Austrian Brothels Offer Free Booze and Sex to Protest High Taxes

Austrian Brothels Offer Free Booze and Sex to Protest High Taxes

By McCarton Ackerman 06/24/15

The Pascha brothel in Salzburg is offering a summer special to stick it to the tax office "pimp."

Image: 
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Not necessary for the next eight weeks. Shutterstock

An Austrian brothel is taking a highly unusual approach in protesting paying five million euro ($5,632,750) in taxes over the last decade, offering free alcohol and sex for the next eight weeks to anyone interested.

The Pascha brothel, a fully licensed establishment in the city of Salzburg, is making the offer as part of a “summer special.” Brothel owner Herman “Pascha” Muller declared that he no longer wants to be “the tax office’s pimp” and said that he will pay his workers their usual wages out of his own pocket.

“The problem is the tax office wants more and more, instead of cracking down on illegal street and apartment prostitution” he explained. “They allow me no room to maneuver.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the demand for the summer special has been so overwhelming that hundreds of potential clients have been turned away.

Prostitution is a fully legal, taxed, and regulated industry within Austria. Anywhere from 3,500-6,000 registered prostitutes in the country provide services for up to 15,000 clients per day.

Drug addiction and prostitution can often go hand in hand. A study of 200 female prostitutes, published in the journal Psychoactive Drugs, found that 55% reported being addicted to drugs before entering the sex industry. About 30% of them became addicted after their time in the sex industry, while 15% reported that their addiction ran concurrently with their time prostituting.

Sex Workers Anonymous, founded in 1987 as a way to help prostitutes transition out of the industry, advocates abstinence from alcohol and drugs as part of this recovery. The 12-step program is now available in 100 cities in 49 states across the country, as well as four countries internationally. Just like AA or NA, they have a main text called Sold Out, meetings are held weekly and sponsors take people through the steps.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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