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Thread: Iceland's Casual Sex Culture Is The Most Liberal In The World, But Comes At A Cost

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    Iceland's Casual Sex Culture Is The Most Liberal In The World, But Comes At A Cost

    For having a smaller population than St. Louis, Iceland is arguably the most sexually liberated country on Earth. Read any travel blog on the topic and you'll find countless (occasionally crude) accounts of how the Viking descendants who live there are more ravenous and enthusiastic about casual sex than anyone, anywhere, with a "backwards" dating culture that begins with drunk sex and ends in ... probably not much more.

    Yet, while blogs and old ad campaigns like Icelandair's "One Night Stand in Reykjavík" make it seem like Icelanders have more casual sex than a cabana boy with student loan debt, they also win points in the novelty category with their different way of dating. Instead of the "three dates then sex" narrative dispensed in the U.S., their casual sex culture has created a unique microcosm of sexuality in which the country's more liberal "fuck first, names later" dictum sets it apart from the rest of the developed world.

    “Dating before a hook-up is relatively new here,” says Sigga Dogg, an Icelandic sex writer, educator and president of the Icelandic Sexology Association. “So is the art of the more American way of chatting a stranger up, sober, in broad daylight. We are more into social media pokes or swipes or drunken gropes.”

    And while not every single Icelander experiences sexuality in that way, Dogg says most Icelanders would agree with the country’s reputation as a sort of sexual oasis.

    Iceland’s always been this way. According to Icelandic-American sexologist, author, and television personality Yvonne K. Fulbright, “Sexual permissiveness in Iceland goes back centuries.”

    “The cultural acceptance of sex stems back to a contagious disease [smallpox], which ravaged Iceland in 1707, seriously depopulating the island,” Fulbright explains. “In an effort to repopulate the country, the King of Denmark declared it lawful for every young Icelandic woman to give birth to six children, regardless of her marital status. This act was not seen as one of shame, or involving degradation or loss of reputation, rather it showed status as something to be praised in the name of patriotism.”

    The contemporary result of that history is that dating as Americans know it isn't really a thing people do, or have ever done there. Three-hundred odd years later after the King’s decree, love (as Americans idealize it) is almost as rare in Iceland as sunlight during the winter.

    "I can't even imagine going through a typical American date. ... I'd much rather have sex first and see if there's a connection there before putting myself through that.”
    “Icelanders don't really ‘date,’” Fulbright continues. “Icelanders are also less likely to have expectations that something more relationship-wise is going to come out of a casual sex encounter. We are more direct in our intentions, meaning there are no playing games in trying to snag another.”

    "I can't even imagine going through a typical American date," Gemma* a 29-year-old native Icelander living in Los Angeles says. "What if it's awkward? I'd much rather have sex first and see if there's a connection there before putting myself through that."

    Gemma's innate "sex first" preference explains why a much more normal order of operations in Iceland is to meet a stranger while you're out drinking, take them back to your place, have sex, and then decide whether you want to see them socially again.

    “Say you hook up with a guy after a night of partying,” says Dogg. “If the sex was good, you might be willing to go on a date because, oh well, you’ve already had sex.”

    However, a more impactful and modern reason why Iceland's casual sex culture is so pervasive is that it's the most feminist country on Earth. Literally, actually. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, Iceland tops the ranking of the world’s nations with the smallest gender gap for the eighth year in a row.

    The same report also ranks Iceland first in many categories including political empowerment, educational attainment, economic participation and opportunity, and health and survival. For every man enrolled in university, there are 1.7 women. There are two women for every three men in the country's parliament. In 2010, it became first country in the world to ban stripping, prostitution and lap-dancing to send the message that women, or people in general, are not for sale.

    The nationally-held Icelandic belief that women and men are equal players in the same game has directly contributed to the country's liberal atmosphere of casual sex. Particularly, it's done this by ignoring the scientifically inaccurate narrative that men are obsessed with sex, but women could take it or leave it. Instead, a commonly held belief in Iceland is that not only do women love and want sex, says Gemma, but they also know how to ask for what they want from men who are there, in a lot of ways, to please them.

    "I don't know why people in other countries think women aren't horny," she says. "They are. I am! I'm not ashamed. Men are intimidated by female sexuality. In Iceland, we learn to silence that fear by telling men exactly how they can please us so they're not scared of us — they like to know how we work. We ask for what we want in bed because we're in touch with ourselves sexually. It's half because we have more sexual experience to know what we want, and half because we're taught that exploring our bodies to find out what feels good is normal and healthy."

