Starting out in sex work
Starting out in sex work
Want to start working as a sex worker? Then you run into questions like, how to do sex work as safely as possible. But also: which workplaces are there, what should you know about the business side of sex work? Which rules are there and what are your rights? It can be hard to figure this all out by yourself.
At Belle you can ask your questions about all sides of sex work and the impact it can have on your life.
Sex work is a legal profession in the Netherlands. Most cities require you to be 21 years old to practice sex work. You also require a valid visa or work permit (no tourist visa). You have to work voluntarily and in a legal workplace. In some cities you can work from home, but in most cities this is illegal.
In the Netherlands there are multiple workplaces: window prostitution, the street (tippelzones), clubs and private houses, escort, via online contact, webcam sex and working from home.
Working from home
Most municipalities have made working from home illegal, including Utrecht and Amersfoort. In some municipalities it is possible to meet clients at home. Unsure if this is allowed where you live? Get in touch with your municipality or with us, and we’ll find out together.
The positive side of working from home is that you don’t have to rent a workplace. The negative side is that you will let clients into your private life. If you have a bad client it will be annoying and unsafe if he has your private address.
With window prostitution you rent a room where you are behind the window. At the door you agree prices and services.
There is window prostitution in some major cities in the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam and The Hague. There used to be window prostitution in Utrecht, on the Zandpad, and the Hardebollenstraat. At the moment all windows have been shut down. It is uncertain if the Zandpad will be reopened.
If you want to rent a window, you have to be at least 21 years old in most places. To be able to work you have to sort out multiple things:
Street prostitution is illegal in the Netherlands, except if done in special ‘tippelzones’. On the 1st of July 2021 the tippelzone in Utrecht on the Europalaan was closed. In Nijmegen and Arnhem there are still tippelzones.
Clubs and private houses
In a club you will often be one of multiple women in a sort of living room. Clients come in to chat and have a drink. These clubs also earn income from the food and drinks served. You can then take a clients to a separate room. A client will rent a room for half an hour to an hour (sometimes more).
In a private house there is no living room for women to talk to clients and have a drink.
Clubs and private houses often work via opting-in. The club pays taxes on your income. You are not employed by them, but you do get an income statement, on which you can see your income and the tax was paid on that income.
You get in touch with a client via online advertisements or an escort service. You discuss what services you will provide for what price and where you will meet. This can be at a client’s house or a hotel, for example. You also agree on how long your appointment will be.
Some sex workers are dropped off by a driver, who is paid by you. But there are also sex workers who travel to clients by themselves.
The organization Proud is the interest group for and by sex workers in the Netherlands. You can go to them for legal advice and they organize workshops about online privacy, for example.