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Paris Jardin des Tuileries sex prostitution Europe

ABOVE: Sex and nudity in the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, where statues cavort shamelessly in the open air.

Forget history and culture: To judge from what readers are ogling on my travel site, sex and prostitution are the main reasons for visiting Europe.

Of the more than 2,500 pages at Europe for Visitors, only a few (perhaps a dozen) are about sexual topics. Yet those pages are among my most popular--a fact that probably shouldn't be surprising, since most guidebooks and online travel sites give short shrift to Red Light Districts and other topics that earlier generations might have termed "racy."

Consider:

  • "Amsterdam Sex and Prostitution," one of 24 pages in my Amsterdam city guide, generates nearly as many page views as the main index of my Europe Travel Planner. It has attracted large numbers of readers every week since it was first published in April, 1998.
  • A more recent addition, the sex-related links in my Copenhagen city guide, ranked in the top 3 percent of my pages the last time I checked.

Clearly, I'm missing out on an opportunity when I devote articles to Hadrian's Wall, Driving in Europe, the Venetian Ghetto, an interview with Rick Steves, or European Castles. An accountant might suggest that I focus on racier topics like "Bordeaux's Bordellos," "Hanky-Panky in Helsinki," "Onanism in Oslo," or "The Tribades of Trafalgar Square."

What do you think? Should Europe for Visitors be reborn as Europe for Voyeurs? Instead of writing about railroads and rail passes, should I focus on redlight districts, live sex shows, and other erotic topics? Feel free to e-mail your opinion.

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