Ever thought about swinging in Germany? Germany does not usually come across as a place where people go to have fun. We – the non-Germans – often think of Germany as a land of hard-working, disciplined, cold, but also somewhat traditional and conservative people. None of the attributes exactly hint to dirty talk, steamy sex or even good old romance.
At least not until you learn that Germany’s major swinging community online platform – Joyclub – has almost 3 million registered and on average quite active members. We just checked, out of curiosity: the number of profiles which logged in the past 24h is exactly 643.803. That’s pretty impressive.
SDC, the world’s largest swinging community, lists 141 swinger clubs in Germany only (out of which 33 are directly endorsed by SDC). For comparison, SDC lists 59 swinger clubs in UK (in addition to a great number of groups which organize events) and 33 in France. Although there are many methodological issues with SDC and similar online repositories (of which we will spare you the details here), the numbers are somewhat indicative.
Notwithstanding the way the counting is done, the numbers are good enough to make one wonder: is Germany really a destination worth a visit for a swinging or swinging-curious couple?
We say: Yes! So, let’s take the important questions one by one.
Everyone will probably tell you – go to Berlin. Sure, swinging or not, you should not skip Berlin. If for no other reason, then for the number of clubs and events offered by the German capital, which is clearly higher than that of any other German city. Berlin is also reputed as Germany’s most international and culturally vibrant city, which reflects well on its swinging scene. This we could clearly tell from the number of foreigners who frequent the events, either passing through the city or as regulars.
However, if you want to have a taste of a genuine German swinging scene, you should consider getting out of Berlin.
Our suggestion would be to head westwards and check events and clubs in Hamburg and in and especially around major cities in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, such as Hanover, Dortmund and Essen. If you check the list of highly-rated clubs and events on Joyclub, you will also see that the north-west of the country truly stands out.
As trains in Germany are decent (maybe even more than decent, depending where you are coming from), going by train may seem like a viable solution. Many people in Germany, especially younger ones, go to swinger parties by public transport. And while we like traveling by train, going to a swinger party by car is far more convenient, especially in winter months.
The reason why this is so is that many places are on the outskirts or in small villages and simply getting there and leaving by train or bus may be very difficult. Going by car is even more convenient if you want to make a casual stop in one of Germany’s many nude parks, lake beaches and similar.
If you don’t have a car, don’t want to rent one or if you simply can’t drive, you can always try to find people in your area going to the same event. This is where online communities such as Joyclub come in rather handy as it allows its users to see who has signed up for an event and to directly contact them. Another alternative is picking clubs which also offer an overnight stay or have partnered with nearby hotels which offer discounts to the visitors.
Of course, hitting the road before doing some research is almost never a good piece of advice. Especially if you are abroad.
Much like in any non-English speaking country, there are unfortunately not many sources out there which will give you all the info you need in English.
While speaking some German is a clear advantage, you still can get around with English, you only need to try a bit harder and find the people who know the local “scene” and who speak some.
We always advise joining major online communities because this can get you right into the centre of action in no time and often even free of charge. For example, you can join the aforementioned Joyclub for free, although paid membership comes with certain advantages, such as discounts to clubs and parties. If you are in Germany for a couple of weeks only, you may pay for one month (which is the minimum) and this will cost you €9.90. If you want a three-month or a year-long membership, the cost per month will be lower.
Normally, you can join a community as a couple, a single male or a single female. According to the website Dating Vergleich, 39% of Joyclub members are males, 30% females and 31% couples (2017). This is a pretty even ratio, especially compared to Poppen.de which is, according to Der grosse Singleseiten – Vergleich, largely dominated by single men.
The good thing about Joyclub is that you can really customize your search. Be it a specific type of couple or individual you are looking for, or a party in a specific city or region, the website is so user-friendly that you don’t even have to speak a word of German to find what you are looking for. The mobile app version, JOYCE, even comes in English, although its functionalities are comparatively more limited.
The further you go from Berlin, the more “exotic” or, well, “local” the scenery becomes. This also means that speaking English may scare some people off and the older they are the more likely this is to be the case. But this does not have to be always the case. Several times we were pleasantly surprised, both by the level of English and people’s willingness to communicate even if their English was not as good. You can’t really know unless you try.
If you are trying out Joyclub, we suggest you give it a go and make a profile in English, start a forum discussion in English or approach some people directly in English. Profile making may be a challenge because you need to answer questions, but you can work it around with Google Translate or a similar tools.
The point is – you need to try. The more English-speaking people try to join local communities and attend events, the sooner they will get used to it and, hopefully, the sooner the they will adapt to a more international environment.
Much like in other European countries, German clubs also have some things in common which make them uniquely German. We call that the three F’s of the German swinging scene: Fucking, Friendship and Food. German swingers are normally very social and open, so you should not be surprised if you end up spending most of your evening chit-chatting with others in the club. They tend to be very inquisitive and what in some other places may be a no go (such as questions related to your job, family, etc.) may come like the most natural thing among the swingers in Germany.
And then there is food. A buffet is a must in any German swinging club. Typically placed in a designated area, with some dining tables around, the buffet is normally available throughout the evening, with people helping themselves whenever they please which makes eating yet another opportunity to meet and talk.
As a plus, we have to admit, the food is usually good. Sometimes we joke that the only places where food in Germany is better than in Italy is when we compare the countries’ swinger clubs!
Swinger clubs are primarily places where people go to meet, dance and play. And while many clubs have a hot tub, even a small sauna in some cases, wellness is not really something that goes together with swinging in Germany. Of course, a dungeon (a small one in the least) is something you can most certainly count on, although you are best advised to check beforehand in case this is important for you.
Germans are also big on fetish and while a swinger club is not the same as a fetish club, there is often an overlap and many people in the scene practice both. Clothing is important in swinging and if you want to blend in in a German club, going for “Lack,” “Leder” or “Latex” will probably be a way to go in many of the clubs.
Overall – like anywhere else. You are welcome to arm yourself with stereotypes but this will only get you as far. If you come across unpleasant people, this will more likely be an isolated case than a rule or an indication that the community is a breeding ground for such. Be that as it may, a “No” is a “No” (or, in this case, “Nein”) and you are always free to walk away and look for something more appropriate.
One thing that surprised us about Germany is that the average age of couples swinging is not particularly high and, if you are a younger couple, you can always find an event which is exclusively for the people up to, say, 35. There are indeed some places which are more popular among the couples in their late 40s or above. Thanks to Joyclub, you can even check this on the guest list before you pack your sexy lingerie up and knock on the club’s door.
So, the verdict: if you want to meet other couples, of any age, Germany is surely a country you should not miss. Its swinging community is vibrant, diverse and one of the friendliest ones we have come across!
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Wannabe sex & travel blogger and co-founder of Hedonomads