The Fokkens have stories that would make “The Golden Girls” blush (including Blanche). (Photo: Amsterdam Red Light District Tour)
By Sid Lipsey for Yahoo! Travel
“Yes, the downtown square is nice, but where did this city’s hookers hang out 50 years ago?”
“Say, how did people pee in medieval times?”
“Where are the dead bodies displayed?”
“Is there anywhere I can get baked around here?”
Those are questions that will likely get you kicked out of most tours. But there are some wonderfully weird and wild tours where your guide won’t bat an eye at such queries. Sure, do your standard G-rated museum and monument tours; they’re important because of… ya know, history and stuff.
But sometimes, you want to get a little down and dirty with your exploration. So here are our 10 favorite (mostly) R-rated tours where you’re probably not going to run into many elementary school field trips.
1. Meet the Old Hookers Tour: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ever want to hit the town with a couple of septuagenarian twins who used to be prostitutes? Only in Amsterdam. Prostitutes emeriti Martine and Louise Fokkens, are the headliners in what’s called, of course, the ”Meet the Old Hookers Tour.“ Possibly the two oldest veterans of the World’s Oldest Profession, the Fokkens take you on a tour of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, and regale visitors with tales of the sex trade in the 1980s, 70s and 60s.
Rated R for: Being in Amsterdam; The trauma of hearing two women old enough to be your grandmother talking about their sexual exploits. Having to say the words “Old Hookers Tour.”
2. Sex, Drugs & Renaissance: An Adults Only Tour: Florence, Italy
During the Renaissance, the city of Florence apparently was a dirty, dirty girl. “Sex, Drugs & Renaissance: An Adults Only Tour” promises to expose Florence’s seedy underbelly back during the Renaissance when “the world’s oldest occupation was Florence’s biggest business.” Plus, you’ll get a look at the poisons used back in the day, the naughty messages in Florence’s grandest monuments, and see the ancient well where massacred bodies were tossed. Fun for the whole family: as long as everyone in the family is over 18 and not squeamish.
Rated R for: General tales of ribaldry.
3. The Bizarre Bangkok Tour: Bangkok, Thailand
We’re all familiar with the craziness that can and has transpired in Bangkok (and if you’re not familiar with it, just watch “The Hangover II.” On second thought, don’t). So when you have a tour titled “The Bizarre Bangkok Tour,” you know it’s going to be wild. This tour earns its adults-only rating mainly for two of its stops. One is the Forensic Medicine Museum, which includes human remains, gory evidence, and autopsy photos. Its main attraction is the preserved corpse of serial child killer/cannibal Si Quey (according to legend, his body was put on display either as a deterrent or so that fearful Thais would know he was really dead). Then there’s the light-hearted, and also R-rated, visit to the fertility shrine devoted to the Goddess Tuptim. Apparently, women go here to pray to have children and, once their prayers are answered, they leave wooden phalluses as an offering. Good thing kids are discouraged from attending this tour, because this is one place you definitely don’t want to hear, “Mommy, what is that?”
Rated R for: Violence, sexual imagery, and general grossness.
Related: Thursday Night: Bangkok
4. The Dark Side of Charleston Walking Tour: Charleston, SC
Charleston may be known now for its antebellum charm and trendy food scene. But its past is the stuff of hard-core naughtiness that puts more genteel Southern cities like Atlanta to shame. The Dark Side of Charleston Walking Tourpromises an “uncensored” look at the city’s past. Are you into true crime? How about the scene of the 1927 murder of pistol-packing bootlegger Rumpty Rattles (which is near what is now a Gucci store)? You want prostitution stories? How about tales of the street-walking “mattress girls” — or the World War II-era brothels that were shut down after the Navy found out Charleston sailors had the country’s highest rate of VD (you won’t see that on the “Welcome to Charleston” road sign). This is the place to come for historic Southern-flavored sex and violence.
Rated R for: Southern-flavored sex and violence.
5. Weird Chicago’s Adults-Only Tours: Chicago, IL
Two of Weird Chicago’s adults-only tours take a tour through Chi-town’s sexy and violent history. First, the violence: the “Roaring `20s Tour” takes you to Prohibition-era murder scenes and gangster hangouts. If sex (at least, hearing about it) is what you want, there’s the “Red Light District Sex Tour.” The tour, co-created by sexpert Sunny Megatron (host of Showtime’s “Sex with Sunny Megatron”), takes you through Chi-town’s drag clubs, Red Light Districts (past and present), pornography shoots, S&M stores, dominatrix dungeons, BDSM clubs, and secret sex clubs.
Rated R for: Tales of murder, mayhem and, yes, sex.
6. Historic Toilet Tour: York, England
This tour of York is #1… and #2. (Photo: iStock)
Ever want to see how people did their business back in the day? England’s York Walk also includes a Historic Toilet Tour, where you can see the history of facilities — from Roman sanitation methods to what they call 18th century “sugar houses.” (Why do we get the feeling they didn’t really smell like sugar?). You can also sample the medieval “garderobes” — which, being medieval lavatories, probably aren’t that pleasant but still more desirable than your average gas station bathroom.
Rated R for: Kids aren’t discouraged from this tour. But just try bringing a child here without having him/her giggle at all the toilets and talk of #1 and #2. Then again, most adults couldn’t pull that off either.
7. Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls: London, England
It says so right on the website: “Those without a sense of humour or those of weak constitution may want to avoid this tour.” Naughty London’s “Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls” tour is centered around the London of the Tudor era in the region south of the Thames where, according to the site, the locals lived “in squalor and filth in what was the Las Vegas of its day.” The tour reveals the origins of the word “f***” and shows you where the vibrator was invented. You’ll buzz through this tour in about two hours.
Rated R for: Language. Violence. Sex toys.
8. The Helter Skelter Tour: Los Angeles, CA
Dearly Departed Tours’ Helter Skelter Tour highlights one of the most infamous crimes in American history: the 1969 Manson family murderers led by Charles Manson. This tour takes you to the scenes of the killings of Sharon Tate and her houseguests and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. And it recounts in the still-chilling details of those murders.
Rated R for: Extreme tales of violence and depravity.
9. Jamaica Weed Tours
With its recent semi-legalization of small amounts of marijuana (carrying up to two ounces is now a petty crime punishable by a small ticket with no fine or arrest record), Jamaica’s most famous export is ready for its very cloudy, hazy closeup. Various “ganja tours” offer stoners the chance to smoke their way through Jamaica. HotBox Jamaica hosts tours of ganja farms, including Bob Marley’s birthplace, Nine Mile. Yes, guests can sample the local crop.
Rated R for: Weed. And lots of it.
10. Vampires, Sex, Ghost Tour: Philadelphia PA
Sex. Ghosts. Vampires. Torture. “Deviant sexcapades.” Just another day in Philly. This tour celebrates all the 18th century naughtiness in which this city indulged, as well as some still-haunted locations. The tour includes well-known landmarks like Independence Hal and the Library of Congress and some less well-known landmarks like whipping posts, gallows and the city’s red light district. Expect to hear about Philly’s notorious sex scandals.
Rated R for: Tales of sexytime among some people you probably learned about in grade school.