This afternoon I took a rather different sort of tour: the sex tourist's tour of Stuttgart. I did this after stumbling across the internet forum International Sex Guide and then distilling the information on Stuttgart into a series of addresses in the city centre and travelling from one to the next. Here they are.
This place did not exactly announce itself from the outside, it was the internet that placed it on the sex tourist's map. There were a couple of reviews of the service, which was pricey and not so great, if you take the contributor's opinion as valid.
The Red Light District of Stuttgart is a different proposition altogether. This place is visible from the street; it is a concentration of businesses more or less offering the same thing: sex for money. The area is very close to the city centre, just tucked out the way so as to not intrude too much upon the clean image the city wants to present to the casual visitor.
I went to the Red Light District during the daytime when most of the places were closed. There were one or two women smoking cigarettes who'd quietly say, "hello" and a few more or less sleazy guys hanging around, but it was for the most part quiet. These two roads must come alive after dark and at weekends, I suppose. The Internet guide said that it was inexpensive here, but that there were some rip-offs with "the champagne trick".
On my way to my next address I passed one of the many sex shops that are in the city centre. This one 'beate uhse' is a chain I believe; I think I even saw one of these in the airport. The overall impression this highly visible sex-shop chain gives is not sensual in the least but rather strangely mechanical, kind of like the Stuttgart Tour bus giving you the come on.
I then made my way to a club called Phoenix that was highly recommended in the guide. It was nothing to look at from the outside, stuffed inconspicuously between a shop and a kebab house. The guide said this place was mostly frequented by German men in the 50s and 60s and was part of FKK, a national chain of sex clubs. The quality of girls was meant to be 'good' and the prices 'reasonable'. There was even someone offering tours of these clubs such as a four-city package in which you travel as a group of four guys with him in a BMW and he takes you to a new club in a new city every night. What's more, he can arrange to pick to you up from the airport, take care of all hotels and translation so that you exactly what you're looking for. The final service he offers is the most imaginative. He says he can provide you with excuses for you to be away for a few days, such writing a letter inviting you to an imaginary conference or meeting which you can then show your boss or, perhaps more to the point, wife.
This was the last point on my tour and it was surprisingly central, in a gloomy passage just off the main shopping street and near the city hall. The 'Three Colours House' seemed to being doing brisk business with a steady flow of men coming in and out of the door. This place is laid out on several floors inside and there are up to 80 women working there at any one time, each of them having an individual room. It is meant to be cheap, but the service is very variable, according to the forum. One poster thoughtfully wrote "Ask Rebecca in the third floor, she is Romanian 5. 2 tall and brunette, good shape and attitude. Of all the girls there, she is a gem, you will surely get GFE with her."
I then traced this route out on a free Kunst map (the green numbers) that I picked up earlier so as to turn the forum information into a proper tour route complete with information for each point. I rather enjoy superimposing one map upon another, it's just a pity I could not see a neat way to make the dots trace out the shape of a giant cock. I am well aware that the sex tourist's information is neither neutral nor reliable; it comes with masses of assumptions that the non-sex tourist might well reject. That is fine with me as I want the various tours I quote from on my Tour of Tours to have different even conflicting sorts of baggage. This should make for a richer meta-tour. It will also make it more surprising when a site appears on two of more different tours. For example, I looked at the men coming out of the Three Colours House and they were mostly in their 50s and 60s. This demographic must also be the mainstay of the conference trade that accounts for a significant number of the city's visitors. It does not require the powers of Sherlock Holmes to deduce from this that there must be some crossover between the two. Guys come to Stuttgart for work which can include a conference organised tour of the city which they slip away from and turn into a sex tourist's tour.