    According to Dogg, Iceland’s sex education has a lot to do with women’s more sex-positive beliefs. A sex educator herself, she says she’s often called upon to teach teens about self-pleasure and masturbation as a “powerful and an important way to teach your lover what you like, which is an especially important message for girls.”

    It's no surprise then, that Gemma says Icelanders are far less likely to pathologize women who have taken an interest in sex as much as men are expected to. In that sort of permissive atmosphere, casual sex becomes easier because women are seen as equals to men. They're allowed to express their sexuality to the degree their biology drives them to without the fear of social shame or stigma.

    "I am not afraid to be called a slut. In Iceland, 'slut' means you have your shit together. You're confident and comfortable with your body."
    Because of these freedoms, Iceland has nearly eliminated slut-shaming, a sad practice that keeps many women silent about their sexual needs and interests. In fact, the word "slut" has evolved into a compliment in the tiny Nordic country.

    "I am not afraid to be called a slut," says Gemma. "In Iceland, 'slut' means you have your shit together. You're confident and comfortable with your body."

    So what do they call someone who has slept with 14 people in a week without the slightest intention of getting to know them outside the bedroom?

    "Badass," she responds.

    Despite the general emphasis on sex, however, people do fall in love and get married in Iceland. It's just not as common — and people approach them differently.

    Gemma has had two serious relationships with Icelandic men, one of which left her with a severely broken heart. Many of her friends back home are seeing people, too. So it's not that there's a lack of emotion in Iceland, it’s just that the emotion tends to occur after sex.

    "I fell in love with him because the sex was so passionate," she adds, a reversal of the American ideal that you should, for a lack of a less Cosmo-y phrase, "make them wait and make them work for it.”

    Marriage is a slightly different story, too.

    Because Icelandic women are so sexually and financially liberated — and because, by some scientific accounts, women are biologically less programmed toward monogamy than men — marriage is not the idealized fantasy it is here. In fact, it's customary to date someone, have a child with them and then raise it for years before marriage is ever on the table.

    "You have this horrible term in English, 'broken families,'" Icelander Bryndis Asmundottir told CNN. "Which basically means just if you get divorced, then something's broken. But that's not the way it is in Iceland at all. We live in such a small and secure environment, and the women have so much freedom. So you can choose your life."

    There are downsides to Iceland's sexual utopia though.

    First, there’s the drinking thing. If Iceland’s hookup lifestyle is brought on by its exemplary treatment of women, it’s amplified by the country’s unique drinking culture.

    According to a 2015 OCED report entitled Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use: Economics and Public Health Policy, Icelandic alcohol consumption has risen 35 percent since 1992. This has a lot to do with the more recent innovation of bars now closing at 5:30 a.m., a relaxed approach to last call which Reykjavik's Police department sees as a matter of principle, something that allows people more freedom to drink when they want to. And those extra early-morning hours? They aren’t going to waste.

    “Being drunk and having a drink are very different things,” Dogg says. “Here, we get druuuunk.”

    This is something Dogg would like to see change.

    “We could probably be a little less drunk when we’re hooking up,” she says, citing multiple studies that have shown that drunk sex — or at least “druuuunk” sex — is less than satisfactory for the people involved. This brings up a quantity versus quality issue. While many Icelanders are having lots of sex, the sex they’re having when paired with alcohol may be kind of meh. Also, as Fulbright brings up, this has resulted in more "lack of consent" situations in recent years.

    “On a physical level, it’s harder to get aroused and you are less likely to orgasm when drunk,” explains Dogg. “For me, sex should be about pleasure, with consent and protection, so I think we need to be able to confront people sober instead of using alcohol as a constant excuse.”

    STIs are another issue. The amount of sex many Icelanders have means they deal with an a disproportionately high amount of disease like chlamydia, for which Iceland currently has the highest rate of in Europe, and has for the past 10 years — an accomplishment that's lead to the STD being affectionately renamed the “Reykjavik handshake.” Much of that is related to drinking, as inebriated people are less likely to use condoms than sober folks. But it’s also because the 2008-2011 financial collapse, which caused the price of condoms to skyrocket to unattainable rates and make preventative health services less affordable and accessible for young people.

    All this said, it’s important to note that not all Icelanders engage in the country's liberal sexual atmosphere to the extent others — especially the younger ones — do. There are plenty of people who find casual sex to be less of a trend and more of a nuisance.

    Johanna*, a 35-year-old Icelandic woman, is one of them.

    “Yes we are sexually liberated,” she explains via email, “but that doesn't mean Iceland is a good place to come for a fuck. We don't want people coming here for some sort of sexual vacation. While Icelanders are more sexually liberated than the vast majority of people from other countries, it doesn't mean everyone there is an automatic score simply because they're socially allowed to enjoy sex.”

    The diversity with which people approach sexuality in Iceland is also why Fulbright made it very clear that while Icelanders are sexually permissive, to be single and "sleeping around" isn't something to be coveted, or put on a pedestal as something that’s inherently “better” than how other countries do things. Rather, it’s simply a part of the experience an Icelander can choose to have during a developmental phase in his or her life.

    There are pluses and minuses to everything. While Iceland's sex-forward society might sound bloody fantastic to a blue-blooded American, extreme sexual liberation is not a perfect model for everyone. However, what everyone can learn from Iceland is that female empowerment, and the recognition of women as equals, seems to benefit all people.
    https://therooster.com/blog/icelands...-it-comes-cost

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    I was prepared to give this woman a fair hearing and I even agreed with some of the stuff she was saying, but then ...

    I am not afraid to be called a slut," says Gemma. "In Iceland, 'slut' means you have your shit together. You're confident and comfortable with your body."

    So what do they call someone who has slept with 14 people in a week without the slightest intention of getting to know them outside the bedroom?

    "Badass," she responds.

    I've never been called a prude in all my 60 years, but FFS!!!! Apart from anything else, this is just plain unhygienic and then, sure enough, as I read on I came to the inevitable part about the STI explosion and the highest rate of chlamydia in Europe (..ugh! ) Not only this but a lot of the sex taking place is between drunken partners and so must be pretty awful anyway.

    I'm afraid there's something inherently sleazy about permissiveness. You can't just take the good bits because, sadly, it comes as a full package with sexual overindulgence and such things as alcoholism going hand in hand, along with many other forms of excess.

    It's no great surprise to discover that this woman is a rabid feminist either, because feminism via some insidious mechanism ties in with all of the above. I more or less switched off during her tiresome blather about the gender pay gap, the number of women in parliament and all of the other agenda-serving statistics

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    Since you opted out of the rest of the article, I'll add two important sentences

    Rather, it’s simply a part of the experience an Icelander can choose to have [or not] during a developmental phase in his or her life.
    However, what everyone can learn from Iceland is that female empowerment, and the recognition of women as equals, seems to benefit all people.
    While prude Americans rather run for white sharia, with women locked away (again), disempowered and legally depraved of her own life and property, basically a sex slave. For long centuries, christianity didnt even consider women "humans". Well, no thanks.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    While prude Americans rather run for white sharia, with women locked away (again), disempowered and legally depraved of her own life and property, basically a sex slave. For long centuries, christianity didnt even consider women "humans". Well, no thanks.


    There is an immense gap between treating women like sex slaves and tolerating the 'anything goes' attitude described by the article. If I know that a woman has slept with 14 men in a week then I'm not going to view her in a positive light, to put it mildly. Yet I'm also not one of those men who refuses to date women who aren't virgins. There's a healthy middle ground between sexual depravity and prudishness.



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    The Vikings were not the prudest people on earth either, you know... This prudery about sexual activity comes from Christianity, in pre-Christian times it was not uncommon for people to have had several sexual partners before marriage. Some even had children from previous relatonships.

    I noticed a very ugly double standard about Christian-influenced men. They would ideally like to control women and pry into their sex lives, count their sexual partners and judge them for being "sluts", while they're not exactly the image of piousness themselves. But it's ok for a man to have many sex partners and have casual sex, then he is a "macho" and "king" full of testosterone, however may your Christian god forbid that a woman decide on her own sexuality, she is immediately a whore, slut, unhygienic, etc.

    Sexuality is a normal part of human life, and sexual compatibility and chemistry is important in a relationship. We can't all marry virgins, you know...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sól View Post
    The Vikings were not the prudest people on earth either, you know... This prudery about sexual activity comes from Christianity, in pre-Christian times it was not uncommon for people to have had several sexual partners before marriage. Some even had children from previous relatonships.

    I noticed a very ugly double standard about Christian-influenced men. They would ideally like to control women and pry into their sex lives, count their sexual partners and judge them for being "sluts", while they're not exactly the image of piousness themselves. But it's ok for a man to have many sex partners and have casual sex, then he is a "macho" and "king" full of testosterone, however may your Christian god forbid that a woman decide on her own sexuality, she is immediately a whore, slut, unhygienic, etc.

