An article by Clarkson University headed Shared Culture of Nudism in Unified Germany and published by Newswise.com said: ‘Annegret Staiger, a Clarkson University associate professor of anthropology who teaches on race, ethnicity, and sexuality and gender issues, was recently invited to speak at the University of Wyoming in Laramie during a series of talks on “25 Years of German Unity.”
‘After 25 years of reunification, the big question is to what extent has the once-divided Germany grown together culturally,” says Staiger. “My talk, From Nudity Cultures in East and West to Sauna Club Mega Brothels, was based on my research on FKK Clubs, and it provides a fresh perspective on that subject. FKK clubs have become the most spectacular brothel venues to emerge since the legalization of prostitution in 2002.’
FKK is a well-known abbreviation (among naturists anyway) for the German Freikörperkultur or Free Body Culture in English. In her talk, Staiger traced the history of naturism in Germany from its 19th century origins to the tolerance it had under the Nazi regime and its development as a counter-culture in Communist East Germany. For many naturists, especially for non-Germans, FKK has been the gold standard for non-sexual, social nudity regardless of it being at a beach, park or club. So the assertion that ‘FKK clubs’ has been reduced to ‘Sauna Club Mega Brothels’ was a surprise to us, so we asked someone who should be in the know. Richard Foley is a Briton who has lived in Germany for many years and runs Naktiv.net. By all means read the original article: FKK as synonym for brothel in Germany, and take the opportunity to have a look around an excellent website but with Richard’s permission, we have reprinted it here.
‘Ok, I’ve finally read this piece of misleading and uninformed rubbish.
“In my talk, I traced the history of FKK from pre-war Germany in the early 19th Century to its present state as a euphemism for prostitution.”
‘The article “slides” from one definition of FKK to the next. You need to separate the two uses of FKK. The early 20th century FKK movement more or less defined traditional naturism. The reunification of East and West Germany certainly brought more eastern nudists into contact with their more Americanised (and consequently puritanised) western fellow nationals, but there is nothing Nazi-ish about any of this.
‘Some bright spark then had the idea to start calling strip clubs “FKK clubs”, or “nudist clubs”. These, in Germany, are essentially strip or swinger clubs, which are going under the name of nudist clubs. However the use of “club” is easily misunderstood here.
‘You need to understand the difference between “club” and “verein“. In Germany a “club” is like a “bar”, and a “verein” is like a “group”. So, when you see “FKK club”, you can read it as “Strip bar”. And when you see “FKK verein“, you can read that as “naturist club”.
‘I think the German FKK federation simply ignores the errant use of the term. Everyone over here knows what the terms are actually used for, when used in context. The author in question is perhaps a puritan academic who doesn’t know the difference between her ass, and being one.’
Thanks for clearing that up for us Richard.
14th Feb 2016.