Even though I don’t like the crudeness of porn and penises and naked women plastered in every shop window, I appreciate that the Dutch accept the reality of prostitution in our world, and prefer to regulate it in a way that the women who work in the industry have a defined relationship with the police (unlike in many countries, where police officers often take a cut of the sex worker’s income in exchange for not arresting her.) Also, the government taxes the workers, just like any other employed person in the Netherlands. The industry is regulated, and the women are essentially business owners who decide for themselves how much they will charge, and what services they will offer. Compare that to the dangerous situation of a woman in a country where prostitution is illegal, who is controlled by a pimp or can’t go easily to the police for protection, and I am relieved that these laws exist.
The part that still disgusts me though, is how big the industry is at all. These women wouldn’t turn to this business to make money if there was no money to be made. In fact, there was a promotion not long ago in the Red Light District to offer services from men for women, and it was quickly found to be not a profitable business. Whereas women pay between 70 and 130 euros per shift to rent a window room for 8-12 hours, and will make 200-1,000 euros in that time.