Berlin ‘should pay for sex in care homes’ – Yup, you read that right folks! Should states fund sex workers for those who “require” it?
Yes, you are reading that correctly, this has been a recent news item. Berlin is considering assigning state funding towards the hiring of prostitutes for care home visits in order to adhere to the sexual rights of the disabled and elderly that reside in these institutions.
A German opposition lawmaker is proposing that the state should assign public funding to provide ‘sexual assistance’ to those care home residents who cannot afford it themselves. Under this scheme, elderly and disabled residents of care homes would be able to apply for a medical prescription for sessions with sex workers. The criteria for this prescription would require candidates to demonstrate an inability to achieve sexual satisfaction through other means, in addition to providing evidence that they are unable to self-fund encounters with prostitutes.
Germany has a history of greater lenience and acceptance of the sex industry. Whereas, prostitution is still illegal across the UK, the practice of prostitution was
legalised in Germany in 2002. At that time there were 400,000 sex worke
rs estimated to be employed in this industry in Germany, servicing 1.2 million men every day. Since the legalisation of the sex trade, those figures from 2002 would now indicate an industry worth an estimated 15 billion euros!
As a Brit raised in a world where prostitution is fundamentally wrong and immoral, this is a very strange notion. However, the logic behind Germany’s legalisation of this societal taboo is to permit the widespread recognition of prostitution as a job, similar to waitressing or bartending. This encompassing of sex work as a job essentially aimed to make transitions to our career sectors easier and primarily more feasible. Whether this has worked or not is a subject of much contention and open to debate. However, the concept of state-funded sexual encounters for those residing in care homes is a new addition to the frankly, revolutionary views on the sex trade.
Support for this argument may be justified in a number of ways, but the key case lay in the idea of human rights. All human beings are created equal and are entitled to equal opportunities. Living beings are entitled to enter into any experiences that they wish, so long as these practices do not break any laws or cause any damage or harm to others. In essence, as prostitution is a legal practice in Germany, it can be seen as a regular purchasable product or service like any other. If one is able to understand it as such, then an argument can be made that pensioners and others residing in care homes, should have the opportunity to engage in sexual activity. If one is physically unable to reach sexual gratification through normal means, then is it not understandable that one would employ a prostitute who can aid in the achievement of this final sexual satisfaction?
The laws pertaining to human rights promote policies which enable persons to exercise their sexual rights, permit them to embrace the right to a safe and full sexual life, as well as their right to take free, informed, voluntary and responsible decisions concerning their sexuality, sexual orientation, sexual engagement and gender identity, without coercion, discrimination or violence. Each person is guaranteed the right to information and the means necessary for their sexual health and reproductive health. These customs are paramount and therefore, in a sense it can be understood that each individual should be permitted the rights to use sex workers if they so desire.
Supporters of this initiative may also argue for the association of sexual release as a medical right. Sexual desires are in fact a direct affect of hormones and therefore, cannot simply (or naturally) be quashed without the interference of hormone-stabilising/stripping drugs. Human beings are built with these impulses and in exceptions where chemical castrations or natural asexuality is prevalent; humans are entitled to exercise outlets for these desires.
The argument against this scheme is quite obvious, and is, to be frank, where my opinion lay. This may perhaps be due to my inner prudishness but honestly; I am in the opinion that no man or woman should be forced to become a sex worker. I do understand that some people may grow up or decide that prostitution is what they desire as a career, but I believe this is the exception not the rule. Personally, it breaks my heart to think that any human being is forced into the position to take on this kind of career seeing this as the only option out of their current situation, or the only way they can survive.
In addition, to my natural aversion to the sex trade as a career path, I also find it fundamentally repugnant that state funding would be apportioned to provide men and women with happy endings. We live in a world where urgent medical care is not an automatic and freely available right, but Germany is in the position where it can allocate funds, raised from hard-earned taxes of its working people, to making sure Grandpa Joe can get his weekly jollies. To put it simply, the concept of this enrages me and it’s another case, which leaves me with a hollow pit in my stomach, shaking my head in disbelief and questioning that this is what the world has really come to. But I suppose that’s simply a fringe benefit of the Brexit and Trump generation. Thank god this is just a proposal - let's hope this isn't another thing that future generations will look back at and say WTAF!