Spain’s Atlantic beaches have become a public nightmare over the past few years, with public disturbances, intoxicated bodies, and women’s clothes ripped to shreds. Now it’s been revealed that, in addition to rampant drunkness, the allure of casual sex has also taken a toll on Europe’s bods: Men are abandoning the beach in droves, and European beaches are suffering the ramifications. So much so that in the most recent summer, nearly every Spanish beach failed their health inspections.
Local officials are blaming the sex culture of Spain for the local beaches’ demise. Sex scenes during Euro 2012 tournaments caused a rise in frolicking between men and women. But even before Euro 2012, the Mediterranean nation had the worst ratings for beach quality in Europe. But in recent months, the country’s beaches suffered more than they have in years thanks to a growing popularity of prostitutes and informal liaisons. The amount of nudity, however, has never been a problem.
Nevertheless, on May 2, a Spanish official announced the results of health inspections of 25 beachfront facilities in the southern regional government of Andalucia. The results showed 7 of the 25 facilities had breached health standards in some way, while only 4 facilities met the standards.
Spanish news reports suggest the problem is not new, but that the problem has intensified in recent years. For instance, back in 2010, a report from the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city council claimed that the Mediterranean island was suffering a drastic increase in daytime and nighttime prostitution. And in 2012, the watchdog group Eurostat published a report saying Spain had the worst health rating in Europe for morning swimsuits and bikinis.
In the absence of any scientific explanation, sexual noir is being floated as a possible cause for the fine-line between sexiness and unsanitary skin. A recent report from a local tourist agency claimed Spain’s extravagant gyms and massage parlors were largely responsible for the country’s decreasing numbers of male bathers.
Whether the blaming of sex scandals for the decline of Spanish beaches will prove true, or if the decline is the result of a cultural shift away from casual dating, it’s clear that Spain can learn from its Euro 2016 adversaries – which include the Mediterranean nation as well as the other pornographically-promiscuous nation that has helped to divide the continent: Germany.