The title of Bernhard and Magda Bauer's book is ‘Liebes Leben' (Love Life) but the content is surprisingly explicit and details their adventures at swingers clubs, with call boys, and sex toys.
The couple, who live in the Vienna suburbs and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July, say their relationship has always being strong. Bernhard worked in the advertising industry and Magda worked in sales. Their son was born shortly after their marriage, and gradually, over the years their passion started to fade. “That seemed normal”, Bernhard says. “When we spoke to friends they were having the same experience”.
But this changed in 2012. The couple were on holiday at their cottage in Tenerife and one evening Magda watched a TV programme about a police raid on a swingers club and became curious about what went on at such clubs.
She discussed this over breakfast with her husband, and he too was interested. They decided to visit one together, and were quite shocked by what they saw - but the experience reignited their erotic interest in one another and suddenly they were having sex several times a day.
Back home in Vienna they became more experimental, buying dildos and lingerie in a sex shop and ordering a call boy out to their suburban home in Vienna. “But we sent him home because we didn't like him,” they recalled, laughing. Later they invited couples they found on the internet to their home for foursomes, but say jealousy was never a problem.
Initially they intended to publish a book about their experience under a pseudonym, but their publisher insisted it would do better if they revealed their true identities. “We thought, what the heck, we're so old and our reputation doesn't matter anymore.”
"We want to encourage other couples to talk to each other again, and maybe reignite the spark… they don't have to do everything they talk about but it's about keeping the imagination active,” says Magda. “If you have nothing to say to your partner, what's going to happen in bed?”
After 50 years of marriage, Bernhard says being loving and respectful to your partner is the most important thing. The couple still visit the swingers club in Tenerife and say they always have a good time there. “It's not at all sleazy”.
Today they say that they have “better sex than ever before - it lasts longer and it's more enjoyable…”. And if the passion starts to fade they find a bit of erotic chit-chat over the breakfast table usually livens things up again.
The couple's son has taken the news of his parents' publishing debut quite well, but has said he won't be reading the book himself.