Want to know more about the culture of sex in Albania?
Situated on the south east of the Balkan peninsula Albania has a population of around 2.87 million people. The country has had a rough few decades following the fall of communism in 1990 but has largely recovered from the ensuing economic crisis to develop into a top tourist destination with plenty to offer its guests. With just half a million people visiting the nation in 2005, Albania now opens its arms in welcome to more than around 4.6 million tourists each year. With stunning Adriatic and Ionian Sea coastlines, a mountainous interior with plenty of castles, lakes and national parks, it is a surprising and hidden gem waiting to be discovered. But what about its people and the culture of sex and dating.
In this guide, we take you through the culture of sex in Albania including laws and legislation on prostitution, pornography and LGBTQ rights. We’ll also look at the state of the adult industry, the best ways to find a date through the personals and classifieds plus sneak a peak at the porn viewing trends in Albania.
Sex in Albania
Bordered by Greece to the south, Montenegro and Kosovo to the north and Macedonia to the east, Albania is still a bit of a mystery when it comes to its modern culture. Unlike many nations covered by our country sex guides, there are very few national surveys that reveal much about the sex lives of Albanians.
However, we can shed some light on the cultural and social attitudes in some areas which may help us reveal how sex is perceived in Albania.
Like many Balkan states, the last 100 years or so of Albania’s political landscape have been tumultuous, firstly becoming a modern nation state in 1912 after the defeat of the Ottomans. They then came under Fascist Italian rule until 1943 when they became occupied by Nazi Germany. After the end of World War II, Albania was effectively a satellite state of the Soviet Union until the 1950s when it began to form alliances with the Peoples Republic of China (also a communist nation).
Following a period of revolutionary uprisings in the late 1980s, Albania began its journey towards democracy in 1991 with the formation of the new (and Fourth) Republic of Albania. The transition from a socialist to a capital economy has taken some time but the country now enjoys a status of ‘upper middle-class income’.
Until very recently, Albania was a very isolated nation with few allies and even its admission into the European Union is still under consideration even though there first application was made in 2009. Twice rejected due to failures to prove that elections in the country were ‘free and fair’, corruption in the country continues to be an issue.
In terms of the society of Albania, the emancipation of women that occurred during the revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s under the communist Party of Labour have largely been reversed and the country’s values can now be described as patriarchal, conservative and traditionalist.
The country is still one of just a handful of places on earth where sex-selective abortion is legal (former ally China is another) and parents may elect to terminate a pregnancy based on the gender of the foetus. This practice has resulted in an estimated gender gap of around 21,000 ‘missing’ females from the country’s birth rate.
Disturbingly, more than half of all women in Albania (52.9%) have experienced violence in their lifetime which can be broken down as follows:
- 8% in their experience of dating
- 47% with an intimate partner
- 2% with a non-partner
One in two women surveyed believed that violence in a marriage was a private matter and almost a similar number (46.5%) believe that women should tolerate some violence in order to keep her family together. Even more worryingly, over a quarter (26.1%) of those who were quizzed for the Third National Population Survey 2019 believed a woman should be ashamed or embarrassed to talk to someone if they are raped.
In the 2017/2018 Demographic and Health Survey, the following stats were revealed:
- 68% of women and 48% of men aged between 15 and 49 are married or living with a partner.
- The average age at first marriage for women is 21.9 years, and for men it is 27.3 years.
- The average age for losing virginity in men is 21.9 and 20.9 years for women.
- Among men and women age 15-49 years, 23% and 24% (respectively) are still virgins
- In the four weeks preceding the survey, 59% of women and 54% of men had sex.
- In the twelve months preceding the survey just 3% of men and 1% of women had had sex with more than one sexual partner.
Adult Industry in Albania
There is no adult industry in Albania with any aspiring porn stars heading to neighbouring countries like Italy or heading north to more adult-centric hubs such as Czechia or Hungary.
The main reason for this is that it is illegal to produce porn in Albania as well as to import, sell, distribute and advertise.
As a result, Albanian porn is limited to amateur content only with just a handful of women known outside of the country for their work in the adult industry.
Top Albanian Adult Industry Stars
There are only three listed porn stars on XVideos from Albania with their stats reading as follows:
|Performer||Total Video Views||European Ranking||World Ranking|
Of these, Breanne Benson is by far the most famous and she’s worked with plenty of the biggest porn studios in the U.S. Her work can be seen across networks like Team Skeet, Naughty America, Digital Playground and Brazzers.
Benson started out in the industry in 2003 as a teen star with her friend Tanya James, initially only producing nude pics and some solo scenes before moving to girl-on-girl action. She briefly retired in 2004 to take up a job as an exotic dancer with Spearmint Rhino but returned to the adult movie business in 2009 where she started filming hardcore male/female scenes. Now aged 35, she has been nominated for several AVN and XBiz awards including in 2011 when she just missed out on the Female Performer of the Year title. Born in Tirana, Albania, she is definitely the most exciting porn export from this Balkan country.
