Micro skirts, bra tops: the fashion for spring gives the impression that playing with eroticism has become more important.

Mr. Paternot, you worked in the marketing of luxury brands and dealt with the subject of eroticism at the University of Mainz.

Can you explain the trend?

Jennifer Wiebking

Editor in the "Life" department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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I think Corona is one reason.

People were at home a lot and they had little interpersonal intimacy.

Now spring is coming and hopefully a break from Corona.

And with it the opportunity to dress up again.

This also includes showing skin.

But it also depends on what you mean by eroticism.

This is sex appeal to most at first, but in our research we found that eroticism is more complex.

There are six dimensions: desire, excess, sexuality, sociability, glamour, liberation.

All are applicable to the women's fashion that can express all this.

Eroticism still has a bad reputation, but changes can be observed.

Is this particularly true for younger people?

One notices that the younger generation has fewer inhibitions.

We have found that older people are more likely to associate eroticism with reprehensible behavior than younger people, who tend to associate it with extravagance.

This is especially true for women, by the way.

20 or 30 years ago we would certainly have come to different conclusions.

How about the gentlemen?

It could be that fashion for men will follow suit.

So the current fashion is not an expression of a backward image of women, but of a self-determined one?

That depends on the perspective: if there is freedom of opinion and equality in a country, then eroticism can stand for a self-determined image, because the woman can decide for herself which facets she shows.

But the prerequisite for this is that a society is allowed to live in freedom.

Body diversity has been talked about a lot in recent years.

Have we become more physical about it?

Even if one type of body can be seen in the fashion shows, fashion today adapts to different body images.

Overall we have become more sensual, and eroticism is based on our five senses.

Being French, you come from a country famous for its sensual approach to life.

Flirting is more accepted.

That doesn't mean that you go further than in Germany.

When it comes to the body, people are even a bit more conservative.

This can be observed in the sauna: in Germany it is normal to be naked, in France it is a no-go.

We French are more reserved, but have fewer inhibitions about expressing ourselves in fashion.

This also has to do with the importance of designers.

The biggest shows take place in Paris, so people have points of contact that don't exist elsewhere.

Marc Paternot is a lecturer in business administration at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Cologne and conducts research in the field of luxury marketing.