• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Berlin sex trade fair titillates the masses

Shannon Smith · 26 Oct 2008, 17:59

Published: 26 Oct 2008 17:59 GMT+01:00

Germans are famous for their relaxed attitudes toward nudity and sexuality, but they also have two lesser-known passions: healthy organic products and trade fairs.

“Bio” – as Germans label naturally organic items – seems to get slapped on everything these days from beer to blue jeans. The Teutonic fascination with trade fairs is harder to explain, however, if you look long enough you’ll find even the most obscure pastime or industry has a mass gathering of some sort in Germany.

So it should probably be little surprise the German sex industry has its own get-together – Berlin’s annual Venus tradeshow – and that this year there was a noticeable increase in organic erotic products on offer.

Click here for a photo gallery of the Venus.

On a blustery October weekend in Berlin plenty of average folks streamed towards what has become the largest sex trade fair in the world. Nearly 400 exhibitors from 36 different countries came to pimp their skin flicks and hawk their fetish gear.

Sex goddesses in high heels and fishnet stockings prowled the exhibition hall, as men from all walks of life snapped pictures and held video cameras glued to their faces.

But alongside the horny masses and sprinkling of porn starlets, there were serious vendors hoping to combine the growing demand for organic products with various erotic items that have long since become mainstream.

“We believe that sex is good for your health,” said Peter Ackerfeldt, Marketing Manager for the Swedish firm Viamax.

His company, founded in 2001, produces a range of aphrodisiacs made from naturally grown herbs. It’s just one of several businesses at this year’s Venus that have cornered the “nature-based” segment of the erotic market – one with particularly high mainstream potential.

“We take the step from porn to health. Most of our products have been used since ancient times to promote sexual health, and we combine that knowledge with modern processing technology in order to get the best effect out of them,” said Ackerfeldt.

He explained that he thinks perceptions are changing, not just about the value of organic products in society, but also about the role of sex.

“It's a new era, new companies, new people coming to the business and a wider acceptance among mainstream people,” he said. “We see that specifically in Sweden where we sell sex toys in the pharmacies nowadays, which was something unheard of a couple of years ago.”

Rebecca Powley from Intimate Organics, a firm based in Tallahassee, Florida, agreed that the time for all-natural erotic products had come.

Her company’s mind-boggling assortment of lotions and gels are all produced according to strict natural standards.

"Everything is made with certified organic extracts,” she said. “They're glycerin free, DEA free, they're pure vegan, paraffin free. So they're pretty much as healthy as you can get in terms of using something healthy on your body.”

Story continues below…

She also said Venus was by far the most expansive sex industry trade fair she’d ever attended: “I do maybe six other shows during the year – Los Angeles, Las Vegas, what have you, and it's just so on a whole other level.”

The growing number of visitors coming to Venus each year would appear to be a sure sign of its mainstream success. “This is my first time at a fair like this,” said a woman named Sally. “It’s definitely very explicit, but on the other hand … I think (it’s good) when people live more open, honest lives, or when fantasies can be played out.”

Of course, not everyone was at the Venus looking for certified vegan edible panties. Two young male visitors, who only identified themselves as Prex and Tire, said they came for the live sex shows. But they saw nothing odd combining hedonistic pleasures with the commercial aspect of the event.

“There are people in every part of the world taking off their clothes,” said Prex. “So, why not have a trade fair?”

Related links:

Shannon Smith (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Law to force mums to give up identity of child's real father
Photo: DPA

Germany has drafted a law requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

Gallery
Germans race bulls too, but with a difference
Photo: DPA

The most important sporting events only happen every four years: the World Cup, the Olympics, and of course the Münsing ox race.

Attempted murder charge for Isis teen who stabbed cop
A police officer stands on a train platform at Hannover main station. Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Monday they had brought charges against a 16-year-old girl who allegedly stabbed a policeman in February in an operation for Isis.

Nearly 9,000 refugee children reported missing: report
Refugee children in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

German media reported on Monday that the number of refugee children reported as missing has doubled to reach nearly 9,000.

EU nations must not refuse Muslim migrants: Merkel
Photo: DPA

The refusal of some EU countries to accept Muslim refugees is "unacceptable", Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday as Germany called for quotas to divide the influx throughout the bloc.

Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
8,441
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd