Uni in small German city to start teaching women how to masturbate

An upcoming student-led workshop at the University of Bielefeld in western Germany is giving women a hand with self-satisfaction.

The course to be held on Sunday will be offering a practical and theoretical element, which will include watching short video clips about the subject matter, reported Welt and several German media on Thursday.

For the practical element, participants have been informed to bring along a hand mirror, hand towel and lubricant.


The course is being offered as part of the Student Committee's (AStA) campaign days for sexual self-determination, where there will also be various lectures, panel discussions and other workshops.

The course costs €250 but is also financed by student union funds, a move which is criticized by the Christian Democrat student union (RCDS).

 Philip Schütze, the deputy chairman of the RCDS Bielefeld, called the event “a bad joke.”

“There is no scientific and serious approach and no open discussion on power and gender relationships,” he said. “The RCDS cannot imagine that this would be possible in a room with ten masturbating women.”

Yet the university management has said that the 2.5-hour long workshop is a student affair, and as such it does not have influence over its content.

“The university does not evaluate the content of student events,” said the university management in a statement. “This applies in particular to offers by the AStA.”

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‘Bielefeld exists!’: How a German city debunked an old conspiracy

A €1 million reward for anyone who can prove Bielefeld's nonexistence remains untouched, the western German city has announced.

'Bielefeld exists!': How a German city debunked an old conspiracy
The mythological Bielefeld has now officially been proven to exist. Photo: DPA

In August, the western Germany city of Bielefeld sought to dispel a longstanding conspiracy theory that it doesn’t actually exist.

Its marketing department came up with a simple solution: a €1 million reward to anyone who could prove that there is, indeed, no Bielefeld.

The marketing campaign #BielefeldMillion”, launched on August 21st, received thousands of entries from all over the world, including over 300 from abroad from countries including the US and Russia, reported the Tagesschau. 

But now the city of 340,000 inhabitants in North Rhine-Westphalia considers its existence to be proven and has declared the so-called Bielefeld conspiracy to be over. 

“The result of the competition is: Bielefeld exists,” said Mayor Pit Clausen at a ceremony on Monday.

In addition to a large number of poems, children's pictures, comics and videos, participants also presented supposedly scientific evidence – with arguments from mathematics, physics, logic and history, according to Bielefeld Martketing.

Bielefeld's marketing department tweeted one of the entries they received from abroad, which was disqualified because it was sent to and received in Bielefeld itself.

“These papers were often not comprehensible to laymen,” explained Jens Franzke, head of communications at Bielefeld Marketing.

“So we had fun cracking this supposed evidence together with scientists from the University of Bielefeld and the Bielefeld City Archives.”

Germany's Federal Office for Geography and Surveying (BKG)  even published a map of Germany – with Bielefeld omitted. In response, Bielefeld Marketing quipped: “First day of school: BKG unfortunately has to serve detention.”

Local companies also chimed in with rewards. A pudding manufacturer and a local condom company each offered a million of their products to anyone who could prove their city’s nonexistence, they announced on Twitter. 

Second division soccer team Arminia Bielefeld also offered a place in its squad.

Beginnings of a conspiracy

The competition marked the 25th anniversary of the so-called Bielefeld Conspiracy. In 1994, university student Achim Held wanted to demonstrate how quickly conspiracy theories can form and spread. 

In a series of postings on Usenet, he noted that you never seem to meet anyone from Bielefeld, nor do you ever hear of any major industry or German innovation originating in the town.

READ ALSO: Why is Bielefeld offering €1 million to anyone who can prove its nonexistence?

However, satire developed into a permanent gag: “Bielefeld? That doesn't even exist” became a catchphrase.

 “Our answer to the Bielefeld conspiracy has not only made positive headlines in the whole of Germany, but around the world, and has aroused many sympathies for our city,” Clausen stated.

“After 25 years of Bielefeld conspiracy, we have given Bielefeld its own spectacular final chapter to this strange story,” Clausen added. “Therefore we can now give ourselves the right to say: We say goodbye to the fairy tale that we do not exist at all”.

Held himself said he was also impressed by the city's marketing campaign.

“When I published the satire of the Bielefeld conspiracy on the Internet in 1994, I wanted to make fun of conspiracy theories in general,” explained Held, who said he was not interested in Bielefeld in particular when he made the post. 

Truth set in stone

When the joke became increasingly known over the years, the people of Bielefeld certainly weren't always happy.

“But with this funny action, the city gave the perfect answer to the saying that Bielefeld didn't exist,” Held stated. “Who could say that now?”

In the old town of Bielefeld, there is now even a memorial stone to commemorate the campaign for the Bielefeld conspiracy. The 600 kilogram boulder includes a QR code which, when scanned, takes visitors to the city's official website.

The unveiling of the stone on Monday.

The stone is intended to bring together the history of the 800-year-old city and the with that of one of Germany's first internet phenomena.


“Bielefeld? That doesn’t even exist ” – “Bielefeld? Das gibt es doch gar nicht” 

Conspiracy – (die) Verschwörung

hoax/joke – (der) Scherz

Evidence – (die) Beweise

comprehendible/understandable – nachvollziehbar

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