Sex work is legal in Germany!
Sex work was legal even before the Prostitution Act of 2002. Since the Prostitution Act came into force, conditions for sex workers have improved markedly by giving them a more clearly defined legal status. The new Prostitute Protection Act of 2017, in contrast, adds extra hurdles to working in the sex work industry, since sex workers now need to register with an official agency and receive obligatory counselling. Many of these workers fear their data will not be secure and they will be outed against their will, especially the mothers of school-age children. The concern is that many sex workers have moved to concealed or covert forms of sex work.
KASSANDRA offers information and advising to support you in making your own decisions. Sex workers typically work independently, and are therefore self-employed, with all the rights and obligations that go along with that status. We offer support focused on the specific needs of people in this industry, and answer questions related to business, safety, health, and legal regulations.
in Germany - in Bavaria - in Nuremberg
If you have work-related questions, you can contact KASSANDRA at any time: KASSANDRA offers anonymous advice, free of charge. In person, online, or over the phone.
This section includes a summary of some basic information, as an initial overview.
The Prostitute Protection Act (ProstSchG – Prostituierten-schutzgesetz) has been in force throughout Germany since 2017. You can find the text of the law here.
In Germany, sex work is legal work for all EU citizens and for persons married to German citizens. If you are not from the EU yourself, but you are married to an EU citizen from another EU country, you may only work in their home country.
If you are a sex worker and an EU citizen, or if you are married to a German citizen (which is also legal for trans or queer people in Germany), you need not fear police checks. You can always contact the police (telephone 110) if you experience violence, exploitation, or in case of an emergency. You have the right to have an interpreter present at the interview, and you have the right to consult an information centre like KASSANDRA. In general, you should never sign any document if you do not understand its contents.
In Germany, the police have the right to enter any location where prostitution is practised in order to complete checks or raids. If your papers are not valid for working in Germany, you may run into trouble. In general, during a check you only have to provide information on yourself, including the information in your personal ID or passport. You can find a flyer with information on police checks in the download area.
You cannot work if you have a tourist visa (for instance if you come from Latin America, Asia or Africa). If you do work on such a visa, you are working illegally and should expect to run into trouble if you face an official check.
Persons residing in Germany for longer than 6 months (continual residence) are required to have health insurance. You may have a variety of questions about health insurance, especially if you are self-employed. If you come to Germany from an EU country only for the purpose of work and do not have a residence here, you can use the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). This is typically much less expensive than private or statutory insurance in Germany.
You can advertise sexual services in daily newspapers and speciality magazines. A majority of advertising is done over the internet.
You can also find jobs in the sex work industry over the internet. Jobs in this sector can be highly diverse. Some of them are exploitative. If you want to know whether conditions at your current workplace are typical of the industry, you can ask us.
If someone is doing something to you against your will, or if someone is taking away your money or most of your income, we can help you change this situation. No one, no matter where they work, should accept being treated badly – not by brothel operators, their partners or their customers.
In Nuremberg (in the state of Bavaria), there is no flat or special tax rate for prostitutes. All self-employed persons must request a tax number from the tax authority, and submit a tax return at the end of the fiscal year.
Once you have paid taxes in Germany for a certain length of time, you are entitled to benefits from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and, in some circumstances, may receive grants to finance your education or retraining. We can explain how this works and accompany you to visit the necessary agencies.
You can receive examinations and, if necessary, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases at the Nuremberg Health Department (Gesundheitsamt Nürnberg). Sex workers can also contact the Nuremberg Health Department with questions on contraception or genital health issues. If you need a prescription for birth control pills, a vaccination against hepatitis, or a pregnancy test, for example, then the Health Department is the place to turn. They also offer advice on abortion options. You do not need health insurance and will not have to pay. Further information is available at
for sex workers
There is an ordinance prohibiting prostitution in Nuremberg and the surrounding towns (Fürth, Erlangen, Schwabach). It regulates where and how workers may engage in sex work.
- There is a restricted area, within which sex work and making contact with potential customers is generally prohibited. The restricted area ordinance and a city map with the location of the Nuremberg restricted area are available in the download section.
- In Nuremberg, Fürth and Erlangen, prostitution takes place primarily in “model apartments” and erotic/nude clubs, called “FKK” clubs. Typically, sex workers pay daily or weekly rent for model apartments. Both sex workers and customers pay a daily admission fee at FKK clubs, and can typically eat and drink (non-alcoholic drinks) free of charge and use the available space.
