Want to know how to go whoring in Madrid?
Well, I hate to say it, but…
This article is going to disappoint more than a few people who find me on google, actually looking for prostitutes to “keep them company” in Madrid.
Sorry, guys. (Or gals.)
The first line of this article was a rhetorical question. This isn’t the place for you.
This morning I was out early, on my way to the local Starbucks.
“But Daniel,” I can hear you saying, “Aren’t you way too legit for Starbucks? I figured, a guy like you…”
Well, yes, you’re right. And I don’t go to Starbucks very often. However, I’ve just spent the last 24 hours without running water at home.
You never think about how convenient running water is until you don’t have it. But that’s another story.
Suffice it to say that the necessity to be near a working bathroom at 8AM on a national holiday and in mid-summer positively propelled me to the nearest Starbucks as soon as I got up.
Anyway, Madrid is, as usual, a summer / early morning ghost town.
But as I’m walking down Calle Orense, near Plaza Castilla, a car stops and the guy honks his horn and gestures me over.
The guy seems a little weird, or maybe on drugs, but doesn’t everybody out on the streets at 8AM on a public holiday seem a little bit weird?
It’s always kind of like the zombie apocalypse early in the morning, with all kinds of drunk people and small time criminals shuffling around, going god knows where.
Anyway, he doesn’t look dangerous. So I go over and he says, in Spanish, “Hey, is there a club around here?”
“A club?” I ask.
“Yeah, a club.”
“You mean, with girls?”
“Yeah,” he smiles a huge toothy grin. “With girls!”
“Well, I think there’s one right up here. Just look for the blue neon lights, it’s on the right.”
How to go whoring in Madrid
And he was off…
I walked down the street to get my coffee and take care of my – ahem – basic necessities.
And he drove up to get his freak on… just another young gentleman, out after a long night of partying, and ready to build up the Spanish GDP, one sex act at a time.
Of course, getting a hooker is just another bodily function for a lot of guys around here. There are at least four large brothels in my unglamorous neighborhood – and probably more smaller ones I haven’t noticed.
Here in Madrid, people will protest against 24-hour supermarkets. But a brothel seems to bother almost no-one.
“Down with supermarkets! Nobody needs to buy yogurt at 3AM! But a G&T and a BJ is perfectly fine…” – Every Spanish leftist ever.
Anyway, what can I say? Cultural differences.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with a student, years ago.
I used to give classes to a lot of executives. Most of them were pretty cool guys, and anyway, I was getting paid to talk to people who wouldn’t have given me the time of day back on the ranch in Arizona.
One time I was with a guy in his late 30s.
Born into the upper middle class. A couple of kids, and a wife he met at university when they were both barely twenty. Typical Spanish family man, in other words.
One day he’s happier than usual, and tells me why:
“I’m going on holiday tomorrow. I’m going to play golf in Marbella with a couple of friends. Leaving my wife at home. Just me, my friends and some fulanas. How do you say fulanas in English? Bitches?”
“A bitch,” I explain, trying to maintain some professional composure, “is a woman who you find disagreeable. I believe that in this case, you are referring to prostitutes.”
“Yes, prostitutes. Putas. Bitches.”
“A better word might actually be hookers.”
I spend several minutes describing the nuanced relationship between bitches and hookers, somewhat shocked that we’re having this conversation at all.
So is prostitution very common in Spain?
Although it might be a generational thing.
Later in the day, I’m at my other job. I’m talking to a coworker, a guy in his 40s, about the whole thing.
“I guess it might be normal for Spanish guys to go whoring, but what’s shocking to me is that they talk about it! Like it’s any other hobby, or something mundane like going to the dentist.”
He grabs another employee, who’s walking by. They’re about the same age and have been friends for decades. Two big half-Spanish guys with beer guts.
“Hey, Pedro, have we ever gone whoring together?”
“Well, I guess only about… 250 TIMES!!!”
They start backslapping, reminiscing, laughing till their beer guts shake.
“You remember that woman who worked in the Sauna we used to go to on La Castellana?”
“Oh man, she was amazing! It was like she had holes where other women didn’t.”
“We used to go out in a whole group, 7 or 8 of us.”
“Ah, La Juanita, I think that was her name. Yeah. Back when I was with my first wife. Those were the days…”
So there you have it. Gangbangs at a sauna with all your drinking buddies – Spain is different.
En fin… Is prostitution actually legal in Spain?
Apparently it’s a grey area.
Prostitution is neither legal nor illegal. And “using the services” of a prostitute isn’t either.
What is illegal is profiting from the prostitution of others: human trafficking, pimping, etc. And there’s actually a growing movement against prostitution these days.
I wrote the original version of this article several years ago. Since then, things have changed, a bit. I don’t know if the younger generation of Spaniards is as friendly with the idea of prostitution as before.
And the new leftist coalition government, in fact, has promised to ban it someday soon (as of October 2021, when they announced their intentions).
Will they actually pass some law about it? Probably. Will they be able to eliminate prostitution from Spain? I find it highly doubtful.
They’ll probably just force it (even further) underground. But hey. Not my circus, not my monkeys.
It is interesting, though, that in Spain the left has suddenly turned against prostitution, while in the US the left is now saying “sex work is real work”, seemingly trying to turn it into a legitimate profession.
In the US, it’s the religious right who’d probably have a problem with prostitution, on moral grounds. Here the small-town Catholic types are remarkably chill about the whole thing.
Once again, the right-left political spectrum doesn’t do much for me.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today. Have a good one out there!
P.P.S. Okay, I broke down and wrote a more serious article about prostitution in Spain. One of the more surprising things I learned in the course of my research is that the younger generation of Spanish guys are totally into it. Who knew? Guess I don’t have too many Spanish friends…