Adult entertainment in the German sex industry
Leading pornography retailer with sex toys, lingerie and clothing
Beate Uhse AG is a German industry group with focus on selling adult entertainment in the form of sex toys, lingerie, clothing and pornography. It is the most successful company in the German sex industry, and the country's leading pornography retailer.
It was founded by former German war-time pilot and sex pioneer Beate Uhse-Rotermund in 1946 and started out as a distibutor of pamphlets on family planning called Schrift X (roughly: Writing X or Paper X) which was a major success. In 1962 the company opened the world's first sex shop in Flensburg, West Germany.
When pornography was finally made legal in West Germany in 1976, Beate Uhse was well-prepared with a widely known and respected brand name and an established mail order business. By 1992 it owned 30 sex shops and 25 cinemas, had a turnover of 100 million Deutschmarks, and 10 million customers visited its premises. It currently has over 1,500 employees, is active in 60 countries and has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 1999.
Uhse remained the chairwoman of the company until her death in 2001. In 2004 Beate Uhse AG opened the first Mae B. shop, a chain of sex shops specifically aimed at female consumers.
In 2004 the combined sales of the Beate Uhse industry group made it the largest distributor of adult-related entertainment and products in the world.