Looking for more information on sex in Romania?
Characterised by medieval fortresses, the infamous Carpathian Mountains of the Transylvanian region and ancient forests, Romania is a mysterious nation that few people have visited from the west. Those that do tend to head straight to the capital, Bucharest and largely miss the rural charms of this picturesque sovereign state. With almost 20 million inhabitants, Romania is the seventh most populous nation in the EU with Bucharest being its 6th largest city.
In this guide, we explore the topic of sex in Romania, looking at prostitution and pornography laws as well as exploring the adult industry and latest porn viewing trends. We’ll even take a look at the LGBTQ laws and popular ways to find a hook up whilst in Romania.
- 1 Sex in Romania
- 2 Adult Industry in Romania
- 3 Prostitution Laws in Romania
- 4 Romania Porn Viewing Trends
- 5 LGBTQ in Romania
- 6 Top Classified/Personals Sites in Romania
Sex in Romania
Romania is still ranked as a developing country and is one of the poorest nations in Europe. In recent years, however, economic growth has been rapid and the country now has one of the highest rates of growth in the EU. The country was under Soviet rule for a period in the 1940s and 1950s and remained a communist country under the infamous rule of the autocrat Nicolae Ceausescu until the revolution in 1989.
Under Ceausescu, Romania suffered desperate poverty, poor education and economic instability. It took a further decade after the revolution to see modernity delivered to the nation. Though Romania is westernised in many ways, there are many parts of the country (particularly in rural areas) which still characterised by typically ‘Eastern-European’ standards.
There are many scars left on the country from its political background including social views and health education. There is no state religion but 81% of the country identify as Eastern Orthodox and many hold conservative views commensurate with the church. This includes a strong belief that homosexuality is not normal as well as having a traditional view on marriage and sex. Fundamentally, Romanians are not as liberal minded as other European nations.
Under Ceausescu, abortions were illegal, and the existence of AIDS was denied by the government. Combined with poor sex education and a high rate of orthodox beliefs on contraception it may come as a surprise that, according to a study commissioned by Durex in 2010 (‘The Face of Global Sex’) Romanians were amongst the highest condom users in Europe. Just 6.3% of people polled reported never having used one; the United Kingdom, Turkey and Belgium all had rates of over 20% in this respect.
However, sex education in Romania is still considered poor by comparison to other EU nations with over 50% of Romanian women stating they had never received any form of sex education.
The ‘Face of Global Sex’ revealed that the primary source of first sexual health information in Romania is the internet (24.5%), parents (23%) and friends (18.3%). Only 8.8% of respondents stated that their primary source was school. This was the lowest rate in the poll and well below the 46.4% of people in the United Kingdom.
The same survey revealed that, 68.6% of the population were sexually active with the mean average number of sexual partners being 3.6. This was lower than Turkey (5.3) and Germany (4.7) but higher than Lithuania (2.9) and Poland (2.5).
As in some other Eastern-European nations, Romania’s attitudes towards sex is polarised by geography, age and politics. Citizens in Bucharest are more cosmopolitan, liberal and tolerant than their rural counterparts with those under the age of 30 (having not lived through the revolution) also being more open-minded.
This polarised split of the nation is also evident in some of the population’s characteristics. Though largely a stereotype, many Romanians agree that the nation:
- Has a love-hate relationship with foreigners.
- Is largely patriotic but also very critical of their country.
- Avoids conflict but secretly loves it.
Other stereotypes which visitors to Romania will recognise include:
- Romanians are passionate people with a lot of warmth and openness.
- Romanians are creative thinkers with a reputation for finding solutions.
- Romanians are spiritual and religious people.
- Romanians are hard-working.
- Romanians tend to have an inferiority complex, particularly when comparing themselves or their country to other Europeans or nations.
Having said all this, the country does have a large porn industry with relaxed laws on prostitution and pornography (see below). It is estimated that one in four Romanians regularly visits porn sites. They do not have very progressive rights for homosexuals nor is same-sex activities widely tolerated or accepted. Overall, when it comes to sex in Romania, they are certainly not a nation of prudes but city-life is very different to rural life.
Adult Industry in Romania
Whilst Romania may not have had a long history and association with the porn industry, the country has produced quite a lot of adult film stars over the last few decades and can even lay claim to one of Europe’s earliest porn directors, Bernard Natan.
