Helsinki is a harbor-side city located in the southern area of Finland. It is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland and at the easternmost of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is the capital, the largest, and the most populous city of Finland at 715.49 km² land area and with a metropolitan population of 1.4 million.
Helsinki was founded as a small fishing village in the Middle Ages. In the 18th century, a fortress built to protect the city fell, and later on incorporating Finland into the Russian Empire, and eventually changing its capital from Turku to Helsinki. By the 20th century, political and military activity gave way to Finnish independence.
Helsinki is known for its artistic ambiance. It lies at the intersection of the arts and the natural world. Aside from art-nouveau buildings, antique cafes, and hipster museums, the food industry is also rapidly developing while preserving Finnish heritage. Also within Helsinki is a coastline consisting of islands, forests, and lakes allowing for casual strolls in seaside parks.
Other Information: Sex Shops in Helsinki
Similar to the size of its sex industry, there are not many sex shops in Helsinki to choose from. Kallio remains to be the go-to place for guests who want to purchase sex toys, lingerie, fantasy costumes and sadomasochism props. Here are just some of the sex shops found in Helsinki:
The district of Kallio is considered to be Helsinki’s unofficial red light district. It is an inexpensive neighborhood with a free-spirited and youthful crowd, and where a majority of stores, nightclubs, and restaurants cater to the likes of students, artists, and immigrants. Note that some of these establishments may look a bit shady and full of suspicious people who might attempt to trick foreigners to get some amounts of money. Still, it is in Kallio where guests can experience authentic Helsinki atmosphere with its ambiance of liberalism and bohemianism.
History of the RLD
Finland’s sex industry grew recently in the 90s, which are considered to be the country’s recession years. From that era, a wide array of erotic restaurants, salons with topless haircutters, dubious coffee shops emerged. The majority of sex workers in Finland also consist of migrants. Residents have become familiar with covert street prostitution of Russian and Estonian migrants roaming the streets of Vaasankatu and Aleksis Kiven Kat.
Kallio, in particular, was previously known to be a densely-habited workers’ district because of the lower cost of living. But later on, its population became largely consisted of students and artists moving away from the city center in order to avail of cheaper rent. This brought unique restaurants and eccentric bars to cater to the new demographic which makes it a place worth going to especially to the new visitors.
How to Reach the RLD
Located on the east side of the Helsinki peninsula and a kilometer north of the city, Kallio is a bit of a hike from the city center of Helsinki. It is located across Pitkäsilta Bridge, which symbolically divides the rich and the poor. Kallio can be easily accessed from via Tram Route 3, considered as the best transportation line for sightseeing tourists to ride.
Helsinki is a generally safe city. The only adverse elements to look out when exploring the city are unlicensed and unregulated massage parlors that offer sexual services which are still considered illegal in Finland. Visitors need to be wary of places like these for they might not just get victimized by illegal operators of these establishments but being caught in these places may also entail major consequences such as jail time, an unfortunate event one will never dare to experience in his or her lifetime.
Street violence can also be a concern since Finland is known to be the most violent country in Western Europe. It is best to stay with a bigger company and to avoid unfamiliar establishments and streets to avoid being victimized. Going around in a group lessens the probability of you getting involved in violent encounters.
Despite the limited legality of prostitution, it is relatively difficult to find sex workers in Helsinki, as prostitution in the said city is not a large business to begin with. Not every guest’s sexual needs will be fulfilled given the limited number of sex workers to choose from, which also makes it priced much higher compared to other countries.
Usually, there is a higher demand for sex workers during the weekend, and these sex workers are often much older in terms of age. The majority of those working in the sex industry are also migrants, making it uncommon to find Finn sex workers.
The best ways to find sex workers are to head straight to Kallio, research online for recommendations, or hire escorts in massage parlors and saunas for sexual requests.
There is no available information about adult cinemas in Helsinki, but Helsinki is known to have establishments who offer registered video booths to clients wherein they can watch pornography privately.
Street prostitution is also illegal in Finland. But the main area to find such services in Helsinki is Aleksis Kiven katu, a place located near the Esso Gas Station. Given the fact that sex trade is illegal and sex services are scarce, it follows that the prices are a lot expensive compared to those of other countries. Another thing to keep in mind is that It is best to transact within these areas with caution in order to prevent unwanted problems to arise.
