Leisure: topless in outdoor pools: Opinions differ further

Going swimming with bare breasts - that's pure freedom for some.

Leisure: topless in outdoor pools: Opinions differ further

Going swimming with bare breasts - that's pure freedom for some. For others, it's a tiresome topic: Around 44 percent of women in Germany reject it when baths allow "bare female upper bodies at certain times," according to a representative survey by the opinion research institute Yougov on behalf of the German Press Agency. According to this, women's rejection of freer rules in swimming pools has increased within twelve months (2022: 37 percent).

According to this survey, about one in five men (19 percent) still finds it uncomfortable (the answers “rather not good” and “not good at all” were added together). Around 31 percent of all adults are against it (previous year around 28 percent). On the other hand, 36 percent answered that they find the new topless rules "very good" or "rather good" (previous year 37 percent).

The rejection rate in the group of over 55-year-olds increased significantly - from 30 percent (2022) to 37 percent (2023). Since the city of Göttingen was the first to allow women to swim topless in the swimming pool on weekends in 2022, the topic has received a lot of attention. Several baths, especially in large cities, followed suit.

Men in particular like female topless bathing

In many places, bathing with bare breasts has always been theoretically possible, but rarely in practice. Even if many thought that topless women were no longer a cause for excitement, the topic shows potential for division.

First and foremost, men like the possibly more frequent prospect of bare breasts. In response to the question "First baths allow naked upper bodies of women at certain times - what do you think of that?" In 2022, around 46 percent of the male respondents answered "very well" or "rather well", in 2023 even 49 percent (women: 25 percent).

Psychologist: "Female breast another sexual sign"

The psychologist Ada Borkenhagen, who is currently working on the book "Am I beautiful enough? Beauty madness and body modification", told the German Press Agency that on the one hand she naturally grants women freedom over their own bodies, on the other hand she also sees bare breasts in public bathrooms critically.

"In our society, the female breast is still a different sexual sign than the male breast. You can't change that overnight if you just pretend that it's the same thing," said the professor from the University Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University of Magdeburg.

Demands for "nipple freedom for everyone" fit in with the trend to level out all gender differences. "However, when bathing topless, young girls in particular could come under pressure to show their breasts, even if they really don't want to." The old nude bathing approach makes more sense if there is a general ban on clothing in a nudist area and everyone is treated equally.

On the nudist beach or in the mixed saunas in Germany, there is usually a culture of looking the other way because of the sheer nudity, says the psychologist. "There's a real principle of equality there that reveals the different signs of attention of the sexes - with women more on top, with men on bottom."