Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Herbertstr. in Hamburg serves men in sexual need with up to 250 prostitutes - the red light district of Reeperbahn. A secluded street in Hamburg, barricaded by walls, admitting no entry for women and children below 18.
This Sunday morning however, everything seems different. Due to the Corona virus, all prostitutes have left the street and the Herbertstr. looks more like leftovers after a big party. Being a woman, its my first chance to see this environment and I am sure a lot of you are curious too, so I decided to make a blog post and found some historical interesting facts.
In time of National Socialism, prostitution was not allowed. However, this 60 meter long street with its specialized activity was tolerated. In order not to reveal this secret men heaven too much and keep the city picture "clean", screens were set up in 1933. In 1970 access for women and underage was forbidden. Legally the street is open for everyone, but the prostitutes seem not to like any female visitors and show it by throwing with water and other items...... a somewhat strange philosophy in 2020, where openness and various sexual directions are or should be open to everyone.
But nevertheless the women behind those windows, many of them stranded here for destiny or human trafficking reasons, should be protected and not used as a tourist "only looking" entertainment . I feel a very deep sorrow looking at their working conditions - not much has changed since 1933......renovation and cleaning are not really taking place here. The sexworkers here are sole traders (well, lets hope this is right...) and rent their "spot" for one day at the time for at least 100 euro a day. It is not easy to obtain a spot, some of the girls even inherit one - I have no clue if there is some kind of property manager, who decides, depending on looks and saleability, which girl should explore herself in the windows.
In the earlier days big bowling clubs came in the street and for 5 DM they could touch the breast of a lady directly at the window and in return she would knead their left testicles. Today you should not visit Herbertstr. without at least 200 euro in your wallet, but no need to worry, there is a surprising amount of money machines as well along this little street. Reviews on the internet reports no value for money....in fact, while I am doing this Herbertstr. research, my google search tells me to return, as this page might use all my private credit card informations......
The earlier decades of male domination made this street possible....I wonder how a Herbertstr. anno 2020 would look like.....
Hopefully the Corona virus will give a lot of the sex workers at Herbertstr. time to seek new opportunities and a no return ticket.