Window prostitution

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Windows with red lamps in the red-light district of Amsterdam

Window prostitution is a form of prostitution that is fairly common in the Netherlands and surrounding countries.[1] The prostitute rents a window plus workspace off a window operator for a certain period of time, often per day or part of a day.[2][3][4] The prostitute is also independent and recruits her own customers and also negotiates the price and the services to be provided.[2][3][4]

Dutch situation[edit]

Window prostitution in Utrecht took place on houseboats on the Vecht until they were shut down by the city council.

Window prostitution was originally a typical Dutch form of prostitution.[1] This form arose through the ban on soliciting on the street or in doorways in the old red-light district in Amsterdam around the old church.[5] In the beginning the curtains were completely closed, as sexual morality became less strict, the curtains opened even further. When the curtains were completely open, the process continued in the form of fewer and fewer pieces of clothing that the prostitute wore. In current times, the curtains are only closed when the prostitute has a customer.[2][3]

There are around 1270 windows used for prostitution in the Netherlands.[6] In Amsterdam the traditional window prostitution neighbourhoods are the red-light district, the area around the Singel and the Ruysdaelkade.[5] In Rotterdam window prostitution has not been tolerated since the seventies.[1][7] In The Hague it occurs in the Hunsestraat, the Geleenstraat and the Doubletstraat.[8] In Alkmaar there is a tolerance area for windows on the Achterdam.[9] In Arnhem the Spijkerkwartier was the red-light district, but it was closed in January 2006.[10] In Utrecht there was a special form of window prostitution from the 1960s: the women were sitting behind the windows of houseboats moored along the Zandpad, a road along the eastern bank of the Vecht river.[11][4] In July 2013, the municipal authorities withdrew the permits.[4][12]

Thirty percent of prostitutes in the Netherlands work behind windows.[13]

List of cities with window prostitution[edit]




And on many through roads outside built-up areas, for example on the road from Deinze to Sint-Martens-Latem, there are about 60 windows[17]


Duisburg,[22] Cologne[18] and Frankfurt[18] am Main contain Eroscenters or Laufhäuser where the women work within a building behind a window, often large buildings of more than 6 floors. Both forms are present in Hamburg.[18]


  • Zurich - window prostitution until 2003[23]
  • Geneva - Les Pâquis, Pâquis’ four sex centres - the only places in Geneva where the women sit behind windows

South Korea[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Di Nicola, Andrea; Cauduro, Andrea; Lombardi, Marco; Ruspini, Paolo, eds. (2009). Prostitution and Human Trafficking: Focus on Clients. Springer-Verlag New York. ISBN 978-0-387-73628-0.
  2. ^ a b c d "Amsterdam Prostitutes: The Facts about Window Prostitution in Amsterdam". Amsterdam Advisor. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Prostitution in Amsterdam". Amsterdam Info. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Prostitution in the Netherlands". ProstitutieHulpverleningUtrecht. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Moro, Marianne. "Facts on the Red Light District in Amsterdam". USA Today. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Prostitution in the Netherlands". Amsterdam Red Light District Tours. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b Loopmans, Maarten; van den Broeck, Pieter. "Global pressures, local measures: the re-regulation of sex work in the Antwerp Skipper's Quarter" (PDF). Ku Leuven. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Den Haag Red Light Districts". Amsterdam Red Light District Maps, Photos, Hotels, Videos. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Rossebuurt Alkmaar Kamerverhuur" [Alkmaar Red Light District - Room Rental] (in Dutch). Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Red light on Dutch sex for sale". Sababa. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Te koop: Utrechtse seksboten á 10.000 euro" [For sale: Utrecht sex boats at €10,000]. RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 15 June 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Utrecht mocht vergunning prostitutieboten 'oude' Zandpad intrekken" [Utrecht was allowed to withdraw prostitution boats on Zandpad]. Raad van State (in Dutch). 26 April 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  13. ^ "The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality: Netherlands and the Autonomous Dutch Antilles". Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  14. ^ Pieters, Janene (9 February 2017). "Closing Red Light District Pushed Sex Industry Online: Fmr. Sex Worker". NL Times. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Haarlem's Red Light District". Amsterdam Red Light District Maps, Photos, Hotels, Videos. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Red light districts in Belgium". Red Light Districts. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d "Red Light Districts - Belgium". RLD-Europa. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Red Light Districts of Deutschland". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  19. ^ a b c Weitzer, Ronald (1 December 2011). Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814770542.
  20. ^ "Dortmund News". SexNord. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  21. ^ Micke, Andrea (2011-03-18). "Wie Prostituierte an der Flaßhofstraße in Oberhausen mit Sex Geld" [How prostitutes earn money on the Flasshofstraße in Oberhausen with sex] (in German). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Bordell zum Schnäppchenpreis" [Brothel at a bargain price]. RP Omline (in German). 17 January 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  23. ^ Ledsom, Mark (15 May 2003). "Window ban for Zurich's prostitutes". SWI Swissinfo. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  24. ^ Se-jeong, Kim (23 February 2017). "Curtain falling on Seoul's red-light district called 588". koreatimes. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  25. ^ Ghosh, Subhro Prakash (20 March 2018). "Sex Trade At Cheongnyangni 588 Is A History, Commercial Complexes And Malls To Be Developed". koreaportal. Retrieved 27 December 2018.

External links[edit]