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No sex please: We’re Germans (Reuters) February 28, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in German culture, Random musings.

One of my friends sent me the oddest article from Reuters.com Friday about how Germans just don’t talk about sex. I don’t understand this, because sex is everywhere in Germany: the daily newspapers like Bild features a photo of a buxom (usually topless) woman on the front page every day, parents are more lax with their children when it comes to opposite sex friends staying over, “Oben Ohne” (topless) sunbathing is normal on European beaches (I’ve done it – it was no big deal), they show soft porn on TV on Sunday nights, etc. I suppose this ties in with my previous post on not understanding German men. Yet one more piece to the puzzle that is the German mindset… 🙂 We Americans may be more prude, but sex seems to be a more common topic here. I’ll be curious to see what some of you folks have to say about this one.

No sex please: We’re Germans

Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:05pm EST

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germans would rather talk about death, sickness or money problems than sex.

A new poll of nearly 2,000 Germans showed sex to be the subject they least liked to talk about, with 64 percent saying it was something they would rather avoid.

Just below sex on the list of least-liked topics were cash and relationships, according to the Allensbach polling institute. One in three of the Germans preferred not to talk about death, and one in five said sickness was a no-go area.

The favorite conversation topic was gossip about friends, followed by the latest prices of consumer goods. Coming a close third was “everyday stuff” and how they felt about themselves.

(Writing by Franziska Scheven)



1. Corinne McKay - March 2, 2009

I once listened to a really great interview between Ira Glass and Terry Gross (Ira interviewing Terry) and he said he had always wondered whether her guests were more reluctant to talk about sex or money. Terry said it really depends on the person; one guest went on and on about her divorce but refused to talk about her family’s charitable foundation while another refused to talk about her highly publicized affair but had no problem talking about how much money she made. In general I think that Europeans are just more reserved than us blabbermouth Americans when it comes to both money and sex; in France at least, it’s not uncommon for people to know almost nothing about their immediate family members’ income or financial situations. Interesting!

2. Gabi - March 4, 2009

Do you know the saying: “Die einen haben es, die anderen reden darüber”? 😉

Your observations work both ways. Take TV shows like “Sex and the City”. Do Americans really talk like that, telling each other even the most intimate details of their sex life? In my European view, all this talking about sex absolutely kills the fun, the eroticism, the “knisternde Spannung”.

3. jillsommer - March 4, 2009

Hi Gabi, Sex and the City is definitely a fabrication. It is most definitely not real life – although maybe it’s real life in New York. I just found the article curious.

4. Gabi - March 4, 2009

I’m glad to hear that.

I find that article interesting as well, mostly because I agree with it. To me, it’s completely normal to see children and adults of both sexes run around naked in public. And nudes in magazines or in films don’t even make me blink, while talking about sex is one of those things that you just don’t do. Maybe that’s because the one is public, the other personal? Public nudity only concerns the body, not heart or mind. We really do tend to be more protective of our private lives and emotions than other nations.

5. Jessica - October 31, 2012

Sex in The City is just a show for entertainment purposes nobody really talks about their sex life to that extent or at all but then again it really depends on the people you are around. I have never been around anyone who freely discusses their sexual escapades here and we are also very uncomfortable with nudity. If you are in a public place nude (unless of course it’s one of those nudest colonies) you can be fined for indecent exposure. Our gym changing rooms and showers have cubicles for privacy.

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