Born in Romania in 1886 as Natan Tannenzaft, the bisexual Franco-Romanian film director produced and acted in at least 20 hardcore heterosexual and bisexual pornographic films between 1920 and 1927. He even went on to establish his own studio, Rapid Film. Natan is credited with introducing masochism to French pornographic film. His best known work is probably Le Menage Moderne Du Madame Butterfly (1920) and La Matresse du Capitaine de Meydeux (1924).
More recently, talented male porn actor and director, Raul Cristian, was also born and raised in Romania. Starring in his first movie at the age of twenty in Budapest, Cristian appeared as a performer in 50 titles produced in both Europe and America. He has won many AVN, XBIZ, Venus Berlin and Hot d’Or Awards for titles he has starred in and directed. Fans agree his best work is in the All Internal series though credit must also be given for Ass Traffic and Cum For Cover.
Porn in Romania is largely produced at an amateur level with stars working with other European studios such as those in the Czech Republic, Hungary or Germany.
Romania’s big emergence in the adult industry of Europe is undoubtedly its cam-sex industry. The world of cam-sex is estimated to generate over $2billion worldwide and Romania is considered one of the world’s largest hubs for the sector.
Studio 20 is one of the country’s many sex-cam studios in which women provide live video chat across Europe and North America. Based in Bucharest, there are nine locations around the country from which women (and men) broadcast sex cam services. This is just one of the hundreds of website hosting studios in the country with many more women working at an amateur level to provide services.
The growth of the sector in Romania is due to several key factors, including:
- Most Romanians speak excellent English
- The internet speed in Romania is fast, the 6th fastest in the world!
- Romanian women are prized for their looks and their accents.
- Women educated in Romania are intelligent and interesting.
Considered by many to be preferable to prostitution or performing pornography, the industry does not attract the same level of discrimination. The market offers good rates of pay and, with 30% of graduates unable to find a job, is a popular way for many women to make a living.
It is illegal for men and women to perform together online but this law is often flouted.
Top Romanian Female Porn Stars
According to XVideos, the top ten most popular porn stars from Romania of all time (by overall hits) are as follows:
|Performer||Total Video Views||European Ranking||World Ranking|
Bizarrely, XVideos doesn’t have a model listing for Alina Plugaru despite their being over 3000 videos listed as being tagged with her in them. This may be due to the fact that she retired in 2099. However, Alina is the undisputed ‘Queen of Romanian Porn’ winning the Best Romanian Porn Actress Award in 2008 and 2009. She was also recently honoured for her contributions to the Romanian porn industry.
Starting out as an erotic dancer in at the age of 16, Plugaru began working in the industry a few days after her 18th birthday working with the German-Moroccan actor and director, Zenza Raggi. In 2009, she was voted the ideal Romanian woman (just a few months before her retirement from porn). She has gone on to found an erotic dance troupe with whom she performs as well as an erotic massage parlour in Bucharest.
Unlike Alina Plugaru, Sandra Romain found fame by moving to the U.S.A. where she signed for the popular porn agency, L.A. Direct Models. She has won six AVN Awards during her time in the adult industry, including Best Group Sex Scene, Best Anal Sex Scene and Best Sex Scene in a Foreign-Shot Production. She also won a Ninfa Award for Most Original Sex Scene Sequence which was featured in the popular title Fashionistas Safado: The Challenge. The 2007 film also starred fellow European stars, Rocco Siffredi, Belladonna and Jean Val Jean as well as American actress, Jenna Haze. She also has a sister, Alice, who works in the industry.
Black Angelika is known for her tattoos and her watersports specialism. With her busty 36D chest, she cuts an impressive figure on film and has starred in several popular titles including Only Fools and Arses, Cum for Cover and Big Boob Lesbians. She won the Hot d’Or Best European Starlet Award in 2009 and the Erotixxx Award for Best European Actress in 2010.
Other Romanian porn stars of note include:
- Denisa Doll
- Ginger Devil
- Regina Ice
- Fanny Steel
- Aida Sweet
- Rumika Power
- Clara G
- Lea Lexus
- Olga Winter
- Dayanna Kill
- Angel Pink
- Antynia La Rouge
- Charisma Cole
- Allysin Chaynes
- Katja Love
Prostitution Laws in Romania
Prostitution in Romania was decriminalised in 2014 and is now an administrative offence rather than a criminal one. As a result, selling sex can be punished with fines instead of jail terms with johns (more often) not being punished at all. The exception to this is if the client knowingly pays for the services of someone who is the victim of sex trafficking, is underage or whose services were procured using a pimp or brothel.
