Amsterdam Red Light District
For many hundreds of years prostitution has been tolerated. It's rarely been considered an offense. In 1996 the taxation of prostitutes was introduced. Since October 2000, window prostitution and brothels have the benefit of being fully legal businesses. This was intended to enhance conditions, decrease crime, and intensify regulation. While prostitutes are now obliged to pay taxes, not many of them will say that this is a benefit, and some businesses, most notoriously banks, have declined to accord prostitutes such things as mortgages and business bank accounts!
In the Red Light Districts of Amsterdam you will find, on any given day, hundreds of girls offering sex for money. Nowhere else on earth are the women so straightforwardly on display, sitting sparingly attired on stools behind windows. Nowhere else because this conspicuous window shopping prostitution is distinct to the Netherlands.
Amsterdam's main Red Light District, known locally as the Walletjes or Wallen (little walls) is situated in an area bounded by two of the city's oldest canals, the Warmoestraat and the Nieuwmarkt. It's a place where prostitutes, clergy, kids, junkies, residents and cops all interact with social tolerance.
Newer to the Amsterdam Redlight District is the increasing presence of "Live Sex Shows". It seems that exhibitionism and voyuerism abound in Amsterdam.
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