Bad sex? Blame women

German men refute a study saying that many of them aren't good in bed.

By Jack Boulware
Published August 16, 2000 7:32PM (EDT)

After a sexual survey published in Germany's Bild newspaper revealed that German men don't satisfy their women, male readers lashed back with angry letters to the editor. Besides questioning the validity of such sexual surveys -- which are frequently contradictory by their very nature -- the vigorous denial also proves a larger point. If you want to get a German male irritable, just call him a lousy lay.

The uproar began when the INRA research institute surveyed 345 women between the ages of 18 and 59, and discovered that four in 10 men were disappointing their sexual partners. Above the article on Page 1, Bild editors ran the headline "The Bitter Truth About Germans in Bed -- Nearly Every Second Woman Says: My Partner Can't Satisfy Me."

Men read the story and learned that nearly half the women in Germany are unfulfilled. Millions of perfectly good orgasms, wasted. Who needs that kind of press?

The article went on to quote German women complaining about their partners. They feel neglected. The guys play too rough. Or, in the case of a 22-year-old chemist named Kerstin, it's like sleeping with a scientist: "Everything that my friend does in bed seems so technical," Kerstin told the newspaper. "It's like he's the engineer and I'm the piece of machinery."

Also quoted in the story was sex therapist Hartmut Porst, who conducts couples therapy sessions. "The women complain about their men, saying they feel sexually neglected," said Porst. "It's almost as if the men are looking forward to a date on the calendar rather than an erotic experience."

Within a few days of the article's publication, Bild's offices received numerous letters from German men, irate at such a ridiculous survey and incensed that they were portrayed in the press as lousy lovers. Common to the male complaints was their explanation for why women feel sexually dissatisfied -- it's the woman's fault.

"My wife doesn't turn me on properly," wrote one man, Peter M., from the northern town of Bremerhaven. "Men are visual creatures -- and before you slap a quarter-pound of makeup over your faces, it would be better if you took a trip to the solarium, shaved your legs and thought a bit more about what men need."

Another man told Bild that women are too focused on capturing a guy, and then once they get the guy, they get lazy and don't make enough effort to keep love and sex alive in the relationship.

"Men have no choice but to satisfy their secret desires and fantasies in some other way," said Fred W., from the western city of Mainz. "If their own wives weren't so boring, there would be less infidelity, and fewer marriages and relationships would break up."

All the bickering has done little to stabilize sexual relationships between men and women in Germany, but it has sold newspapers for Bild, and probably isn't hurting the couples therapy industry.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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