Left: Prostitutes line up south of the Gran Via in Madrid, Spain
(Madrid) In a city of over three million people, efforts to eradicate practitioners and participants in the world's oldest profession have been futile. The police in the Spanish capital thus use a different strategy, which appears to be to limit the sex trade to certain neighborhoods.
Now, I am not a connoisseur or even a novice in the use of such services, and my interest in the topic is mostly academic, though I admit to a certain rubbernecking curiosity about topics normally considered impolite in "normal" society; let's chalk this post up to my similar inquisitiveness with mass murderers, neo-Nazis, and other cast members of the freak show known as the human race.
I have read that in Madrid the police target pimps, while generally ignoring prostitutes and johns who pursue commerce and kicks while staying within the agreed-upon neighborhoods. While some local groups are trying to chase Madrid's prostitutes out of the red-light districts, other business owners fear the loss of traffic and retail sales from the hookers and their customers, while still other residents believe the police would be better advised to target drug sales and drug addicts.
My own observation of the Madrid sex trade is that there are many thousands of willing participants, and that police would be hard pressed to devote finite resources chasing around hookers and johns. Much like the myriad street vendors who hawk pirated DVDs and knock-off Rolex watches, Madrid's prostitutes meet the demand of a significant market, and even STDs cannot deter those who insist on seeking their sexual gratification on a metropolitan boulevard.
Personally, the fear of such diseases as AIDS, herpes, and syphillis are sufficient deterrents to me should my mind and libido wander, but I also find monogamy to be a better way of living. Color me repressed, if you must, but at least I've never had to dash off to the physician for a shot of penicillin or for counseling on contracting a deadly disease.