Published June 20, 2014
Anna’s 43rd Editorial
You’ve probably heard Iceland referred to as a hot destination for so-called “dirty weekends.”
Icelandair certainly did its part in spreading that message in the early noughties, luring visitors with slogans like “Fancy a dirty Weekend in Iceland?” “One Night Stand in Reykjavík” and “Miss Iceland Awaits.”
The airline even featured games on the Scandinavian version of its website called “Halldor gets lucky in the Blue Lagoon” and “Hildur gets lucky in the Blue Lagoon,” in which characters chased their opposite sexes around the lagoon, collecting points by respectively stripping them of their bikini tops and swim trunks.
Even if you missed those incendiary ad tactics, there’s a good chance that you listened to an Icelandic woman tell Oprah Winfrey back in 2005 that women here have a fairly liberal attitude towards sex.
“It happens, yes,” she said when Oprah asked her whether it was the norm to have sex with someone you just met. “I guess we’re a bit liberal about things because we have a much lower threshold for beginning new relationships. And you don’t have to go on a date, number one and two, and perhaps on the third date you ask him in. You don’t have rules like that.”
Then you might have also heard Quentin Tarantino’s version on the Late Night with Conan O’Brien show a year later. “But you know it’s funny because normally in America, the idea is to get the girls drunk enough to go home with you,” he said. “In Iceland, you get the girls home before they get so drunk that they’re passing out in your bathroom, or vomiting all over you. That’s the trick.”
Finally, pickup artist Roosh V. shared similar views in his book ‘Bang Iceland,’ a guide to sleeping with Icelandic women. “I still can’t get my head wrapped around how strange Icelandic hookup culture is,” he concludes. “It’s basically backwards: they have sex first before having an extended conversation that women from almost any other country in the world would require as a prerequisite to sex.”
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that many Icelanders oppose this negative publicity, as nobody likes being stereotyped. In addition, this sort of attention has resulted in some less than pleasant experiences, as Margrét Erla Maack recounts.
But could it also be that Icelanders have their knickers in a twist over all of this because it is somewhat true? Valur Gunnarsson, the author of a recently released e-book called ‘The Last Lover,’ investigates.
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