- In addition, the Frauentormauer in Nuremberg is considered Germany’s oldest red light district. It consists of 17 buildings, in which sex workers pay rent and work when and how they choose.
- Trans or queer sex workers typically use apartments, frequently along with female sex workers.
- Female + trans/queer sex workers can be found on platforms such as www.ladies.de, www.poppen.com, or www.kaufmich.com
- Men tend to work more often in cruising areas, or make contact with customers in gay bars.
- Male escorts can be found, for instance, via https://www.hunqz.com/escorts
You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions in this respect. Legal information on the restricted area in Nuremberg and Fürth is available here: Downloads
The Prostitute Protection Act (ProstSchG) came into force across Germany on 01/07/2017. It includes far-reaching changes that govern how individuals may engage in sex work and operate businesses focused on sex work. The ProstSchG has created a large amount of uncertainty. We have experience advising individuals on the law, and are happy to help answer your questions
for sex workers
The field of sex work also includes dominatrices, escorts, tantric massage, sexual surrogates, and erotic massage, no matter whether an individual engages in such work regularly or only occasionally. Only individuals officially registered as sex workers may work in the field. The following section summarises some important information from the homepage of the German Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.
The Prostitute Protection Act
The Prostitute Protection Act has been in force since 1 July 2017.
Obligation to register (Anmeldepflicht)
Since 1 July 2017, it has been mandatory for prostitutes to personally register their work. Anyone just starting out may only start work once they have registered. This obligation to register applies to all persons providing sexual services.
When they register, prostitutes are provided with information about their rights and obligations as well as on health and social advisory services and on how to access help in an emergency.
The informational and advisory interview during registration has a similar function. The interview will take place in a confidential setting. The interview will be held in a language that the person being advised understands. The public authority may appoint an interpreter for this purpose. Other persons may be present only if the registration authority and the person being advised agree.
The public authority in the place you wish to work most of the time is
responsible for registration. To find out which public authority is responsible, please get in touch with the citizens’ centre (Bürgerbüro), the health office
(Gesundheitsamt), or consult the website of the relevant city or administrative district. If you wish to work as a prostitute in several cities or federal states, then this must be declared when you register. The places will be entered into the registration certificate. Any new locations added later will also have to be entered into the certificate. If, however, you do work in a different location on a particular occasion without having planned to do so, then it is not necessary to add this to the certificate afterwards.
When they register, prostitutes are provided with information about their rights and obligations, advisory services, and how to access help in an emergency.
Registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung)
When you register, you will receive a certificate. Prostitutes must have this certificate on them when they work in order, for example, to be able to show it to a brothel operator, the owner of an escort agency, or during an official inspection. The registration certificate is valid throughout Germany. Federal states may, however, issue their own additional rules about where the registration certificate is valid.
The registration certificate is valid for two years for persons over 21, and just one year for persons under 21.
In addition to the registration certificate issued in your real name, the public authority can issue you with what is called an “alias certificate” (Alias-Bescheinigung) on request. Instead of your real name, the alias certificate will be issued in a name of your choosing, i.e. an alias (e.g.
work name, pseudonym). It also does not have your address on it. Such an alias certificate allows you to prove that you are registered without anyone, such as the operator, knowing your real name or where you live.
The registration authority may not issue a registration certificate if the
– is younger than 18;
– is younger than 21 and other people have caused them to take up
prostitution or continue with prostitution;
– is coerced into taking up or continuing prostitution;
– is pregnant and will give birth within the next six weeks.
Health advice (Gesundheitliche Beratung)
Before you can register, you have to attend a health consultation. The consultation is usually carried out by the health office (Gesundheitsamt), but other authorities may be responsible in some federal states. You can find this out at the local health office (Gesundheitsamt). The health advice mainly concerns such topics as protection against diseases, pregnancy, and contraception as well as the risks of alcohol and drug abuse.
Please note: This consultation is confidential, and no information will be passed on. This means you can talk about other things too, for example if you feel you are stuck and need help and advice. If the prostitute does not speak German, or only a little, another person can be present during the consultation to interpret – provided the authority and the person seeking advice agree. The consultation will remain confidential even then.
After the health advice consultation, you will receive a certificate issued in your first and last name. You need this certificate to register. The health consultation must be attended every twelve months. Prostitutes who are younger than 21 have to attend every six months.
