Adventures in Amsterdam: Sex, Bonding, and a Whole Lotta Hash
By Sandra Kay
November 1st, 2002
Look at these loving, open minded people!
Amsterdam, the city of legalized prostitution, hash bars, an openly gay community, great museums and a tolerance for just about anything, except intolerance.† Yeah, I know youíve heard it all before, go to Amsterdam, the weeds legal and cheap. $20.00 kept me baked for a week, but Iím not much of a smoker.† You know they actually have menus in the hash bars?† It rocks. You go in and look at a menu, that generally is rather discreet, and you choose your devil weed.† You can get Northern Lights, pot from Afghanistan, light brown hash, or dark brown hash (which I donít recommend unless you really are a crack addict). The choices usually range from 10 to 20 different sorts of weed or hash.† They both are legal but not necessarily encouraged if that makes any sense.† In the instance of ďBulldogĒ, which is one of the major chain brown bars (places that sell pot and hash), you have to go to a dude whoís usually a bit on the intimidating side, push a button, and the menu lights up.† Amsterdam is very strange in that way. Yes, itís legal, but you canít advertise, and being discreet is A#1 pot smoking etiquette.† (i.e.† Donít light up in a live sex show, which is what I did, and then proceeded to get yelled at over the loud speaker by a guy that looked like an S&M version of Mr. Clean.† Scary.† It seems odd to an American that a city that is so rich with history and some great museums and nightlife could also be so open about sex and drugs, at least soft drugs.† Although, my boyfriend and I were offered a fair share of not so soft drugs, which, if youíve seen Midnight Run, we thought it better to avoid.††††
Also not to be missed in Amsterdam are the Erotica Museum and the Sex Museum.† Iím not a nympho or anything (eh, a little on the slutty side)† but they were some of my favorite places. New York just opened up a US version of a sex art exhibit but they probably got the idea from Amsterdam.† ďThe Sex Museum,Ē the more official of the two, greets you with a satyr, no arms, and a massive hard-on. You canít really miss him; itís a primal thing.† This is the real deal, with the sexual history of the world dating back 2000 years.† It makes me feel good to think of some Roman guy (or girl) grinding a dildo out of limestone 2000 years ago.† You can get kicked out of school for that now.† Lust was treated as a sacred gift of the Gods in Rome, and it was a bigger sin to not accept the gift than refuse it.† (Thatís what they said in the Erotic museum anyway. I donít know, could be true.† Makes you thinkÖbut then again, look what happened to the Romans.)† Most of the art at the Sex Museum is from the 18th and 19th century, along with an amazing amount of popular culture and kitsch to boot.†
It's the Spliffmobile to the rescue.
You find your way to The Sex Museum just by wandering, because if you're stoned, and you donít know your way around that city, you're screwed.† Youíre pretty much screwed even if you're not wasted.† There are canals everywhere and they all look alike.† I always let my boyfriend navigate anyway, itís a guy thing.†
The Erotic Museum is the place to go for the kitsch angle.† Itís in the middle of the Red Light District.† At the cash register (it only cost us $5.00 for two of us to get in,) there is a model of a lass on a bicycle. The idea is to look up her skirt as you pass by.† You get the idea, fun stuff.† The guy that sold us the tickets was a grump though, and it sucks when youíre a tourist and people are grumps, you automatically feel like your dressed wrong or something.
Inside, this place is 5 floors of amazing.† There is some artwork John Lennon did for Yoko Ono there, which surprised me.† Iím not a huge Beatles fan, but still, thatís pretty cool. A whole floor dedicated to S&M, wowwieÖI vaguely remember going underneath a mannequin that was pissing in some Lucite over my head. Itís sort of hard to describe.† The other really cool thing they had were these cheesy phone booths, where you could hear phone sex in at least five languages.† I only know one language, being an American and all, but the others were still interesting, even if you donít know what the hell theyíre saying.† I mean, how much better than that does it get?†
And then it happens, that, oh shit, I-had-no-idea-feeling, and the pot is kicking in big time.† Paranoid, Iím in some parallel universe.† And Iím looking at these narrow winding stairs, and as Iím going up, and up and upÖ and Iím looking at these European womenís giant asses and thinking of that Queen song ďFat-Bottomed Girls.Ē† Itís German women, and theyíre all giggling like schoolgirls, and Iím staring at their butts and† wondering if Iím going to have an ass like that some day.†††
Sandra partakes in the local delicacies.
We go in this room and itís totally set up with Disney-like characters; it feels like kindergarten all over again, and it feels good. Nap time, remember that?† You even get to sit on plastic toadstools, and watch Disney-like porno films. Ours was animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, except getting nasty. These things are FUNNY.† I totally want to have them in my video collection, and I donít collect porn or anything.† Just to give you an example, I remember Dopey or Grumpy or one of the elves diving head first into Snow Whiteís vagina (love that word,) and like swimming up inside her, and then some of the other elves start to follow him in -† ďcome on in, waterís fine.Ē† The best part was one of the elves stayed behind so he could play with her clit.† He was using it like a punching bag and the sound effects were great.† I know a lot of you are probably thinking Iím making this up, or I hallucinated it or something, but itís the truth, and my next mission in life is to track down that porno on the Internet.† So my boyfriend and I are in hysterics, and all these middle aged German women are laughing with us, they were great.† They were wearing really bad jogging suits if memory serves me, and I had this great epiphany. I donít think I ever feel so connected to people as when I laugh with them, and we donít even speak the same language.† Too bad Arafat and Sharon couldnít get baked in Amsterdam and watch Snow White-ish† animated pornos, I think it would be a good bonding experience for them.† I bet you Disney would sue though.† I just want to see Cheney wasted, I donít know why.† Maybe I just donít want to believe heís as evil a dude as he seems like he is.†
So, the rest of the day was pretty much a blur, literally.† I didnít know it at the time, but Space Cake stays in your system 3 to 4 hours after you eat it.† Itís pretty funny, there are carts that sell Space Cake at Vondel Park during the summer, and they warn mommies not to feed the kidlets cake they bought from the vendors unless they know what they are getting. Although Amsterdam is extremely open-minded, theyíre also extremely organized and cultured community, and drugs laws are strictly enforced for the under-age.† The legal driving and pot smoking age is 18. They figure, if youíre going to drink and smoke pot, and possibly even ingest hallucinogens, some of which are also legal there, you damn well better know what you're getting into before you get behind the wheel of a car that can kill somebody.†
The biggest news stories when we were there back in November was still about September 11th, and how the Dutch for the most part supported our war in Afghanistan, but we damn well better not use it as an excuse to go after Iraq or anyone else, and here we are, sitting here in November, more than a year later, and what are we talking about?† Okay, so thatís the national news.† But the other raging debate was whether the prostitutes in the Red Light District should be allowed to have pillows in their john rooms.† The hookers wanted to have pillows for comfort reasons, and Iím sure you could find other creative uses for them.† The government was saying no, because they thought that the pillows could be used to smother them, and they would be putting themselves in danger.† Now Iím thinking, could you imagine that conversation happening here in the US?† George Dubbya saying, ďYou know ladies, Iím just thinking about you and your safety.Ē†
So, we left, toured some other parts of Europe, and came back to Amsterdam to fly out again.† This time, we stayed sober (mostly) and enjoyed the Van Gogh museum, which is really amazing.† So, all the Lonely Planet guides and Rough Guides are right: you wonít exactly remember your first time in Amsterdam, but good times are never exactly remembered, sometimes they even get better.† There is a big world out there, and not everyone thinks alike.† Tolerance, people, canít we all learn to just get along?† I bet if you smoked a joint you would.†
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