Artemis is a large brothel in Germany, where prostitution is legal and widespread. The 'wellness brothel' opened in Berlin in September 2005, a four-storey building complete with a pool, three saunas, two cinemas, and with room for up to 70 prostitutes and 600 customers.
One review in a German online publication wrote "Although the outside of the building is about as erotic as a corporate office park, the interior is a bizarre cross between mid-1990s Las Vegas and a cheesy British 'Carry-On' film."
The Artemis is organized as a sauna club, similar to several other German brothels: customers and prostitutes pay an entry fee (?70) and can then use all facilities as long as they want; Artemis is open from 11.00 in the morning until 5.00 the next morning, seven days a week. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are included in entry fee. Alcohol is also served at an extra charge. The women, about 30-40 on a typical night, are mostly nude or near nude; the men are also allowed to go nude, but are mostly clothed in robes or towels. In the food area everybody must be clothed. Sexual services typically include oral sex without a condom, french kissing, and sexual intercourse with condoms. The payment (normally ?60 for half an hour) is given directly to the women after the act; the house does not receive a cut but regulates the prices and services.
The brothel has 40 employees, in addition to the prostitutes who technically are not employees. Prostitutes can stay at the brothel, renting rooms on the fourth floor which is off-limits to customers.
Artemis was created by the Turkish businessman Haki Simsek for some ?5 million.
The German prostitute support group Hydra has endorsed the transparent concept but has reserved judgement until the working conditions of the women could be evaluated.
Several comparable clubs exist in Germany, most of them in the area north of Frankfurt. One of them, Atlantis, was closed in 2004 after legal troubles.
Artemis is located near the west end of the Kurfürstendamm in an industrial area of Charlottenburg, close to the metro and railway station Westkreuz and about 0.5 km south of the ICC International Congress Center. It is a little more than two kilometres from Berlin's Olympic stadium, famous for hosting the 1936 Olympics and the venue for several games of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in football (soccer).
Various news sources reported on Artemis in relation to an expected increase in prostitution in Germany during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Norman Jacob, the lawyer of the owner, was quoted in one article as saying 'Football and sex go together extremely well.' . On June 30, 2006, the New York Times reported that these expectations had apparently been too optimistic.
Some newspaper articles have pointed out that the brothel's name is somewhat ill-fitting, as Artemis was a goddess in Greek mythology who pledged to remain a chaste virgin.
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