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Bonn introduces "sex tax"

With new “sex parking meters,” Germany takes another big step in the regulation of its sex industry.
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A "sex meter" ticket machine, resembling a parking meter, to tax street prostitutes in Bonn, western Germany. Bonn, the former West German capital, was the first city in Germany to introduce a parking meter for prostitutes in order to tax those who just work the streets. (Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images)

Leave it to Germany to streamline the unruly sex industry.

Bonn became the first city in Germany to introduce “sex meters” for prostitutes as a means of extending a general tax on prostitution beyond brothels to the streets of Bonn, AFP reports.

Bonn’s “sex tax” currently covers levies on sauna clubs, erotic centers and as well as the sex meters that were rolled out in August that — through the end of 2011 — brought in around 250,000 euros ($326,000.) City spokesperson said the local government was pleased with the results and will continue levying the tax.

The sex meters, devices similar to curbside parking meters, were installed in an industrial area near the city center in an area that’s used by prostitutes to solicit clients. Each sex worker must buy a “parking ticket” for six euros per night worked, regardless of how many customers they serve.

Prostitution is legal in Germany and the country is doing its best to make it a “real profession,” with permits, taxes, healthcare and social security benefits, and all that.

Germany is also possibly the only place on Earth where one can find a perfectly legal “All You Can Sex” club, located — poetically enough — on Martin Luther Strasse in Berlin.

Even in an all-inclusive club, as they like to call it, the process is shockingly orderly, and — one might add — not unlike the sex meter idea in essence.

Every visitor of the club purchases a “parking ticket” for 79 euros ($102), which allows him to park himself (or herself) in the club all night, drink as much as he wants and have sex with as many women as he wants. The most popular of “Flatrate Girls” have waiting lists, but other than that it all works as a well-lubed machine.

And, naturally, they offer discounts to pensioners and taxi drivers on Mondays.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/wanderlust/bonn-introduces-sex-tax