Red Light Fascination

Image of the streets of Amsterdam, in the Red Light District.

She watched them…

… not so much the beautiful creatures behind the windows in the Red Light District, but the people — men and women — walking down the street, glancing at those windows. The expressions on their faces fascinated her. No one noticed her where she sat alone on a bench, her hands deep in her coat pockets, her face half hidden behind the high coat collar.

A single man — was he single, or was he here trying to escape from his life? — kept his head turned forward, but his eyes roamed the bodies on display. His clothes made her think he was a business executive — the dress shoes, the expensive coat, the tie visible around his neck. Maybe he was here on business, and had escaped his hotel room to come here where life was buzzing, and sexy offers were made without words. She watched as he passed her, and continued walking, still not turning his head.

Her eye fell on a couple holding hands. He openly looked at the scarcely clad women behind the glass; hers alternated from a quick glance at the same women, to looking at him and then watching where they were going. He stopped, said something, and she quickly glanced at a window before pulling him along with a shy smile. Was that disappointment on his face as he glanced back over his shoulder? Was the woman shy because she pulled him away? Or maybe she blushed because what she saw in the window made something inside twitch, and she didn’t know why?

A sound caught her attention, and she diverted her eyes from the couple to find a man talking towards a lady of pleasure. He was but an ordinary man, dressed in jeans and trainers; his coat more functional than fashionable. What service did he require? A full-on fucking, or only a blow job? Fascinated, she watched as his hand disappeared into his pocket, and he pulled out a wallet. Wasn’t payment always done inside, and not on the street? He opened his wallet, and even from where she sat, she saw the thick pack of notes he flashed. The woman took a step back and opened the door wider. Soon the curtains were closed, and where she sat on the bench, she fantasizes about the actions inside that room, wondering which expensive service he had bought.

The sexy images in her mind stirred something inside, a kind of longing, a wetness between her legs, but she quickly forgot about those when her eyes fell on another couple approaching. The only way she knew they were a couple was because when the man stopped in front of a window, so did the woman. She looked nervous; almost scared. What was their story? Why did she look nervous? Or was that irritation on her face? Didn’t she want to be here? Did it make her feel insecure?

A woman appeared in her line of sight, totally diverting her attention from the couple. It was a woman alone, just like her. Was she here to do the same: observe others? Maybe she was a reporter wanting to write something about the Red Light District? Or was she a customer? Which service would she want? Licking? Fingering? Fisting?

She crossed her legs and shook her head, trying to get the image out of her head; to ignore the excitement in her body.

The business executive now walked in the opposite direction from earlier. He fascinated her. His demeanor fascinated her. The way he walked. The way he looked at the women, but didn’t look. The way he observed his surroundings, but didn’t seem to see anything. Why did he return? Was he interested in a special moment behind those curtains before returning to his hotel? She had concluded he must be a traveling executive, wanting to forget his mundane life back home in a paid moment of passion. She kept her eyes on him, willing him to knock on a door and negotiate his desires, until he disappeared from sight.

What did all these people hope to get from this night life? Did they come here to escape their lives? To feel something? To fill a void? Why was she here? Because she loved to observe people? To weave stories around them, because of the expressions on their faces, or because it fuelled her fantasies?

“Mind if I sit down?”

The question startled her, but surprise overwhelmed her when she saw him. The man in the suit. The traveling executive.

He sat down close to her.

“I couldn’t help but notice you watching everyone, and I wanted to share your fascination.”

Together and in silence, they watched the passers-by, weaving sad and happy and impossibly sexy stories in their minds.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

I first posted this story two years ago, thinking back on the one evening in summer, many years ago, I sat on a bench in the Red Light District, and watched the people walking past the lit windows, some going in, others just passing by. There is a real fascination in watching people, and not only there!

15 thoughts on “Red Light Fascination

  1. Occupational hazard of the writer erotic? To sit and observe creating stories in our head from what we see ? I liked this a lot. Eventually the businessman asking her to coffee or dinner?
    I got to go to Amsterdam for an afternoon on business travel but didn’t make it to the famous district. I opted for Van Gogh instead. May have been my loss. All the potential stories.
    Loved this piece

    1. Sadly the Red Light District is not what it was back then. Too many restrictions and rules now, and I don’t mean the pandemic. But, even in a regular shopping crowd, there’s inspiration for stories 🙂

  2. There’s the red light district I remember! It was almost like being there all over again 🙂 It is quite the place to people watch, I must admit 🙂

    1. It absolutely is, and even though it has changed a lot, I think it will still be a great place to watch people 🙂

  3. Fascinating! Ny husband and I do this a lot, or at least used to before Covid. The Red Light District is a perfect spot for this.
    I remember when I was 19 and walked onto the Red Light District and I passed one of the teachers of my high school on his way out. I hadn’t been in his class, but we recognised each other from the hallways. He was pretty embarrassed 😅

  4. I loved this, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine too. In a restaurant or cafe I always try to take the seat facing into the room, or looking out of the window. I think it may be quite important for a writer to have this observation skill – I love all the little details you’ve woven in and how you’ve guessed at their dynamic. I thought the couple were selecting their ‘third’ from the women in the windows!

    I love the twist you delivered at the end.

  5. Rebel, I loved this story . I found it so relatable and in fact I have too people watched in the red light district. What a nice little twist at the end.

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