What is pornography?

Examples of pornography are texts, pictures, movies and other illustrations depicting sexual acts. Pornography only involves physical sexual acts. All other aspects of sexuality, such as love and affection, are ignored. Therefore, pornography is indeed never the same as real sex. Pornography serves to satisfy people's interest in sexual things.

Is pornography allowed in Germany?

In Germany, it is permitted to produce, watch, own, show, buy, sell, trade or distribute in another way legal pornographic material in the form of texts, recordings, pictures, movies and other illustrations. 

Legal pornography

  1. All persons must participate willingly.
  2. All persons must agree to its publication.
  3. All persons must be at least 18 years old.
  4. A person must be at least 18 years old in order to produce, watch, own, show, buy, sell trade or distribute in another way pornographic material. It is forbidden to show or give pornographic material to persons under the age of 18 years.

Illegal pornography: what is forbidden?

There are certain forms of pornography that are forbidden in Germany. Even the attempt to produce, watch, own, show, sell, trade or distribute in another way such pornography is punishable.

The following is forbidden:

  • acts of violence, such as rape
  • sexual acts by people with animals
  • sexual acts with children (a person under 14, see also 'child pornography') and/or young people under 18
  • pictures of a naked or partially naked child/young person in a posture that unnaturally highlights sexual features
  • sexually suggestive pictures of a child's genital area (vagina, buttocks and breast for girls or buttocks and penis for boys)

Addicted to pornography

If you watch pornography, such as pornographic movies, too often, you can become addicted. If you become irritable, aggressive or nervous as soon as you are not able to watch pornography, it may be that you are addicted to pornography. If you feel you are losing control, you can get help at a counselling centre. You do not have to tell the counsellor your name. The counsellors are not allowed to tell anyone what they have discussed with you.

Dictionary and translations

Looking for help? Find a health professional.

Help