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Brothels reopen after lockdown but punters left ‘unsatisfied’ as sex is banned

Brothels in the German capital Berlin have reopened after months of lockdown but for pent-up punters looking to get their kicks, sex remains strictly off the menu.

Sex in brothels has been banned in Berlin since mid-March to control the spread of coronavirus and although restrictions have eased the waiting game will continue for many.

That's because adult sex workers will only be able to perform erotic massages until September, according to the latest Covid-19 safety guidelines in the capital.

From August 8, sexual services permitted also included bondage, but any practices carried out close to the face are strictly allowed.

There are reports emerging of would-be clients unaware of the rules are having to go home unsatisfied.

They are not the only ones left frustrated, as one German sex worker says she is ready for action and is looking forward to being offered the full service from next month.

Jana, 49, said: "I prefer the sexual service, my clients do too."

And despite the risks, Jana isn't worried about catching coronavirus.

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"When you've been doing the job for 20 years and you have your regulars… You can choose who you take," she said.

"If you don't like him, you send him back through the door. I'm not afraid at all – I'm just happy. Finally!"

There has been growing frustration by some in the sex trade that the restrictions are forcing many adult workers to go underground to offer sexual services.

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In July, several dozen prostitutes armed with inflatable sex dolls staged a protest outside the Bundesrat upper house of parliament in Berlin.

Prostitution is both legal and regulated in Germany, with an estimated 40,000 registered sex workers entitled to employment contracts and social security benefits.

Contact tracing looks likely to remain for some time in licensed brothels in the new post-Covid world, with all visitors having to fill out a form with their contact details, which are kept in a sealed envelope.

Brothel operator Aurel Johannes Marx has seen six-figure losses due to the months of closure and has had to spend more to make the place Covid-secure.

Visiting clients must also now wear masks, "just like in the supermarket, in a gas station and in the subway," Marx says.

"What doesn't work so well, however, is that many guests come to a brothel with the expectation that they will get sex here," he admits.

Further hygiene regulations will remain in place once full-blown sex is being served up again across Germany from September 1.

To fill the gap in the market some desperate brothel owners have been substituting girls for sex dolls this summer to keep trade buoyant.

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