There have been several proposals by the Romanian Government to legalise and regulate the industry but strong opposition from both the religious sector and anti-prostitution campaigners have so far prevented this from happening.
Despite the lack of regulation and official control, Romania’s sex industry is a busy one with plenty of escorts working in the major towns and cities as well as street hookers. Sex workers are also employed in erotic massage parlours and unofficial studio brothels. The larger cities have a thriving strip club scene where it is not uncommon to find women who accept payment for ‘personal services’ during private sessions. Some dances will also be available after a show for ‘extended performances’.
Romania has overtaken Russia as the primary exporter of prostitutes to the EU and more than a third of female sex workers are thought to be of Romanian origin.
Romania Porn Viewing Trends
Each year, the global adult tube hosting site Pornhub produces statistics relating to porn viewing trends for each country. The last set of results for Romania were made available in 2015 and revealed that this Eastern European country was ranked as the 20th most frequent visitor to the site. In 2016, Romania was pushed off the top 20 for the first time in three years.
At the time of the stats, the proportion of women visiting Pornhub from Romania was lower than the global average of 23% with just 18% of traffic being female.
The most popular categories for viewing porn from within Romania in 2015 were ’Mature’, Milf and ‘Big Dick’.
Specific search terms revealed that Romanians are a patriotic bunch when it comes to porn with the top keywords being revealed as follows:
- Filme Porne Romanesti (Romania Porn Movies)
Also making the top twenty search terms were ‘Romanian amateur’, ‘Romanian prostitute’, ‘public’, ‘casting’ and ‘teacher’.
Though Pornhub is a popular site for searching amateur porn, there is also a good amount of traffic for the stars of the adult world. The most searched for porn stars in Romania for 2015 were revealed as:
- Alina Plugaru (Romanian)
- Mia Khalifa (Lebanese/American)
- Lisa Ann (American)
- Madison Ivy (German/American)
- Kim Kardashian (American)
- Asa Akira (American)
Though most of the top twenty porn stars searched were American, Plugaru was joined by fellow Romanian, Sandra Romain, in 20th position.
Romania has also made porn viewing headlines in some other areas too:
- Pizza porn is more popular in Romania than in any other nation on Earth, including the USA.
- Romanians clearly love their mothers with ‘mom’ and ‘MILF’ porn making them one of the top European nations for this kind of mature content.
- Traffic to Pornhub drops over certain holidays and Romanians were the most likely nation to avoid porn over the Easter period. On average, the number of visitors to the site fell by 31% on Easter Sunday. Interestingly, this is a higher proportion than in Italy (home of the Vatican).
- Relative to the rest of the world, Romanians are also more likely to be searching for ‘Scooby Doo’ porn.
Of course, Pornhub is just one of the most popular adult content sites in Romania with several other big name porn and live sex cam sites making the top fifty list (according to Alexa).
- Bonga Cams – 11th most visited site in Romania and ranking higher than Instagram by traffic.
- Live Jasmine – 19th most visited site in Romania and ranking higher than Twitter by traffic.
- Pornhub – 21st most visited site in Romania and ranking higher than Amazon by traffic.
- XVideos – 38th most visited site in Romania and ranking higher than LinkedIn by traffic.
- XHamster – 43rd most visited site in Romania and ranking higher than Microsoft.com by traffic.
Top Romanian Porn Sites
LGBTQ in Romania
Despite being liberal-minded in many respects, Romanians are still largely viewed as conservative when it comes to LGBTQ issues. However, big changes have been effected over the last few decades. Where once the country’s laws were considered poor by comparison to other European nations, Romania was commended by the Human Rights Watch as making exemplary progress for combating discrimination.
Homosexuality was legalised in 1996 with the age of consent equalised in 2002; the Romanian Criminal Code was changed universally on 1 February 2014 with an age of consent for all penetrative sexual acts being 15 and other sexual acts being legal from the age of 13.
At present, Romania is one of a few remaining European countries where same-sex marriage is not allowed with a constitutional ban proposed. Same-sex couples do not have any legal recognition with civil unions also being banned. However, there are proposals in place for civil partnership to be made legal.
The majority of Romanians are not in favour of a change in the law to allow same-sex marriage with only one in five supporting the proposal.
Romanian law provides protection for the LGBTQ community against discrimination of all kinds including employment, provision of goods and services plus indirect discrimination.
Homosexual men and women may serve openly in the military but there is a culture which makes this difficult; most gay personnel opt to remain closeted to avoid (despite legal protection against) discrimination.
