Sunday, 10 March 2013

Going Dutch

Our European cousins in Holland have a broad minded approach to sex. There are legendary stories told of visitors to Amsterdam and the various red-light districts where sexual services are openly on display. 
One recent news story is about twin sister pensioners who have decided to retire as prostitutes after half a century in the sex trade, having slept with 355,000 men between them. Louise and Martine Fokkens, both 70, say they are finding it a ‘painful’ struggle to go on working in Amsterdam’s notorious ‘red light zone’. They claim to be the oldest prostitutes in the Dutch city and last year starred in a documentary film named Meet The Fokkens. Mother-of-four Louise admitted, though, that her arthritis means some positions are now ‘too painful’ – while mother-of-three Martine complained about a drop in custom.

Only one elderly man addicted to his weekly S and M sessions remains a regular, she said. ‘I could give him up. He’s been coming to me for so long it’s like going to church on a Sunday,’ Martine added. Brothels were legalised in the Netherlands in 2000 – but the sisters say this ‘has not improved prostitutes’ lives’. Martine said: ‘It is better for the pimps and the foreigners, but not for the Dutch girls.’ But the twins are confident their income from film rights will keep them solvent in the years of retirement ahead.

Now contrast the Dutch view to sex in the street, to the British reaction on a typical high street in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
A young woman caught performing sex act on boyfriend in high street bank foyer. CCTV footage showed Phillipa Botting kneeling in front of Gareth Healey, a court heard. Phillipa Botting, 23, was seen kneeling in front of Gareth Healey, 23, after sneaking into the foyer open for cashpoint withdrawals. But a court heard the pair were caught by the Lloyds TSB security cameras at 6.30pm - and were also spotted by passers-by.

Botting held her head in her hands in court as the X-rated footage from the bank foyer was shown to magistrates. Prosecutor Ellie Weale said: "A housewife and her 10-year-old niece were at a high street taxi rank when a group of rowdy and loud men and women went past. The woman said "The couple came close to them and began rubbing against each other in a very sexual manner. Another member of the group came over and said: "Stop this now, there are kids here and you are making me horny. They then went into the bank foyer."

Miss Weale said the young girl was very upset by what she saw and needed to be calmed down. Police were called to the bank at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, after reports of a couple engaging in sexual activity. Police watched the CCTV footage of the indecent act and recognised the couple.

Mark Layton, defending Botting, said: "It was an impulsive act - a moment of madness. It was not done to offend anybody and not an offence which she gained any sexual gratification by the public nature of the offence. She wasn't aware there was a child present who could see what was happening. A child of such tender years should never have to witness to this kind of act." Both defence solicitors said alcohol "played a large part" in the incident.

The court heard the couple are no longer together. Botting and Healey, both of Haverfordwest, admitted outraging public decency by committing a sexual act in a public place. Healey was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 24 months, and was ordered to complete 15 alcohol awareness sessions and complete 180 hours unpaid work. He must pay £150 court costs and and £80 victim surcharge. Botting was also given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, and must attend 15 alcohol awareness sessions and complete 220 hours of unpaid work. She must pay £2,000 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

However, the Entrepreneurial Spirit is not dead! 

One of Britain's most famous "madams" announced in January that she was coming out of retirement to set up a brothel exclusively catering to disabled people and the terminally ill. An ordinary brothel would be illegal in the town of Milton Keynes, but Becky Adams insists that the government could not shut hers down without illegally discriminating against the disabled. [Milton Keynes Citizen, 1-11-2013]


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