Nackte Tatsachen

by classickbene

Oh, these Europeans. They are so much more open, especially when it comes to nudity and sexuality (or, generally and German speaking, Freizügigkeit). At least this is the common American view. And who would object? You can see naked breasts on the covers of einschlägige magazines which are not stuffed into black covers (albeit you have be tall enough to reach them), you can see them on TV, and you can see them at beaches, whether you are on vacation in Mallorca or on the Baltic Sea.

Well, you should have guessed by now that yours truly will object. While you can find condom dispensers in many public bathrooms in the Vaterland, you have to pay for your rubbers, or Gummis. There are no free giveaways of Präservative in German Wohnheime like there are in American college dorms—at least not during my time as a Universitätsstudent. And what was shattered when I visited the States was my believe that Americans are Puritan—at least U.S. college students at a liberal arts college are definitely NOT. And I would be hard pressed to find, percentage-wise, as many teen moms in Germany as there are in the States. And there are usually no dress codes at German Realschulen or Gymnasien concerning skimpy Lolita clothing …

Although there have been claims that German youth have more, earlier, and rougher sex because of the Trommelfeuer barrage of sexualized images on TV as well as because of instant access to internet porn (which also perpetrates false images of how sex should be like), more serious (and actual) studies show that this is not necessarily the case. But the mehr und früher Sex discussion is a good example to show the prudish (or hypocritical?) attitudes of parts of the adult German population.

Germany maybe has experienced the sexuelle Revolution (let’s not get into the discussion which gender was actually able to live out its sexuality more freely) with rebellious Kommunen and Aufklärungsfilme (although this label was often simply applied to slightly disguise soft porn like the infamous Schulmädchenreport), German sex life is still somewhat of a taboo. And this makes it the perfect subject matter for Privatfernsehen (cable TV) “documentaries” on what goes in German Schlafzimmer, preferably comparing what happens in the sleeping rooms of Ossis and Wessis; the former are supposedly more open and sexually adventurous, with all their Freikörperkultur (FKK) and socialist egalitarian upbringing, while the latter are prudish and boring. Thereby, old stereotypes are perpetuated. Another favorite are more risqué and “out-of-the-ordinary” Sexpraktiken: prostitution, porn actresses, dominatrixes, Swingerclubs, … One somehow gets the feeling, though, that these “documentaries” are just an excuse to show naked breasts and pixelated intercourse on late-night TV to satisfy the male gaze. Or that this is a modern-day freak show, portraying Otto Normalverbraucher doing kinky stuff. Whatever the case, the “average German Joe” (if s/he exists at all) gets a kick of pointing fingers at these weirdos on TV—or giggles like a teenager hearing “penis” or “vagina.” Not very sexually aufgeklärt (enlightened) …

And not really openly discussed, either. Maybe homosexuality is not a crime anymore since the early 1970s, but this does not mean that it is openly talked about. In the 1980s, during the HIV scare, gays came into the spotlight—although of course not positively, but rather as a sort of scapegoat. In the 1990s, showing the Berlin techno festival Love Parade on TV, it seemed that cameras singled out openly gay and transsexual party people just for the spectacle of it. And although the current German foreign minister is a homosexual, this does not mean that there is an open and population-wide discussion about the Homoehe.

So if you once again happen to stumble upon Telefonsex ads when switching through German TV around midnight, please do not take this as an example for a sexually liberated Europe, or Germany in particular …

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