Sex in Switzerland: How the Swiss do it

SWITZERLAND — On a recent trip to Switzerland, I stayed at a friend’s apartment which was a welcome respite from having to stay in another box of a hotel room.  It also allowed me another benefit:  watching “regular” TV and not being limited to channels that are pre-screened by the hotel.

I was pleasantly shocked by what I saw on TV, almost continuously.
In the middle of the afternoon (maybe even in the morning), there was all this sex and nudity on TV.

And I’m not even talking about the subtle stuff we normally see: the slow music (usually from horn instruments), kissing, exposed neck and shoulders rubbing together and then–before we get too excited–zoom out!  Everything else is left to the imagination.

I think the most daring scenes I ever saw was Miranda revealing one boob to her neighbor and Charlotte showing one boob to an overzealous sailor during Fleet Week, but in Switzerland, they were at it in broad daylight, in the middle of the day, on regular cable TV (not pay per view) going at like bunnies, and in such splendor, and at times, with much bravado.

There was sound–oh, was there sound! There was certainly no absence of grunts, moans and heavy breathing.  There were various positions, some even acrobatic, and to complete the whole caboodle– there was nudity. Yes, boys and girls, only genitalia remained hidden.

May be I shouldn’t have been shocked to see such things in Switzerland. This was after all the sight that greeted me at the bathroom of the Geneva  Airport.

Vending machine for condoms and tampons. One pack costs CHF1, roughly around Php50.

Isn’t that such a kind reminder to have a “safe” trip? : )

In the souvenir shops, there were stuffed vibrators for sale and just about every usual souvenir from cups, mugs to calendars was decorated with explicitly sexy illustrations.

Stuffed vibrators that pledge monogamy: “I vibrate only for you.” And yes, they do actually vibrate.

With sex being so omnipresent, just oh, so casual, I felt compelled to research more on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of the Swiss—the nation that is known for being neutral (Swiss history), precise (Swiss watches) and calculating (Swiss banks).

Here are some interesting discoveries:


In Zurich, where prostitution continues to be a major problem, sex-boxes have been installed by authorities so that sex workers and their clients can do business discretely hidden from the public eye. A statement issued the police read: “We can’t beat or stop prostitution, but can try to control it.”


Hotshot Condoms have been created specifically for 12-14 year old boys.  Hotshot costs about (£4.70 ) for a pack of 6 and were produced after government research showed that more 12-14 years olds were having sex compared with the 90s, but were not using sufficient protection when having sex.The study, conducted on behalf of the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1,480 people aged 10 to 20 and found that the average condoms on sale were often too big for these boys, leaving them and their partners, at risk for unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection.

Hotshot Condoms are produced by Lamprecht AG, a leading condom manufacturer in Switzerland.

SWITZERLAND IS NAMED ONE OF THE 10 PLACES IN THE WORLD TO HAVE SEX IN 2011 names The Swiss Chocolate Train as one of its “major panty droppers” for this year.  In your chocolate-induced friskiness, you can ahem, ride the Swiss Chocolate Train from the Swiss town of Montreux to Guyeres for just USD22.


They not only have knives, banks and chocolates branded as “Swiss”, they also have lubricant.  Swiss Navy Lubricant boasts of being the Rolls Royce of lubrications with a “more natural touch and feel–like you are not using any lubrication at all.”

It even has a patented leak proof bottle design with single hand pump for easy one-hand application. They’ve thought of just about everything, haven’t they?

Of course, being the SASsy girl that I am, I had to check out the related teen pregnancy rates and incidence of HIV and AIDS.




In Switzerland, age of consentis 16 and mandatory sex education is taught in school starting age 10. There is easy and inexpensive, if not free, access to safer sex information and services for the youth.




Guttmacher Institute published a study in 1993 as part of the Swiss Multicentre Adolescent Survey on Health, 5% of 1,726 sexually active adolescents (15-20 years old) in a group of 3,993 had ever been pregnant. This study confirmed Switzerland as having the lowest adolescent fertility rate in Western Europe.


A 2006 article in the Washington Post, which quotes a Swiss healthcare practitioner reaffirms this.


According to Pierre-Andre Michaud, chief of the Multidisciplinary Unit for Adolescent Health at the University of Lausanne Hospital in Switzerland, “Switzerland has one of the world’s lowest rates of abortion and teen pregnancy.”


The article goes on to say:


A 2001 Guttmacher Institute report, drawing on data from 30 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, concluded: “Societal acceptance of sexual activity among young people, combined with comprehensive and balanced information about sexuality and clear expectations about commitment and prevention childbearing and STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] within teenage relationships, are hallmarks of countries with low levels of adolescent pregnancy, childbearing and STDs.” The study cited Sweden as the “clearest of the case-study countries in viewing sexuality among young people as natural and good.”




According to 2009 data available on Switzerland has a 0.4% adult HIV prevalencerate.  In terms of actual number, this is estimates about 18,000 people living with HIV.Here’s a snapshot of the HIV and AIDS in Switzerland according to the Swiss AIDS Federation:


  • In Switzerland there are currently about 25,000 people living with HIV and Aids
  • From the start of the epidemic to the end of December 2009, more than 9000 cases of Aids have been notified. Nearly 6000 people have died of the consequences of Aids.
  • In 2010, 609 new positive HIV test results were notified. Of these, 25% were women.
  • Approx. 44% of all infections are due to heterosexual contacts


To put this in perspective and to compare it to the Philippines:




HIV Incidence




7.6 million

92 million


Source for HIV incidence in the Philippines: DOH HIV Registry as of June 2011 


In terms of number, Switzerland may have four times more PLHIV, but their population is 10 times less than ours.


This led me to conclude either one of two things. One, may be the Swiss are so open about talking about sex more and therefore have less time to have it. Or two, sex was just made so available, that after awhile, it was like my reaction to seeing yet another couple on top of one another on daytime TV. I simply said, almost exasperated, “Again?!” and just changed the channel to watch something else.


Ana Santos

Ana is a journalist by education and now by profession, after taking a few detours in the corporate world of banking. She is also a sexual health rights activist as a matter of choice and passion.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women in armed conflict, Ana has received media grants from Newsbreak, Probe Media Foundation and the Philippine Press Institute to cover population and development issues. Recently, Ana also took on the post of Associate Editor for Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for overseas Filipinos.

In 2009, Ana founded Sex and (SAS), a website that promotes positive sexuality in the context of informed choice among young women.

"Happy Even After", a spin-off of SAS, is a candid and sometimes humorous look at the perils and pressures of solo parenting in one of the two remaining countries in the world where divorce is not legal.

  • Manuel Buencamino

    And I thought the Swiss were a stuffy lot.

    But your stats confuse me. It seems like there is a huge ratio of HIV cases visavis population in Switzerland as compared to the Philippines. So my conclusion is the Swiss are having a lot more unprotected sex than Filipinos. Either that or Filipinos prefer to masturbation to intercourse.