Tourists gawk at the naked prostitutes in the ground floor Amsterdam windows and think that explains who the Dutch are. However, the secret of the Dutch can be seen in other naked windows far from Amsterdam; in the windows of the suburbs and countryside. Ordinary Dutch families don’t put curtains on their ground floor windows. Walking down the street at night you can look directly into the well-lit homes and see the families having dinner, or reading, or just sitting in their living rooms.
No, the Dutch are not exhibitionists, and they are not even the liberals outsiders think they are. The Dutch are actually quite conservative, while at the same time being immensely practical and business-oriented.
The curtain-less windows in Dutch homes goes back hundreds of years. There should be nothing going on in a home on the ground floor that needs to be hidden. Some say this began in the days when Calvinism took hold in the Netherlands. No curtains was a way to demonstrate to the world that nothing sinful was taking place in that home. Even when the Protestant Reformation faded, the practice of no curtains remained. The homes or apartments may be equipped with curtains, but the Dutch don’t actually close them.
But how does that explain the Dutch tolerating prostitutes displaying themselves in windows in Amsterdam?
The Dutch are conservative family-oriented people, but they are also immensely practical. Unlike other cultures, the Dutch long ago decided that it was an idiotic waste of time and money to try to eliminate the sex trade. Instead, the Dutch have limited sex workers to specific, safe areas. Tourists gawk at the prostitutes (and possibly partake in their offerings). Giant Dutch policeman patrol the district while hiding their distaste for the whole business.
Meanwhile, far away from the red-light district, Dutch families quietly sit down to diner, in full view of the world. Their naked Dutch windows displaying to passers-by who the Dutch really are .