German Sex Industry Seeks Government Bailout Money

Bob Preston
BERLIN — Everyone's got their hands out, even overseas.

Officials for the erotic entertainment industry in Germany have made overtures to the federal government for financial aid in these tough economic times, though no one's holding their breath.

Uwe Kaltenberg spoke on behalf of the German erotic trade federation. Kaltenberg, an official with the organization, said that "economic aid would be judicious," especially because of the nature of the sex trade in his country.

As opposed to most bailout money, which has gone to giant corporations, Kaltenberg said that bailout money in the erotic entertainment industry would by necessity go to hundreds of small- and medium-sized businesses. Kaltenberg speculation that the money could be sued for, among other things, continuing education.

The cry for help in Germany comes in the wake of the American adult industry's own request for bailout money. Hustler’s Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild’s Joe Francis asked Congress for $5 billion — although no one can tell whether or not they had their tongues in their cheeks.

Most pundits shrugged off Flynt and Francis' appeal as a publicity stunt, pointing toward the supposed ongoing success of the adult industry.

“The porn industry generated $12 billion in 2007, and it is not showing any real signs of slowing down,” reported a Fox News affiliate in Las Vegas, Nev. “In fact, some filmmakers at the crowded Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas said they enjoyed record business in the last few months.”

Attendance for this year's Adult Entertainment Expo was down anywhere from 30 to 50 percent this year. Exhibitor participation was down 11 percent.

Back in Germany, Kaltenberg conceded that the erotic entertainment industry is probably on its own, noting the likelihood of German automaker Opel to receive substantial funds.

"The rescue of Opel is a better draw during an election than support for the small and medium-sized companies in our sector," he said.