German city named ‘sex capital of the world’
Cologne has been named the world’s most sexually liberated city, with the city’s panoply of gay bars and LGBT events bumping it to the top of a list compiled by a German magazine.
“Cologne is world famous for its carnival and cathedral,” German-based Lust Magazine wrote. “But for many residents of this cosmopolitan, tolerant city, sex is the new religion.”
According to the report, Cologne’s 23 annual LGBT events, four gay pride festivals, 17 gay bars, and 19 sex shops shot it to the top of the list, with West Hollywood, California in second, and Amsterdam, Madrid, and Berlin completing the top five.
“The city on the Rhine is a true model of liberality and openness, especially in the sexual sense, and residents wholeheartedly welcome like-minded visitors who share their values,” the magazine said. “Rather than insisting on equality, Cologne celebrates everyone’s uniqueness.”
The magazine mostly evaluated each city’s LGBT scene, assigning points based on the number of gay bars, sex shops, and LGBT events per capita in each location. It also examined the legal standing of gay and non-traditional sexualities, rewarding the most permissive jurisdictions.
Gay couples can marry in Germany, prostitution is legal, and Germans can legally change their gender without surgery. In Cologne, the city’s left-wing council has had an ‘LGBT office’ since 2010.
Cologne has not always enjoyed such a reputation. The city is the historic center of Catholicism in Germany, and although the Nazi party struggled to gain a foothold in Cologne during the 1930s, social conservatism reigned for decades after World War II. More recently, the city authorities were condemned for their tepid response to more than 1,000 rapes and sexual assaults by immigrants during the 2015-2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Mayor Henriette Reker was re-elected in 2020, despite causing outrage when she told women to travel in groups and “keep at arm’s length” from strange men following the spree of assaults.