A German lawmaker has suggested that her country should pay sex workers to provide sex on prescription for people in long-term care, including the elderly and the mentally ill. Green Party spokesperson Elisabeth Scharfenberg suggested that the government provide funding for this “sexual assistance,” which would be modeled on a system already in place in–you guessed it–the Netherlands.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that this is already happening in Germany, in a less official manner at least, where a growing number of sex workers are being brought into care homes. In terms of their services, “The spectrum ranges from tender touches to sexual intercourse,” says Germany’s Welt am Sonntag. But because prostitution is not treated the same as other professions, legally speaking, there are problems.
Speaking to the Welt am Sonntag, Scharfenberg said that cities could give grants for sexual assistance. If the service was modeled on the one already running in the Netherlands, though, then the beneficiaries may have run out of steam before they even get started. There, the patients need to prove they are eligible for relief by means of a medical certificate that says they “cannot be satisfied in any other way and that they can not pay the service themselves.”
There are, of course, supporters and opponents of writing prescriptions for paid sex Germany. Sex counselor Vanessa del Rae told Die Welt that they are a “blessing,” while nursing researcher Wilhelm Frieling-Sonnenberg makes the curious argument that “It’s all about making people want to get back to work through sexual pressure reduction: let the old pressure drop, then they’re easier to care for,” he said (machine translated from German.) But isn’t “letting the old pressure drop” exactly the point of this therapy?
More than anything, the fact that this issue is receiving serious debate says more about the pragmatic attitudes of Germany and the Netherlands than anything else. Can you imagine this happening in the U.S.? Of course not. In America, the only time sex workers get paid with public money is when politicians throw private parties.