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Two naked men of about 30 are chasing each other around a bunch of tents, their long dark hair blowing behind them in the wind. A naked woman is lying on a naked man, who is lying on a mattress in the middle of a field. A couple in their early fifties are sitting on a garden swing. They're not looking at each other or touching, but they're speaking softly. In contrast to most of the other people here, they're fully dressed, even though the weather is warm — trousers, socks, shoes, T-shirts, cardigans, the whole shebang.
For the past nine days, people have been occupying the grounds of a farm in the south of Berlin, taking part in the Art of Love Festival. New arrivals are asked to keep their clothes on until they reach the barn in the middle of property so they do not scandalise the neighbours. Behind the barn, most people are naked and having sex with each other out in the open.
The organisers of the festival have set up a clothing station to encourage gender play, but that mostly happens at night. In the daytime, guests seem to prefer nudity or body paint. For some reason, a lot of the men's bodies have been painted blue, with a red penis. The day schedule is rammed with workshops. Konstantin Stavridis came up with the idea to put together a sex festival, when him and his wife bought the farm three years ago. The pair, along with the other three organisers see their concept as an alternative to quick, anonymous sex in the big city, but also to monogamy.
Everything might be permitted, but not everyone is invited. Part of the organisers' job is to go through applications and call each participant beforehand, to ask a set of questions that is meant to show whether someone is into the experience for the right reasons. Half of the attendees are members of the "community" — meaning they're friends or acquaintances of the organisers. Many of them work in sexual wellness — they are tantric instructors, psychologists, performers, massage therapists.
The rest are just people who stumbled across the website and signed up. Was that because they wanted to raise a middle finger to societal norms or just to bone a lot?