You must carry the health advice certificate with you when you work. Anyone who would prefer that this certificate were not issued in their real name can get an additional certificate that has an alias on it. The alias on the health advice certificate must be the same as the one on the registration certificate.
Condom requirement (Kondompflicht)
A condom must be used during all sex acts – oral, anal, and vaginal. Prostitutes have the right to refuse sex acts without a condom. Prostitution establishments must put up a notice referring to the obligation to use a condom. Clients who do not use a condom may be fined. Operators and prostitutes may not promote unprotected sex.
An overview of health support offices, registration offices, and licensing offices in Bavaria is available on the following page: https://www.stmas.bayern.de/prostituiertenschutzgesetz/index.php#sec4
Anyone who offers the sexual services of at least one other person or provides at least one person the space to engage in prostitution (which includes cars, studios, agencies or events) is considered a brothel operator. This does not include sex workers who work alone in their own home. The following section summarises some important information from the homepage of the German Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.
Prostitution business permit (Erlaubnis für Prostitutionsgewerbe)
If you want to operate a prostitution business, you will need an official permit. Prostitution businesses include brothels and similar establishments (e.g. sauna or nudism clubs, brothel flats or “model flats”), prostitution vehicles (e.g. “Love-Mobiles”), prostitution events (e.g. commercial sex parties), and prostitution agencies (e.g. escort agencies).
When prostitutes share a flat with one or more co-workers (regularly or only occasionally), then this is generally considered a prostitution business. In that case, a permit has to be obtained and one person has to perform the duties of a business operator.
Before issuing the permit, the authority will assess whether the person is sufficiently reliable to run a prostitution business. These businesses must comply with the legal regulations. For example, there must be adequate sanitation facilities for prostitutes and clients. The rooms in which the sexual services are provided must have a way to make emergency calls, and the working rooms must not also serve as bedrooms or living rooms. The authority may waive some requirements for prostitution businesses in flats. If there are indications that people are being exploited, a permit may not be issued or an existing permit may be withdrawn. A business concept must be submitted for a permit to be issued. Prostitutes have the right to view this concept. This allows them to find out whether the business has been approved and whether the legal requirements are met.
Furthermore, the business operators must ensure the health and safety of prostitutes, clients, and other people in the business. Prostitutes have a right for their working rooms to be equipped with condoms, lubricants, etc.
The operators must ensure that only prostitutes with a valid registration certificate work in the business. They also have to give prostitutes the opportunity to use advising services – also during working hours. Prostitutes have the right to insist that their employment contracts and other contracts are set down in writing. The same applies to proof of payment, such as for rent. Business operators may not charge prostitutes excessive rent (extortionate rent) or any other unreasonably high prices.
Instruction prohibition (Weisungsverbot)
The law protects prostitutes and their right to sexual self-determination through the so-called instruction prohibition (Weisungsverbot). According to this law, operators may not stipulate how prostitutes perform sexual services and to what extent. This is exclusively a matter between the prostitutes and their clients. It follows that prices are also agreed between prostitutes and their clients. The personal rights of prostitutes may not be restricted. For example, they may not be forced to work naked, and their ID documents may not be taken away from them.
An overview of health support offices, registration offices, and licensing offices in Bavaria is available on the following page: https://www.stmas.bayern.de/prostituiertenschutzgesetz/index.php#sec4
HIV/STI and addiction prevention is one of our primary focal areas. We inform people working in the sex industry about a wide range of topics relevant to their needs. This allows them to work in a safe and independent manner.
One prevention strategy KASSANDRA offers is professionalisation. This includes understanding the risk of infection with HIV/STIs and how to prevent them, as well as strategies for implementing safer sex practices. Sex workers who are well-informed of their health risks (and not currently in a financial emergency situation) take care of their sexual health and use preventative measures in their work.
Providing information on different working conditions, violence prevention and on sex workers asserting their needs in the sex work field are key topics. However, in some cases measures are needed to secure an individual’s livelihood: if someone cannot or does not want to earn their living through sex work (any longer) – for a variety of reasons – (and does not have easy access to any other paid employment), applying for support, such as basic income benefits, may be a way to prevent them from illegally offering to have sex without a condom to overcome their financial distress.
We offer information on safer sex and safer use practices, in particular to sex workers who use drugs.
