Sunday, November 21, 2010

City Guide: Amsterdam / Red Light District

I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in Amsterdam, and even though the mixed company prevented me from going completely wild, I spend a good bit of time checking out De Wallen (the famous Red Light District.) There are two other smaller red light districts in Amsterdam, but they're primarily frequented by locals who care more about avoiding the crowds than finding the hottest girls. De Wallen is fairly self-explanatory, but just in case you ever find yourself with only a few days there, hopefully my tips can save you from wasting any of your limited time getting oriented.

First of all, if you're reading this site, I'm assuming that you're a strip club enthusiast, so you should be warned that there's only one strip club in Amsterdam. There are several other establishments that bill themselves as strip clubs, but they're all either live sex shows or peep shows. For most bachelor parties, I'd think that the lack of customer interaction would make sex shows a little tame, but splitting up the party to each fuck a red light window prostitute seems a little intense. Not that I judge anyone for fucking red light window prostitutes, but I just can't imagine that most people would feel comfortable doing that with, say, their co-workers or their future brother-in-law. That's why strip clubs are the perfect bachelor party destination (and the perfect after work, lunch time, weekend or any other time destination), and why I was shocked that there aren't more in one of the world's premier adult entertainment destinations.  I'm assuming that there's some reason why there aren't more clubs, but either way, my new goal in life is to eventually open up a sweet club in this city.

Oude Kerk
Anyway, the only strip club in town is a little hidden if you don't know where to look, but it's right in the heart of the best part of the Red Light District.  The club is called La Vie en Proost, and it's at the end of a narrow alleyway (Bethlemsteeg) just south of Oude Kerk (the old church).  I didn't get a chance to go in the club because it didn't open until 8 the night that I was there, I had other places to be and I was told that it's mostly a waste of time, with wall-to-wall guys and mediocre girls.  Still, you'll be within a block or two of the club if you're looking for a window girl, so you don't really have anything to lose by checking it out as long as you're willing to bail if it sucks.  To find it, you get to the Oude Kerk, then just walk a little to the south along Oudezijds Voorburgwal.  If you see the first of the Bulldog establishments, you make a right turn down the alley beside it, but if you've somehow ended up back in the side streets, just look for the Sexy-Land adult store and wander around for a few minutes.  It's a little confusing to find it even once you're there since there's an open doorway beside the club with a "La Vie en Rose" sign.  This is not the club!  It's a very shady indoor area of red light booths where there are a few reasonably attractive ladies, but they're overly aggressive and it isn't somewhere that I'd feel entirely comfortable by myself after dark.  Most of the Red Light District seems perfectly safe, but the shadiness is off the charts back here, and the ladies hissing and offering to "suck and fuck" just distract you from the potential pickpockets.

Whether or not you're interested in the strip club, the area of alleyways near there has most of the best girls in the city.  Bethlemsteeg (the home of La Vie en Proost) changes names to Trompettersteeg when you cross Sint Annendwarsstraat near the Sexy-Land, and that's really the first area that you should check out.  As you can see from the picture, it's wide enough for no more than one person walking in each direction, but most of the alley is lined with some of the hottest prostitutes in the world.  The girls in the alleys all around this area are really hot though, so it's worth looking around whether you're trying to find the best use for your 50 Euros or you're just doing some sightseeing.

50 Euros for "fuck and suck" is standard for 15 minutes, so stick to your guns and don't bother with anyone who wants more than that.  Also, never trust the ladies who aren't as specific about what they'll be providing in exchange for your cash.  Just like in a strip club, you better agree to what you're getting in advance because if a girl just promises that "you won't be disappointed," I guarantee that you will be.  I'd stick to the Sexy-Land area, because there seem to be a lot more rip offs along main canal on Oudezijds Achterburgwal and in the alleys off of the main canal, the girls aren't as nearly as attractive as near the Oude Kerk.  In fact, on Bloedstraat, they may not even be girls at all.  I don't judge if that's your thing, but I'd hate to see you get tricked into getting blown by a lady with a dick if it's not, so you might want to do an extra thorough inspection before making any purchases on Bloedstraat.

Oudezijds Achterburgwal
As for the sex shows, Casa Rosso seems to be the consensus best option, so I decided to check it out.  It's right on Oudezijds Achterburgwal towards the southern end of the Red Light District, somewhere near where this picture was taken.

Casa Rosso is a little on the expensive side at 30 euros without drinks or 45 for entry with 4 drink tickets, but it's a unique experience that's probably worth doing once in your life.  Still, it wasn't one of the highlights of my trip and you wouldn't really be missing out to skip it. The customers were a fairly even mix between bachelor parties, bachelorette parties and couples, and the show lasts a little over an hour and is a continuous loop of 9 acts.  Three of them are full on sex, one is a lesbian dildo show, one is a banana show where a girl shoves a still-peeled banana into herself and squeezes it out bite by bite, one is a strip tease and one is a dominatrix act where the lady puts a dildo on a guys head, has him fuck her with it, then shoves it in his mouth without asking for permission.   That's just disgusting, and I've never been more thankful that I didn't volunteer for something.  I'm forgetting two of the acts, but I may have smoked about a dozen joints and eaten several space cakes before coming here, so I really had no idea what was going on.  Either way, it was an interesting way to spend an hour, though I wouldn't come here expecting to see something erotic.  Maybe it would be if you're horned up from an evening of window shopping, but it was more disturbing than anything to be high out of my mind watching people fucking on stage while Rammstein blared on the speakers.  I can't even imagine what it would be like if you've done some of the readily available magic truffles beforehand, but I have to think that it would make the Cirque du Soleil scene from Knocked Up look like child's play.

Dampkring Coffeeshop
That's it for my virtual tour of the Red Light District, but just in case you're coming to the Stripper Poll as your one-stop trip planning source, I have to highly recommend visiting the former Cannabis Cup winning Dampkring Coffeeshop (featured in Ocean's 12) if you're looking for something to smoke, then going around the corner to Vleminckx for some delicious chips with mayo, peanut sauce and onions afterwards.  There's better weed elsewhere in Amsterdam (I like Barney's in general and the Greenhouse for the Super Lemon Haze), but those places aren't right by Vleminckx.  Nothing beats Montreal poutine while in an altered state of mind, but this stuff comes pretty damn close.

Overall, Amsterdam is a great city and it's definitely worth a visit whether you're looking for adult entertainment, good weed, sightseeing or a little of all three.  Just don't come here looking for a strip club, because Amsterdam isn't the city for that.

1 comment:

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