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City officials have embarked on a clean-up campaign, closing windows and buying out brothel owners and are now considering moving the windows altogether.
And, spurred by a petition signed by 40, people, the legality of sex work is now under discussion as well. A lot is said and written about female prostitution — hardly surprising seeing as it is the most visible part of the sex industry. But what about male sex workers? Lyle Muns, a student, male sex worker and political activist spoke to DutchNews. Lyle Muns was born in Maastricht but grew up in Bilzen in Belgium, which, he says, is a rural, rather conservative town.
It was a terrible job and I needed to shake up my life. I decided to take part in some travel projects promoted by the European Union but as my travels increased, so did expenses, and the money I was earning at the supermarket was not enough. I was also keen on chatting online and I started to get in touch with people who offered me money for sex. The first few times I refused, but then I decided to give it a try.
When I was 14, I told my parents and the year after my peers at high school. Ever since, I have been open to everyone about my sexuality. My parents were very accepting about my homosexuality. They already knew plenty of gay people and always taught us there was nothing wrong with it.
At high school I got generally accepted, some homophobic remarks aside. Moving to Amsterdam, he says, was a childhood dream. When I graduated from high school in Belgium it was obvious to me that I would start studying in Amsterdam. Muns says that he has rarely faced problems because of either his sexual preferences or his job. So what drove him to become a sex worker? There can be many reasons, he argues, why people become sex workers.