By contrast, the second most famous porn star from Albania, Jessica Ross, works solely in the European markets; mainly with Italian studios. Noeelly, on the other hand, is a webcam model and, beyond this, Albania has only a handful of adult models.
Prostitution Laws in Albania
Prostitution is illegal in Albania yet still occurs in most of the major cities including the capital, Tirana.
The laws cover buying and selling sex as well as extending to:
- Exploitation of prostitution (e.g. encouragement, mediation, or earning money from others through prostitution).
- Use of premises for prostitution such as brothels or erotic massage with ‘extras’.
As well as being illegal, there is quite a shameful social stigma attached to prostitution, so much so that it is incredibly rare to find street hookers in Albania. Yet, prostitutes do work in the cities but are generally found via word of mouth at the front desks of cheap motels and hotels or via tax drivers.
Albania: Porn Viewing Trends
Each year the porn giants at Pornhub release global statistics covering the porn viewing trends of each nation. Whilst the more frequent visitors to the site are constantly under scrutiny, those countries further down the list don’t always get the spotlight. With porn being illegal in the country, Albania has never had the focus of this attention but the country does appear in some of Pornhub’s insights regardless.
- In 2015, Macedonia was identified as being a frequent viewer of porn labelled ‘Albanian’.
- Ass related porn was popular in Albania in 2014
- Women in Albania are least likely to be searching for ‘Big Dick’ porn along with the audiences of Egypt, Singapore and Bangladesh.
Unlike most European countries, Pornhub doesn’t appear in the top fifty most visited websites from within Albania. Instead, the only adult content website that receives enough regular visitors to make it onto this list is the live camming site, Live Jasmin which is the 32nd most visited website in the country. With more visitors than Instagram, Amazon and Reddit, there is obviously an appetite for sex in Albania.
Top Albanian Porn
Given the absence of a porn industry in Albania, there are no niche sites that specialise in adult content from this area. Instead, you can find amateur clips on some of the main porn tube hosting sites:
LGBTQ in Albania
Homosexuality has been legal in Albania since the fall of communism in 1990 and they are well protected in law (and have been since 2010) with anti-discrimination legislation. However, same-sex unions/marriage are not recognised.
Despite progress being made in the legal protection for LGBTQ persons, social attitudes and public opinion in the country are very negative. The country is largely conservative and hold traditional views of marriage and sex with a 2013 European Social Survey finding that 53% of Albanians believe that ‘gays and lesbians should not be free to live as they wish’.
Perhaps surprisingly, this is not strictly a view that is held by the older generation with a different survey taken in 2015 of young Albanians aged 16-27 concluding that more than half of those polled (55%) would be unhappy having homosexual neighbours.
A 2015 Balkan Poll also found that just 6% of the population surveyed would be supportive of their child if they identified as LGBTQ.
With 58% of the respondents in the same survey stating that they would not support a political part that was pro-LGBTQ rights, it would seem that there is little appetite for change in tackling this level of homophobia and disapproval.
There are also no legal rights for trans persons to change their gender in Albania however there are groups of activists who are trying to raise visibility and awareness for the trans community. This includes Pro LGBT, Pink Embassy/LGBT PRO ne Shqiper and Aleanca Kunder Diskriminimit LGBT. These groups are also responsible for bringing Pride events to the capital of Tirana, the first of which was held in 2012.
Overall, the LGBTQ communities of Albania are small and far less visible than in other European nations and people who identify as homosexual, trans, bi etc all experiencing abuse, discrimination and harassment of some kind or another.
Top Classified/Personals Sites in Albania
In the rural communities of Albania, marriages are still more traditionally organised and arranged by the parents of the groom along with the assistance of a matchmaker. Whist in the cities, the younger generation are freer to choose their partners. However, it is the men who are expected to make all of the running with the dating process.
Marriage is still the ultimate end-goal for most young Albanians and there is traditional view that being single is a great ‘misfortune’. As a result of these factors, the culture of casual dating is not common in Albania.
When it comes to where to pick up singles, bars, cafes and clubs are all good spots but, home to the cheapest and fastest internet connections in the world and with around 62.8% of Albanians having access to the world wide web, online dating is growing in popularity.
There aren’t that many websites offering online singles ads specifically within Albania but we have found a handful that are English language and may offer up some opportunities. Most allow you to browse listings for free but if you want to make contact with any other members then you may need to sign up for an account:
As for popular apps in the country, Tinder hasn’t really hit off in Albania but you could try Albanian Connection as a useful alternative.
Oh, and a quick dating tip. Here in Albania, people nod their head to mean ‘No’ and shake their head to mean ‘Yes’; useful to know when asking your date if they want a drink.
Featured image via PxHere.