Dutch Effort to Form a Prostitute Cooperative Is Met With Hope and Skepticism

My Red Light aims to become the Netherlands’ first official cooperative of prostitutes, where they have a say about their work schedule and the design of the rooms, and even train for managerial positions.

“One of the things we have changed in recent years is that instead of talking about what is good for prostitutes, we have started to talk to them,” said Jasper Karman, spokesman for Amsterdam’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan.

Not everyone likes the idea, among them some fellow prostitutes who are suspicious of the city’s involvement. But My Red Light has drawn support from unlikely quarters, including award-winning Dutch furniture and interior designers, who have helped outfit the rooms.

Sitting on a blue vinyl mattress on a stage, a glowing red bathtub in one corner and a Richard Hutten red leather stool by the window, Lyle Muns, a male prostitute who is on the board of My Red Light, explained recently that the project, which opened in May, was still a work in progress.

“I am really passionate about this project and I believe it could work, but it is also an experiment, right?” he said. “We haven’t succeeded until My Red Light is run mostly by sex workers and we are making a profit.”

Read the rest at The New York Times


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