Lima, the largest city of Peru is located in the central coastal region of the country, specifically in the valleys of the Chillón, Lurin and Rímac rivers. The capital city covers an area of 1,506 square miles. Lima is home to over ten million people.
The city was founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. At that time, Lima was called Ciudad de Los Reyes or the ‘City of Kings’. Over time, it emerged as the capital of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. It ultimately became the capital of Peru after the Peruvian War of Independence.
Lima has two main adult entertainment areas:
History of the RLD
Just like anywhere else in the world where authorities made a concerted effort to regulate prostitution since the mid-nineteenth century, Lima has also seen heated debates about the visibility and location of prostitution hot spots. Also of significant concern were matters pertaining to intervention from city and state officials. However, the regulation of prostitution in Lima during the early twentieth century must be understood as indicative of the city’s broader spatial politics which has been influenced by attempts of state officials to seize control of both 'the social' and 'the sexual'.
Moreover, the spatial reordering of Lima’s brothel prostitution correlated to a wider spatial remapping of the metropolis, which reflected the disciplinary campaign as well as government strategies based on knowledge of class, gender, race, and sexuality, along with morality and public health. It is important to note that this was not an elite-driven, simple top-down process. A number of players, including the city’s prostitutes themselves, meddled in the spatial reordering of the sex trade. The process ended in the creation of the red light district in La Victoria during the late 1920s.
How to find the RLD
To get to Miraflores, take the IM-18 (Las Flores 18). This will take you south of downtown where Miraflores is located. You’ll know it when you have reached Parque Central de Miraflores. To get to the other adult entertainment area in La Victoria, find the area around Polvos Azules.
Stay safe in the RLD
There might be no official red light districts in Lima, but the city offers an abundance of adult entertainment activities in many areas. Street prostitution, presence of swinger clubs, adult cinemas, brothels, strip clubs are apparent in the city’s main adult entertainment districts of Miraflores and La Victoria.
Sex work on the streets typically takes place in Miraflores along Pizza Alley, and in La Victoria at the area surrounding Polvos Azules and Santa Catalina close to the Cruz del Sur bus station. These sites are always teeming with street hookers, most of whom hang out in small groups.
Just like other major cities in Peru, swinger clubs are available in Lima. Although swinging is not commonly practiced in the city, a lot of this takes place through discreet arrangements between partners who share the same interests.
Just like much of Latin America, prostitution is legal in Peru. However, prostitutes and other sex workers must have a license to offer their services in the 'tolerance zones.' In order to obtain and keep a license, they need to register with the relevant government agency, pay taxes, and submit to routine health checks.
Prostitution is only legal for women aged 18 and above if they register with the municipal government and present a health certificate. Brothels must be duly licensed to operate. Human trafficking is addressed with regard to criminalizing, coercing or seducing an individual for sexual exploitation purposes.
The Penal Code has criminalized child exploitation through prostitution. For children under the age of 14, the penalty is imprisonment ranging from 4 to 12 years. Involvement in the production and selling of child pornography is a crime and has been integrated into the Penal Code in 2001.The penalty for pimps and clients of underage prostitutes is imprisonment ranging from 4 to 8 years.
Homosexuality is legal in Lima. However, the homosexual rights movement is slow to take hold. Moreover, Peruvian laws are symbolic of the divergent status of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Homosexual activity between consenting adults was legalized by the Penal Code of 1924, and the constitution states that all individuals are considered equal before the law. Hence, nobody should be discriminated for reasons of race, sex, religion, language, or economic and any other status.
Still, the only specific constitutional protection for the LGBT community is the victory achieved by the LGBT movement way back in 2004. Their win added protection based on sexual orientation in the constitutional clause of equality and non-discrimination. Since then, LGBT activists have been trying to build on such precedent by pushing for changes in legislation. Unfortunately, the passage of new laws protecting their rights has proven difficult.
The bars and clubs in downtown Lima provide the perfect place for those who are looking for a night of dancing, great music and a wide selection of drinks.
If you’re gay and you plan to visit Lima, don’t expect to experience gay paradise. Peru is a deeply Catholic nation with some negative perceptions of homosexuality. However, it is not exactly in Eastern Europe where gays are verbally and physically abused.
General Attitude Towards Gays
Over the past decade, the attitude towards gays and lesbian in Lima has changed for the better. Part of the reason behind this social upheaval is the global emergence and activity of international pro-gay and lesbian advocates led by prominent personalities.
Major sports figures have also come out, along with gay and lesbian federal judges, high-ranking clergy, country ambassadors, and openly gay elected members of congress and parliament. Lima’s bars and nightclubs are quite gay-friendly. There are also many bed and breakfast venues that cater to the LGBT community.
Gay Prostitution in Lima
Gay prostitution appears to be present in Lima. In fact, in November last year, police raided what was described by the local press as a “clandestine gay brothel” operating in the city. Media agencies alleged that Club Casanova was disguised as a strip club but was really operating more like a bordello. It was revealed that admission to the club costs ‘2 soles’ or about US$4. Guests were reportedly given two condoms and a plastic bag for their personal belongings. Some patrons were detained for having sex inside the club.
A lot of trannies work in salons or resort to prostitution since they don’t have access to other decent employment opportunities. You may be surprised to find lots of good-looking trans people in Lima. However, be extra careful when dealing with transsexual prostitutes because it has been shown that they are the most affected by HIV, with a projected prevalence rate of 32 to 45 percent. Always remember to use a condom when engaging in sexual activity with a transvestite.