29 July 2009

Cycling's Many Benefits

It's a healthy, life-extending, safe transport form.

Oh, and it gets you discounts at a brothel in Berlin. Can't beat that. Ride your sustainable bike to the Maison d'envie brothel for some global warming that'll melt poles.

As The Telegraph reports:

"A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to offset the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time - offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles.

"The recession has hit our industry hard," said Thomas Goetz, owner of the Maison d'envie brothel.

"Obviously we hope that the discount will attract more people," he added. "It's good for business, it's good for the environment - and it's good for the girls."

Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a €5 ($7) discount from the usual €70 ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Mr Goetz said. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working a charm.

"We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount," he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighbourhood.

Germany is one of the few countries in the world where prostitution is legal. It has about 400,000 prostitutes who, since 2002, have been allowed to enter formal labour contracts."


Just a cyclist said...

This doesn't do much good for your cause for cycling. Prostitution cannot really be associated with happiness, serenity or even health (this of course depends on how much weight you choose to give the well-being of the "work-force" in contrast to your own needs... but still), nor is it entirely uncontroversial.
Do you really want to soil the good cause for cycling with this?

lagatta à montréal said...

Mikael, healthy sexiness (as in Copenhagen Cycle Chic) is one thing - exploitation of women, often conscripted at gunpoint from the Third World and the former Eastern Bloc - is quite another.

Cycling should have everything to do with sex and libido, but nothing to do with exploitative sex and brothel-keepers. Leave that to the car ads.

Mikael said...

please take the post with a grain of salt.

and let's remember the cultural differences between our regions.

exploitation of women is a serious problem and the influx of eastern european and african women who are forced into the sex trade is of major concern.

however, there are many brothels in Germany and Denmark and Holland that are just like any other business, tax-paying and all that, and that only employ local girls who work at their own free will.

there are even unions to represent them.

so i'm not 'soiling the good cause' or promoting 'exploitative sex and brothel keepers'. I'm merely passing on an article about a cultural aspect of life in Northern Europe.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the cultural differences between North America and Europe. The instant assumption that legal licensed brothel are exploitative, by the puritans...

Anonymous said...

For anonymous #1:

Interesting to see the assumption that respondents are North American and not merely residing in North America...

Interesting to see the equating of "legal" with "moral". Most wars are legal, aren't they; few are moral. Many sweatshops are legal; few are legal...

Interesting to see that name-calling ("puritan") is mistaken for effective argument...

Anonymous said...


Revision: Many sweatshops are legal; few are moral.

Melbourne Cyclist said...

My personal feelings about prostitution aside*, I'm quite amused at that article. Nice marketing ploy.

Wonder if I can persuade our local supermarket to give discounts to cyclists? They give out petrol discount vouchers if you spend over a certain amount after all (which we give to friends that we car share with at times, since we don't have a car to use them with).

*even if "the girls" are working legally/voluntarily, it's still legitimising a view that women are objects to be used

Kevin said...

Dear Anonymous,

Canada is one of the countries in which prostitution is legal. So be careful about your assumptions about what is "North American."

Adrienne Johnson said...

News flash! There are hookers on bikes! I have seen them. Maybe we should take their cycles from them as they are sullying our good cycling name?

You should all read this article to see where the true perversion of cycling purity is happening!

Anonymous said...

I always feel sad when I hear disparaging words like "hooker" used for prostitutes. The way I see it, they always are victims, be they legal or not.

lagatta à montréal said...

I am not a puritan (nor am I from puritan Protestant anglophone North American culture). Moreover I have a fair knowledge of Northern European cultures, and I certainly don't want prostitution to be outlawed there or here as it is in the US, as that worsens the security and working conditions of sex workers. But feminists I know in Netherlands and Germany (who aren't for outlawing prostitution either) have a lot to say about the fact that legalised brothels have done nothing at all to discourage human trafficking and the exploitation of large numbers of women from Eastern Europe and Third World countries.

I don't think there are any easy solutions to this, but prostitution is a concentrate of the commodification of human beings. It has nothing to do with "sexiness" which is a good and positive thing.