• Germany's news in English

Booming sex trade begins to diversify

The Local · 11 Jan 2011, 17:20

Published: 11 Jan 2011 17:20 GMT+01:00

There are some 150,000 registered prostitutes in Germany, with another 250,000 estimated to work off the books, according to daily Der Tagesspiegel.

Though sex workers pay taxes and are entitled to public health insurance and other benefits, their profession remains stigmatised, Stephanie Klee, spokeswoman for the BSD sex worker advocacy group, told the paper.

But Klee, who has worked for some 25 years as a prostitute, said she is cautiously optimistic about the future of the branch.

“Sex work is slowly becoming more similar to other professions,” she told the paper.

Red light district jobs are becoming as specialised as those in other fields, she said.

While some prostitution has become concentrated in large high-end “wellness” brothels such as Berlin’s Charlottenburg district Artemis – which boasts a pool, sauna and buffet – other establishments are focusing on the controversial practice of “flat-rate” prices.

Still other prostitutes, such as Klee herself, focus on providing sex for seniors in retirement homes or for the disabled – an area the BSD spokeswoman said she expects to grow swiftly as Germany's population ages.

One director of a Berlin retirement home told the paper she would like to create a “room for intimate encounters,” but is still in discussions with the religious organisation behind the operation.

Even large brothels such as Artemis have recognised this potential, making their facilities barrier-free.

Story continues below…

“It’s important for us to show that Artemis is outfitted for the disabled,” the company said, touting wheelchair friendly changing rooms and showers, in addition to helpful personnel.

And while such companionship isn’t covered by public health insurers, the terminology, Sexualassistenz, or “sexual assistance,” is already well-known in bureaucratic "insurance German," the paper said.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:40 January 11, 2011 by maxbrando
Hey moonboot, get over it. It is funny. And the Irish are always good for a laugh, especially when it involves a priest!.
18:58 January 11, 2011 by floridaboy
I don't see Irish in the article...
19:31 January 11, 2011 by storymann
come on,, these girls are sweet ...
20:19 January 11, 2011 by lordkorner
I don't see Irish in the article either...Alcala
20:34 January 11, 2011 by marimay
The irish joke was funny.
21:17 January 11, 2011 by fryintl
I remember the old days, a 40+ (being kind) year old lady on the side of the road (B-40) awaiting that American GI who they knew would come and spend some money for a bit of quick pleasure. I remember seeing several beauties there too, young and willing to make a honest buck. Then there was Anabella House and Arabella house, they were flors of sexy ladies there for your needs. 40DM no touch, 20 to touch breasts, an extra 50Dm for something else, flat rate fun for someone who just wanted one thing, quick, easy and like a stopover at McDonalds.

Yeah I took advantage whne really young, why not. RUbbers were always used, no talk of Aids, and they were truly extremely good looking ladies out of the league of a 18 yo skinny kid from America.

SO they finally recognize it as leagal? Always was in teh Rheinland Pfalz area and in Saarland....
21:18 January 11, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
Prostitution was not entirely legal before 2002. It was "sittenwidrig" (loosely translated, "against good morals"), which did not make it a criminal offense, but not legal either. Sittenwidrig meant it wasn't A-OK in the eyes of the law, but unless human trafficking or force or coercion came into play, it was no longer policed or prosecuted in the last years before the 2002 Prostitution Act.

The Prostitution Act was good legislation, because for the first time it recognized prostitution as a profession that could be pursued voluntarily by a prostitute, it gave them better access to health services, even social security. It removed some of the stigma and brought prostitution out in the open where it could be better policed and observed. Also, prostitutes now have the right to demand to be paid by their johns for their services, something that was also not possible while it was still "sittenwidrig".
21:48 January 11, 2011 by marimay
I think so too! ;)
04:00 January 12, 2011 by KamiZ
Doesn't Germany need skilled workers in every field? Will the field of giving sexual pleasures be one of them too? :D
07:15 January 12, 2011 by auniquecorn
Hey? I bought my sister a jacket and boots just like those in the picture.
09:07 January 12, 2011 by Heine Steinfeldt
Hey, would your sister like to make 25€ the hard way now that you dressed like one?
11:01 January 12, 2011 by Bushdiver
I think that in Germany all kinds of questionable work would be approved as long as the government got their cut.
11:41 January 12, 2011 by Dancingbear501
Germany is behind the times.... Holland already has specialty houses that cater to disabled. If the stiff-upper lipped British would do the same Britain's disabled wouldn't have to travel so far even though the British NHS will pay for an annual visit.

(No..... it's not from experience that I know, it's from a British TV report.)
15:12 January 12, 2011 by storymann
These fine Ladies will be giving classes at the FU here in Berlin..to Social workers
23:44 January 12, 2011 by Majorvox
To treat the unique and special act of sex in such a casual and off handed way is just sad and depressing.
01:53 January 13, 2011 by teutonic-knight
Prostitution brings down the dignity of society, and it should be abolished. Every man should be with his wife and family, and that is the right way for soceity. Everything about woman is beautiful, but the devil is using this beauty to promote the devil's own handy work which is the prostitution, and by prostitution, the devil destroyes women, families, and society at large. A woman's beauty should be a wife for her husband. A Woman has the highest value in the world and she should marry one man so they can have a strong and healthy family and build the country for generations to come. Prostitution is a degenarate, disease spreading practice. If people want to have sex early, they should marry earlier.
10:40 January 13, 2011 by storymann
teutonic-knight,,did you just step out of a time warp?? or what church pulpit are you berating the Parishioner from ??
19:59 January 13, 2011 by VWDriver
20 years ago basic services started at DM50 or about $30. Houses in Frankfurt had hundreds of girls working. There was surely something to please everyone. It was clean, safe, discreet, harmed no one, and a whole lot of fun. "Honey I gotta run out for a pack of smokes..." We should be so lucky here in the land of the free.
04:56 January 14, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
teutonic-knight you are completely correct.

