Postcard from... Konstanz


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The Independent Online

Germany may be as renowned for its mega brothels as its  citizens are famous for stripping off in public. But the buck  apparently stops when it comes to “swinger cruising”. 

Konstanz, a port city on the great south German lake, Constance, had grown used to the annual “PVC and leather” partner-swapping party hosted aboard the lake’s 77-year-old steamer the Ms Schwaben. On one summer night each year passengers dressed in latex, black leather hotpants, and chains – to mention just  some of the attire – enjoyed each other and the ship’s facilities which include six dancing poles, several dance floors and a dildo exhibition. But now the conservative Mayor of Konstanz, Uli Burchardt has intervened and insisted that the floating  swinger parties must end.

He insists that he is no prude, but argues that as Konstanz owns the pleasure boat fleet, it is wrong for a publicly funded company to host “erotic cruises” which he says have little to do with tourism. Needless to say, his announcement has invoked furious criticism from swingers both at home and abroad. Two Austrian women who are regular Ms Schwaben passengers complained to the Mayor: “We visit the swinger ship every year. We book a hotel, eat in the area, buy a suitcase full of bits and bobs and head off for a nice trip on the boat. If that’s not good for tourism what is?”

Mayor Burchardt has been invited to attend a public debate on the swinger boat. He has apparently yet to say whether he will attend.