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Published June 24, Bare chests multiply on the dance floor like drunken amoeba—three, four, five. This is a high-stakes game and all stops are pulled. Succeed once and you might never have to play again. There have been so many Saturday nights, each one a repetition of the last. And yet I never seem to learn.
I am sobering up far too soon, and I still have my shirt on—two cardinal sins that lead to sexual exile. A thousand years since the end of the Viking Age and we still have not mastered the art of conversation. He suggests this happened sometime around the yearon the year anniversary of settlement, and describes it thusly:. People mated without romance, according to the wordless laws of nature and in conformity with the German pietism of the Danish king.
The word love survived in the language, certainly, but only as a relic from a distant unknown age when words meant something quite different from now; perhaps it had been used about horses. Old Laxness may have been exaggerating somewhat, for evidence suggests that romantic love never really made it to Iceland at all, and contemporary texts seem to agree.
Surprisingly, he seems to broadly reach the same conclusions as our Nobel poet. Disclaimer: In no way is this an endorsement of the politics or worldview of Roosh V. One reading of Laxness suggests that the half-naked men dancing drunkenly in bars in 21st Century Iceland are a direct result of the Danish pietism of the 17th Century, a period when drinking and dancing were prohibited. Perhaps this is, then, a belated middle finger to our former king, in the same way that Americans still carry guns to spite George III.
If true, the same aversion to romanticism would logically apply to the Danes themselves, who were, and still are, ruled by these very same kings and queens. Roosh appears to concur:. Admittedly, Roosh does not strike one as a particularly sympathetic character. After all, what if the guy turned out to be boring? Why then, one might add, leave the selection process to the morning after? What if his alimony payments are as bad as his jokes? This is something you might want to consider before rather than after coitus.
Alda further describes the natural course of an Icelandic relationship as: sex, a movie, kids, moving in, and perhaps marriage, pointing out that everything here is done in a different order than it is most other places. Leaving the bar and heading out on the long, lonely walk up Laugavegur, we move from literature to conjecture.
Yes, Icelandic men are hopeless. Most sources agree on this. But, why? A Swiss girl once told me that going up Laugavegur on a Saturday night was one of the most harrowing experiences of her life beset, as she was, on all sides by jovial, obnoxious, drunken barbarians getting grabby. She further noted that on mainland Europe, it was quite normal for a man and a woman to strike up conversation when, say, waiting for a bus.
Mostly no more will come of this, but the possibility is still there, and in any case, this can be a pleasant way to p ass the time. In fact, I have sometimes heard Icelandic women describing trips abroad in much the same terms as the Swiss girl described Iceland.
They felt very uncomfortable being addressed by an unknown man in broad daylight. There is a time and a place for these things. And that time and place is on and around Laugavegur on a Friday or Saturday night. Five to ten drinks in. I was 22 and living in Helsinki when I learned that it was OK to talk to women while sober.
And this, mind you, was in Finland. In the capital area, the Finns have developed something of an embryonic dating culture, but leave the big city and you find yourself in a Kaurismaki movie. The same broadly applies to Oslo versus most of the rest of Norway, or Southern versus Northern Sweden. For an Icelander, it largely seems to apply that the farther away from civilisation you go, the more you feel at home. And while it is true that all Nordic countries went through the same bout of Puritan insanity in the 17th Century, perhaps it is actually the size of a place rather than the religious history that counts when it comes to sex.
Yet, there is no lack of sex in Iceland. According to the Durex Global Sex Survey, Icelanders are actually world leaders when it comes to first sexual contact, clocking in at an impressive average age of Unfortunately, there are no statistics measuring the level of drunkenness when this occurs. The same study puts us fourth when it comes to average of sex partners.
Apparently, we get an average 13 each, well ahead of the global average of nine, but behind New Zealand, Australia and Turkey. Again, there is no ing for the level of drunkenness, nor if there is any correlation between s of sheep in a given country and s of sex partners therein. How are all these hopeless men having so much sex?
Somebody must be doing something right. Could it even be that Icelandic men are rewarded for the very same behaviours that so horrify, say, the Swiss average of sexual partners: That as our As those raised in Iceland will attest, the link between severe drunkenness and sex is forged early on. Which, again, may go some way towards explaining the drinking culture. Iceland is one of the few places where alcoholism actually gives you a competitive advantage when it comes to courtship.
If you feel at ease in your surroundings, you naturally become more attractive. And in environments like these, it helps to have a drinking problem. The smallness not only encourages excessive drinking, it also discourages dating. In a small town, if a boy and girl decide to meet in broad daylight, everyone will know about it.
A failed date is not only a personal humiliation, but also a social embarrassment. Going out on a date in broad daylight is a major commitment, going home with someone at night is not. Having picked and made your way among the princes and the frogs, you eventually take the big step with your chosen one from the otherworld to the regular one, and you can finally watch movies together have kids, move in and eventually, perhaps marry.
Fast forward a few days, and I am sitting at the university cafeteria with group of foreign men. No dirty weekend tourists these, hardly Brits on the piss.
Rather, they are able scholars, a Spaniard, a German and a Latvian, who all speak Icelandic fluently. Perhaps they assumed linguistic ability would allow them to enter Icelandic society, but the Spaniard is feeling dejected. Perhaps, one day, we will be more like them. Here For A Dirty Weekend? Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website.
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Valur Gunnarsson. Photo by. In that order. An in surroundings like this, it helps to have a drinking problem. Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here! Subscribe to our newsletter for FREE! News vine. Latest Latest. Magazine Feature. Show Me More!
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Do People Social Dance for the Sex?