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Summary

Below is a summary of the information provided in Dutch on our website. If you cannot find an answer to your question or if you want more specific information or advice, please contact Spot 46. We are able talk to you in different languages and, if necessary, arrange for an interpreter.

Working in the sex industry

1. When am I allowed to work in the sex industry?

In the Netherlands you are legally allowed to work in the sex industry when you are older than 21 years. In addition you must originally be from an EU country or have a residence permit.

2. Where can I work as a sex worker?

Possible work areas for a woman:

  • clubs (alcohol licensed premises) and private houses of prostitution (non- alcohol licensed)
  • in a red light district (Geleenstraat/Hunzestraat or in Doubletstraat in The Hague)
  • independent escort and/or home prostitution (not in The Hague, though it is allowed under specific rules in some (surrounding) municipalities)
  • via an escort agency (there are also clubs providing escort services)


Possible work areas for a man:

  • independent escort and/or home prostitution (not in The Hague, though it is allowed under specific rules in some (surrounding) municipalities)
  • there are currently no opportunities for men to work in escort agencies, clubs and/or private houses of prostitution in The Hague. Amsterdam and Rotterdam do offer opportunities.


Possible work areas for transgenders:

  • in a red light district (Geleenstraat/Hunzestraat in The Hague)
  • independent escort and/or home prostitution (not in The Hague, though it is allowed under specific rules in some (surrounding) municipalities)
  • via an escort agency

3. What rights do I have as a sex worker?

General human rights are accepted worldwide. The most important one is that we are all free and equal. For you this means that you cannot be forced to work or give up your money and it means that nobody is worth more or less than you.

As a sex worker you have the right:

  • to refuse sexual services and/or clients
  • to start and to stop working whenever you want to
  • to have the money that you earned
  • to refuse the use of narcotics (alcohol and/or drugs)
  • to choose what clothes to wear

4. What obligations do I have as a sex worker?

Just like in every industry, you are obliged to pay tax on your income. This can be done in various ways.

If you work as a self-employed person, you must register at the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), they register you with the tax authorities (Belastingdienst).

If you work in a club or private house of prostitution the following work options are available:

  • the opting in system

In the opting in system you do not work in paid employment or as a self-employed person. The owner of the club/private house of prostitution has an agreement with the tax authorities and pays tax. Tax is paid on everything the client pays and income tax on what you earn. Please Note! In the opting in system you do not pay your social insurance contributions such as invalidity insurance, pension and unemployment insurance. Just like every person living in the Netherlands, you must submit an income tax return to the tax authorities each year.

  • a cooperative

As a sex worker you can join a cooperative specially for sex workers. Each month you transfer the money you earned to them. They pay the necessary tax and social insurance contributions for you. The net remainder is yours. Each month you receive a statement you can use to prove to the authorities and agencies what your income is. Even if you have joined a cooperative, you must submit an income tax return to the tax authorities each year.

The minimum age is 21 years and you must be allowed to work in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands it is obligated to have health insurance. You will receive a fine if you do not have any.

5. When do I need a work permit in the Netherlands to work as a sex worker?

If you are from a country within the EU, you don’t need a work permit.

If you don’t have an EU member state nationality you are not allowed to work using the opting in system or by joining a cooperative. You can start work as a self-employed sex worker in one of the red light districts.

6. How do I make a choice between being self-employed (ZZP), in paid employment, the opting in system or joining a cooperative. What is possible and what is not?

 If you work in a red light district, you can work as a self-employed person or by joining a cooperative.

If you work at a club or private house of prostitution, you can join a cooperative or work via the opting in system.

In The Hague you are not allowed to work as an independent escort or homeworker in the sex industry. There are (surrounding) municipalities where it is possible under specific rules to work as an independent escort or homeworker.

Money matters

1. What do I earn as a sex worker?

Red light district
If you work in a window prostitution street, you set the prices for your services. The standard price is €50 for ±15 minutes.


Club or private house of prostitution

If you work in a club or private house of prostitution the prices for sexual services are often set by the owner. Prices often depend on the time the client spends with you and the client’s wishes. The standard price is €50 for ±15 minutes.


