German Brothel Offers Discount to Cyclists, Public Transit Riders. Is San Francisco Next? This Prostitute Says No.

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An idea whose time has come
Last month a German brothel owner pulled off the amazing stunt of getting positive recognition worldwide by offering a discount to patrons who headed to the Berlin house of ill repute via bicycles or public transportation.

He also offered observers on every continent and speaking God knows how many languages to make a variation of the following joke: What's the difference between a bus and one of the prostitutes at Maison d'Envie? One is large, unclean, and entered through the front and back doors by filthy men all day long and the other is a bus. Tip your ... waitresses!

All joking aside -- okay, some joking aside -- San Francisco is a city that prides itself on its green commitment. But, obviously, we haven't gone all the way like they have in Deutschland. Since San Francisco could ruin even the most rudimentary program that worked well elsewhere, could we handle a green discount in the sex-for-green industry? When we asked Maxine Doogan, the founder of the Erotic Service Providers Union, she laughed. And then she answered our question.

In a word, no. No, Doogan does not think that a discount would work here in San Francsico because, unlike Berlin, prostitution is still illegal and sex workers need to hold onto their dollars. Also, she brings up the very valid point of how can someone prove they've arrived via bicycle or public transportation?

With bicycles you could simply show the sex worker your ride chained up on the streets (or your helmet -- unless scofflaws ruin it for everyone by carrying helmets everywhere to cash in on the discount). And those without Muni passes can flash a transfer. But is it fair that people who support Muni by purchasing monthly passes -- $55 now! -- lose out on discounted nookie? Should we be forced to take time-stamped cell phone photos of ourselves while riding the bus? This is a hardship! Some of us don't even have cell phone cameras.

So, no, Doogan doesn't see that one coming to San Francisco anytime soon. But that doesn't mean you aren't entitled to a discount. The 20-year prostitute ("and I'll work 20 more") says she's always offered members of the military and veterans a 20 percent discount. When asked if this included the Merchant Marines she said none of the many merchant seamen she'd worked with in both Washington and Alaska had ever thought to ask for the discount.

None of them had arrived via bicycle either.

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