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Sex and Prostitution in Europe

Sculpture in the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

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 our travel site, sex and prostitution are the main reasons for visiting Europe.

Of the more than 5,000 pages at Europe for Visitors, only a few (perhaps a dozen) are about sexual topics. Yet a few of those pages are among our 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."


  • "Amsterdam Sex and Prostitution," one of 24 pages in our Amsterdam city guide, generates nearly as many page views as the main index of our 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 our Copenhagen city guide, often ranks near the top of our daily Google Analytics traffic reports.

Clearly, we're missing out on an opportunity when we devote articles to the Paris Métro, the Venetian Ghetto, or the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. An accountant might suggest that we 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 we focus on redlight districts, live sex shows, and other erotic topics? Feel free to e-mail your opinion.