from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coupling (Latin lenocinium ) is the deliberate mediation and promotion of fornication . Since matchmaking specifically refers to those who have been ordered (children, wards, etc.), the term also includes the marriage brokerage of minors. In connection with monetary payments, pimping also belongs in the context of prostitution . Couplers are known as couplers .

Development of the term

At the matchmaker's painting by Jan Vermeer , 1656

Coupling had been a criminal offense in Europe since the High Middle Ages.

The advancement of foreign fornication meant the creation of more favorable conditions than those previously available. This could be through mediation or granting or the creation of an opportunity. The demarcation between pimping and prostitution was at times very vague.

Although the offense of pimping has varied several times in history, it has almost always been divided into simple pimping and severe (qualified) pimping. The former was punished far less harshly than the simple advancement of fornication, whereby here the completion was often necessary, so it really had to be sexual acts between the couple. The habitual, self-interest, one with tricks, or the special trust of the coupler, was considered to be a serious pairing, in which the attempt was already punishable. The habitual as well as the selfishness were mostly used by brothels and their operators. It always remained a controversy and was judged differently whether this could also apply to (state) approved brothels. Tricks were considered to be deceit, outsmarting or making the couple drunk in order to induce sexual intercourse. The position of trust existed if the matchmaker was a parent, husband or wife, educating person (teacher, pastor) or the matched foster family. It was almost always controversial whether coupling two fiancés should also be a criminal offense, but this was accepted by both the Reichsgericht (RGSt 8, 172) and the BGH (BGHSt 6, 46).

The meaning of the word fornication also changed greatly in relation to the concept of pimping. Once it meant premarital sexual intercourse or intercourse-like acts (e.g. oral intercourse , petting ), then again only complete intercourse and later only intercourse between young people (fornication of minors). The negotiation of affairs in the rendezvous houses of the Belle Époque fell under the domination . It was irrelevant for the punishment of pimping whether the fornication in itself constituted a criminal offense, since pimping was considered a separate offense and not an act of participation .

The pimping paragraph was important in Germany until 1973. According to the case law at the time, those parents who allowed their children to come into contact with their possible sexual partners in the parental home or who neglected their duty to supervise were guilty of pimping. The sometimes contradicting state regulations and a changed social morality then led to a reform of the criminal law.


Coupling is mostly understood as promoting premarital sexual intercourse (fornication) and has been forbidden since the German Empire by § 180 aF StGB . In Meyer's Konversations-Lexikon , kinkelei was described as follows:

"The same appears as a criminal offense (simple pimping) if it is committed habitually or out of self-interest through mediation or by granting or procuring the opportunity to fornicate, and according to the German Criminal Code it should be punished with imprisonment from 1 day to 5 years. The loss of civil rights and the admissibility of police supervision can also be recognized. "

"As a crime, the mere attempt of which is already punishable, pimping (severe pimping) appears when insidious devices were used, or when the guilty party to the persons with whom the fornication was carried out in the relationship of parents to children, from guardians to carers, from clergy, teachers or educators to the people they teach or raise. Pupeling is then punished , even if it was not carried out habitually or for self-interest, with penitentiary from 1 to 5 years and loss of civil rights; the admissibility of police supervision can also be recognized. "

Legal situation until 1970

At that time, the West German § 180 StGB had the following wording:

(1) Anyone who habitually or out of self-interest through his mediation or by granting or procuring the opportunity to promote fornication shall not be punished for less than one month for being coupled with imprisonment; a fine, loss of civil rights and the permissibility of police supervision can also be recognized at the same time. In extenuating circumstances, the prison sentence can be reduced to one day.

(2) In particular, the maintenance of a brothel or a brothel-like establishment is deemed to be a mob.

(3) Anyone who grants an apartment to a person who has reached the age of eighteen will only be punished on the basis of paragraph 1 if this results in exploitation of the person who has been granted the apartment, or recruiting or inducing this person to fornicate connected is.

Section 181 of the Criminal Code read:

(1) The pimping is to be punished with penitentiary for up to five years, even if it is carried out neither habitually nor for self-interest, if

1. Insidious devices are used to encourage fornication, or

2. the guilty party to the matched person is in the relationship of the husband to the wife, of parents to children, of guardians to foster care providers, of clergymen, teachers or educators to the persons to be instructed or brought up by them.

(2) In addition to the prison sentence, the loss of civil rights is to be pronounced; a fine and the admissibility of police supervision can also be recognized at the same time.

(3) If mitigating circumstances exist in the case of Paragraph 1 No. 2, a prison sentence applies, in addition to which a fine can be recognized.

The minimum prison sentence was according to § 16 StGB a. F., if not threatened higher, one day, the maximum, if not threatened lower, five years. The minimum of the penitentiary sentence was according to § 14 StGB a. F., if not threatened higher in the facts, one year.

