Feature

Prostitution as one of the caring professions.

The week's news at a glance.

Germany

Guido Kleinhubbert
Der Spiegel

“Ex-whores” make terrific nurses’ aides, said Guido Kleinhubbert in Der Spiegel. The city of Düsseldorf found this out when it faced a shortage of elder-care assistants. To fill the void, the city began training prostitutes from neighborhood brothels to become home health aides for the elderly. The two professions, after all, require many of the same skills, including patience, a nurturing manner, and an ability to get along with all kinds of people. “I learned how to listen, and how to make a customer feel special,” says one former prostitute of her years on the street. “Old people need that.” Also, according to the program’s coordinator, prostitutes “aren’t afraid to touch people” and “don’t get grossed out” by bodily fluids—which is more than you can say for many otherwise promising nursing students. Now that there’s an overabundance of sex workers in Germany, and prices are going down, we can expect to see more of the experienced ladies turn their skills to the better-paying nurses’ aide jobs. But let’s hope the aides keep quiet about their prior careers. “We don’t want seniors to get the idea that their caregivers will be offering romantic services.”

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