'I come to Germany for prostitutes - it's like Aldi'
After a recent documentary lifted the lid on sex tourism in Germany, The Local spoke with Andrew M., an American who flies over several times a year to visit the country's brothels.
“I've been to brothels in all of Germany's big cities. It's definitely addictive,” the 39-year-old Floridian said.
Over the past 11 years, he has made three trips a year to Germany for its brothels. Most recently he spent a week in Frankfurt, where he spent €400 on having sex with 12 women. “This was two a day,” he said.
Andrew's interest in Germany did not initially involve paying for sex. "I was fascinated by Germany initially because of the cars," he said.
"Then I got into reading about the Second World War and really got into learning about the country.”
'I saw a prostitute and thought this is the place for me'
He had a moment of revelation in 2000 when he was in Germany with some friends on holiday.
"I saw a prostitute standing on the street and my friends explained that it was common here. It was then that I thought 'oh my God, this is the place for me.'”
So two years later Andrew returned, alone, to Heidelberg. “It's such a cute Germany city. And it's close to Frankfurt, where I knew there were lots of prostitutes,” he said.
After sightseeing during the day, it was time to take the plunge. “I just got in a taxi and asked the driver to take me to a brothel. He did and was very helpful.”
It was in this Frankfurt brothel that the then 26-year-old first had sex with a prostitute. He was hooked.
“Most of my friends don't know that at night I'm going crazy having a great time.”
'There is no risk and it's cheap'
The legality of prostitution in Germany is one of the main draws for Andrew. Law changes in 2002 made Germany one of the most liberal countries in the world regarding commercial sex.
“There's a risk of being arrested in the US, but not here,” he said. “And it's cheaper. Germany is like Aldi for prostitutes.”
Twenty minutes with a woman in Frankfurt costs as little as €20, he said. “This is more than enough time,” he admitted.
There's no sticking around for a chat afterwards he said, as the women are normally keen to get punters out “as soon as they finish.”
Before the sex though, he said he did try to make conversation: “I ask them where they're from and treat them nice” although he has never talked with a prostitute for more than ten minutes.
'Women have become objects for me'
Yet he admitted his use of prostitutes had ruined his view of women in general. “I no longer see women for what they are," he said. "I've slept with so many that they're objects to me.”
He was, he said, past the point of no return. It was too late for him to see women as sentient beings. “I sometimes sleep with the same girls three or four times, but then it gets boring," he said. He's never fallen in love with anyone, he admitted.
He said he was shy and insecure, and found it difficult to meet women, saying that paying a prostitute for sex was simply easier than trying to form a relationship.
“Dating women is expensive, they spend all your money," he suggested."Plus where I live there just aren't many nice women."
But he said sex was better when it did not involve a financial transaction. "There are fewer limitations," he said.
"But when you do pay, it's right there, it's at arms reach.” And Germany is his favourite place to do this: “Everything's so neat and ordered and the girls are clean.”
The few colleagues who he tells about his jaunts agree: “They're happy that I'm going somewhere safe, and not to Thailand or the Philippines.”
'I look for German women, not Romanians'
And he said he thought the women he paid for sex seemed happy. “It's a job; women do it to provide for their families.” Whether they could live off taking clients for €20, he did not know.
The recent documentary which exposed unsanitary working conditions where Eastern European women were being forced to sell sex was not something Andrew recognised from his experiences.
But he said, “Romanian girls aren't my thing. They have terrible teeth and just don't look as good.”
He said he preferred the idea of having sex with German women - but that he hardly ever encountered them in brothels - they were mostly picking up customers on the street - something he found particularly stimulating.
“I like this the best, it's exciting and you can take them back to your hotel room," he said.
The larger German brothels presented a physical challenge of a different kind, he admitted. “Some of these brothels are huge and often over lots of floors, so by the time you've climbed to the third or fourth you're out of breath,” he said.
But then again the variety of women – who linger, lingerie-clad, at their bedroom doors – was a plus.
'Sure, I'm lonely'
“If I'm paying for it, I want top quality,” he said, adding that a brothel in Frankfurt was his favourite, with women who he rated as at least ten out of ten.
“The girls there are 10s, 11s, 12s, really beautiful. They're young, fresh, and full of energy. Most can't be older than 24.”
When asked, Andrew said he would rate himself around five out of ten in comparison, and admitted he was often unhappy being alone.
“I can't see myself getting married or having children and sure, I'm lonely," he said. So he will keep coming back to Germany to pay for sex, yet he said with a house in Florida and a steady government job, he would not be leaving the US.
“German winters are far too cold for me," he added.
By Jessica Ware