Unmarried couples could live together under one roof (so-called wild marriage ) until the introduction of Section 180 (3) StGB in 1927. It was therefore customary that the landlord, before signing a lease, As the marriage certificate solicited the couple. Section 180 (3) of the Criminal Code was inserted so that prostitutes can rent an apartment for their work. The background was the aim to counteract street prostitution. Before that, the landlord of an apartment could be prosecuted for pimping if he rented an apartment to an unmarried couple or a prostitute or at all if he allowed others to “fornicate” in his apartment. It was only after the judgment of the Federal Court of Justice of April 17, 1970 (Az. I ZR 124/68) that such rental contracts were also recognized under civil law as not immoral and therefore effective. This judgment was based on the meaning of Section 180 (3) StGB. Accommodation establishments (e.g. hotels) do not fall under the exception of Section 180 (3), as a hotel room is not a permanent residence. Therefore, until the reform of the paragraph in 1973, unmarried couples often presented themselves as married couples.

Law reform

In the GDR , the offense of pimping (previously identical legal text with the Federal Republic) ceased with the criminal law reform of 1968. In the Federal Republic of the Great Penal Law Reform of 1969, effective from April 1, 1970, the denial of civil rights was abolished and the prison and Prison sentence replaced by imprisonment of basically the same duration, but the minimum sentence for serious pimping was reduced to six months. Since 1973, in Section 180 (new version), only pimping with under 16-year-olds as promoting sexual acts by minors has been criminalized and threatened with imprisonment of up to three years or a fine. Legal guardians are only liable to prosecution if they grossly violate their duty to raise children . Coupling with under 18-year-olds is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years or a fine if it involves sexual acts in return for payment or if the young person takes advantage of a dependency associated with an education, training, care, service or employment relationship sexual acts are determined. The legislation was thus based on the principle of the i. d. Usually with the completion of the 14th year of age, the ability to sexual self-determination that is considered to be present is adjusted. In 1973, a § 180a was inserted, which threatens those with a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine who commercially maintains or manages a business in which persons pursue prostitution and in which they are kept in personal or economic dependence or that of a person eighteen years of age granted housing, commercial accommodation or commercial residence for the exercise of prostitution, or encourages or exploits another person to whom he has granted accommodation for the exercise of prostitution or with regard to prostitution. Until December 31, 2001, maintaining or running a prostitution business was also punished if the practice of prostitution was promoted through measures that went beyond the mere granting of an apartment, accommodation or residence and the ancillary services usually associated with it.

Demand for the abolition of § 180 StGB

In June 2017, the Commission of Experts appointed by Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas in 2015 to reform sexual criminal law requested that Section 180 of the Criminal Code on the promotion of sexual acts by minors be completely deleted; it belongs as an “old braid cut off”.


In Austria today, pimping is specifically that fact in which someone induces a person to whom he is in an authority relationship "to engage in a sexual act with another person or brings about the personal rapprochement between the two persons to undertake a sexual act." regulated in section 212 pimping , the underlying abuse of a relationship of authority in section 212. It relates to underage biological children, chosen children, stepchildren or wards, as well as medically, educationally and officially entrusted persons for whom one has custody .

Pimping is punished with a prison sentence of up to three years, if the perpetrator acts "in order to obtain a financial advantage for himself or another person" ( pimping ), the prison sentence is six months to five years. Any temptation to engage in painful or excruciating sexual acts or for the purpose of sexually arousing or satisfying third parties falls under the sexual abuse of minors or young people .

See also:


  • Without marriage all fornication . In: Der Spiegel . No. 16 , 1968, pp. 67-69 ( online ).

Web links

Wiktionary: Kuppelei  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. pandering . (PDF; 6.2 MB) In: Gerhard Köbler: Target dictionary of European legal history . 4th edition.
  2. cf. this Karl Kraus : pandering as defamation. In: Die Fackel , No. 194, VII. Year, Vienna, January 31, 1906; reproduced in Karl Kraus: Morality and Crime. Selected writings I, 1908, chapter All about the shame wages. ( online at textlog.de ).
  3. Alfred Bacharach: The concept of the coupling. In: Strafrechtliche Abhandlungen , Heft 127, Reprint Keip (et al.) 1977, Original Breslau 1911
  4. Laws / Coupling: Much unrest . In: Der Spiegel . No. 16 , 1968 ( online - there from paragraph As generously as the state accepts that professional prostitution is earned in earmarked establishments, it is judicially judicious when it comes to unpaid intimate relationships. ).
  5. ^ Peter Borowsky: The GDR in the sixties . In: Information on political education , issue 258
  6. Wolfgang Janisch: Impunity for smooching teenagers. Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 18, 2017