Want to know what the chances of getting sex is like in Bulgaria?
Bordered by Romania, Greece, Serbia, Turkey and Macedonia the Balkan country of Bulgaria has a colourful past. One of the newest members of the EU, the country was a communist state until the late 1980s and some of its past socialist laws can still be seen in aspects of modern Bulgarian society. A cheap destination in Europe in terms of flights and living costs, Bulgaria entertains 11.1 million visitors each year and caters for this huge influx with a range of adult entertainment.
In this guide, we take a little look at the country’s attitudes towards sex, prostitution and pornography as well as the options for hooking up using personals sites.
Sex in Bulgaria
The Balkan nation of Bulgaria has a population of 7.1 million people most of whom belong to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Attitudes towards sex are strongly traditional in many areas with tolerance for diversity being low; in other areas, however, they are seen as quite liberal. This juxtaposition can be seen most markedly in the widespread discrimination faced by homosexuals vs the country’s liberal prostitution laws (see below).
The country has seen considerable change over the last thirty years with the fall of communism in 1989 exposing the former socialist country to, arguably, more liberal Western influences. Joining the European Union in 2007 also forced the authorities to look more closely at many of the countries laws.
Once seen as a social perversion, legislation to protect the LGBTQ community against discrimination has now largely fallen into line with the rest of Europe. However, laws regarding buying and selling sex are still quite grey (see Prostitution Laws in Bulgaria, below).
In a 2012 poll produced by Eurostat, Bulgarians were found to enjoy an ‘intense’ sex life with men opting for good sex over fidelity; only three in ten Bulgarian women were inclined to agree with the vast majority preferring a faithful lover over one who was good in bed. Conversely, both men and women place honesty as the most important factor in a relationship, above sex; Slight contradiction for the guys?
The survey makes some interesting reading with the following statistics being derived from the results:
- Over half of Bulgarians are having sex more than once a week.
- 44% of Bulgarian men and 35% of Bulgarian women have no problems talking about sex.
- Three in four young Bulgarians (aged 18-24) get their primary source of information about sex from the internet.
- Just 4% of Bulgarians claim to have had their most exciting sexual experience with a hooker.
- Just 16% of Bulgarians admit to regularly watching pornography (see Porn Viewing Trends, below).
Overall sex in Bulgaria is not a taboo subject and paying for prostitutes, whilst not common, is part of the culture for some men. Far from being the most liberal minded nation in Europe, Bulgaria is less conservative and traditional than you might think.
Adult Industry in Bulgaria
Pornography in Bulgaria was limited until the early 1990s during the Socialist Republican period but censorship was abandoned in the post-communist period. At the turn of the century, you could easily access imported porn such as magazines and DVDs at fairly mainstream outlets.
In fact, the fall of communism sparked a large industry in Bulgaria of distributing pornography and various kinds of media were widely imported.
The first Bulgarian adult movie was filmed in 1992 but there are no Bulgarian production companies making pornography.
However, it is illegal to produce or distribute hardcore porn in Bulgaria though it is common for the authorities to turn a blind eye to certain shops selling this kind of material. Softcore content can even be seen on television after 11.00pm and run-of-the-mill, top-shelf magazines can still be widely purchased.
Prostitution Laws in Bulgaria
There are no specific laws forbidding prostitution in Bulgaria and is considered a legal activity in itself. All forms of organised prostitution are illegal including pimping, brothels and prostitution rings.
Bulgaria has had a lot of negative attention over the last few decades as a transit country for human trafficking and this has forced the government to crack down on organised criminals. However, the independent sex scene is tolerated by the authorities and, though there are no official red light districts, there are areas in the big cities where street prostitution is prevalent.
It is estimated that there are around 20,000 prostitutes working in Bulgaria.
The sex industry in Bulgaria is thought to be worth in the region of €1.1 billion annually which is more than Cambodia, Italy and Australia put together.
You might find our guide to the capital city of Sofia interesting.
