Germany Is Trying to Teach Refugees the Right Way to Have Sex

Anthony Faiola and Stephanie Kirchner, Washington Post, May 13, 2016

The German government is rushing to integrate hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, offering them language classes and the prospect of work. But in a country known for its matter-of-fact acceptance of public nudity and creative forms of lovemaking, it is also trying to teach the mostly-Muslim migrants about the joy of sex.

Operating under the premise that many Syrians, Iraqis and others seeking asylum here are naive about the predilections and pitfalls of the European boudoir, Germany’s Federal Center for Health Education has gone live with a sexual education website for adult migrants. Using highly graphic diagrams and images, the $136,000 site outlines everything from first-time sex to how to perform far more advanced sexual acts.

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Sexual intercourse is fully illustrated here, along with a suggestion to “vary movements in speed, rhythm and intensity” and a special tip that it can be enjoyed while “lying, sitting, standing or squatting.”

“For example, the man can be on top of the woman, the woman on top of the man or the man behind the woman,” the site states.

It then probes deeper into the world of sexual gratification, including graphic descriptions of the various ways to perform oral sex, anal sex and masturbation.

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Others defend the site overall as a highly useful educational tool while suggesting it should have been aimed at the public more broadly. It is condescending, they say, to assume that migrants from the Middle East know nothing about the risks–and pleasures–of sex.

Some, however, argue that Germany’s liberal attitude toward sex must be respected–including by conservative religious newcomers who are not used to such openness. It is, in no small measure, part of the integration process of refugees.

Heinz-Jürgen Voss, a sex scientist at the University of Merseburg, argued it was “racist” to assume that Syrians and Iraqis, for instance, were less schooled than Germans in the wonders of sex. That said, he argued, “it’s important to promote this kind of open and free sexuality, to fight for it,” he said. “It’s not something that the state can force people to do, to live openly. But it needs to be negotiated.”

Given the string of sexual assaults committed by suspects including migrants in Cologne, the site has additionally turned into a target for some anti-migrant voices.

“These men often know exactly what is allowed and what isn’t, but they simply aren’t interested, since the laws and culture of this country never interested them in the first place,” wrote the conservative blogger Anabel Schunke. “It is terribly naive to think that a complete socialization and cultural formation since early childhood could be wiped out by some nice images and integration classes.”

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