Germany’s Pernicious “Industry”

By Laila Mickelwait, M.P.D   Published 09 March, 2018


In Stuttgart, 1700 men lined up unashamedly waiting from morning until night on opening day to get into the new “Pussy Club,” a flat-rate brothel.

In Germany, prostitution carries the government stamp of approval. For 70 Euros (about $78 Dollars) a man can stay for 24 hours in the club and have sex with as many women as he wants in this type of “all you can eat body buffet.”

In the town of Cologne, sits a colossal 12 story, 27,000 square foot “mega brothel” called Pascha—the biggest brothel in Europe. This gigantic flesh market houses over 120 women in 126 rooms and on any given day has over 1000 male customers.

Josie’s Story

In another part of Germany there is club “Paradise,” where 150 women service an average of twenty men each per night. Paradise was recently the subject of a documentary called “Mega Brothel” directed by Edward Watts, a man who has investigated on film the realities of life in places like impoverished Gaza and the journeys of Somali refugees as they make their way to Europe.

Watts tellingly admitted about the creation of “Mega Brothel,” “I have been to a lot of wild places around the world but I have been nowhere like that.”

In the film Josie, one of the women prostituted in the brothel, talks about her personal journey. Like many other women, childhood trauma led her into the sex trade. “It was when I was 10 or 11,” she explains. “I could say he was the Devil in person. He was beating me and he did some sexual abuse. I was sexually abused when I was 10 or 11 years old,” she reflects. “After that, a part of you is dying and it’s not a big deal to work as a prostitute.”

Josie says she is currently studying politics in her free time and hopes to go on to become a criminologist. “Criminology has a personal meaning to me because in the red light district you see a lot of crime and violence,” she says.

An essential tool in Josie’s make-up bag is a tube of Xylocaine, a local anesthetic gel that numbs the physical pain resulting from sleeping with up to 20 men a day.

As she goes on to reflect on her life and what she has experienced she becomes visibly upset. “I have slept with… around 15,000 [customers],” she reveals. “When I say that, it makes me feel so sad.” On the contrary, one sex buyer named Wolfgang says he stopped calculating his encounters at the club after he passed 500. Asked how the experience affects the women, he is stumped as he admits frankly, “I never thought about it.”

A Booming “Industry”

Josie’s story is not an isolated one. A decade ago it was reported that there were over 400,000 women in Germany’s prostitution industry, working in over 3500 brothels, 600 of which are in Berlin. Today experts estimate that the number of women being prostituted in Germany has increased, some say even as much as thirty percent.

Over one million men are buying sex every day in Germany. Since brothels were legalized in the country by a ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens, profits have soared to $17 billion a year—three or four times higher before the law changed.

The sex industry’s profits are not only driven by local demand but also by the many tour operators specializing in sex tourism packages. Operating mainly out of Asia, Russia, and North America, they offer five to ten-day packages that include flights, hotels, and limousine service, and promise their clients a complete tour of the most famous red light districts.

“People think Amsterdam is the prostitution capital of Europe but Germany has more prostitutes [sic] per capita than any other country in the continent, more even than Thailand,” said investigative journalist Nisha Lilia Diu.

“Germany is Europe’s biggest brothel, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, you just have to do the math to realise that’s the case,” commented the owner of one of the most highly rated German brothels. “We have about 60,000 people coming [to this club] every year, from Asia, America, and even from the Arab world…”

In Germany’s legal sex industry, pimps and traffickers can easily hide under the deceptive label of “sex entrepreneurs” and are running multi-million dollar enterprises through online virgin auctions, drive-in sex stalls, outdoor “sex boxes” called “Verrichtungsbox” (“getting things done” boxes) where men line up during lunch breaks. Even bestiality brothels have popped up in a country where anything goes when it comes to sex.

The Government as the Mega Pimp

The full legalization of the sex industry has become a disastrous policy that is destroying women’s lives. Sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, abuse, violence and organized crime runs rampant to say the least.

Several years ago, after reports of human trafficking in one of Germany’s mega brothel chains, 700 police raided several locations rescuing women and arresting traffickers. This is one of hundreds of cases where forced exploitation has been discovered just under the surface of a facade of legitimacy.

