The Amsterdam Diaries: look behind the red curtains

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2018 Rough Guide to Amsterdam RLD RGF Experiences

Amazing sex with prostitutes in Amsterdam

It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. A lot.

When I first visited Amsterdam’s De Wallen I was in the habit of keeping a detailed, daily diary. After my first window visit, I went off to a coffee shop (one that actually sold coffee), settled down with my diary (feeling quite giddy, to be honest) and wrote up my first encounter with an Amsterdam prostitute. It was in a leather bound diary with blank pages. The writing took more than four times the length of the actual experience.

Because I saw several girls every time I visited the area, I soon had quite a collection of diary entries. And photos of the girls taken inside the rooms, behind those red curtains.

ForM6CropAlongside those Amsterdam red light visits I did a bit of research; I didn’t have to read very much before I realised that there was a lot of prejudice, misinformation and downright dishonesty when it came to reporting and commenting on prostitution. I wondered if there might be people in the world who would appreciate a candid view from the inside, albeit from the point of view of a client. I decided to publish some of the diary online. The blog developed quite a following, with over a million visitors, and that led me to make some of the diary entries available in book form. After a while I branched out into Soho in London and that led to another publication. And a whole different set of experiences. I imagine that people think that it’s a case fuck one prostitute and you’ve fucked them all. No. Sorry. That’s not the way it works.

WalkAndTalkMarcus has given talks about his ongoing experiences in Amsterdam’s red light district and London’s Soho to international groups of students. As well as providing context and describing experiences, he explores issues relating to moral politics, moral psychology, feminism and the media.

  • University of Amsterdam, 2014 – Journalism students
  • Amsterdam. March 2015 – De Balie
  • Danish Higher Education, October 2015 – International relations students
  • Amsterdam April 2016- Social Sciences students
  • Amsterdam June 2016 – De Balie
  • Amsterdam November 4th 2016 – Cafe Heffer
  • Amsterdam March 3rd 2017 – Club 420
  • Young Americans March 24th 2017 – Club 420
  • Danish Higher Education, June 24th 2017 – Club 420
  • Arts Centre Amsterdam, November 2nd 2017
  • April 21st (Good Friday) 2018, venue TBC

L’art de Perfection

AmDam Girls as Art –  Segretto’s Archive

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Recently, I visited an exhibition at The Royal Academy in London. The theme was Abstract Expressionism. As I wandered from room to room I couldn’t help thinking about the exhibits in terms of my photographs of Amsterdam’s Window Girls (behind the curtain). I also couldn’t get the thought of ‘Never Mind The Pollocks‘ out of my head. Or this graffiti in Trompettersteeg.

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An eye for colour

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Girl’s Eyes – after Franze Kline

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Blue and Red on Black – after Mark Rothko

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Yes, it’s different to the image at the top of the page

This is why it’s called the Y

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Study in grey

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Foetal Blue Girl – after Madison Moore

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One painting three girls

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Dam Girl’s Thigh Gap – after Gilbert and George

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After Andy and Marilyn

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A little bit of Degas

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And some Modigliani

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More Degas

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After Rubens’ Aphrodite

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First behind the red curtain photo

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Make Art of Photos & Respect the Ladies!

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Over 1,000,000 visitors read the diary online 4 free

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The diaries about days and nights in Amsterdam’s iconic red light district, De Wallen, are now available as eBooks on Amazon. And it’s not like this is a history lesson – I still visit. The description on Amazon makes the book(s) sound like romantic novels (discretion on my part); they aren’t. This isn’t fiction. It’s what happened and in the order that it happened (although it reads like fiction). And it’s still happening. And it isn’t a tale of success after success. I fuck up just like everybody else. There’s stuff about Marcus, there’s conversations with the girls, and there’s a lot of sex. Mostly sex, I admit.

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Bluntly, what she might do with me she might not do with you and what she will do with you she might not do with me. The one thing that YOU CAN’T DO is use my great sex as a blueprint for your great sex. That’s a promise!

