Amsterdam's Oldest Prostitutes, 70-Year-Old Twins, Announce their Retirement
It's not ordinarily unusual for people to retire around the age of 70 years old. But when Louise and Martine Fokken announced their retirement recently, it turned more than a few heads.
That is because Louise and Martine Fokken, who are twins, are considered to be the oldest prostitutes working in Amsterdam. They have worked for a combined 100 years, and have bedded a total of 355,000 Johns.
The pair became sex workers before they were 20 years old. Both used prostitution as a means to become financially independent in the wake of violent relationships. At first, they worked for a pimp, but they eventually struck out on their own, opening their own brothel and creating one of the first trade unions for sex workers, the Huffington Post reports.
The pair admits that much of their retirement is due to age. Louise, who is a mother of four, says that her arthritis makes certain sexual positions too painful. Martine, a mother of three, says that it has been difficult to lure in new customers, although she still sees an elderly man once a week for his S&M session.
They spoke fondly to The Sun about the Golden Age of prostitution in Amsterdam, which they describe as occurring before the Netherlands legalized sex work and before "the eastern European mafia" took control of the trade.
Now, they say in contrast, it is very different. In the past, the prostitutes would sit in the windows fully clothed. These days, the women are completely naked. They also say that very few of the sex workers currently working in the Red Light District are Dutch, which has helped to rub away the sense of community that many of the girls had.
In fact, they say that the legalization of sex work in the Netherlands has not improved quality of life for the women in that line of work. The Fokkens say that the legalization is good for the pimps and the foreigners, but not for the sex workers. Many women these days work from home or via the Internet in an effort to avoid the taxes that come with the trade.
Last year, the twins were featured in a documentary called Meet the Fokkens, though Louise, at the time, had taken a break from the trade due to her arthritis. The women are also published authors, having written Ouwehoeren Op Reis (Traveling with the Fokkens), and are working on a second title. They hope that the income from their books and film can see them through their retirement.
A clip from the documentary can be seen below.