“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.
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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. 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.
"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. If Iceland’s hookup lifestyle is brought on by its exemplary treatment of women, it’s amplified by the country’s unique drinking culture.
In fact, the word "slut" has evolved into a compliment in the tiny Nordic country. "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? Despite the general emphasis on sex, however, people do fall in love and get married in Iceland.
They're allowed to express their sexuality to the degree their biology drives them to without the fear of social shame or stigma.
Because of these freedoms, Iceland has nearly eliminated slut-shaming, a sad practice that keeps many women silent about their sexual needs and interests.
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. 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.