Condoms are obligatory for sexual service providers and their customers since the passage of the Prostitute Protection Act in 2017. Whether health prevention measures can be required by law is disputed. Many sex workers, however, appreciate that they can reject requests from customers for unprotected sex based on the law, cutting off further debate.
Never do anything without a condom, including oral and anal sex – this is not only prohibited, but also dangerous. There are a wide range of sexually transmitted infections you can contract during unprotected oral sex. Unprotected vaginal sex is even more dangerous, but unprotected anal sex is the most risky. You should use lube during vaginal and anal sex to ensure the condom does not tear. If you have difficulty convincing a customer to use a condom, you can get tips on how to do so from KASSANDRA. If a condom tears, you can go to the health department and ask how to prevent pregnancy and how to receive an initial check-up for sexually transmitted infections. You do not need health insurance, and will not have to pay.
Discussions on addiction and addiction prevention are a highly sensitive topic and providing advice on such issues may address very private issues. One of our approaches is to help prevent sex workers from falling into addiction by providing information, advice and support. Abuse of addictive substances is only occasionally associated with professional sex work; typically, workers may use stimulating substances like cocaine, speed or crystal meth. Frequently, however, people with addictions may engage in (unprofessional or semi-professional) sex work to make the money they need to finance their drug of choice (from heroin to amphetamines, frequently they may use multiple drugs). We are familiar with both of these areas. We advise and support both professional sex workers who use drugs and drug-dependent people looking to make money from sex.
We use a variety of materials and methods with these specific target audiences to address the need to handle addictive substances responsibly. We produce some of the informational materials we use to do so ourselves, and/or have them translated into relevant languages. The targeted use of such materials helps us generate awareness in our target audiences. We are part of regional aid system networks and cooperate with drug advisory centres:
- Hängematte e.V. – point of contact and emergency shelter for people addicted to illegal substances
- Lilith e.V. – women counselling women
- Mudra Alternative Jugend- und Drogenhilfe Nürnberg e.V.
Sexuality remains a taboo subject in our society, especially when it affects older individuals or persons with disabilities. Often, they may not be able to privately fulfil their needs for intimacy, physical touch and sexuality. Taking advantage of specialised sexual services to fulfil these needs may be a good solution.
KASSANDRA offers occasional continued training programs on sexual surrogacy. The qualification is offered with the professional support of pro familia Nuremberg. In this project, we train interested men and women to become certified sexual surrogates.
The next seminar in planed for autumn 2023: Flyer for advanced training (PDF)
We are happy to inform family members, caregivers and facilities for older persons and persons with disabilities about:
- The services offered by sexual surrogates
- The framework conditions for sexual services
To view sexual surrogacy contacts, please click here (this page is available only in German): Sexual surrogacy contacts
on the scene
We offer advice on occupational safety for sex workers. Our association has the expertise and years of experience we need to offer tips and tricks for working safely. We do not list all of our tips online. If you have questions or want to request an advising session, give us a call or come by.
Brothel operators: In Germany, it is legal to operate a brothel, a nudist club, or apartments for the purposes of offering sex work if you comply with various regulations. As of 2017, by law brothel operators must apply for a permit from the Public Regulatory Authority and submit an operating concept. This operating concept must include a detailed description of working conditions in the facility. The operating concept must be available to the sex workers working in the facility. It must have an official stamp from the local Public Regulatory Authority. If you determine your actual working conditions are very different than those described in the operating concept, you should either immediately find a new workplace or contact the Public Regulatory Authority. Many brothel operators manage their houses in a way that keeps the sex workers working with them satisfied, ensuring they continue to rent rooms from them. Others raise rental prices to the maximum or engage in dirty tricks. We know what is normal and what is not. Ask us.
Anyone who becomes pregnant unintentionally can have an abortion within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. To do so, they must visit a pregnancy conflict counsellor (such as at the Pro Familia counselling centre or the health department). If you do not have health insurance or do not have sufficient funds to pay for an abortion, you may apply for part of the costs for the abortion to be paid for.
Good advertisement is essential to any business. You should carefully consider what kind of information and images you want to publish: as we all know, the internet never forgets.
Sex work is allowed in Germany from 18 years of age.
Minors younger than 18 will not be punished if they engage in sex work. However, anyone who gives them a place to work may be punished by law. Because of this, they are typically forced to work on the street – the most risky kind of sex work. Often, getting into a car and/or going back to a customer’s home may result in a violent attack. We strongly advise against doing so. KASSANDRA also advises underage sex workers.
