missing something??

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 22:17:31

Presumably you said "No" and they went away? That wasn't quite what I meant by "scary" and it's definitely not "sexual harassment" as mentioned in the OP.

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 22:19:40

I was never offered drugs but I think there are drug pushers in most major cities with a night life. After the deaths of tourist following that rogue batch of cocaine (was heroin) there were signs everywhere to warn tourist.

Buying drugs is a choice and the user must understand the risks. I don't really understand the comparison with sex workers. It might be a choice too but in a different context. I would sell my body and steal to provide for my child, it's not something to be proud of but it happens and will continue.

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 22:21:04

"Under the monitoring section there is a sentence that includes illegal aliens. Am I missing something??"

What is it that you find bizarre? It is a legal profession so they are subject to the laws that say who can work in the Netherlands.

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 22:22:53

I don't find the regulation bizarre per se. I actually support it if it keeps people safe.

Are 'aliens' illegal immigrants? I'm being ignorant here so apologies!

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 22:26:41

I did a survey of Amsterdam prostitutes some years ago and talked to quite a few of them. All were there voluntarily, and not because their children were hungry.

I would really recommend approaching a couple of prostitutes in the daytime (when they are not busy) and having a chat if you want to know what really goes on in the Red Light District.

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Apr-16 22:29:52

Yes, "illegal alien" is used in this context to describe people of other nationalities who are working illegally in the Netherlands. See alien.

That wasn't about UFOs smile

Peyia Tue 12-Apr-16 22:40:39

Hahaha! I thought they made an epic typo! Well, you learn something new everyday - thanks for explaining.

Really, they choose to do it as a job? I'm not judging them, I don't see them any less than any other person making a living. I just struggle to understand having sex with a stranger and being paid for it. It's too much of a business transaction whilst I'm conditioned to have an emotional connection to actually be able to have sex with someone to enjoy it - and that's the reason I do it. Each to their own!

I would be nervous to question a worker in case they took offence! Very interested to here more about your study however if you were happy to share?

What made them decide they wanted to do sex work?

rubybleu Tue 12-Apr-16 22:45:31

The Leeds area is to be imminently redeveloped/gentrified, so the legal area's days are numbered.

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