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Prostitution in Germany|
02 January 2017.
Prostitution in Germany is legal and widespread. In 2002, the government changed the law in an effort to improve the legal situation of prostitutes. However, the social stigmatization of prostitutes persists, forcing most prostitutes to lead a double life. Authorities consider the common exploitation of women from Eastern Europe to be the main problem associated with the occupation.
Forms and extent of prostitution
Studies in the early 1990s estimated that about 50,000 - 200,000 women and men worked as prostitutes in Germany.B. Leopold, E. Steffan, N. Paul: "Dokumentation zur rechtlichen und sozialen Situation von Prostitutierten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland", Schriftenreihe des Bundesministeriums für Frauen und Jugend, Band 15, 1993. (German)] The "International Encyclopedia of Sexuality", published in 1997, reports that over 100,000 women work in prostitution in Germany. [http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/IES/germany.html Germany] , "International Encyclopedia of Sexuality", 1997-2001] A 2005 study gave 200,000 as a "halfway realistic estimate". [http://www.bmfsfj.de/doku/prostitutionsgesetz/index.html Auswirkungen des Prostitutionsgesetzes] , IV Internationale Perspective. Sozialwissenschaftliches Frauenforschungsinstitut, Freiburg. July 2005. de icon] The prostitutes' organization "HYDRA" puts the number at 400,000, and this is the number typically quoted in the press today. In 2007, about half of the prostitutes were foreigners. [ [http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,514774,00.html "Prostitution ist Realität"] , "Spiegel Online", 2 November 2007. de icon]
From other studies, it is estimated that between 10% and 30% of the male adult population have had experiences with prostitutes. Of those 17-year-old males in West Germany with experience of intercourse, 8% have had sex with a prostitute.
Prostitution for the procurement of narcotics. In every major German city there are prostitutes who offer their services to procure drugs. This often takes place near the main railway stations, while the act usually takes place in the customer's car or in a nearby rented room. These prostitutes are the most desperate, often underage, and their services are generally the cheapest. Pimps and brothel owners try to avoid drug-addicted prostitutes, as they are inclined to spend their earnings solely or primarily on drugs. Other prostitutes tend to look down on them as well, because they are considered as lowering the market prices.
In a unique effort to move drug-addicted streetwalkers out of the city center and reduce violence against these women, the city of Cologne in 2001 created a special area for tolerated street prostitution in "Geestemünder Straße". Dealers and pimps are not tolerated, the parking places have alarm buttons, and the women are provided with a cafeteria, showers, clean needles and counseling. The project, modeled on the Dutch "tippelzones", is supervised by an organization of Catholic women. [ [http://www.taz.de/pt/2005/12/21/a0026.1/text.ges,1 Florierendes Gewerbe im Dixie-Puff.] "taz", 21 December 2005 de icon] A positive scientific evaluation was published in 2004. [ [http://caritas.erzbistum-koeln.d ... ichtEndversion1.pdf Die Verlagerung des Straßenstrichs der Stadt Köln] , August 2004. de icon]
Street prostitution. ("Straßenstrich") Regular street prostitution is often quite well organized and controlled by pimps. Some prostitutes have a nearby caravan, others use the customer's car, still others use hotel rooms. With recent economic problems, in some large cities "wild" street prostitution has started to appear: areas where women work temporarily out of short-term financial need.
Eros centers. ("Bordell, Laufhaus") An eros center is a house or street ("Laufstraße") where women can rent small one-room apartments for some 80-150 Euro per day. They then solicit customers from the open door or from behind a window. Prices are normally set by the prostitutes; they start at 30-50 Euros for short-time sex. The money is not shared with the brothel owner. Security and meals are provided by the owner. The women may even live in their rooms, but most do not. Minors, and women not working in the eros center are not allowed to enter. Eros centers exist in almost all larger German cities. The most famous is the "Herbertstraße" near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. The largest brothel in Europe is the eros center "Pascha" in Cologne, a 12 story building with some 120 rooms for rent and several bars.
Escort services. ("Begleitagenturen") Escort services, where the customer calls to have a woman meet him at home or at a hotel for sexual services, exist in Germany as well, but are not nearly as prevalent as in the U.S.
Bars. In bars, women try to induce men to buy expensive drinks along with the sexual services. Sex usually takes place in a separate but attached building. Prices are mostly set by the bar owner, and the money is shared between the owner and the prostitute.
Apartment prostitution. ("Wohnungspuffs") There are many of these advertised in the daily newspapers. Sometime run by a single woman, sometimes by a group of roommates and sometimes as safehouses for traffickers, with the women being moved around on a weekly basis.
Partytreffs and Pauschalclubs are a variation on partner-swapping swing clubs with (sometimes, but not always) paid prostitutes in attendance, as well as 'amateur' women and couples. Single men pay a flat-rate entrance charge of about 80 to 120 euros, which includes food, drink and unlimited sex sessions, with the added twist that these are performed in the open in full view of all the guests. Women normally pay a low or zero entrance charge.
FKK clubs or Sauna clubs. Typically, these are houses or large buildings, often with swimming pool and sauna, a large 'meet and greet' room with bar and buffet on the ground floor, TV/video screens, and bedrooms on the upper floor(s). Operating hours are usually from late morning until after midnight. Women are typically nude or topless, men may wear robes or towels. Men and women often pay the same entrance fee, from 35 to 70 euros, including use of all facilities, food and drinks (soft drinks and beer, most FKKs do not allow liquor). Some clubs will admit couples. The women who work there keep all money they receive from customers. Prices may not be set by the clubs' owners by German anti-pimping laws, but typically the women in one club all agree on set fees from 25 to 100 euro for a 20 to 60 minute session. In some clubs the money is shared between prostitute and owner, which technically is illegal. -- This form of prostitution, which was mentioned in the rationale of the 2002 prostitution law as providing good working conditions for the women, exists all over Germany and parts of the Netherlands, but mainly in the Rhein-Ruhrgebiet and in the area around Frankfurt am Main. Among the largest clubs of this type are: Artemis in Berlin, opened in the fall of 2005, Samya in Cologne, the new Harem in Bad Lippspringe and the long established Oase in the countryside near Bad Homburg, as well as hundreds of others. (Note: Most public saunas and FKK nudist resorts in Germany have nothing to do with sex work, and customers that mistake them for brothels will have some embarrassing moments.)
Sexual services for the disabled. The agency "Sensis" in Wiesbaden connects prostitutes with disabled customers. Nina de Vries somewhat controversially provides sexual services to severely mentally disabled men and has been repeatedly covered in the media.
Male prostitutes. A comparatively small number of males offer sexual services to females, usually in the form of escort services, meeting in hotels. The vast majority of male prostitutes serve male clients.
Brothels of all kinds advertise for sex workers in the weekly female-orientated magazine "Heim und Welt". [ [http://www.taz.de/pt/2003/02/25/a0198.1/text Helmut Höge über Zielgruppentäuschung] , taz 25 February 2003.]
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