Prostitution is legal and regulated in Germany, with the country’s 40,000 registered sex workers entitled to employment contracts and social security benefits.
Berlin’s brothels were allowed to reopen last week after months of closure due to coronavirus restrictions — but full-on sex is still off-limits.
Instead, clients looking for sexual healing in the German capital will have to make do with erotic massages until regulations are further relaxed in September.
And it’s not just the clients who have been left frustrated by the partial easing of regulations.
At the brothel where longtime sex worker Jana plies her trade, beds have been made, animal-print pillows fluffed and fresh flowers placed in vases.
But Jana, 49, is looking forward to next month when she can offer the full service again.
“I prefer the sexual service, my clients do too,” she said.
Sex work had been banned in Berlin since mid-March as part of efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
In July, several dozen prostitutes armed with inflatable sex dolls staged a protest outside the Bundesrat upper house of parliament in Berlin, complaining that continued restrictions were preventing them from making a living and pushing their trade underground.