Survey: One in three Germans thinks sex with friends is okay

One in three Germans is comfortably on board with the concept “friends with benefits,” according to a survey released Thursday from the research institute YouGov.

Survey: One in three Germans thinks sex with friends is okay
Photo: depositphotos/4pmphoto

“‘Friends with benefits’ is now apparently accepted by the general public,” said sociologist Janosch Schobin from the University of Kassel about the notion of sex outside of a romantic relationship.

Schobin used the English phrase, which is also known as “Freundschaft Plus” or “Sex unter Freunden” in German. 

The study was conducted ahead of the “International Day of Friendship” on July 30th, and asked 2,045 Germans their opinion about all aspects of friendship.

A full 60 percent of those surveyed said that, in a friendship between a man and woman, there stands a “risk” that one of the two will seek more than just friendship. About 20 percent of those surveyed said that a pure friendship between men and women simply is not possible.

SEE ALSO: Just how liberal is Germany anyways?

Yet the majority had an open attitude towards friendship between the two genders, with 50 percent of respondents under the impression that a good friendship with an ex-partner is possible.

The average German has a total of 3.7 close friendships, according the study, with a further 11 people who are part of their circle of friends.

Making friends in the first place

Most Germans make friends through their jobs, according to the survey, with 45 meeting them at work. This was followed by secondary schools and university (around 20 percent) and hobbies (21 per cent).

As a young adult, Germans acquire the most friends from school, says Shobin. Until the birth of their first child, the number then slowly decreases, because it then increasingly focuses on partnership and family.

Every tenth person now meets friends via social networks. Although many Germans spend hours each day on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, 75 percent think they can only make real friendships offline.

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Explained: How to find a lost friend or relative in Germany

Whether an old friend or family member, it's possible to reconnect with that person you lost track of a long time ago.

Explained: How to find a lost friend or relative in Germany
A happy reunion. Photo: depositphotos/belahoche

We receive many inquires from readers looking to track down an old friend or relative in Germany, sometimes from decades ago.

In some instances, this sought-after person was a German exchange student that a family lost track of – especially before the days or easy email communication or WhatsApp.

In other cases, the person might be a distant relative, or someone the reader only learned they were related to after doing genealogical research.

People still living in Germany

Maybe you have tried “modern methods” such as Google and Facebook and not received any results. You can still use the web to your advantage.

Try a Google advanced search, in which you can narrow down criteria such as the town you think they live or their maiden name.

There are also a variety of websites designed just for finding people, such as When searching, try all possible versions of their name. For example, you can search the surname Müller as Mueller or Muller.

There are also a few German-specific websites for finding old friends or keeping in touch with them such as and

Also think about turning to job platforms such as LinkedIn, which has an increasing number of German users – many Germans are skeptical about using their real names on personal social media platforms.

Theoretically it should be possible to track down permanent residents in Germany due to an extensive Meldebehörde, or registration system. However due to data protection laws, German authorities aren’t able to provide information on most people.

A person registering at their local Meldebehörde. Photo: DPA

There are exceptions in cases death or illness of a close relative, or when someone is legally prosecuted.

However, there is an extensive online telephone directory (similar to the Yellow Pages) in which you can search for individuals who might not show up on Google.

If you’re looking to find a child who was adopted, you can turn to the youth welfare office of each State (Landesjungendamt) or the local welfare office of each district (Jungendamt).

Many Americans have lived in Germany through serving with the military. The website offers a free “buddy service” finder, including a database with over 20 million records.

Trying to track down German origin

If you are trying to find out if you or your family has German origin in the first place, there are a slew of websites for doing genealogical research.

The German website, from the Verein (or Association) for Computer Genealogy provides several comprehensive resources to help you research German origin, from finding old newspaper clipping to locating burial places or relatives.

There are also state specific genealogy websites for finding family who come from Saarland, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony or Bremen, or Baden-Württemberg.

The general genealogical research websites and can also help you wade through documents and print and only resources to find family members or ancestors.

We hope this helps you with your search – if you have additional questions or tips for locating someone in Germany, you can email us at [email protected]