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Germany's "Sex Parking" Meters

The German city of Bonn is starting to reap the benefits of a new prostitution tax – one that’s paid by curbside “sex meters,” no less! These parking meter-like devices collected an impressive $20,000 since last August. It’s a trend that might just catch on.

The meters are required for prostitutes who choose to work at a per-night rate of $8.65. This allows them to work between 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The devices provide a means to tax street workers, following taxes already established for brothel employees. The devices come with some protection as well. Specialty parking areas have been built around the meters to ensure all valuables are safe. The placement of these meters and the construction of these parking centers is part of an effort to normalize and safely regulate the prostitution industry in Germany, which has been legal since 2002. What it may not do, though, is alleviate the social stigma that comes with the job.

Bonn has roughly 200 sex workers, a tenth of which are predicted to work on any given night. The success of the meters has pleased city officials greatly. A spokesman for the German Association of Cities and Municipalities expects the use of technology to spread to other cities. It’s no surprise city governments are looking for ways to ensure they get their cash — Germany is facing an $11 billion debt

Robert Slattery


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