Barcelona, a city well- known for its beauty, culture, and individuality, is the capital of the province of the same name, as well as the Catalonian region. It is the second largest city in Spain, with a land area of 101.9 km2 and a population of about 1.6 million people. It is situated on the Northeastern coast of the peninsula along the Mediterranean Sea.
Barcelona is a city abundant in cultural sites with famous touristic attractions including the National Art Museum of Catalonia, Museum of Modern Art, Gothic Quarter, Park Güell, and Casa Batlló.
History of the RLD
The area of El Raval used to be a well-known red light district (RLD) in the city. It was then bounded by walls, which were destroyed in 1859 for the expansion of the growing Barcelona. The area’s industrialisation, as well as its proximity to the port, caused an increase in the population of immigrants. Social problems like poverty and prostitution then became common, urging the city council to improve and revive the area.
In 1988, the government began with its urban regeneration project to clean up the place and make it safer. But, there are still reports that selling of sexual services still continues in this area.
How to find the RLD
El Raval is one of the neighbourhoods in the Ciutat Vella that borders La Rambla. The colourful district of La Rambla is situated on the opposite side of the Gothic Quarter.
Stay safe in the RLD
El Raval is generally safe during the day, but some areas are considered seedy late at night (near the port). The area of Las Ramblas, on the other hand, has reported problems like pickpocketing and presence of scam artists. This is why it is important to stay within well-lit areas to be safe. Tourists are commonly advised to take safety precautions when wandering through the streets and crowded places.
Tourists looking for adult entertaining activities will never be dissatisfied in the city. It is one of the best places to have an exciting erotic adventure. The area of El Raval and Las Ramblas boast a number of nightlife venues such as adult bars, strip clubs, and sex houses. Sex shops also exist in this place, with the most popular, the Erotic Museum of Barcelona.
The southern end of Las Ramblas completely transforms at night, which is then occupied by sex workers. Sex-themed shops specialising in LGBT products are also available in Barcelona, as well as erotic entertainment centres featuring live sex shows. Striptease clubs and massage parlours remain a top venue for those who want to meet lady companions. Brothels are also a popular choice for those who seek adult entertainment sites.
One can find street prostitutes in the heart of the city after two in the morning. Most work at Las Ramblas, making the area a completely different place than what it usually is in the morning. Tourists can also find streetwalkers in the areas surrounding Ramblas.
Those looking to fulfil their sexual fantasies can visit the swinger clubs in Barcelona. These are the perfect venues for exploring sensuality, giving visitors a memorable experience. Here are some of the most notable swinger clubs in the city:
Spain’s criminal code does not directly address prostitution. Different sources cite that the country exercises limited legality in this aspect.
While the government does not penalize sex workers, pimps are the ones being punished. Owning a venue where selling of adult services take place is legal, but owners cannot obtain financial gain from sex workers. As prostitution has no legal recognition, it is not allowed to employ a person to engage in prostitution. Workers can freely advertise their services in some newspapers and magazines, but there have been proposals suggesting closing down of such sections to prevent prostitution advertising. Street prostitution is also illegal, with the prosecution of both workers and their clients. Some, however, still manage to offer sex services.
When it comes to LGBT laws, Spain is one of the few countries that allows same-sex marriage, along with adoption by couples of the same sex. They can also serve openly in the military. Having a child by means of in-vitro fertilization can also be freely done by the LGBT.
Since 1996, Spanish laws have completely prohibited same-sex discrimination. The LGBT people are well-protected especially in employment, and obtaining of goods and services, according to Rainbow Europe’s Country Index.
The city offers plenty of nightlife venues to drink and go clubbing. Staying up late is common among locals and tourists, who want to party the night. Here are some of the best nightlife venues in the area:
Barcelona is an attractive destination for many gay travellers. Areas around Gràcia and L'Eixample feature a lively gay scene with plenty of bars and clubs. L'Eixample is often referred to as Gayxample because of the gay venues surrounding the place. This is located close to Metro Universitat, within 5 minutes of Placa de Catalunya on the west. Gay nightlife in the city starts very late night, and is mostly active on Fridays and Saturdays.
General Attitude Towards Gays
Spain is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, with Madrid and Barcelona often listed in the best travel destinations for the LGBT members. Most of locals here have an accepting attitude toward homosexuality, as reflected on the Pew Research Centre survey conducted in 2013.
The gay scene in Barcelona is concentrated in L'Eixample, also known as Gayxample. It in located northwest in the centre of the town. It boasts some of the best gay bars, clubs, and sauna, which are mostly busy on Friday and Saturday nights. The city is also popular for its huge gay circuit parties throughout the year.
Gay Prostitution in Barcelona
Most of the gay prostitutes and rent boys in the city can be found in gay bars and clubs (in dark areas and rooms). Tourists can also find hookers, rent boys, and transvestite prostitutes in the southern part of Las Ramblas in the late evening.
It is possible to see transsexual prostitutes in an area close to the FC Barcelona Stadium. It is said to have the largest number of transsexual prostitutes in the area. It is also noted that the city’s Time Square is a place where everyone can find anything, even transvestite prostitutes.