“As she danced, her eyes lingered upon everyone in the room, but I doubt that she noticed me…”
BY GEORGIA BUTLER
I cannot decide what colour, if it were one, Amsterdam would be. But I think it is a pretty close call between green and red.
Olivia and I went away for a long weekend to Amsterdam city. Olivia is a good friend of mine, and for her own dignity’s sake will take a backseat in the rest of this story, but it is important for the record that you know I was not in this alone. That would turn what is already a very questionable and naughty story, to a downright sad one.
Women in windows
When we stepped off the train and walked into the city centre, it was a deep scarlet… The red light district is very alien to anyone who is not from Holland. The glow is bright enough that it bounces off the strangers walking down the street, and the women in the windows seem monotoned – all red and shadows. They are very beautiful, and it is all too easy to forget that they can see you too. Olivia and I cannot resist pausing occasionally outside a window and looking in. It is too easy to just stand and watch the gentle sway as the girl on the other side of the glass adjusts her body weight from one foot to another, one hip sinking slowly, and repeat.
But the enchantment is quickly broken when she realises that we are not viable customers, and she picks her phone up from a hidden shelf to scroll through Instagram. She might be model-beautiful, she might even be displayed in a box for all to see, but what cannot be denied is that selling your body, at times, is boring as hell.
We are feminists
We continue walking around, stopping in bars to grab a drink and making close friends with strangers, with whom we will never again speak, when we take a wrong turn down an alley and find ourselves outside La Vie En Proost. The neon sign was the first indication, as was the fact it had been bent into the shape of a nude woman squatting by a pole. We are feminists: we always have been, and we always will be. We do not like the forced sexualisation of women by men, but we do respect a woman’s right to control and use her own sexuality. And, is it so bad, that we were a little curious? From me even asking, you can probably tell I feel ashamed. Because we did, in fact, go inside.
Upon entrance, I immediately felt uncomfortable. Don’t misunderstand, I appreciated the naked women. The music was… so, so, the drinks expensive. The problem was me; I hated that I was enjoying it. I should despise every second, scold myself for even looking and then run around the room throwing water on all the disgusting men who are sitting and drooling. But I can’t, because I cannot deny that the women on the stage have a pull about them.
Scratch women. Woman.
She was already in just her underwear and those clear plastic high heels, moving slowly but seductively around the stage, revolving and rippling, smooth pale skin in psychedelic lighting. She had a couple of tattoos, but I barely even noticed them. Her body was interesting and beautiful to watch but it was her face that captivated. As she danced, her eyes lingered upon everyone in the room, but I doubt that she noticed me. Even if she did, it would surely be to wonder what the hell I was doing there. Just as I was wondering until…
When she came off the stage, we started talking. Before the night was up, we exchanged phone numbers and a few kisses that honestly left me a little breathless. This will probably be the only time I go to a strip-club and, morally, I am more than OK with that. But the fact is, since that night we have been on a date and talked ever since. Call me crazy, but when we left that strip club the red-light district had turned a distinctive, pleasant green.
Forgive me DIVA. I had an oopsie which skidded to a halt across the line in sin. But it was possibly the best mistake I ever made, and I will gladly accept my punishment when it comes…
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