Adults who have sex for money with anyone under 18 are liable to prosecution, in particular if they have sex with someone under 16.
Special laws apply in Germany to sex workers between 18 and 21 years of age. If a sex worker is younger than 21 and files a criminal complaint against a brothel operator (due to violence, exploitation, sex trafficking, etc.), the punishments are stricter than if that complaint is filed by someone over 21.
Persons who encourage someone under 21 to engage in sex work may also be penalized. This means brothel operators are also at risk: if someone younger than 21 states during a police check that this is her first workplace, the owner may be investigated on sex trafficking charges in some cases.
In addition to our many other services, KASSANDRA also offers initial consulting for people thinking about starting sex work, or people who have only been in the industry for a short time. We can tell you what conditions are really like so that you can decide whether you want to try out the field or continue in your current job. We know what the “rules of the game” are, what is normal and what is not, what kinds of profits you might make and what different workplaces are like. We can give you tips on what not to do and how you can make money and stay safe. Of course, we can also advise you on the law and what you need to do so as not to run afoul of official agencies.
In general, working from your own home where children are living is not prohibited, but we strongly advise against it! You run the risk of having the child taken away by the youth welfare office. Working as a sex worker somewhere besides your home where your child lives, in contrast, is no reason for a child to be taken away from their mother.
Engaging in sexual acts in front of children or showing children pornographic materials is punishable by law.
You are entitled to child support benefits if
- The child is younger than 18 (or longer, in some circumstances)
- You regularly care for your child/stepchild/foster child/grandchild, who lives in your household
- You live in Germany, another EU country, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland.
Child support benefits may also be paid to a parent living in Germany if the child of the EU citizen does not live with their parent in Germany.
Advertising and offering anal, vaginal and oral sexual services without a condom is prohibited. Anyone who advertises unprotected sexual contact may be punished by law. This also applies to synonyms like “bare”, “+++”, etc.
Anyone who knowingly infects another person with an STI (sexually transmitted infection/disease) may be punished by law.
Sex workers who engage in unprotected contact may be punished by law. Customers who do not use a condom may be subject to high penalties. Penalties are even more severe if they use violence or deceit (secretly removing a condom). In such cases, you should always try to get the person’s information: Call security or the police, write down their license number, etc.
Restricted area regulations also apply to your “home” residence, where you generally are allowed to work. However, it is important to consider your particular situation. Please contact us or another sex worker information centre in the region for more information.
Drug use and excessive alcohol use can blur your personal boundaries, and in some circumstances you may let someone convince you to do something you would normally reject (such as having sex without a condom or practices you don’t otherwise offer). If you are selling sex to finance drug usage, or offering sex for drugs or for a place to sleep, etc., you should be sure you offer your services when your head is as clear as possible. It is not only physically, but also emotionally unhealthy to wake up the next morning to find out everything that went wrong the night before. Information on drugs/safer use is available in Nuremberg from organisations like Mudra – Alternative Jugend- und Drogenhilfe or Lilith e.V. – Frauen beraten Frauen. You can ask KASSANDRA about anything related to sex work. Even persons who take drugs or use other addictive substances can work professionally!
You can participate in a German language course or PC training course even if you don’t want to switch to another field of work. You can start a beginner or advanced course at any time. You will learn terms you can use in sex work.
Please take care of your health. You can do so, for example, by
- requiring condom usage from your customers (see condom requirement)
- using lube to ensure condoms don’t tear
- getting vaccinated against hepatitis B
- taking advantage of (voluntary and anonymous) examinations from the health department. HIV/STI testing is available at the Nuremberg Health Department (Tel.: 0911-231 -2541).
- Contact us, the health department, or a physician or pharmacist promptly if a condom breaks. You can avoid pregnancy and go for a check-up for sexually transmitted infections. You do not need health insurance, and will not have to pay the health department. The health department’s office address is Burgstraße 4, room 3 on the ground floor. The business hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, morning and afternoon. Tel.: 0911-231-2767
- not using vaginal douches. Your vagina is self-cleaning. All you need to do is wash yourself with clean water every day. Please ensure you do not use any substances containing soap, disinfectants or perfumes. They can harm your natural vaginal bacteria. When your vaginal flora are healthy, they act as a natural barrier. When they are compromised, your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection increases if a condom breaks.
