Only in Amsterdam… December 1, 2007

Only in Amsterdam…

Blog reader Rob was in Amsterdam last week and came across a beautiful old church. It seemed to him like the church must have had empty space on its property, so to raise funds, they allowed retail shops to set up in those areas and sell their goods. The shops were “tucked into the buttresses on each side [of the church],” he wrote in an email.

Like this:


One of the shops that he found seemed out of place to him.

Perhaps that’s just because he’s an American.

As we walked by one we did a double take when we noticed it was a combination sex / pot paraphernalia shop.

I don’t remember seeing that type of store when I visited Willow Creek

Apparently, these shops are everywhere in Amsterdam… including the churches.

And look what is being sold on “sacred” grounds:


Those aren’t snow globes waiting to be filled.

Look closer…


Look at the red base. See the white circular ring settling inside of it? That’s the rolled up part of the condom. The rest is decoration for the main part of it…

It’s just like the things they sell in the downtown Amsterdam Condomerie:



As Rob says:

… here is this store selling condoms, bongs, pot seeds, and a variety of sex toys in the shadow (and I think as a tenant) of a great cathedral. I’m sure no one over there gives it a second thought. Quite a dichotomy. Something like this would never fly where I live as the religious nuts would be coming out of the woodwork to burn the place down – it was really refreshing to be in France and the Netherlands where people seem to be much less concerned about religion. I didn’t see a single religious bumper sticker or little fish emblem for two entire weeks.

Christ, sex, and drugs all in one location. I love the Dutch.

Anyone else curious as to why more people aren’t religious over there…?

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mriana

    Personally, I would have wanted to keep all of the architec, instead of changing it, and turned it into a home. It would make a great place to live and quite spacious. I’m telling you, it’s already equipped with a kitchen, walk-in closets (where the priests, lay ministers, and alter boys/girls robes use to be) and a few bathrooms and the church offices and sunday school classrooms could make great bedrooms for family and guests. You also have at least one attic if not two and a basement. Basically, your set to go and have a new home. 😀 Not to mention, if you are superstitious, you can still keep the candle (hangs in the worship area) perpetually burning. Hell you could keep it burning even if you just like candles.

    My only problem is, what do you do with the worship area when you move into the place. 😕 Not sure what sort of living space it would be. I’ll think of something, but whatever I do, I’m sure my new house would be a GREAT conversation piece. 😆

  • Well, Robb, it seems to me that the Europeans already lived through the Dark Ages once. Having done it once, they do not wish to do it again. American memories, at least fundamentalist memories, do not go back that far. Thus, the fundamentalists are more than happy to go back to the Dark Ages, believing only in the mystical and eschewing all science. I just wish they didn’t want to take the rest of us with them. ;o)

  • Richard Wade

    Are you sure those are condoms? To me they don’t look nearly big enough. 🙂
    Somehow having Frosty the Snowman performing such an action is a disturbing mixture of associations that might chill the mood. And what the heck are those other condoms supposed to be? The blue and white- what is that, a dog? elephant? airplane? has a lot of things sticking out of it. Ouch. Maybe mixing such merchandise with a religious setting is not such a good idea. Does weird things to the mind.

    And body.

  • Don Pope

    Those condoms look uncomfortable (and ridiculous).

  • Stephen

    This cognitive dissonance confuses and infuriates me!

  • Mriana

    Don Pope said,

    December 2, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Those condoms look uncomfortable (and ridiculous).

    Not from the woman’s perceptive- depending on which condom entity it is of course. 😆 Frosty and that yellow one… ahem! You get the picture.

    Stephen said,

    December 2, 2007 at 8:26 am

    This cognitive dissonance confuses and infuriates me!

    How so? You like my house idea any better? I could fix it up and sell it to you if you do. 😉

  • Rob Linford

    Santa and the Christmas tree were behind the window mullion. The tree looked like it might hurt. “Novelty items only” we were told….

  • Old Beezle

    I am shocked…
    I am dismayed…
    I am disappointed…

    …that we don’t have such wonderful places here in the U.S.of A.!

  • It seems very out of place to be selling condoms at church but Amsterdam is nothing like America including the pot laws.

  • Jen

    Hmmm. I tend to understand most items sold in sex stores, but I am still a little stumped on these “condoms”. When the man puts it on, does it look like a normal condom? Of does he actually have a snowman on his penis? Does it fold up, or is it stiff and awkward looking when entering?

    I thought at first they were the worst dildos ever.

    As a woman, I will say this: Never, ever, ever. Ever.

  • These condoms are for fun only. They are not suitable for protection against STDs or to prevent pregnancy. It’s just a gimmick to add some humor to your sexlife. They are seen as great funny gifts.

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