Prices vary widely when you work for an escort service. The escort agency often set the prices. The price is set depending on the time you spend with the client and the client's wishes. The standard price is €200 per hour. 

2. What type of costs can I expect?

If you work in a red light district, you pay rent for the window to the owner. In the streets of The Hague (Doubletstraat and Geleenstraat/Hunsestraat) the prices per part-day vary from €100 to €175. Check the exact rent with the owner.

If you work at a club or private house of prostitution, you do not pay rent for the room. It may happen that you are present all day, and get no or only a few clients. You are not paid for the hours you are present, so you could see these as costs.

Don't forget that there are costs for work clothes, condoms and attributes (sponge tampons, dildo, vibrator, etc.).

3. Can you give me contact details of a reliable accountant?

Spot 46 can provide you with contact details of various reliable accountants. The costs of an accountant are approximately €450 per year for taking care of your income tax return. These costs may be higher if there are any special circumstances.

Whenever you contact an accountant, it is important that you make proper agreements in advance and have these in writing. Your income tax return is ultimately your responsibility.

Health

1. How can I have safe sex?

When you have sex with a client, always use a condom. Use a new condom when you change between fucking, blow-job and anal. For example, you could transfer an STD in your throat to your own vagina. When you tongue someone use a dental dam or cut open a condom.

2. What is an STD?

STDs are sexually transmitted diseases. You may get this if you have unsafe sex. Some STDs are serious, others may mainly be unpleasant.

3. How do I recognize an STD/HIV?

Often you do not notice that you have an STD. You may not have any symptoms or only very slight symptoms. The STD may be harmful to your body without you noticing anything. And you may pass the STD on to somebody else!

STD symptoms may be:

  • pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • more discharge from vagina, or discharge from penis
  • pain and/or blood during or after sex
  • abdominal (belly) pain and/or fever
  • little blisters and/or warts on or around genitals

4. How often should I be tested for STDs?

The official advice for sex workers is as follows:

  • if you have no symptoms, have an STD test four times per year. You can have this test free and anonymously every Friday afternoon from 13.30 -16.00 hours at Spot 46. You do not have to make an appointment.
  • have a test if your condom has burst or if you have had any unsafe sex.
  • do you have symptoms? Have a test as soon as possible just to be sure. This can be done 5 days a week at the Centre for Sexual Health (Centrum Seksuele Gezondheid (CSG Haaglanden). 

General

1. What can Spot 46 do for me?

Spot 46 is the best place to go in the Haaglanden area for free information and advice about working (healthily) in the sex industry. Spot 46 is an initiative by the The Hague municipality and its aim is to improve the position of sex workers.

2. What does Spot 46 have to offer?

Information and advice about work opportunities as a sex worker, also for beginners:

  • answers to questions about work place situations, safety, standing up for yourself etc.
  • career development within or outside your expertise (quitting sex work)
  • personal advice by a coach and/or work shops


Information and advice about working safely and healthily:

  • answers to questions about sexuality, (safe) sex techniques, contraceptives, etc.
  • every Friday afternoon from 13.30 - 16.00 hours the Centre for Sexual Health (CSG Haaglanden) runs a walk-in clinic for free and anonymous STD tests, free hepatitis B vaccinations, information about contraceptives and any prescriptions, morning-after pill and/or pregnancy test.


Information and advice about money and practical matters:

  • answers to questions about bookkeeping/ accountant, social benefits, debts, insurances, employment law, permanent residency, etc.
  • a walk-in legal advice service is available every Wednesday afternoon from 15.00 - 17.00 hours, where you can ask information and/or advice from a legal expert/ lawyer for free.
  • You can request a free appointment with an accountant. Please contact Spot 46.

3. Who works for Spot 46?

Spot 46 employs social workers who speak various languages. They have a lot of experience in coaching, support work and providing information and advice to sex workers. You are free to contact them without any obligations. With your permission we can put you in contact with various organizations such as the Centre for Sexual Health (Centrum Seksuele Gezondheid, CSG Haaglanden), SHOP, Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), tax authorities (Belastingdienst), police, accountants and/or lawyers.