Though transgendered individuals have a legal right to be able to change their gender (following sex reassignment surgery), the law is an ambiguous one. This has resulted in many transgendered people failing to be able to obtain legal documents reflecting their new identity. The process to acquire the correct paperwork is considered an intrusive and arbitrary one which has lead to calls for improvements to the law.
Generally, Romanians are not pro-diversity particularly those living outside of the cities. In rural Romania, homosexuality is still considered by many to be a sickness and the Orthodox Church has publicly stated its intolerance. The lack of support can also be evidenced in the country’s main political parties including the Conservative Party and the Greater Romania Party. Far-right groups such as Noua Dreaptă have even been the instigators of violence during pro-LGBTQ events such as Pride.
In a survey conducted in 2013, over 68% of persons who identify as LGBTQ in Romania reported being discriminated against with a further:
- 25% suffering sexual harassment.
- 30% being threatened with violence.
- 50% being insulted.
- 25% being excluded or avoided.
Though Bucharest is an exception, the vast majority of the country’s LGBTQ community do not enjoy an ‘out’ lifestyle, preferring to enjoy anonymity rather than risk discrimination and oppression.
There is however a large number of online communities which offer a vibrant way to explore Romania’s diversity. LGBTQ focused events are staged throughout the year to promote the community. These include the GayFest Pride in Bucharest, Gay Film Nights and the annual transvestite beauty pageant, Miss Travesty Romania.
Certainly, we can conclude that LGBTQ rights have advanced in recent years but much remains to be done in Romania to tackle the negative social, political and religious views. Activists in the capital are working to unite regional efforts to bring further changes in law but it remains to be seen whether they can transform public opinion.
Top Classified/Personals Sites in Romania
Much like neighbouring Estonia and Bulgaria, the online dating scene in Romania is quite small. Though a tech-savvy nation, many women prefer the traditional way to meet up especially as there is such a great opportunity to do so in the capital of Bucharest. In more rural locations, options for dating are more limited but access to the internet is high and there are a good number of women who do use online services.
Most Romanians speak English so even if a site is hosted in the Romanian language you should still be able to get a response.
Launched in 2001, Sentinente is the largest online dating service in Romania. There are a reported 20,000 users online at any given time and it regularly receives over 1.5 million hits per month.
Though the site predominantly caters for a Romanian market, about 25% of its members are located outside of the country; there is even an option to use the site in English.
You can sign up using popular social media logins including Google, Yahoo and Facebook for a free account. Most of the features that you need to use will involve paying a subscription.
The site is geared around more serious dating but there are quite a lot of profiles on here for more casual daters.
This free online dating site covers Romania as well as other Eastern European nations. It’s very popular in Germany as well as Romania and receives about 70,000 hits per month.
The site does gear itself towards a mailorder brides market but there is a good range of women online who are looking for anything from a date to a serious relationship.
It’s easy to use and you can link your Facebook profile to make registering an account even easier.
The ubiquitous name for casual dating, Craigslist has a site covering the capital city of Romania. As ever, you can find the personals split across several categories including ‘Women Seeking Men’, ‘Casual Encounters’ and ‘Misc. Romance’.
The site is 100% free to use for both browsing and advertising. However, the lack of fees can mean a reduction in the quality and authenticity of some ads. Certainly Craigslist has a reputation for being used by escorts for professional services as well as for scams and hoaxes. That being said, it remains a popular way for singles to hook up.
This international dating site is free to use (to browse and advertise) but is very basic in terms of profile detail and search facilities.
That said, there is a reasonable selection of singles based in Romania with monthly traffic in the country reaching 90,000 hits.
There is a good mix of people available to view with some looking for a hook-up and others simply searching for love.
Romania Kiss is a small site offering dating opportunities for singles, mainly with a focus on serious dating. There are around 10,000 unique visitors to the site each month and initial registration is free. However, the model of the site is ‘freemium’ and you will have to pay membership fees to access most of the features of this site.
Lava Place is a free international dating site which is based in Russia. There is a good deal of traffic from Central and Eastern Europe to the site with Romania accounting for around 2500 to 3500 views per month. Though low by comparison to the 1.9million visits each month, that does account for the few thousand profiles available to view on the site.
The site is available in English and is simple to use, if a little basic.
A free classifieds site similar to Craigslist, Cracker not only covers Bucharest but also Brasov, Lasi, Timisoara, Constanta and Craiova.
There isn’t a huge amount of activity on the site with most ads being posted by escorts but it might give you somewhere to advertise your own intent for free.
Featured image via Flickr.