Berlin's Reopened Brothels May Disappoint

Erotic massages are allowed, but sex isn't permitted until September
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2020 10:10 AM CDT
Berlin's Brothels Are Open, With a Catch
This 2014 photo shows Amsterdam's red-light district.   (Getty Images/artolympic)

Berlin's brothels are back open for the first time in five months, but there's a caveat: No sex allowed. While prostitution is legal in Germany, sex acts remain banned until September under coronavirus restrictions, reports AFP. At this point, clients—required to wear a mask and provide contact details, kept in a sealed envelope—can only request erotic massages. "I prefer the sexual service; my clients do, too," a 49-year-old sex worker says. Sex workers have taken to the streets of Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, and Berlin in recent weeks to protest the restrictions and complain of lost income, per the Guardian. Brothel owner Aurel Johannes Marx says he's seen six-figure losses, per AFP. The outlet reports "strict hygiene regulations will remain in place" once paid sex is made permissible on Sept. 1. (More brothel stories.)

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