The brothel of Europe
"German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he would like to see further legal restrictions on sex work in Germany, adding that the sale of sex is "not acceptable" and shouldn't be "normalised.""
With the news that Germany may be heading for significant change as regards its total acceptance of commercial sexual exploitation, I am sharing this article I published on Unherd last November:
Germany is known as the bordello of Europe. It is a hard-won title. With more than 3,000 brothels across the country, and 500 in Berlin alone, its sex trade is worth more than £11 billion per year.
Prostitution, in all its forms, is legal in Germany, and has been since the end of the Second World War. Recently, though, attitudes have been changing. People and politicians are demanding that the government take notice of the “pimp state” and consider the terrible toll prostitution takes on its women and girls.
Germany’s “industrialised prostitution” is horrific, according to those who have survived it. The laws there give licence to pimps; they are referred to as “businessmen” and “managers” as they buy and sell desperate women. Cologne opened the world’s first drive-through brothel in 2001, and since then, more followed. There are “mega brothels” in cities such as Munich and Berlin which can accommodate around 650 punters at one time offering an “early bird” deal of a burger, beer and sex. At quiet times, some brothels offer “two for the price of one” deals, and “happy hours” with discounted rates.
Legalisation has helped expand Germany’s sex trade: there are an estimated 400,000 prostitutes, and around 1.2 million men (the population of Germany is a little over 80 million) who buy sex every day.
However, launched at an international conference in Berlin last week, a new report did much to shift the narrative about prostitution and its harms, in a country that has long defended and promoted the inside of a woman’s body as a suitable workplace. The report, “Men who pay for sex in Germany and what they teach us about the failure of legal prostitution”, was built on data from 96 German sex buyers and it validates much of what sex trade survivors, and legal scholars, have been telling the world for decades.
[To read the rest of the article, please use the link above the divider]