Frankfurt's oldest bordello was forced to close recently, and Cologne pornography producer Bernd Schütt told the paper that the entire German sex industry is facing a “crappy situation.”
Flat fees and two-for-one deals often include free snacks for tightwad johns.
“It's nothing new and it's spreading,” prostitute and head of the BSD federation for sex workers Stephanie Klee told the paper.
Sex industry businesses have also asked the government for financial support, just like banks and auto manufacturers, the paper said. But the industry was struggling long before the global financial crisis, pornographer Schütt said, blaming online piracy.
“The market is dead anyway,” he told the paper. “When a student can get laid for €20 and get the whole shebang, prices are just tanking completely.”
Prostitutes are also complaining that their regulars come less frequently, or not at all, the paper said. Tourists are also staying away from red light districts like the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg.
The limp business may be a result of customers taking a do-it-yourself approach to save money. Erotic retailer Beate Uhse, which sells sex toys and films at 151 locations throughout the country, reported profits of €253 million in 2008. But the company still has to “fight for sure,” head of marketing Jens Seipp said.