Anyone who knowingly infects another person with an STI may be punished by law. Customers who secretly remove a condom may also be punished. If you can determine the customer’s identity (security, police, license plate number, etc.), you can file a complaint against them. If the customer has infected you with a sexually transmitted infection, their punishment will be even more severe. If you become pregnant and want to keep the child, the customer will have to pay support until the child is an adult. You should take care not only of your physical health, but also your mental health and your emotional well-being. Consider carefully which sexual services you want to offer, and which you don’t. Always remember that you are not obligated to fulfil all of your customer’s wishes, in particular a request for unprotected sex. Use a condom during oral and anal sex too. If someone treats you badly, becomes aggressive, defrauds you, or uses force, see the Violence section. Here, as well, you can contact the Middle Franconia crisis service if you are having a mental health crisis (Tel.: 0911 / 4248550). It is available between 6 PM and midnight, and on the weekends. It is staffed by multi-lingual employees. You can also contact KASSANDRA during our business hours!
In Germany, there is a dense network of information centres for all kinds of topics. There are also information centres for migrants, no matter whether they are legal or illegal residents. If you do not know how to find the right information centre, ask us.
You are welcome to contact us even if you are not in Nuremberg. We will help you find an information centre near you, or one dealing with your concerns.
Everyone living and working in Germany is required to have health insurance valid within Germany. In most cases, sex workers can choose between statutory and private health insurance.
If you are a resident of another EU country, you can typically purchase much less expensive EU health insurance in your home country. Such insurance policies are indicated by the EU circle of stars on the insurance card. They apply throughout Europe.
In some regions, there are facilities where people without health insurance can receive medical care free of charge. The Franz von Assisi street ambulance offers aid in Nuremberg. People who frequently change their sexual partners can receive anonymous testing for sexually transmitted infections free of charge at the Nuremberg Health Department.
The A&E department at the hospital can also help you if you do not have health insurance. In some circumstances, this may result in debts you will have to repay. If you are in a life-threatening situation, you will not be charged. You can always receive treatment free of charge at the hospital in a life or death situation!
Prostitution is legal in Germany.
Typically, the “law” means the Prostitute Protection Act (Prostituiertenschutzgesetz), which has been valid since 2017. You can find information on the Prostitute Protection Act at the following link: https://www.stmas.bayern.de/prostituiertenschutzgesetz/index.php Tantric massage practitioners, dominatrices and sexual surrogates, etc. are also considered sex workers under the Prostitute Protection Act. Even persons who only occasionally offer sex for money or other services (such as drugs, a place to sleep, clothing, cell phones, etc.) are generally considered sex workers. Many people in the sex work industry perceive the Prostitute Protection Act as a controlling law rather than a protective law, because they now have to out themselves to the government and comply with more regulations than in the past. The protective character of the law has not yet been proven. However, the fact that brothel operators are subject to stricter monitoring will likely have a positive effect.
The police may enter any location where sex work is carried out at any time, look into any room and check the identification papers of everyone present. During police checks, you only have to disclose the information on your personal ID/passport and your ID under the Prostitute Protection Act. Information on such checks is also available in the Downloads.
Offering or advertising for sexual acts with pregnant women six weeks before their due dates is prohibited.
If you are pregnant and need advice, you can contact a profamilia counselling centre, for instance. These centres are located all across Germany. The Nuremberg Health Department also offers a pregnancy counselling centre (see also Abortion). If you know who the father of the child is, and he does not want to pay child support, you can contact KASSANDRA. We will help you and your child assert your rights.
Sex workers decide themselves what services they want to offer their customers and how much money to ask for in return. Of course, the market and competitors also set limits. How much you can earn depends on your negotiating skills and your creativity – and there is wide latitude in what you can earn!
It is a good idea to request payment before beginning services, and placing it where it cannot be stolen. Advance payment is an accepted practice within the industry. If customers do not pay after you have performed a service, you can file a claim for payment against them in court. However, you will need their information to do so: Call the police and/or security, or write down their license plate number.
If you are thinking about switching to another field, we offer services such as free German language courses, PC and job interview training sessions and support in your job search and in dealing with official agencies. Please make a personal appointment with us in our the information centre so we can provide you with the best possible support.
