Want to know more about sex in Belgium? How do the Belgians talk about sex and is prostitution legal? We find out more in our overview of this small but important European nation.
A small country of just 11.35 million people, Belgium lies nestled in between Germany, France and the Netherlands in the west of Europe. A nation characterised by its diverse migrant population, Belgium is a multi-cultural country which embraces many of the best aspects of Europe including its laws, cultures and attitudes.
Home to Brussels, the de factor capital of the European Union, Belgium is the hub of European affairs and, in this guide, we look at just what the country thinks about sex.
Sex in Belgium
Despite having a reputation for being conservative and reserved, Belgians are a liberal minded bunch and sex in the country isn’t taboo. Depending on where you are in the country, the influences can be French, German or Dutch and like these neighbours, attitudes towards sex and sexuality as well as the adult industry can be quite open-minded.
All of the major cities have a red-light quarter where you can find adult entertainment ranging from window girls advertising unofficial brothels, strip clubs and massage parlours. There are even street prostitutes as well as plenty of escorts who advertise on directory sites.
The pickup scene can be quite mixed depending on which bars you go to and which city you are in but by and large there are good opportunities for one-night stands. Your chances are greatly improved by using classified ads to arrange a hook up before you head out (see Top Classified/Personals Sites below).
In a European-wide study, Belgians ranked their sexual performance as average with the report showing the following trends in the surveyed population of adults:
- 30% have had sex in a public place
- 12% have filmed or taken photographs of themselves whilst having sex
- 28% have used a sex toy
- 10% have visited a strip club
- Half the population have watched pornography
- 23% had been unfaithful to a partner
Sex education in Belgium is very good and though schools aren’t compelled with the nature of the programme, they must provide a certain standard and amount. The curriculum is comprehensive and starts at a young age, covering gender, sexuality, physical development and intimacy as well as safe sexual practices. As a result of the level of education, Belgium has a low teen pregnancy rate of just 8 cases per 1000 and commensurately low levels of sexually transmitted diseases.
You can find out more about sex in Brussels or Antwerp by reading our city guides.
Adult Industry in Belgium
The adult industry in Belgium isn’t huge and the country isn’t known for its porn production or even many homegrown porn stars. With the prevalence of studios in Germany and France, it is more common for aspiring performers and directors to head across the border than to stay in Belgium,
Of note in the seventies genre of ‘sexploitation’ is Monica Swinn who gained prominence for her hardcore lesbian scenes as well as playing vulnerable characters in a range of erotic horror films.
Current Belgian porn stars include Eva Karera, Julie Skyhigh, Valentina Ricci, Cindy Bastien, Lula Boobs and Mariska X. Most Belgian adult performers are working in France, the Netherlands or Germany.
Prostitution Laws in Belgium
When it comes to prostitution in Belgium there are an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 sex workers in the country who provide sexual services, many of whom are migrants.
Regulation on prostitution is a little haphazard and though it isn’t illegal, third party activities relating to it are. This includes running a brothel, pimping and trafficking but also extends to advertising in public spaces. Having said this, there are quite a lot of unofficial brothels in Belgium.
Neither soliciting or procuring sexual services are punishable offences and are largely tolerated with most major cities having red light areas. However, the tolerance of local authorities and the general public varies greatly depending on which area of Belgium you are in and can range from those municipalities that have implemented unofficial registration and health checks for sex workers and those where prostitution is effectively ignored.
What you are left with is a country where sex work is legal but the ease of how and where to get serviced is hit and miss, particularly in terms of quality.
Belgium Porn Viewing Trends
PornHub’s annual review of global porn viewing trends includes some interesting statistics for the Belgians including the fact that this small nation ranks as the 19th highest in terms of traffic to the site.
The majority of searches come from people looking for porn hailing from their southern neighbours, France, with the keyword ‘French’ being an overriding front runner. Five times more popular than the next keywords, ‘French’ was followed up by:
- Lisa Ann
Belgian’s enjoy live cam sex as well as porn tube sites with the following adult sites making the top fifty viewed sites in Belgium:
- LiveJasmin: Ranked 10th most visited site
- PornHub: Ranked 17th most visited site
- Bongacams: Ranked 20th most visited site
- XHamster: Ranked 33rd most visited site
- XVideos: Ranked 28th most visited site
Top Belgian Porn
There aren’t any dedicated Belgian porn sites but amateur Belgian porn can be found on most of the major porn tube sites including XVideos, XHamster, XNXX and PornHub.
LGBTQ in Belgium
Belgium’s history of tolerance and liberal mindedness has earned it a reputation for being one of the most progressive and gay-friendly countries in Europe. The age of consent for same sex couples was equalised in 1795 (yes, seventeen ninety five) and they were the second country in the world to enshrine laws to offer equality for same-sex domestic partnership in 2000. This was followed up in 2003 with the right for same-sex couples to marry.
Homosexuals can serve in the military and transgendered individuals can change their legal gender (under conditions which include sterilisation).
Brussels has an annual Pride festival which is well attended and supported by both the LGBTQ community and heterosexuals. In fact, the vast majority of Belgians support gay rights and the country enjoys a largely discrimination free culture.
Top Classified/Personals Sites in Belgium
Craigslist is really the only classifieds site in Belgium where adults advertise for casual encounters. Though there are plenty of sites that sell second hand goods, this is the only one with a personals section. The site primarily covers Brussels but does have ads from other Belgian cities.
As with any free to advertise site without a verification procedure, there are often hoaxes and scams being run on the site as well as being used by escorts.
As well as the ‘Casual Encounters’ category you can also find dating opportunities in Belgium under the W4M section and you can even post your own ad under the M4W section.
A Belgian language site, you will need a good on-page translation tool but C Date is a new service to hit Belgium offering hook-up opportunities in Belgium.
The service is free to join and you can quickly set up a profile to look for a flirtation, secret affair or other.
Though you will need to pay to make the best of the service (including making contact with other members), you can browse for free to see whether you like the look of the profiles. There are plenty of them with a reported 25,000 new members every day.
There is also an app you can download for iOS or Android devices so you can stay in touch with potential dates on the go.
A Europe-wide site offering discreet affairs for couples and singles, First Affair is a simple service that is free to register.
There are over 1.8 million profiles reportedly registered on the site with a good selection of these being in Belgium.
You can browse without a membership but to make contact you do need to pay subscription fees. However, there is a good male to female ratio and the number of profiles suggest that the service could be useful.
Another free service but with a high proportion of men to women, Love Awake has around 600 profiles for Belgian women.
Profiles are pretty thin and don’t have the best images in the world but there is definitely a diverse mix of people here.
Most of the women are looking more for a serial dating opportunity than a casual encounter but there are others who are more open.
Well worth registering to see how you get on.
Featured image via Pixabay.