The Instituut voor Publiek Behoeften ("Institute for Public Needs") is the only legally sanctioned brothel in Zuidenstadt, and operated by the government itself. While it is primarily intended for the use of the city's soldiers (who pay reduced rates), it is open to all males of the Civilized Races, and the large and sprawling complex (which is surrounded by a public park) has a large number of small, discrete entrances hidden from public view which make it easy for the customers to enter the building unseen. A number of off-duty soldiers serve as bouncers, and since the Instituut is publicly sanctioned and condoned, troublemakers and misbehavior of any kind will face repercussions, including military justice in the case of serving soldiers and public censure in the case of others.
Any female prostitute caught operating in Zuidenstadt outside the Instituut will be given a choice of either joining it or serving a prison sentence (male prostitutes, on the other hand, will likely be brought up on "sodomy" charges like in most of other Flannish Cities). They are required to live inside and undergo regular examinations to ensure their health (and first-rate medical treatments, including magical ones, are provided free of charge, as are courses on manners and "ladylike" skills). They can refuse individual customers, though women who do not service customers are required to take on more of the chores required to keep the Instituut running. Furthermore, while room and board are likewise provided to all the residents, servicing the customers is the only way to gain an actual income. The prices are not set by the prostitutes themselves - instead, the customers purchase tickets whose prices vary depending on the duration and the popularity of the prostitutes, and the prostitutes later get a cut of the ticket sale. The competition for higher "price categories" sometimes gets rather vicious at times, however.
If a prostitute consents, a customer may purchase a "subscription" for her exclusive services, effectively keeping her as his mistress. The mistress then moves into a special wing of the Instituu where her paramour may visit her even outside of normal business hours. Sometimes a customer even marries his mistress, though this is rare. At other times, highly successful prostitutes accumulate enough wealth to retire from her business and pursue a successful life elsewhere. However, most retired members of the Instituut stay there for the rest of their lives, living in the more remote wings and doing their chores until they are too infirm to do so, whereupon their are taken care of by their younger counterparts.