How is the dildo business

Beate Uhse | That's how the business with dildos and suspenders works today

She was THE sex icon in prudish post-war Germany.

5.26 million people (market share 15 percent) saw the ZDF film “Beate Uhse - The Right to Love” yesterday evening.

Hollywood star Franka Potente played the shrewd entrepreneur from Flensburg in it.

A young, courageous woman who does not allow herself to be intimidated by self-appointed moral guards and moral apostles!

Beate Uhse is part of the sexual revolution in Germany, the group of the same name becomes the market leader in the erotic sector - and it is to this day!


The rise to the erotic empire begins with an information booklet about natural contraceptive methods - for two Reichsmarks.

In 1948 this caused a tangible scandal in Germany.

Soon she was selling condoms, at that time still under the company name "Institute for Marriage Hygiene"

In 1952 the company had two million customers.

Ten years later, she opened her first sex shop in her hometown of Flensburg.

On the advice of her lawyer, Beate Uhse opens the shop at Christmas time. Because no attacks by indignant citizens are to be expected.

In 1979 the company already had 40 sex shops in Germany, and the Flensburg native expanded into the USA.

Beate Uhse is the undisputed market leader in the adult entertainment business.


In 2001 the erotic pioneer dies of pneumonia - and the empire is going downhill!

The value of the share has since lost 97 percent (!). Last year, the company posted a loss of 20 million euros in operations.

Sales collapsed by 14 percent to 200 million, the brand value is still estimated at 36 million euros.

Nevertheless: Beate Uhse, today an AG, is still in 47th place of the 50 most valuable companies in Germany.

The reasons for the economic misery lie in the triumphant advance of the Internet.

Erotic films, toys and booklets can be ordered online. The anonymity increases the willingness to buy.

Sex shops, which are often located in the wicked train station districts of German city centers, suffer from this.

Experts estimate that the erotic competition on the Internet makes between one and 100 billion euros in sales annually. Money that the classic providers miss.

In Germany, the erotic industry has an annual turnover of 500 million euros - but free offers on the Internet are causing the numbers to fall.

Market leader Beate Uhse also missed this development and only started selling on the Internet too late.

In the meantime, the company has pulled the rip cord and parted ways with 51 locations. According to its own information, Beate Uhse still operates 213 branches in ten countries.

Industry leader Beate Uhse and the sex industry also want to get rid of their dirty image. Young couples and women are to be won over as target groups.

Beate Uhse is banking on restructuring the business:

New shops are to open in central inner-city locations, and the Internet business is to be expanded further.

In the first half of the year, online business already accounted for 60 percent of group sales.

The number of employees fell by twelve percent to 900.

Despite the austerity course, Beate Uhse is still expecting a negative result this year as well.

However, analysts see the company on the right track. The business with suspenders and dildos will probably continue in the future.

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