Erotic cinema, sometimes also called adult movie theater, porn or sex cinema, or “Pornokino” in Germany, is a phenomenon in its own right. Many cities have them and many of us think of them – if we ever do – to be amongst the seediest places imaginable, even if we have never been to one.
Indeed, in popular imagination, erotic cinemas are places where men of questionable morality go to watch porn and masturbate (leaving evidence all over the seats and walls and pretty much anything). Or, places where the said men go to have sex with women of questionable morality (while watching porn, obviously). Either way, you would probably place them in the same category with brothels and strip clubs.
We too sometimes go to erotic cinemas (you are free to judge our morality as you please). So far, we have visited a few of them in different countries.
In general, we find them interesting, fascinating even, although not particularly appealing. And quite certainly, for us an erotic cinema would never be a place of choice for meeting new people, regardless of the nature of that meeting.
Which is why we were somewhat surprised that, when we would discuss a face-to-face meeting with another couple on Joyclub – the Germany’s online swinger community, a “Pornokino” was suggested. Not once and with one couple, but across encounters. At first we found it weird and funny even, but the insisting on a date in a pornokino made us wonder. Especially because such proposals would typically come from younger couples (early 20s).
After much hesitation, our curiosity prevailed. We decided to accept an invitation of a couple to meet – in a pornokino.
Up to that point we learned that in Germany major pornokinos normally come as extensions of erotic shops. Which, come to think of it, may come in handy if you forget your favourite butt plug at home. And while we are at it, in Germany, erotic or sex shops – with or without a pornokino – are pretty common and you don’t have to walk into a dodgy area to find one.
The date was set. We were supposed to meet in a pornokino in Osnabrück, which is part of the Novum chain of erotic shops in Germany. And this particular shop is, according to their own account, the largest erotic shop in Europe! So that was pretty cool.
The less cool thing was that we got stood up. In fact, we figured, the couple was probably not really a couple but a single guy who wanted to lure us into meeting him. Still, at this point, nothing could derail us from checking the pornokino out!
As expected, Novum was super easy to find – impossible to miss even, as it as has its own building at a big junction a little bit outside the city. As we walked into the shop, we were surprised to see how bright it was inside. Too bright almost for anything open at 22h that is not an all-night pharmacy or a Turkish convenience store.
The shop was indeed huge and had an impressive assortment of slightly overpriced toys, clothing and other kinky paraphernalia. We totally recommend browsing through!
To reach the pornokino, we were told to go downstairs and buy the ticket at the machine before the entrance. We proceeded resolutely. As we descended into a far darker realm, we noticed a couple of single men walking around in a familiar way. Once you visit dozens of sex parties, nude beaches and resorts, you can’t possible mistake a man who is desperate for some live action for anything else. That didn’t look good but, seriously, how bad can it be?
Have you ever felt like being in a perfect setup for a horror movie? You go down the stairs into a basement and find yourself in the middle of a long corridor, or several corridors, in fact. The lights are dimmed, there are no windows and the only thing you see are silhouettes of male figures and their shadows, moving slowly in a zombie-like way. The air is barely breathable and the thing you inhale is, in reality, a mixture of cigarette smoke and evaporated urine. And all you hear is humming of the aircon intercepted by low-quality sound from what is probably a movie being screened further down the corridor.
Well, that’s the exact description of the Novum pornokino in Osnabrück on a Saturday evening. You think we turned and left? Not so fast. The corridors led us to different rooms, each screening a different movie. Not exactly in HD.
Unsurprisingly, our presence soon attracted attention of the zombies, some of whom became rather “loyal” and started following us around.
By our own counting, there were between 10 and 15 single men patrolling the corridors. Some were gay, but most did not look like gay. A few of the rooms looked cleaner than others but overall not inviting for sitting, let alone anything more.
Interestingly enough, there were two rooms which only couples could access and they were both taken. One was packed with four couples, in their fifties, and the other was taken by a younger couple who did not want anyone else in (which they, truth be told, are not allowed to do). We made several rounds, saw 15 minutes of a movie (it was so absurd that we just had to continue watching to figure what on earth that was all about) and then decided to leave. We went back up to the shop to check out some more corsets and strangely shaped dildos.
So, why would a young couple, or any couple in fact, propose meeting in a pornokino?
Here’s a theory: many young people in Germany don’t have the privacy to meet other couples for some hanky-panky at home, as they tend to live either with parents or in shared flats. They probably do not earn as much and can’t afford to regularly go to swinger clubs which are not cheap and which may be in a different town.
These reasons may also be valid for older couples. For some of them, clubs may also be expensive and too far to bother. Pornokinos are much cheaper and more common. Privacy may also be an issue as some may have children at home.
Maybe other pornokinos are better or this one had a bad night when we visited it, we can’t really tell. We also have some not-so-bad experiences. But for the time being, we may wait a little bit until we decide to go for another pornokino adventure in Germany. But the sex shops – that’s another story.
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