Well...they suck...yea, you get spies and assassins, but whats the point when every f'ing general in a city with one (or a tavern, getting worse as you upgrade) ends up an adulterous bastard who doesn't father children, often getting the "uninhibited" and "shameless" traits to boot, which means the children he DOES have are usually fairies...it's a vicious cycle. Throw in rampant alcoholism and basically it guarantees that cities are general killers once a brothel or tavern is built. The freaking description says its someplace "commoners" can go, not the royal family out slumming.
I waste so much time micromanaging settlements (as I lose out on the happiness factor of such buildings) and trying to figure out the one settlement I want to have a tavern so I can produce spies and assassins...of course, I have to put some worthless general in charge, but considering that taverns go in cities ($$) his expendable ass usually ends up costing me money and happiness in said city...just ridiculous that everyone should get a mistress cuz theres a freaking tavern in the city...
Is it too much to ask that some of them just get drunk and dont go picking up skanks, STDs, and eventually turn "bi-curious"?
So who else plays the game sans brothels?