You should collect receipts for all of your work-related expenses. This includes travel costs, room rent or club admission, advertisements, condoms, etc. If you purchase something in a store (such as a pharmacist, drugstore or supermarket), such as condoms and lube, you should keep your receipts. Never let yourself be cheated by a brothel operator, taxi driver or other service provider. Only pay the amount actually stated on the receipt. In addition, the receipt must state the following: the date, who is paying for what (your name and room rent, for instance), the recipient (such as the owner of club XXX), a receipt number and a signature from the person who received the money. This may also be someone hired to work at the club or brothel; the main thing is that their name must be legible. You can deduct all your work-related costs from your taxes. Every receipt you can save and submit with your tax return will reduce your tax liability!
Typically, rent for a work location is paid as a weekly rate or as a percentage of your income. The landlord or operator must issue a receipt for payment stating the amount of rent paid.
As of July, 2017, sex workers must register with the responsible agency and complete a health counselling session before beginning work. The responsible agencies may differ in different German states. You can find all the information you need on the laws in all states here: https://www.stmas.bayern.de/prostituiertenschutzgesetz/index.php. Tantric massage practitioners, dominatrices and sexual surrogates, etc. are also considered sex workers under the 2017 Prostitute Protection Act. Even people who only offer sex for money occasionally, or who perform sex to receive some other benefit (such as drugs, a place to sleep, clothing, a mobile phone, concert tickets, etc.) are considered sex workers as of 2017. Anyone who is not registered and who is subject to an official check may be penalised. Brothel operators who give non-registered sex workers a place to work may suffer heavy fines and may lose their operating license due to repeated violations. In Bavaria, health counselling is offered in health agencies and is provided by social education workers or physicians. How much the counsellors know about sex work may vary by region. Nevertheless, you can assume that the counsellors will have important health information for you, such as how to get medical assistance when you need it, even if you do not have health insurance. The health counselling session is subject to medical confidentiality requirements. You will receive a certificate stating you have completed the health counselling session, and must pay €35 (in Bavaria). The certificate is valid for 6 months for persons under 21, and 1 year for persons over 21 years of age. You must complete the health counselling session again after this time. If you change your name, for example, after getting married, you must have the certificate converted to your new name. Typically, the registration consultation is completed by official employees. They will explain the legal situation to you, as well as what you are allowed to do and what is illegal. They will provide your data to the responsible tax authority (in Germany, anyone who earns money must pay taxes). You must bring a photo to your registration consultation session, and pay another €35 (in Bavaria). You will receive an official sex worker ID. You must also register any name changes with the issuing authority. By paying another €35 fee (in Bavaria), you can have the health counselling certificate and registration certificate (sex worker ID) issued in an alias. Since there is a photo on your ID – which is valid only in conjunction with an official identifying document – this is not useful in practice if you are living a double life and want to conceal your sex work.
Citizens of EU member states may reside and work in any other EU member state for as long as they want (“EU free movement of persons”). Citizens of other nations require a permit to work in Germany (on a freelance basis) before immigrating and beginning work. Non-EU citizens can only obtain such permits if they are married to a German citizen. If you are married, you can only work in the EU country your spouse comes from. For instance, if you are from Ecuador and are married to someone from Belgium, you can only work in Belgium. If you are from Nigeria and are married to someone from Italy, you can only work in Italy. You may not work with a tourist visa, either in sex work or in any other job.
Every municipality has different regulations on where prostitution is allowed, and where it is not. Information on restricted areas is available from the Public Regulatory Authority. The Nuremberg restricted areas ordinance is availablein the Download area.
As a self-employed person, you should start a private pension plan, as you will not be entitled to any other pension. You should also have a savings fund in case you are sick, as you will not be able to earn income during this time.
If you feel unsafe alone, it may be a good idea to work in an apartment or house with colleagues. There are always emergency telephones and colleagues or security personnel in clubs and brothels.
We do not want to list all of our safety tips online. You are welcome to contact us or another information centre for sex workers in the region.
Sexually transmitted diseases are also called STIs (sexually transmitted infections) because you can carry an infection without yourself being sick. In Germany, sex workers do not have to undergo mandatory medical examinations. However, condom usage is mandatory (see condom requirement). Anonymous, free STI testing is offered in Nuremberg, for instance by the health department (Tel.: 0911/231 -2767 or -2292). Anyone who knowingly infects another person with an STI may be punished by law.
