There are some stereotypes about Swedes which I would like to refute and some I'd like to confirm.
Rumor has it that “Swedes get naked whenever possible and that they have sex with everyone who can undress within just a few seconds. Is that true?” Let's find out further below…
Sexually open-minded Swedes
One of the many reasons why Sweden is associated with a liberal sexual attitude might be the Swedish movies from the 50s and 60s. In some of those, bare female breasts were shown. In those days it was unthinkable in many other countries. Popular movies of that time: “Hon dansade en sommar” (One Summer of Happiness) or “Sommaren med Monika” (Summer with Monica). (In those titles you notice again, the Swedes' love for the summer season. When else do they get the opportunity to get their cloths off outside without freezing?)
Also, in 1955, Sweden was the first country in the world to introduce obligatory sexual education in primary schools. The goal was to teach pupils in early ages how to protect from unwanted pregnancy.
More about Swedish culture & quirks, read the book
How to be Swedish
A Quick Guide to Swedishness – In 55 Steps
here on Amazon
Strong and independent feminists
You won't find any strip clubs in Sweden or strongly sexualized advertisements or TV-shows, depicting naked women in primarily sexual roles. This should not be interpreted as sexual prudery but rather, the sexualized display of the female body to solely please male desires, is seen as sexist and anti-feminist by a big part of Swedish society.
Being a feminist is something the majority of the Swedes pride themselves on. Many Swedish women tend to be or strive to become “strong and independent”.
A stereotype about Swedish women is that their attitude towards sex can be considered as, erm, “welcoming“.
Swedish men on the other hand are often considered as shy.
If you watch Swedish men and women in a night club. You might get the impression this stereotype can be considered as confirmed. But, hey, Swedish men aren't that shy at all, they are simply used to more flirt-active females. So why rushing, if the girls are allowed to pick up the guys as well, without being judged as “easy”.
If you’re single, get yourself a KK – or five.
KK is an acronym for knull kompis, which means “f*ck buddy” or “friend with benefits”. A friend said a while ago, when she found herself to be single after a long term relationship, her goal was to have at least five KKs, at the same time. After asking her for her progress a few of weeks later, she replied in a disappointed way that she only got three.
More about the complicated Swedish relationship levels/status, KK & Co.
Another stereotype is that Swedes get naked more easily. And indeed, going naked into a sauna or for a Swim in a lake isn't unusual in Sweden. Maybe not too common when many people are watching, but not uncommon among friends or when only a few strangers are present.
“Sex, tax & suicide”
In the 60s, American president Eisenhower said Sweden is a country of “free sex, high tax and suicide“.
First of all Swedes aren't as suicidal as many believe. (In the European comparison of suicides per inhabitants Sweden is listed on rank 15. Only strongly catholic countries have lower rates of suicide. One reason why the rumor of suicidal Swedes has made the round is that it was one of the first countries to create statistics on this matter.)
Secondly, as we found out in a previous post on Swedish tax, they are higher, yes. Eisenhower was right, with that point.
And then “free sex“. Well, if both want it, consensually, then, in normal cases no one will swisha pengarna (transfer money via a banking app) after the intercourse, will they?
Sexually active Swedes
Some say Swedes have a lot of sex. Of course, long cold winters force Swedes to stay inside. Many Swedes live more than a few kilometers away from a city. So what else can be more entertaining than getting cosy under a blanket in a cold winter night. But Swedes don't stop when it gets warmer. Finally they can spend more time enjoying the actual act than removing those massive layers of winter cloths from each other.
The amount of reproductive intercourse reaches the climax on midsummer day (end of June). This is probably the result of subconscious stimulation caused by hour long dances around something that represents a phallus, the midsummer pole. This again results in a noticeable higher birthrate nine months later, in the end of March. The most popular date Swedes choose to exit their mother's body and enter the world, nude, is the 22nd of March.
So, get rid of your shameful associations with sex and start start seeing it as stimulating pleasure!
More about Swedish dating & mating
- Flirting & Dating culture in Sweden
- What you should know about partying with Swedes
- Observations from a Swedish dance floor
What are your experiences with the Swedes' “openness” when it comes to sex? Please share your opinion or story below! Would love to read it! :)