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AMAZON LINKS for The Amsterdam Diaries

USA  UK

Canada  Germany France Spain Italy Netherlands  Japan

India Brazil Mexico

Anyone can use Cloudreader

To read Amazon’s eBooks online

Or you can download the free Reader App

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Two Easy Steps

1st) Purchase the eBook from Amazon. As soon as it’s purchased a copy goes to your Cloudreader Account (you have one whether you want it or not), and it sits on your bookshelf alongside any other eBooks that you’ve purchased.

2nd) Access Cloudreader by going to read.amazon.com. Log into your Amazon account and the reader opens straight away and displays the books on your bookshelf. Select the book from the shelf, and go! The Kindle functions are very transparent and easy to use, easier than on the Kindle itself. Note the control bar sometimes hides itself at the top of the screen; cover with the mouse to reveal.

Interview 4 vice magazine

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Goodreads

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Guess U Win Some & U Lose Some!!!!!

😥 C’est la vie!

But, as my old son, Tenny, said:

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

2 STARS IS SO COOL! Stands out from he crowd!!!!

GR3redacted

Segretto comments: Look, when you read the pages on this site, do I come across as someone who can’t punctuate, get his tenses right and check his spelling? Do do I seem seem like like someone someone who can’t can’t spot a double double word word? Here is my defence. Pin your ears back because it’s loud. I accept both of Jamie’s criticisms on language. Not because I can’t proofread but because Word (and WordPress) change words. Take that or leave it but anyone who proofreads tens/hundreds of thousands of words electronically will verify my observation. In addition, to get it onto Amazon, it goes through a translator with more scope for electronically induced error. However, Amazon flags spelling issues, enabling corrections. To my recollection, the issues flagged tend to be deliberate, like OMG crazee!. Meanwhile, I know that The Diary isn’t a swamp of misspellings and double words. As for the ogre thing, I don’t know whether to be alarmed or delighted. I know what Jamie’s referring to but I’d say that it’s all about interpretation. But I would, wouldn’t I? (Smiley face.) As for what kind of guy is Segretto generally, I guess you could always try the page called The Real Blog.

Thanks, James. Pager-turner (is what you sort of said) is quite an endorsement. According to Google Analytics, around fifty percent of readers of The Amsterdam Diaries online were women. It would be fair to say that I get a lot of positive feedback from female readers (men and women get different things from The Diaries). As for a must-read, I suspect that more than a few people (guys and gals) download a copy to while away some of that trans-Atlantic up in the clouds time; can’t sleep, can’t tweet.

Amazon

Am1

Segretto in Soho, London

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Soho is host to London’s most obvious red light district. It’s smack in the middle of the capital. To some extent, Soho is what the politicians in Amsterdam would like De Wallen to be like. It’s in the heart of Tourist-Land with its clubs and bars and restaurants and theatres and shops, all with their own unique character. It’s the hub of London’s night life and a cultural icon. Leicester Square, Piccadilly, Oxford Street, Bond Street help to box it in, along with China Town. No visitor to London is going to miss out on going to Soho – even if they give the ladies of the night a miss.

The Soho Diaries is modelled on The Amsterdam Diaries. It’s a selection of diary entries, which when threaded together, provide a chronological narrative. The Amsterdam Diaries answered the question, ‘What’s it like to have sex with an Amsterdam prostitute?’ Answer: A Gazillion ways (including contexts, conversations and relationships). The Soho Diaries approaches it in the same way. Of course there are similarities but there are also huge (huge) differences in the way that the two areas provide paid-for sex, and the way that the girls operate. Hopefully, that makes for interesting reading. So ….. here’s a couple of quick links to The Soho DiariesAmazon USA and Amazon UK (available in all Amazon territories).

The 2018 Blog Taster

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Monday 1st January, 2018, Time To Move On: It was hard deleting the 2017 Real Blog. It represented a large part of my life in words and images. It was like junking all of one’s books and CDs and photos and stuff, the things that help to define us. But it’s done now. The whole lots been vaporised on an electronic bonfire triggered by a delete button marked TRASH.

I think of 2017 being a very unstable, disruptive year in terms of national and international politics, in terms of the economy and in terms of a growing public appetite for trial by media and Twitter-led executions. At the same time, the press, the police and politicians reached new lows and demonstrated that they can’t be trusted either as individuals or institutions.