Bulgaria: Porn Viewing Trends
For a nation where just 16% of the population claim to regularly watch porn, the country’s top 50 websites include a startling number of adult orientated websites.
The popular cam sex site, Bonga Cams, is the 9th most visit website in Bulgaria, receiving more traffic than Yahoo, Instagram, Twitter and IMDB; more even than Bulgaria’s equivalent of YouTube, VBox7.com.
Other adult sites making the top 50 include:
- Pornhub – 25th most visited site in Bulgaria.
- XHamster – 29th most visited site in Bulgaria.
- XVideos – 37th most visited site in Bulgaria.
- XNXX – 38th most visited site in Bulgaria.
- TXXX – 49th most visited site in Bulgaria.
Top Bulgarian Porn
As there are no Bulgarian adult studios, the only Bulgarian porn you are likely to be able to find is amateur porn uploaded to the tube sites.
LGBTQ in Bulgaria
Though same-sex relations have been legal in Bulgaria since 1968, there is still some discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community. Firstly, there is no legal recognition for same-sex couples and there has been a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage since 1991.
IVF is only available for married couples and same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt, even the ‘step-children’ of their partner.
Transgendered individuals may legally change their gender once they have completed sex reassignment surgery though have only recently been granted legal protection against discrimination; they were only included in the 2003 anti-discrimination act in 2015.
Sofia was the first Bulgarian city to host a Pride festival. In 2008, the inaugural parade drew only 150 participants. The event was not popular and around 60 protesters were arrested following attacks using petrol bombs, glass bottles and rocks. Since then, the event has grown in size and has attracted the support of political parties including the Bulgarian Socialist Party, DSB, the Greens and the Bulgarian Left.
The 2017 Sofia Pride parade was attended by 3,000 people.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church (to whom more than 90% of the population belongs) strongly opposes homosexuality, calling events like Pride ‘sinful demonstrations’.
Overall, the situation in Bulgaria means being homosexual is not celebrated and, outside of the cities, is very much a taboo subject. In more rural areas, the LGBTQ community is not tolerated and can, despite anti-discrimination laws, often be met with harassment, discrimination and public persecution.
Top Classified/Personals Sites in Bulgaria
Bulgaria doesn’t have a huge online dating scene as, culturally, the Bulgarians don’t much go in for this way of hooking up. Many singles prefer the ‘old-school’ technique and head to the bars and clubs to pick up. However, there are a couple of ways to get some NSA fun in Bulgaria using online resources.
ALO is a Bulgarian classifieds directory where locals can advertise everything from second hand goods to professional services. There is a personals section which is populated with ads from escorts, singles and masseuses.
There’s a diverse range of categories including transvestites, gigolos and virtual sex to rooms available for rent by the hour and other erotic opportunities.
The site is in Bulgarian so you will need to either speak the language or use a translation tool.
Casual encounters are available as well as serious dating.
The international classifieds site, Craigslist, has good coverage in Bulgaria and offers the ubiquitous category of ‘Casual Encounters’ for hook up opportunities.
Many of the listings are for the Sofia area but there are a few for other areas of the country.
As ever, the ratio of men to women is heavy on the guys but the site does give you the opportunity to post your own advert to test the waters.
Available in English language, Craigslist is a good port of call if you are visiting the country and you want to find a casual hook up. The same rules apply as in other countries in that the site is often used as a means for escorts to advertise and scams are not uncommon so use your common sense when responding to an ad.
There are a couple of hundred listings on the Lava Place site for Bulgarian singles looking for dates. Many are after something more serious but several we found were plainly after anything but.
Lava Place is free to use and has an international coverage with ads being placed in English. The range of women in Bulgaria using the site is varied and covers an age range from early 20s to mid 50s.
The service is free to register with but you will need to be a member to contact other users.
Love Awake is a free to use dating service with a Europe-wide coverage. The profiles are very basic but many are offering the opportunity for casual hook ups.
Ads are English language and the service provides you with the opportunity to connect via SMS, email or instant chat.
Featured image via Pixabay.