Thank you for putting it so well.

Disease, Death and Rape is what prostitution is all about.
14:34 January 14, 2011 by tallady
What abolish the oldest business in existence ??? I doubt that will happen,,I think if you preach your sermons enough the patrons will see the light and have no further need for this debauchery.

David Norseman ,,leave it in Gods hands....
20:11 January 14, 2011 by fryintl
teutonic-knight: I wonder if turning in a circle three times saying "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you" and then setting them on fire is next in your book of wisdom? How about stoning them for dishonoring her family? Maybe cut off the nose or ears? Is that ok too? Afterall, she is your property right? She is a woman for her man, and has no other redeeming traits?
01:04 January 16, 2011 by Wise Up!
Sign of a sick & dying culture. No wonder Germany will become a Muslim nation soon. How can anyone suggest prostittution as a legitimate career for their children?
10:33 January 16, 2011 by storymann
Wise Up! You will find plenty enough prostitutes in Muslim countries also..The big difference is they are not protected by the law,in fact they could be stoned to death. They have no health ins,,or regular check ups.. Muslims like to sneak out for sexual needs as much as anyone,,closet culture. This has been going on before recored time,,and the world still spins on its axis and the sun rises up daily. If your a religious person that you remember the story about the prostitute that was saved by Jesus,.so doubt that it has caused the ills of our society,its narrow mined ,self righteous do gooders like yourself that darken my world
18:12 January 16, 2011 by teutonic-knight
@ Storymann, Prostitution destroy a young girl's life and its just like poison for the culture. Just like drugs lowers people and destroy their life. Same as prostitution. It brings disease, ruins families and society. The beauty of women is in her heart and the beauty of a woman can be a wife for her husband. Prostitution is like slavery and death for culture. If people like to have sex earlier, they can marry earlier
02:07 January 17, 2011 by bartschaff
Every time I read one of the absurd entries by "teutonic" I expected some funny punch line in the end. Sadly they are not jokes, they are disgusting rants from a fundamentalist religious conservative: intolerant and utterly arrogant.

They are sermons from someone who claims to himself the right to define what "is the right way for soceity" - which includes women having to get married and have kids ("she should marry one man so they can have a strong and healthy family") and prohibits people from having sex outside marriage ("If people like to have sex earlier, they can marry earlier").

In summary - the opinions of the kind of intolerant, dogmatic people who are responsible for bringing about the worst that religion can cause to a society.
03:46 January 17, 2011 by teutonic-knight
@ bartschaff, all I am saying is that prostitution is poison for our society. and to destroy it, you have to destroy its roots. One way to destroy its roots is that if people want to have sex earlier, they can marry earlier. Also the advertizement, TV and movies can lessen their sexual material and instead incorporate some good moral lesson and something good for the country.
04:30 January 17, 2011 by bartschaff
Not that I'd like to have anything to do with prostitution, but the reality is that there's no evidence for it being "poison" for society. Prostitution is such a constant across all times and places that it's much more arguable to say it's an intrinsic, normal part of society than otherwise.

And, again, why to link sex with marriage? They simply have nothing to do with each other.

About your second point: and who would decide what's a "good moral lesson" to be incorporated in TV, movies, etc.? Church? State? Historical (and present) examples show that this kind of control produces no good results - at least not if you give a damn for democracy or freedom in general.
05:23 January 17, 2011 by teutonic-knight
A mother is thge most valuable thing a country has. She brings forward a healthy child to build the country strong and great for the futrue generations.

The parasites who create prostituion are enemies of the country. They decieve a young beautiful innocent girl and make her into a slave and product for their own sick cowardly mind. They parasites know that they can infect the country by prostitution and destroy women, families and soceity. They hope to weaken the country by weakening the community of people. We know that a strong country is made up of a healthy and strong community of people. We must abolish prostituion and value women at the highest. God has given women the highest beauty in her soul. Women are the future, to bring forward strong and healthy child and build the country for future generations.
14:35 January 17, 2011 by bartschaff
@teutonic-knight: you're trully a typical fundamentalist religious guy: you just keep repeating your narrow-minded beliefs, hammering them down on whoever is around, while simply ignoring any rational argument against them.

An intelligent, factual discussion is absolutely alien to you - keep on repeating your crap, I'm quitting for now.
17:03 January 17, 2011 by storymann
@teutonic-knight/ By sticking your head in the sand does not make it go away..

You can not eradicate prostitution,as long as there are patrons there will be prostitutes. Knowing that,,wouldn't it make sense to legalize it ,protect those unfortunate ladies you have written about. This way they have legal recourse against violence, health care,and are not subjected to cabs and autos as the place of contact. It is more controllable this way.

I fail to see how this infringes on motherhood,or any other saintly endeavor you have preached about.

This is just a suggestion ,,you could go down to Prostitute Ave,,and talk to these ladies about their debauchery,and bring them out of slavery and despair like Mosses did..
22:12 January 17, 2011 by kotapzero
no surprise, and now that there are plans about a happiness index to be introduced, one is reminded of the famous Repperbahn quote: Happiness is a cheap whore.
00:24 January 19, 2011 by teutonic-knight
We must abolish prostituion. We must value and guard women with our hearts. Because we know that by protecting and defending the healthy family, we will help the country, and help future generations. We must stop prostituion and create a better influencial society. Mothers are the symbol of success and future for our country. Their value has to be the highest. The Parasites who create prostituion hope to destroy the country from within. They will never succeed. Prostituion is death, slavery and disease.
14:53 January 19, 2011 by storymann
teutonic-knight,,I am disappointed in that over used lame retort.
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