Destinations Magazine

Red Light Love

By Amsterdam City Tours

Red light loveValentine's Day is a holiday for lovers. And in Amsterdam, city of the famous Red Light District, there's a lot of love to be found - for singles and couples alike. But amid this tolerant city's changing climate, red light love may soon be going out.

Between this districts glowing windows and live shows lie peepshows. Inside, a number of cubicles display the view of a scantily-clad women who performs on a slow turning platform. Offering her talents for any two-euro carrying man, woman or couple can get a quick, few minute glimpse of what the Red Light District has to offer.

According to the area's well-known baron, Jan Otten, a visit to a peepshow can have a romantic touch. Owner of more than six of Amsterdam's peepshows in their 1960s heyday, Otten says "the shows here are very romantic." They can inspire deeper intimacy among couples, and give them a dash of excitement that isn't too racy.

Red light love
Despite his claims, peepshows in Amsterdam are actually in decline. Otten now runs the only remaining peepshow in the city the Sex Palace. He says the internet plays a part. "Amsterdam has gone peepshow numb because of the internet," he told Radio Netherlands Worldwide. "You can enjoy looking at things on the computer in the privacy of your home, which is quite sad for the erotic business."

But Otten is still optimistic about love in the Red Light District - at least from a performance point of view. He says the shows are just that, entertainment meant to spice up your love life at home. "I would never fall in love with a girl who's on the stage. I'm not saying I couldn't fall in love with the girl, but only outside of work. Here, she's just a work object."

Even after 35 years in the business, the self-proclaimed romantic isn't easily tempted. Otten says he worships his wife and three daughters, and is happy with business as it is. "This peepshow is still doing alright...particularly in the weekend, when there are a lot of British tourists."

For intrigued couples, it seems Otten and his business are proof there can be love in the Red Light District.

Red light love

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