In Germany a significant cut of all prostituted women’s meager “profits” is taken in the form of a prostitution tax, and thus the government itself has become the biggest pimp of all. The German government is earning an enormous amount of money off of the exploitation of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable women.

The so-called “benefits” that the government promised to offer women in prostitution when full legalization took place are all but nonexistent. Of the over 400,000 women who are working in Germany’s sex industry, only 44 of them have registered to receive them. That is because whether illegal or legal, prostitution can never lose its stigma, and women don’t want to be known as working in the industry. Furthermore, most of the women working in Germany are not German citizens but are transient women from impoverished countries whose poverty is exploited by pimps, traffickers, buyers, and the government itself.

The Normalization of the Sex Industry

In Germany men and women are socialized from a very young age to accept and participate in the prostitution industry. One German activist noted that an organization called Pro Familia, a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), advises German schools regarding their sex education curriculum.

Among the material they recommended for teenagers is a book called, “Sexualpädagogik der Vielfalt“ (German for “Teaching Sexual Diversity”). This text includes suggestions and material for projects in which students are asked to name sex positions and to “modernize a brothel.” In small groups they are told to discuss what “services” a brothel should offer.

Sex education in some German schools is reported to even include “educational” exercises where 14-year-olds are instructed to buy dildos, impotency drugs, handcuffs, as well as leather costumes in a virtual auction. Those who protested this kind of content being introduced into the school curriculum were accused of being “reactionary,” “conservative,” and “prudish.”

The normalization of prostitution in Germany has lead to a situation where many male youth celebrate their high school graduations together in brothels. In Germany it is said to be “no big deal” that boys as young as 16 go to a local apartment brothel to buy sex.

Things CAN Turn Around

The problems surrounding the sex industry in Germany run deep. These are serious legal, cultural, and spiritual problems that will take a monumental amount of prayer and action to turn around. But nothing is impossible!

In fact, not long ago we received word about a young man in Germany who decided to stop purchasing sex after watching our documentary Nefarious at his school!

Not to mention the fact that France, a European country with a long history of legalized prostitution, recently adopted the Nordic model—making the purchase of sex illegal.

Let us all join together to pray for Berlin, the seat of Germany’s parliament where critical decisions about the sex industry are made. Germany is a major leader in Europe and as Germany goes, so goes the entire European Union. Let us ask God for a miraculous turning of the tide, in which Germany not only adopts the Nordic Model of legislation (criminalizing the purchase of sex) but that Germany would also become a country that leads the rest of Europe to do the same.

Let’s also pray for the hearts and souls of the over one million men purchasing sex every day that they would be struck with the reality of what a horrific industry they are perpetuating, and the real lives that they are destroying with each purchase. Let’s pray that these men would repent and turn from their destructive ways to become the men they were destined to be.

And last but not least, let us pray for the total healing and restoration of the millions of women who have been caught up in Germany’s insidious sex industry.

About the Author

Laila Mickelwait is the Director of Abolition for Exodus Cry and the President and Founder of New Reality International. Laila has spent time working with Habitat for Humanity, the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Federation of United Nations Associations Millennium Project, and the National Journalism Center in Washington D.C. During her time with the Millennium Project she participated in research and writing for the annual "State of the Future" report addressing the 15 global challenges, which was featured in TIME magazine and endorsed by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon. Featured in 98 newspapers across the globe was the section of the report Laila updated to include the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. Laila received her Master of Public Diplomacy degree from the Annenberg School of Communications and the Dornsife School of International Relations, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State.

In 2006 Laila became keenly aware of the need to practically serve those suffering from injustice, and she founded New Reality International (NRI), a non-profit global aid and development organization focused on the plight of orphaned and trafficked children. Laila subsequently joined Exodus Cry, and has been working in the area of the prevention and abolition of sexual slavery. Her work includes research, awareness raising, education and engaging with legislators to encourage law reform concerning the injustice of sex trafficking around the globe. Laila has presented and advocated for legislative reform at anti-trafficking conferences, the United Nations, and to policymakers all over the world, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and The United States. Laila’s writing and speaking has been published in outlets such as BBC News, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Charisma Magazine and many others.

She can be reached via Twitter at LMickelwait and via her website at

Article picture: Prostitute's corner by Hans Baluschek 1929. Source: Wikipedia. Picture no. 1 Au Salon de la rue des Moulins by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Source: Wikipedia

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