    Sexuality is a normal part of human life, and sexual compatibility and chemistry is important in a relationship. We can't all marry virgins, you know...
    Hmmm, I realize it is only a solitary example, but I do know a very devout heathen lady that you would probably consider a 'prude' for her firm belief in monogamy and leading a chaste lifestyle.

    Frankly, as a masculine Christian man, I have never promoted promiscuity by either gender. And, though I have been involved in numerous short to long-term relationships, I'm certainly not into "casual sex", or cheating to prove anything. I think such sleazy conduct is unbecoming for a gentleman, or a lady, of any faith.

    It is also impossible, or at least an unpleasant and tiring pursuit to attempt to control the personal lives of others in this day and age. I certainly have no desire to do this. I prefer honesty in a relationship. If a woman wants me for me I'll reciprocate her love. If I discover she has ulterior motives, I'll tell her to hit the street, and even hold the door for them to make their final exit from my life.

    To keep on topic:

    What is there to do in Iceland other than watching pods of whales breaching, drinking, fishing, sex, hiking among volcanoes, drinking, watching the Jew tube, sex, reading, drinking, shooting pool, sex, or playing video games after more sex and drinking... I suppose one could entertain themselves by hitting undesirables with snowballs.
    Aside from an ever increasing number of mortals who have willfully chosen to worship Satan and his minions, our battle has always been against the powers and principalities operating surreptitiously throughout this twisted world.

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    Rather, it’s simply a part of the experience an Icelander can choose to have [or not] during a developmental phase in his or her life.
    Well, I did actually realise it wasn’t obligatory Look, I’m sure we’ve all gone through ‘development phases’ of some kind or other but it’s about keeping things in proportion, as Jared says, and any woman who has sex with 14 different men in a fortnight needs to address a few problems.

    However, what everyone can learn from Iceland is that female empowerment, and the recognition of women as equals, seems to benefit all people.
    Who says that 'female empowerment' is benefiting everyone I don't see any proof of this and even the title of the OP states that it "comes at a cost".

    I know you’re not politically naïve, velvet, so you understand as well as me that all those feminists in the Icelandic Parliament with their “women can do what they like with their own bodies” mantra are not just allowing women total freedom. There’s a lot more to it than that, as we can see in places like feminised Sweden where they side with Muslim rapists over their own native women.

    Marxists always destroy the family unit as one of their top priorities so that kids can effectively be raised by the Big Brother state, and now we have a situation where over 70% of those in Iceland are born out of wedlock so it’s all going perfectly to plan! Concurrent with this, the country is experiencing a fall in birth rates so releasing all those bitches on heat is not producing any extra children, and right across the West an increase in feminism-led promiscuity is having exactly the same results ... strange, eh?

    While prude Americans rather run for white sharia, with women locked away (again), disempowered and legally depraved of her own life and property, basically a sex slave. For long centuries, christianity didnt even consider women "humans". Well, no thanks.
    Citing some ultra-conservative Americans is no counter-argument as far as I’m concerned and is merely a reminder that no society is perfect. The problem is that women think they’ve been ‘liberated’ from centuries of sexual repression but this is only half true. Yes, they're no longer 'sex slaves'', as you put it, but they’re only free in the sense that they’re free to screw around and get drunk etc.. 'just like the men'. Most of them cannot see the bigger picture, which clearly shows that today's Western women are being exploited as political tools just as much, if not more than at any point in our history!!!

    Fortunately, Iceland’s 300.000 population makes it smaller than most of the cities I’ve lived in so when their social experiment goes horribly wrong the fallout will not be too drastic.

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    Not a Christian here, and I am not defending it either. Christianity was not always so prudish as it is today. Most of this prudishness came after 1865 and before 1919. Most do not realize that during the late 19th century in America there was a huge Christian "revival" or upheaval as I like to call it. This was also the same time period that "god" was put into the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States, it was also when "In God We Trust" was placed on our currency and there was even a failed attempt to legally declare the US Constitution as a Christian based document. During this upheaval states passed many so called "blue laws" based on religious context. To bad they did not stick to the anti-Miscegenation that were passed in those times.

    sorry for the off topic, just had to clear some things up.

