Stockholm, the largest city in Scandinavia, is also Sweden’s capital and most populous city. It is located in the south central east coast of the country and has a population of more than 900,000. Stockholm offers some of the most stunning sceneries, as the central parts of the city consist of 14 islands, which are spread across the archipelago.
Founded in the 13th century by Birger Jarl, the capital served as a leading trade post because of its strategic location. Over 30% of the entire city is comprised of water, while the greenbelt areas and the parks make about another 30%. This makes Stockholm, one the world’s best cities that supply clean and fresh air. It is famous for its trendy bars, museums, parks and theatres, with an impressive option of shopping and dining establishments.
Malmskillnadsgatan, also known as Stockholm’s red light district, is located in a raised and long street in the center of the city. It overlooks Ostermalm, the hub of glamour in Stockholm, on one side, and Kulterhuset, a cultural center, on the other. This city, which means “The Ridge Dividing the Street”, has notable buildings and structures such as the Bank of Sweden, Kulturhuset, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, and others.
There are also plenty of places like local cafés, bars, and restaurants, where visitors of any kind can relax and have some fun time. Lovers of jazz music can visit the Glen Miller Jazz-Café, which features regular jazz session on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays. Tourists can get to the place by taking the subway or a bus to Malmskillnadsgatan.
Another good place in the area is the KGB Bar & Restaurant. This has three levels, with two bars, and a discotheque. Other than good tunes, this place also offers comfortable seats and a huge shelf filled with books about the Soviet Union and Russian Classics.
History of the RLD
During the 70s and the 80s, Malmskillnadsgatan served as a traditional site for street prostitution in the city. Back then, the isolated location of the area was entirely abandoned after business hours.
In the past, the sex scene in the area was also active and wild, as anyone can find sex workers anytime. Malmskillnadsgatan today, however, is quite different, as it is entirely empty during the daytime, and those looking for adult entertainment may need to search for female services for a while. In fact, some clients prefer searching for adult and fun entertainment services on the Internet.
What used to be an active place for trading sex for money, now look like a small business district. It was packed with women before, but now, only a few women are working discreetly on the street. Research suggests that there are about 100 women who still work in the street of Malmskillnadsgatan, but not all of them can be seen every night. Sometimes, there are 3 to 4 women in the area. This decline is due to Sweden’s first law of its kind worldwide, which criminalizes the purchase of sex services.
How to Reach the RLD
It is easy to get around the city and the RLD with a variety of transportation available. About 80% of all passenger rail rides in the country pass the Stockholm Central Station. Public transport is within walking distance, and elevated streets like Malmskillnadsgatan has staircases at most intersections.
Apart from the Central Station, it also possible to get into Malmskillnadsgatan or around the city through the Tunnelbana or T-Bana. Passengers will need to get a pass or a ticket to ride the train, which are available from machines in any station.
There is also the Cityterminalen, which is a hub for the bus transport in the country, located in Stockholm City Center. The city’s transport system is an impressive one, with buses and trams that surround the city and county of Stockholm.
For popular destinations in the city like Drottninggatan, there might be some organized begging and illegal street gambling. There might also be soliciting of sexual services in Malmskillnadsgatan, but hiring a prostitute is illegal.
The city is generally safe, but pickpocketing occurs in some areas. It is advisable to be more careful at the central station because criminals may take advantage when there are too many people.
Adult entertainment and prostitution is subtle in the city because of a unique law introduced in Sweden. Selling of sexual services is legal, but the purchase of the said services has been criminalized. It is also a fact that Sweden has fewer sex workers than the neighboring countries. Stockholm has about more than a hundred prostitutes working on the street and offering services on the Internet.
There are, however, some strip clubs and striptease in the city, where customers can enjoy cocktails or drink with a girl of their choice. Tourists driving through the town can also find massage parlors that offer sensual Thai massage. Those that are located in the central capital rarely offer extra services, but those situated in the suburbs offer additional services like hand jobs. This, on the other hand, is not legal, so it is discreet.
Unlike in the Netherlands, window prostitution is not available in Stockholm. There are also no specified brothels in the city like those found in Copenhagen. Prostitution, for the most part, takes place in strip clubs and striptease bars. Some girls in massage parlors also offer adult services like blowjobs, handjobs, and sex.
Adult Cinemas and Sex Shops
Some sex shops in the city offer sex toys and porn films, with others featuring an attached theatre to them.
Other notable sex shops in Stockholm include the following:
Prostitution in Stockholm mostly happens in striptease bars. Due to Sweden’s “Sex Purchase Law,” there is a significant fall in the number of street workers in the city. The legislation, according to reports, is the reason for the decline of street prostitution, falling down from about 700-800 to 100-200 women. Many of the sex workers offer services very discreetly, with some advertising on the Internet.
Strip clubs are located in the central city, with some offering pole and erotic dancing, as well as topless dancers.
