Dos and Don’ts: Sexual Attitudes

Dos and Don’ts: Sexual Attitudes

Coming to Prague soon? Don’t miss our special Prague Sensual Guide for a great round up of venues for him and for her.

Nudity
The days of the naked weather girl (and occasional weather guy) on TV Nova are gone, but on the surface Czech society seems quite relaxed about bare flesh. Even if people are not necessarily disrobing at any given moment, social acceptance of the naked body is widespread. Nude and semi-nude people, most often women, can be found on billboards, magazine covers, in newspapers, and of course in the porn which is available in most newsagents. On the subject of porn, pornographic films are also widely available. It can happen that beside milder films in some stores, like the Levné knihy chain, you may see more graphic images.

Premarital Sex

According to a recent survey by sexologists Petr Weiss and Jaroslav Zveřina, Czechs have their first sexual experience at around 17. Given that the average age of marriage is around 28, it’s fair to assume that people are not abstaining from that first encounter until the marital bed. One figure places the rate of premarital sex at 96% of sexually active people. When the age of consent is 15, there might not be much they can do. Surprisingly, despite what appear to be lenient attitudes the same survey cited above shows that many young people claim not to need sex. The reason given is that they have other priorities such as work, study and travel.

Extramarital Affairs

Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception among expats that Czechs have a casual acceptance of their partners’ infidelities. Perhaps this perception comes from Czech films and literature, though admittedly, some Czech friends have been open about these indiscretions, usually speaking about them in quite matter-of-fact terms.

This image may be changing. The weekly Reflex claims that in the ten years since the article was published levels of infidelity have fallen. Another source claims the rate is about 24% (Warning: the graphic on the link may offend some people), but doesn’t differentiate between men and women. While professed rates of infidelity are lower, the survey by Weiss and Zveřina claims that a majority of men and women tolerate it. However, a larger majority of women (39%) consider infidelity morally unacceptable.

Homosexuality

This is a tough one to judge as it depends on who you are and who you associate with. Not being gay myself, I can’t speak from experience. A poll from 2007 suggests that tolerance of homosexuality is high, despite remarks made by the president’s spokesman, Hájek. This toleration is especially true in Prague and among circles that would interact with foreigners. In villages and smaller towns, attitudes tend to be less open.

Contraception and Abortion
Among the sexually active, condoms are used by just over half of men and women surveyed who have had casual sex. Condoms are by far the most widely available form of contraception and can be bought at drug stores and supermarkets.

Among couples there are no clear figures, but the birth control pill is apparently popular and is available from a chemist with a prescription. Over a million of Czech women, i.e. 54% of women from 15 to 49 years old, use hormonal contraception.The morning after pill is also requires a doctor’s script.

Abortion is legal in the Czech Republic and attitudes toward it are very tolerant compared with English-speaking countries. A woman can have an abortion up to 12 weeks or 24 weeks if the fetus has genetic defects.

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