There were times when pickpockets and loose women were regarded as likely bad for one’s health, reputation and overall existence. Since then things have supposedly changed a bit and become more liberal – in terms of sexual relations. This might turn out as a theoretical assumption in some parts of the USA. I have tried (without crossing lines of course …).


First of all it depends on a body culture that does not perceive the naked as something frightful in principle. Here the problem starts. Try to let a small child play naked on the beaches of San Francisco (!) It won’t take long till somebody will have called the police urging you to dress the child (you better get dressed yourself before they arrive, otherwise it might become expensive or at least a bigger hassle).

Second, try to use a sauna (if you find one at all) not wearing a bathing suit (it’s more healthy not to do so, because you are supposed to sweat which is much easier if not wrapped in a plastic cloth). You will feel like the major cast in a film about outlaws and sometimes even treated as such.

What’s going on? As I visited Harvard I sat in a Peet’s coffee having my afternoon double shot latte and reading the New York Times Magazine. Inside a big story on Ivy League students abstaining from sex before marriage. I heard and read about that before. What struck me was that these were the intelligent young people at the best universities who voted for abstinence. I have always regarded a decent experience in this delicate but important part of life as a necessary part of personal development and life learning. But for some people this seems to be a weird attitude.

Strolling along the shelves of the Harvard Book Store I found a book about bad sex, pretending to tell about the better ways of doing it. At least somebody seems to read about it, I thought. Then I took a closer look. The book was about not making mistakes, providing patronizing advice by the elder ones: “We did it, so you won’t have to.” I got it! It’s not about avoiding mistakes. It’s about avoiding a mined field in the first place.

I haven’t bought the book by the way. I sometimes prefer to stick to cultural differences.