On a personal level it’s not been so bad. It’s been a year of culture with a steady stream of visits to theatres and art galleries and concerts. I visited Amsterdam four times to give talks to students on moral politics and I appeared in a film which premiered in London during the summer. I undertook a writing workshop and a scriptwriting course and had two short stories published in an anthology, while at the same time promoting three eBooks of my own. Views of the blog and sales of the books have grown month on month and I’ve met a lot of interesting people online as a result of the blog. And, of course, I’ve had some amazing sex in Dam and Soho, while continuing to engage in a favourite pastime, photography. So, on a personal level I guess 2017 was a 9/10 year. Well, glad I got that out of the way. I guess that it’s time to move on.

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Tonight? Am I dining out? No. I’m dining in. So what is it? Lobster (Canadian) and King Prawn linguine, since you ask (yes, I cook as well as fuck).

Wednesday 3rd January: Busy evening. Answered emails from some readers and booked three ballets, two operas and one rock concert. Then I went and saw Molly’s Game at a cinema in the city.

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Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Definitely worth the five star reviews that its been getting. It’s one hell of a screenplay and, of course, the first person narrative appeals hugely.

Friday 5th January: Last night I went to an Art House about 25 miles away to see something by a local theatre group. It was an Alternative Pantomime for the New Year. I didn’t appreciate that when I booked. It was a decent effort but not what I was expecting or what I wanted. I left during the interval. Tonight, I went to see All the Money in the World.

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It’s garnered a good number of five star reviews but my take on it is that it’s simply a good story, well told and well filmed. I can’t decide if it’s a three or four star effort. Molly’s Game, by comparison, was crisp and dynamic and engaging and, at times, edge of the seat.  This was ‘very competent’. I knew of the story so maybe that had an impact (look, I’ll give it four stars but I never felt engaged). Plummer, however, was brilliant, the best I’ve ever seen from him (at the moment a hot-tip for an Oscar in whatever year the film is eligible). Seeing him in action, I can’t understand why he didn’t get the part in the first place (I read that the director thought that he was too old). I kept trying to image Spacey in the role and it didn’t make sense. Of course, every scene that Plummer was in I was analysing in terms of the re-shoot. He’s in a lot of scenes!!!! There’s one particular scene with him and Wahlberg where it’s cut and cut and cut. You don’t see them together for most of the exchange; I’m sitting there imagining Plummer talking to himself in an empty room.

Sunday 7th January: People ask me. What? What do you think? Here’s one answer.

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What else is new? The blog has undergone a step change in terms of visitors in the last couple of days. Maybe Google pushed it to the front of its queue. Naughty Google! Meanwhile, one of the search terms tonight was ‘sex girls London Soho’. I decided to check it out. Google has placed The Amsterdam Diaries in third spot on it’s first page of search returns. I’m pleased with that. I noted that the site which has first spot is out of date by years. How do I know? The streets mentioned no longer host walk ups – not 4 a long while! Then I tried ‘red light district girls’. I got 4th spot on page #1, after three youtubes (duh!!!) and an amsterdam-advisor post, which (incidentally) has blagged that spot for a while. On this occasion, however, I did make it in front of trip advisor and vice.com (Yo!!!).

Wednesday 10th January: 7.15 am. Today I’m a man with a plan, well, the outline of a plan. London. Soho. Then a West End Play. I haven’t booked the play yet but I know which one I want to see. Deciding on the girl has been more challenging. The question is, should it be a girl who I know, one who is guaranteed to give me a good, real girlfriend experience, or should it be a new experience? I decided to make this visit a couple of days ago and since then I’ve been agonising over Excellent girl #1 and Excellent #2. This morning, as I was making coffee, I made a decision. It will be a new girl (new to me). To you, reading this, that might not be a big deal. To me it was a revelation. It means approaching a walk up door – going through it, and going through with it, whatever’s on the other side. It means that I’m placing a higher value on a new experience, which carries the risk of disappointment, over a guaranteed good time. On the other hand, maybe I know that I can always cut and run (to good time girl).