There are a wide variety of infections that can be transmitted during unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex. Using a condom is the best protection, with lube, during vaginal and anal sex. When someone has sex with many different people, it is a good idea to have a check-up with the health department every couple of months. If you have pain, itching, burning, etc., you should be examined as soon as possible. For contact information, see Health.
In addition to using a condom, getting vaccinated against hepatitis B and HPV provides good protection. German health insurance policies pay for these vaccines for persons under 18 years of age. In some EU countries, such as Hungary, young people are routinely vaccinated against hepatitis B. Unfortunately, this does not apply in all EU countries. Do you have a vaccination card? It states all of your vaccinations. You may be able to be vaccinated against hepatitis B at the health department at cost.
Of course, you can also go to any dermatology and STI practice or a gynaecologist if you have health insurance or are able to pay yourself. However, you should tell the treating physician what you do for a living. Otherwise, in some cases they may not be able to properly assess your symptoms
No matter whether you are a sex worker or not: no one may force someone to engage in sexual acts. And no one may tell another person when, where or how they have to have sex with someone.
According to the United Nations, all “people should have the opportunity to engage in a satisfying and safe sexual life, as well as to utilise their ability to procreate […] and be able to freely decide whether, when, and how often they want to take advantage of these opportunities (Zinsmeister 2013, p. 48, quote translated from German).
Sexual surrogacy and sexual assistance are sexual services specifically for people who can no (longer) carry on their own sexuality, whether due to physical or mental impairments
Get an easy to read calendar and write down how many customers you had on which work days paying what amount. Write down where exactly you worked that day, and which expenses you had that were subtracted from your income. Also write down whenever you take days off or when you are ill (preferably with a doctor’s note).
If you only record one customer per day at a low price, but pay a high rent and purchase a 100 pack of condoms every week, the tax authorities will not believe you. Being investigated by the tax authorities is extremely stressful – your whole life will be combed through and examined. You can avoid this by providing believable information and paying your taxes.
EU citizens who have worked and paid taxes in Germany for at least 6 months can apply for financial support from the state in certain circumstances (Jobcenter/Arbeitsagentur).
Anyone who earns money must pay taxes. When you register as a sex worker, the registration office will transmit your data to the tax authorities. It is a good idea to get a tax ID number as soon as possible from the tax authorities when you start work and to submit a tax declaration at the end of each fiscal year. You may need assistance from a tax advisor to do so.
See also Tax authorities
Sex workers are usually self-employed and must register as such with the tax authorities. They must pay income and sales taxes through a tax return.
To do so, they must keep a simple accounting book of their daily income and expenses. It is a good idea to save all receipts for your expenses (such as rental spaces, condoms, sex toys, advertisement) as verified expenses reduce your tax burden. If you do not pay taxes, you may be punishable for tax fraud.
Anyone in Germany who experiences violence or any other threats (whether sexual, physical or emotional) can turn to counselling centres that support women and men in difficult circumstances. These include, for instance:
- JADWIGA Fachberatungsstellen für Opfer von Frauenhandel (Counselling centre for victims of human trafficking), Nuremberg, telephone: 0911 431 06 56
- Frauenberatung Nürnberg für gewaltbetroffene Frauen & Mädchen (Nuremberg women’s counselling centre for women and girls affected by violence), Telephone 0911 28 44 00
- Wildwasser Nürnberg e.V., Telephone 0911/ 33 13 30
- Jungenbüro Nürnberg (Nuremberg boy’s welfare office), Telephone 0911/ 52 81 37 51
- Frauenhaus Nürnberg (Nuremberg women’s shelter), Telephone 0911/ 33 39 15, Women’s house counselling centre 0911/378 88 78
You can contact the police in acute situations involving violence or threats. Call the police on 110 anywhere in Germany if you are in danger. You can also receive occupational safety and self-defence training from KASSANDRA. Ask about it in our information centre.
If you only come to Germany to work occasionally, with long breaks between visits, you should always save your travel tickets to verify your income in your home country.
Of course, this also applies if you live in Germany and take longer breaks. You must always verify your income during these times. Of course, you can also live off of your savings from sex work, if you have paid taxes on these amounts in advance.
Every work location, such as an apartment, brothel, sauna club, studio or the street, has advantages and disadvantages. Working hours, working conditions, and the clientele may vary, for instance. In addition, not every location is a suitable workplace for every person. Please observe the restricted areas ordinance (see restricted area)! Here, as well, you are welcome to contact KASSANDRA if you have questions.