Driving instructors in the Netherlands have been rejoicing in recent days due to the passing of a new law that allows their students to pay them in sexual favours.
To be clear, this is not satire, it is real.
Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, most famously in Amsterdam. The legal reasoning behind this is that you’re not actually paying for the sex itself. You’re paying for the prostitute’s time. What the two of you get up to behind closed doors is strictly your business.
But this new law takes things in quite a different direction, and allows two people to come to a mutually beneficial understanding without any money changing hands at all. Although people in the Netherlands can start taking driving lessons at 16 and a half years old (seriously? 16 and a half?), and the age of consent is 16, the new payment option is only available to those who are over 18.
The hope is that having this option will relieve the financial burden of learning to drive for people, primarily young people, but there are of course concerns that allowing sex to be used as a payment may lead to people being forced to use sex when they are unable to pay for goods, and that this may be a doorway to using sex as payment in other business transactions.
Dutch Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and Justice minister Ard van der Steur commented on the recent developments, stating ‘It’s not about offering sexual activities for remuneration, but offering a driving lesson.It is important that the initiative lies with the driving instructor, and focuses on offering a driving lesson, with the payment provided in sexual acts. When a sexual act is offered in lieu of financial payment, that is prostitution.’
All moral concerns aside, just think how awkward it would be to ask your driving instructor if they’re willing to accept sex as payment.