Free Sex at Prague Brothel Tests Taboo as Reality Romps Hit Web

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Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) — If you want to watch Nick having sex with a prostitute, he’s happy to let you.

The 36-year-old bank-security technician drove eight hours from his home in Metz, France, to Big Sister, a Prague brothel where customers peruse a touch-screen menu of blondes, brunettes and redheads available for free. The catch is clients have to let their exploits be filmed and posted on the Internet.

“Sex is no taboo,” Nick says, though he asked that his last name not be used. “You have to free your mind.”

Big Sister is marrying 21st-century technology with the world’s oldest profession to profit from the public’s appetite for ever-more graphic reality TV. Since 2005, more than 15,000 men have taken up the offer of free sex in return for 15 minutes, or less, of fame, according to the brothel. Big Sister is now expanding into the U.S. with a local version of its Web site.

Visitors to the virtual brothel pay 29.95 euros ($43.88) for a one-month subscription to a smorgasbord of sex listed by position, preference and number of people. Big Sister also produces cable TV shows that air on Sky Italia and the U.K.’s Television X, as well as DVDs such as “Sex Hyenas” and “Voyeur’s Eye.”

“Our goal is to attract as many people as possible to catch the first reality sex TV,” says marketing manager Carl Borowitz, who goes by the name Carlos. “This is National Geographic for adults. Everyone’s curious to watch their neighbor.”

Reality Extremes

Visitors to Big Sister start at the electronic menu, which provides each woman’s age, height, working name and the languages she speaks. After a customer makes his selection, a manager makes sure the client signs broadcast release forms, and then the intimate details are arranged with the partner for the evening.

After donning a burgundy terry-cloth robe and slippers in a carpeted locker room, each client heads downstairs where the action takes place. Every move is recorded by more than 50 video cameras mounted everywhere from the toilets to the bed posts.

Big Sister is the logical result of the reality TV craze, says Paul Levinson, chair of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York. The brothel’s name is a play on “Big Brother,” a TV show seen in 70 countries. The two aren’t related.

“It does seem people like all extremes of reality TV,” says Levinson, who wasn’t aware of Big Sister. “As media gets more advanced it gets more real. As much as high-definition has replaced black-and-white, this advancement has also been seen in terms of content.”

`Monster’ Potential

At Big Sister, about a dozen guests perform on camera each night, and the Web site gets

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Source: Bloomberg: Jan 10, 2008: By Douglas Lytle and Yon Pulkrabek

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