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Got a seat in the front row of what the theatre calls The Royal Circle, my seat of choice these days. I checked the price online yesterday. It was £60. I got it for £50. The couple beside me paid £70. How was the play? Fab U Lous! Standing ovation (well, I stood up and then everybody behind me had to – and so on). Great use of Dylan’s songs and excellent performances, especially Like A Rolling Stone (I responded very emotionally to it). Visually and aurally exciting, with a very engaging script.

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And the Soho girl? She was excellent too. I saw her shortly after arriving in London. I can still smell her perfume and taste her. The most significant moment? There were many. However, it’s the one that resonated later. She commented on my eyes. A lot of women do that. Maybe it’s because that’s all there is to comment on. However, about forty-five minutes later, I’m striding through Soho like a wounded warrior and a girl catches my attention. She’s selling Amnesty International as an organisation. We make eye contact: “My, God, your eyes … and,” that’s all I heard. I answered with my best effort at a smile and walked on. Then I had a coffee at Costa followed by a sandwich lunch in Pret A Manger. On the way to the theatre I had a very interesting conversation with a black guy who was also drumming up cash for Amnesty International – he’d replaced MyGod Girl. I would like to have spent longer talking to him; we seemed to have a lot in common. After the performance I went to Lisle Street for a Chinese meal in The Hong Kong Buffet.

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I hate coming home. London is so vibrant. On the train I read The Evening Standard. There was an article about The Windmill International Strip Club in Soho. During World War II it was a burlesque theatre (once owned by Oscar Wilde) and famously never closed during the Blitz. It seems that some clients have been touching the strippers. That’s against the law (even if the strippers don’t mind and actually encourage it). A women’s rights group initiated a sting to gather evidence (a sad ex-cop pretended to be a punter). The result is that the club’s licence has been revoked. Why: ‘These women are ….. vulnerable …… and some struggling to pay their mortgages,” that’s why!!! Well, that won’t be a concern in future now that the place has been closed down. They won’t be struggling to pay their mortgage, will they? They won’t be paying it at all. Good job, girls!!! That’s the way to effect a rescue!

Friday 12th January: I think this could be the Oh, for fuck’s sake year. It’s something that’s been gathering momentum for a while. But I’ve decided that it officially began on January 1st. I read an article about a newly appointed artistic director of a prominent theatre. She decided to make her mark by getting the cast to rehearse three Shakespeare plays and then letting the audience (on the night) decide which one would be performed. Quirky, but what the heck, that’s art! There were two reasons, apparently. The first is that she thought it unfair that all the pressure was always on the director. Her crazy solution was to make sure that there was pressure on everybody. How do you beat that? Easily, as it happens. The second reason was she didn’t think the division between audience and performers was right/acceptable; you know, one group performs a play and the other group watches. She thought that it was dreadfully important to change that dynamic. OFFS!

Saturday 13th January: This morning I read an article which was trailed on the front of a national newspaper: I’ve had implants. Am I still a feminist? OFFS!

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In the article itself the woman describes consulting a feminist relative. She had this to say: “I think the fundamental value of feminism is that all individuals must be respected and valued, and that means respecting their decisions.” Here, here! Well said! I agree totally. “Assuming they had the surgery for themselves and not because of the male gaze.” OFFS!

Monday 15th January: I bought Fire and Fury last week and got around to reading today.Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 18.34.54Michael Wolf seems to be from the ‘you couldn’t make it up’ school of journalism.

Tuesday 16th January: A bit more culture. I’m not a fan of opera but this year I’m intending to make the effort. This was the first one to come within range.

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It’s a dark story. It starts with a rape-orgy, which sort of sets the tone. A woman I talked to during the interval said that she would have preferred something more symbolic and less like the real thing. However, this way you were left in no doubt that this wasn’t a fun orgy and that the kidnap of the heroine, when it happens, isn’t likely to have a happy outcome. The poster headlines treason, seduction and vengeance. I would have said rape, kidnapping and murder. But maybe that’s just me. Oh, yeah, there was a lot of singing. But it’s not all high-art for me; I read some more of Fire and Fury. It’s LOL funny.

The rest of the year unfolds on The 2018 Blog

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