    Yes, a woman that gets banged 14 times in one week is a slut, no matter what the culture. I'm just curious why they are referring to my first wife, did the old bag move to Iceland?
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpearBrave View Post
    Not a Christian here, and I am not defending it either. Christianity was not always so prudish as it is today. Most of this prudishness came after 1865 and before 1919. Most do not realize that during the late 19th century in America there was a huge Christian "revival" or upheaval as I like to call it. This was also the same time period that "god" was put into the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States, it was also when "In God We Trust" was placed on our currency and there was even a failed attempt to legally declare the US Constitution as a Christian based document. During this upheaval states passed many so called "blue laws" based on religious context. To bad they did not stick to the anti-Miscegenation that were passed in those times.

    sorry for the off topic, just had to clear some things up.

    Yes, a woman that gets banged 14 times in one week is a slut, no matter what the culture. I'm just curious why they are referring to my first wife, did the old bag move to Iceland?
    No it was even more "prudish" than today. What Europeans call prudishness we call basic morality.
    You weren't even allowed to date back in the old days. You went to her father and asked his permission
    to court her and you were escorted the entire time. Christmas wasn't allowed as it was considered
    a pagan holiday. The behavior of Icelandic women now would've made niggers from the 1930's blush.
    Oh and the "this is my body I do what I want" is a reverse sacrament its Satanic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwinson View Post
    Well, I did actually realise it wasn’t obligatory Look, I’m sure we’ve all gone through ‘development phases’ of some kind or other but it’s about keeping things in proportion, as Jared says, and any woman who has sex with 14 different men in a fortnight needs to address a few problems.
    This number was made-up for the sake of argument, and one can even actually "see" the tongue-in-cheek in the reply.

    Not sure why we're discussing a made-up number, really.


    Who says that 'female empowerment' is benefiting everyone I don't see any proof of this and even the title of the OP states that it "comes at a cost".

    I know you’re not politically naïve, velvet, so you understand as well as me that all those feminists in the Icelandic Parliament with their “women can do what they like with their own bodies” mantra are not just allowing women total freedom. There’s a lot more to it than that, as we can see in places like feminised Sweden where they side with Muslim rapists over their own native women.
    Iceland was co-founded as a nation by women who fled fleshly christianized Norway. Own property, be free and self-reliant, take part in the Thing and legally equal to men in all regards is ingrained in Icelandic society.

    Contrast to common belief, this wasnt any different in pre-christian and even still in early christian times in Germany and elsewhere (only changed slowly with christian influence over the centuries). You even have a Queen with the "eternal prince" on her side in the UK. Women are not property and dont need chains.

    Since you're not naive either, you should also know the source of the current propaganda, so that's not a valid counterargument to women's freedom, since the problem really lies somewhere else. As you yourself notice:


    Citing some ultra-conservative Americans is no counter-argument as far as I’m concerned and is merely a reminder that no society is perfect. The problem is that women think they’ve been ‘liberated’ from centuries of sexual repression but this is only half true. Yes, they're no longer 'sex slaves'', as you put it, but they’re only free in the sense that they’re free to screw around and get drunk etc.. 'just like the men'. Most of them cannot see the bigger picture, which clearly shows that today's Western women are being exploited as political tools just as much, if not more than at any point in our history!!!
    We are all exploited, men and women alike.

    And it's not ultra-conservative Americans, this legal status of women was the reality in Europe until around the 1900s (some places earlier, some later, serfdom was only abolished in 1907 in Germany, f.e.). They were not "humans", they could not sign legal treaties, they could not divorce from her own choice, they could not own or inherit property, they needed for everything a "male relative". And that white sharia nonsense promotes this today again.

    In the middle ages, instead of celebrating the birth of a child, the women were dragged to a church to be "cleansed" from the sin of sex and giving "unclean" birth. A woman in marriage. But it was still sin. Christianity brought a really unhealthy approach to and view of sex and the relation between man and woman with it, which we should finally stamp out again from our people.

    When I see the stuff being posted in the Inceldom thread, it's really the answer why there are so few women in this "movement". Because, with all respect for tradition, family life and not "whoring around" and all that stuff, no one is going to accept the chains once more we've just shackled off. That chains that should never have been there in the first place. And any woman reading this will run away.

    Of course, Iceland is a somewhat extreme example of freedom in this regard, and of course it comes at a cost of STDs (which most likely didnt exist 200 years ago there and not even 50 years ago), but you can contract clamydia on every public toilet without sex as well - and what people contract these days in hospitals in oh so civilised Europe is much more dramatic than that.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

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