Nudism and a feeling of shame – “We are more naked than before”

Carla Pohlink in conversation with Nicole Dittmer

Not completely naked: fewer and fewer Germans want to allow foreigners to look at certain parts of the body. (imago / imageBROKER / our-planet.berlin)

Only a minority of Germans feel comfortable on the beach or in the sauna without clothes. Sex therapist Carla Pohlink highlights the triumphant advance of intimate shaving – women in particular are more vulnerable to prying eyes.

An ongoing Yougov survey in cooperation with the Statista portal has shown that adults in Germany feel more uncomfortable (36%) than comfortable (28%) in places where you are naked, such as on the nudist beach or in the sauna. . Others usually avoid such places or give no information.

Women in particular feel uncomfortable (39%) and 34% for men. According to the stereotype, East Germans (36%) say more often than West Germans (26%) that they feel comfortable in places like a nudist beach.

An “intimate culture change”

Why is public nudity not so popular anymore? The staging of nudity, to be beautiful and to be optimized in the media is one of the reasons, explains Carla Pohlink, specialist in internal medicine and sex therapist. But she also speaks of a “change of intimate culture” through certain bodily ideals, especially in the intimate domain:

“We are often more naked than before. In the vast majority of cases, we shave. It means that we have a look that we did not have before, it is much freer.”

There is some evidence that women in particular feel less secure with this. Pohlink therefore advocates “a little hair, because you feel a little more covered”. On the nudist beach or in the sauna you can get rid of the last fig leaf – “the view of the intimate areas is then exposed”. The increased consumption of porn has given rise to new ideals of beauty for the genitals, such as what a vagina should look like.

“As women, we never see other women’s genitals, at least most of the time,” says Pohlink. “Men are socialized differently, they see their own penis or, more likely, another man’s penis.” Nowadays, the genitals are on the one hand an ideal of beauty, on the other hand they have a functionality.

Accept your own physique

According to the sex therapist, a healthy feeling of shame is “to pay attention to yourself and your personality and vulnerability”. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our physicality; it is important to take care of yourself and not put extra pressure on yourself.

The need to be naked is something natural and inherent in people, says Pohlink: “You can move around freely, you feel different, you experience your surroundings differently, it is a pleasant and pleasant feeling.” The therapist advises not only to see the naked body as it is displayed in the room. The best thing is to feel bare skin against bare skin and to feel accepted by your partner as you are.

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