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.First of all, why did no one tell me Germany legalized prostitution in 2002? Second, I think this story illustrates just how uninteresting the sex trade can and should be. Sex workers are not inherently sketchy or criminal any more than are masseuses or fitness instructors. Sex workers, like most of us, are concerned with improving accessibility for the handicapped or infirm. Sex workers, like the rest of us, respond to market signals; some of them with that extra entrepreneurial spark even start businesses. Likewise, those who seek out sexual services for hire are just like the rest of us. They include widows and grandparents, the terminally ill and even the merely curious.
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.
“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.
Also, the word Sexualassistenz. We need to import that.