Swimming Topless in Barcelona
CNN’s Jack Guy reports that women can now swim topless in Barcelona’s city pools. Most of the European beaches are now topless, so it’s no surprise that Barcelona’s pools have joined their ranks. This hedonic attitude towards life is one reason Barcelona has become a huge tourist destination — so much so that the town-fathers and -mothers are trying to scale tourism down rather than ramp it up.
But there’s another circumstance in play in Barcelona as well.
Barcelona Is an International Porn Centre
It is that, after the San Fernando Valley in California, Barcelona is the second or third most important international porn centre (depending on where you rank Montreal). Erika Lust has her shop there, and Private Media Group has been in Barcelona since the 1985. These are both big players.
The United States has never quite gotten over a Puritanical squeamishness about shooting porn (which the New York Times, incredibly, sometimes still refers to as “smut”). Hey, shooting porn’s okay in LA, but don’t try it in Arkansas.
In Spain, by contrast, there was a giant sigh of relief after Franco died in 1975. The Spanish decided they had a lot of catching up to do, and they had better get busy.
Not that individual Spaniards began a descent into wantonness. In Spain — as in the Netherlands and Denmark — the family remains a key concept. It was in Northern Europe that the post-World-War-II libertine express began, in terms of public porno. Yet private life remained relatively tranquil.
In Spain, there’s a lot of interest in the body and keeping fit. According to OECD statistics, the percentage of Spanish women who are obese is less than 20%. In the US, it’s almost half.
Advice for Barcelona-Bound Tourists
So, if you’re a Barcelona-bound tourist, let me give you a word of advice. If you line up an agent, you might even end up shooting for Private (if you’re so inclined). But picking up young Spanish women in a bar for a one-night-stand, maybe not. But, look, at the next table there are these babes from Indiana University. . . .
Interesting how the public and private spheres don’t really seem to move together at all.