Public solicitation such as window prostitution is illegal in Finland, making it very uncommon to find.
In Finland, prostitution is legal given that it is a confidential transaction between consenting individuals. As such, no visible forms of prostitution are allowable. It is illegal for sex workers to solicit in public places or to form organized prostitution services. This includes operation of brothels and various forms of pimping, thus limiting prostitution only to private residences and night clubs.
The minimum age for sex workers is 18 years old, and a huge majority of sex workers in Finland are migrants. The 2010 TAMPEP study cites that migrant sex workers constitute 69% of the sex industry. In 2006, a law was passed which made prostitution of human trafficking victims illegal. Those who transact with victims of human trafficking will either pay a fine or receive a maximum sentence of six months.
Specific Laws for Gays
LGBT rights in Finland have been recognized for decades, despite having much room for improvement. Finland has strict laws against discrimination in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity. Since 1971, sexual activities of the LGBT have been made legal in Finland. By 1981, homosexuality has been decriminalized and was no longer considered an illness.
In 2002, same-sex couples became eligible to be legally-registered partners. Developments soon followed. Lesbians have been allowed to undergo in vitro fertilization in 2007 and same-sex couples became eligible to adoption of a stepchild in 2009. Same-sex marriage, however, remains to be not legal.
Throughout the years, there have been many political debates about the legalization of same-sex marriage. But a gradual increase of public support for same-sex marriage is been seen in the recent years. In 2015, President Sauli Niinistö signed a law after a citizen’s initiative from Association for Real Marriage gathered 160,000 signatures which obliged the Parliament to draft and approve a law on marriage equality in 2014. This resulted in an expectation for gender-neutral marriage in Finland by 2017.
Found in Helsinki are clusters of bars and clubs that are just walking distance from each other, making it possible for guests to do a pub crawl, a fun way to experience the Helsinki nightlife. The Finns are known to be partygoers, as weekend nights of live rock performances or classy cocktail events liven up the city life. Kallio’s young crowd, in particular, has made the area a pulsating hub for loosening up with music and artistry.
Note that majority of nightlife establishments only allow those who are strictly 18 years old and above to enter their premises. Some bars even raise the minimum age to 24 years old. As such, bringing an ID is a necessity. This is a common practice that once should bear in mind since bar bouncers are strict in implementing the establishments’’ rules especially with regards to age restrictions. The entrance to bars and mostly free of charge, but for night clubs, guests will most probably pay for a door price. Expect the bars and night clubs of Helsinki to be open until wee hours in the morning, giving people an experience they will unlikely forget.
Helsinki is not a popular city choice to find an active gay and lesbian scene. Compared to the gay scenes in other countries, Helsinki only has a small community. However, in the recent years, more and more establishments are opening up to cater to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) tourism.
Most of the LGBT areas can be found in and around Iso-Roobertinkatu and Eerikinkatu. These are located the southwest of the main railway station, consisting mainly of bars and clubs. Though tagged as a not so popular destination for the LGBT, Helsinki still manages to shine as a vacation spot for many travelers especially those who wish to explore its cultural side.
General Attitude towards Gays
Helsinki is known for its art, architecture, and technology industries, which made it a fertile ground for friendliness and tolerance towards the vibrant LGBT community. LGBT guests looking for adult entertainment can expect many establishments to cater to their needs, thanks to the organizational initiatives in tourism.
In 2009, the Gay-Friendly Helsinki tourism campaign was launched to work on providing high-quality services for the LGBT community. This was done by coordinating with local businesses which later became part of the Out Now Business Class. These initiatives recognized the significant market share that consists of the LGBT community. Helsinki has also become a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), which is the leading member-based organization dedicated to LGBT tourism.
Dance Clubs for Gays
Because of the warm reception of business establishments towards the LGBT community, there are many dance clubs that cater to the gay crowd. Here are just some dance clubs that welcome gay guests:
Sex Clubs for Gays
There are various establishments in Helsinki that fosters sexual activities of the LGBT community. Some of these establishments are the form of sex clubs, pornography booths, saunas, and adult cinemas. The following are examples of gay sex clubs found in the city:
There is no available information about gay prostitution in Helsinki, except transacting in nightclubs as two consenting individuals or hiring male escorts online.
Similarly, there is no available information about where to find transsexual sex workers in Helsinki.