It is a persistent myth that keeps finding its way throughout Amsterdam. I’ve asked many customers; neighbors, tourists, several ladies and the owner of the windows next door. Is there an Amsterdam blue light district?
No. At least not in the way most people think.
Because there are definitly windows with blue lights scattered around. And although there are some who say there are gay male prostitutes or transgenders who work as escorts or erotic dancers throughout the Red Light District, there just isn’t one specific area where you can go where there will be blue lights in the windows with barely naked men.
Even though some of us might really appreciate that…
Where did the Amsterdam blue light district myth come from?
The blue lights above some of the windows within the Red Light District seem to be a reason for people to believe there’s a Gay – Blue Light District in Amsterdam somewhere. But there’s a completely different reason for the blue lights in the windows.
They are in fact black lights that will make the ladies look better. The sole use of red can give a strange effect, so mixing this with black light, it gives more nuance. A lot less exciting maybe, but it is the truth.
Some Red Light District tour guides keep the Blue Light District myth around to tell the groups of tourists because it is a far more interesting story. Also articles like this do not help the ladies out. Even though it is an april Fool’s joke, it doesn’t say very clearly it is a joke and tourists might not get that.
Unfortunately this has a negative effect on the amount of customers the ladies get. Especailly in the Bloedstraat where some windows have blue lights and are shared with transgenders. Here the lady ladies are often mistaken with transgenders. Leaving potential customers and clients confused.
Kelly who works in the Bloedstraat confirms this: “I’ve had many customers ask me if I am really a woman. And some clients just don’t visit this whole street because somehow it became known as the transgender street. Even though there are also women working behind the same windows. In black/blue lights or red lights”.
Gay prostitutes under red lights?
For the male gay visitor of the Red Light District there is still some of places to go and find what you are searching for. Just not lit with blue lights. Or any for that matter. That is reserved for the (also transgender) ladies, sorry guys.
If you are searching for a gay place that has the allure of a brothel, look for the rainbow flag and you will be in much more luck than when you focus on blue lights.
In the Spuistraat is the oldest boys club in Amsterdam (Boys Club 21) with a theatre and enough space to meet other men. It is right above the gay shop at Spuistraat 21. The staff is very friendly and the boys in the club professional and discreet.
Also the Reguliersdwarsstraat is a great way to meet other gay men and women. Here you will find the best gay bars in town. Personally I love the cocktail bars and clubs here. These are not specifically for paid sex. Although in the Paardenstraat it is said there are some gay clubs where ‘things may happen’.
Club Church is a famous one right now. It has a few dark rooms. And the Cuckoos Nest is a gay men’s bar right in the center of Amsterdam. It started life in 1984 as a leather bar and now has quite a mixed audience, still quite fetish oriented.
Other well-known gay clubs unfortunately had to close, forcing gay sexworkers to go further underground. But do go to a good gay shop like the one mentioned above and they will send you to the right places.
Gay male escorts
When I asked one of the gay shop employees why gays are not represented in the Red Light District area. He explained that the online world plays a far bigger part in the gay scene. ‘It is the same as with women searching for men, there are a million ways to find a man online. Not behind a window in a red light.’
‘Gays (much like most women looking for a man) just might need more time than a few minutes behind a red curtain, most want a night out and have some fun. So there is just not enough supply and demand’, he explains further.
So for anyone seeking male prostitutes in Amsterdam, it is important to know that they do exist just not under a red or blue light as the female prostitutes. With the right information and visiting the places mentioned above you will be able to find good and decent places where nothing illegal happens.