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A man approaches one of the few women lingering on Malmskillinsgatan, the closest thing in Stockholm to a red-light district. Image by Michelle Goldberg.
Sweden, I had been told that the closest thing Stockholm has to a red-light district is Malmskillinsgatan, a raised street in the center of the city, overlooking the lights of trendy Ostermalm on one side and the massive modernist Kulterhuset, a cultural center, on the other.
When I arrived at around pm on a recent Wednesday night, it was largely dead. There was a lone Thai Massage parlor, but it closed at 8 pm. It was only after a half hour of walking up and down the street that I saw a slowly strolling woman in tattered tights. As the night wore on, a few more women came out, most of whom appeared to come from Eastern Europe or sub-Saharan Africa. None of the women who spoke English were interested in talking to a nosy journalist.
Looking around, this seemed, if anything, like an understatement. Sweden still has prostitution, of course. There are Internet-based escorts, though the Ministry of Justice claims that neighboring countries have more.
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