So R and I had a little Easter holiday away in Hamburg recently.
R immediately said she wanted to go to the infamous red light district on the Reeperbahn, and look at the pretty naked ladies in the windows.
With a little research, I found that prostitution is legal in Germany and ladies (and I guess men too), can sell their goods in any way they like, whether it’s on the streets, online, or in windows. There’s only one street with window-ladies on the Reeperbahn, and I’d read some mixed reports on it.
Most people reported that the street was only for men, so boys under 18 and women weren’t allowed to walk down it. But in another place I read that it was a public street, and as such, no one can be prohibited from walking down it.
R and I weren’t having any of this prohibited crap.
We’re going to walk anywhere we damn well please! And plus, we’re lesbians! Like honorary men. Surely these window-women would understand that if we walked down said street looking extraordinarily gay.
So we took a breath, and walked through the huge barriers with the big signs saying “NO WOMEN”!
Oh good Lord.
Literally, within 2 seconds, one pretty lady opened her window and began hurling abuse in German, quickly followed by a glass of water aimed at our heads.
…And that was only the first window.
The following windows seemed to agree with her sentiments as much more shouting and loud window kicking followed. Thankfully no more thrown beverages.
By the time we reached the halfway point of this street I was staring at the floor and very much considering breaking into a run.
The whole experience was terrifying and by the time we slipped out the other side, we just sat on a pub bench in silence occasionally just exclaiming “…did that really just fucking happen?” and watching other girls poke their heads around the barriers and attempting to sneak past only to watch them re-emerge a few seconds later looking a little scared and in once instance, a little damp.
And for a little while, I was completely confused. Here were women, displaying themselves in windows for men to look at and potentially “rent”, showing their bodies in skimpy underwear for the express purpose of having men look at them…but as soon as a woman does it…suddenly it’s not okay?
What’s with that?
How weird and touchy are they?
But the more I thought about it…the more I understood.
This is their job. Standing around, looking pretty, having men perv over them, that was their profession. The men are their customers, part of their duties and obviously a necessary part of their job.
So when men wander down the dingy little street, that’s fine because they’re looking to “buy”. But when women do it…chances are, they’re looking for a tourist attraction.
And no one likes feeling like that.
Because all lesbians will have felt like a tourist attraction at some point. Who hasn’t grabbed their lady (or any lady for that matter) in a club and immediately be surrounded by groups of disgusting drooling men, or girls staring and being shocked.
When that happens…I feel like a tourist attraction. And it’s not a nice feeling.
And so when safe LGBT spaces like gay clubs get intruded upon by large groups of the straight community who act like that, and point and stare…I guess that’s the equivalent of what R and I did to the window-ladies.
So next time I wish to gaze on lovely naked ladies in windows, I shall travel to Amsterdam where I won’t have cold beverages thrown at me.