There are also some swinger groups in the country where members prefer to meet at private and discreet venues. Information about these events is usually available online. Adventurous couples can attend the Baltic Swingers Cruise August 2016, which will start in Stockholm. It is a great opportunity to explore the beauty of Northern Europe while enjoying erotic parties, as well as wild and sexy events.
Selling sex and adult services is not actually illegal in the city. Sweden, in fact, is one of the countries in the world to introduce a law that decriminalized the selling, but criminalized the buying or attempted buying of sexual services. The punishment for paying for sex involves imprisonment of up to six months, along with humiliation of public exposure. In simpler words, selling sex is legal, but buying the service is not.
The “Sex Purchase Law” punishes traffickers of up to ten years of imprisonment. There are also police officers in Stockholm dedicated to combatting the sex trade. The goal of this unique law is to criminalize the demand side of the issue instead of putting the women behind bars.
Those who purchase sexual services from minors or those under 15 years of age can be convicted of child rape. Those who buy the said services from girls aged 15 to 18 can also be convicted of the purchase of sexual services from minors.
This unique law resulted in significantly less prostitution than the neighboring countries. The trade may happen underground, but research suggests that there are only between 105 and 300 women working in Stockholm, both on the street and on the Internet. This arrangement is said to protect women and reduce violence against them.
Specific Laws for Gays
The LGBT rights in Sweden is one of the most progressive not only in Europe but also in the world. Sexual activities between the same sex as legalized in 1944 and homosexuality was no longer classified as a mental illness in 1979. It is also the seventh country to legalize same-sex marriage countrywide, while also allowing same-sex couples to register for partnership benefits.
Since 1987, the discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation has been banned. In 2003, the country also allowed same-sex couple children, along with giving lesbian couples equal access to assisted insemination two years after. As a socially liberal nation, many of the people in Sweden support LGBT rights.
Like the rest of the country, Stockholm is welcoming and friendly to any tourist. While it has its own cultural peculiarities, English is widely spoken, so there are rare language barrier issues between visitors and locals. The city is famous for its thriving nightlife scene, with a generous selection of trendy bars, late-night clubs, relaxed neighborhood bars, and wine bars and restaurants.
Stureplan is where the city’s most exclusive bars and clubs are located. It is also Stockholm’s symbol for style and luxury, as it is where models, celebrities, and business people come to party and have some fun. Stureplan is a high-end public square in the capital’s central and is the home to Sweden’s most popular and expensive bars and restaurant. Nightlife areas include Sturecompagniet, White Room, Story Hotel, Hell’s Kitchen, Solidaret, and a whole lot more.
Sodermalm is an ideal alternative to Stureplan’s glitz and glamour. It is both an island and a district in the center in the capital city. The area is famous for its vibrant nightlife, excellent cuisine, and impressive bars. Popular nightlife areas that are easy on the budget include Gildas Rum, Ljunggrens, The Blue Lotus Café, Snotty Sounds Bar, and more.
Stockholm has become one the world’s most popular and favorite gay and lesbian destination. Warm, welcoming, and highly varied, the gay and lesbian scene is easily accessible in the city. With the city’s history of openness and acceptance, Stockholm is often labelled as the “LGBT capital of Scandinavia.”
The city offers a wide selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants within the LGBT community. The Stockholm Pride in July to August is one the highlights of the year, known as one of the city’s largest annual festivals and the largest Pride celebration in Scandinavia.
General Attitude Towards Gays
Stockholm is an open city, known for offering fresh and exciting experiences for straight guys and gays. Gay marriage, is in fact, legal in the city. Rainbow flags also fly high over the capital, especially in the south of Folkungagatan (SoFo) on Sodermalm. Such flags are also seen on the streets of Old Town, Gamla Stan.
The Stockholm Pride Festival is one proof of how Stockholm welcomes and celebrates gays and lesbians. The event features a week of musical entertainment, lectures, debates, and partying. Out firemen, gay Christians, Viking Bears, queer sports teams, Gay Police of Sweden, and many others attend this lively and colorful event.
The city of Stockholm is also planning to teach LGBT lesson to schools in an effort to broaden and promote the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender pupils. This program is also a part of the initiative to increase awareness of human rights.
Sex Clubs for Gays
There also saunas and sex clubs for gays in the city.
Dance Clubs for Gays
Due to the wide acceptance of gay community in the city, there are plenty of dance clubs for tourists to go to.
While Sweden is a liberal country, it is also a socially conservative nation. The country’s one of a kind prostitution law prohibits gay adult services advertisement in the newspaper, which is accepted in Paris and London. In fact, according to the QX Magazine, a reliable source on social scandal and listings of gay-friendly bars and events, advertisement is simply not allowed and anyone who will do so can be prosecuted.
Transsexual prostitution is not common in the area, so clients looking for this kind of service can search the Internet. There are websites that serve as escort directories and offer a selection of transsexual, shemale, or ladyboys escorts in Stockholm. The sex workers post an ad on the Internet and clients can contact the person to arrange a meeting.