On August 1 One Summer of Swedish Sex started!
Daily excerpts from my recent famous/infamous book about modern Swedish sexual politics are published at this site in all of August: swedishsexbook.com/blog. Don't miss it!
The first excerpt from yesterday is titled "Social Democratic Minister: “Sex belongs in a love relationship”. She may of course have such a personal opinion. As is evident from the time-line in my book, personal opinions about "good sex" is however increasingly codified in legislation.
The view of sexuality in the 1960s and 1970s is very different from today. My book traces the change.
The repressive sexual climate of Sweden can be seen in media everyday. Dagens Nyheter, the largest daily newspaper, ran a front page (recurring) theme just 3 days ago: "Sex Addiction". They published a list of 10 sexual "problem behaviors". The list comes from a book the paper is pushing: ”Det är inte kärlek – när sex blir en drog”. In English the title reads: "It is not love - when sex becomes a drug". The problems:
- Fantasizing about sex, sexual situations and seeing others as sexual objects.
- Seduction and conquest: sexual interest that diminishes after a first date.
- Purchasing sex.
- Exchanging sex for other things or services.
- Voyeurism. Watching others and seeing them in sexual ways without them knowing it.
- "Sexual theft": to behave in sexually transgressive ways without being reprimanded.
- Anonymous sex: sexually interact with unknown people, on the net or IRL.
- Exhibitionism: make other people gaze on certain body parts with sexual significance.
- Exchange of pain.
- Exploitative sex or sexual abuse.
Both men and women frequently snap because of love and jealousy, which often has to do with a view of sexual ownership that accompanies love as a drug.
I think of the two 16 year olds, one girl and one boy in Sweden, who were convicted for murdering (English) a 15-year-old girl a couple of years ago. The convicted couple had a relationship. They were in love.
The boy had however quickly kissed Therese, another girl, at a party. They agreed to keep quiet about it. But Therese told her friends and the rumour spread to the boy's steady girlfriend who then demanded that he kill her "rival" or she would leave him. She even gave a final date and bombarded the boyfriend with messages to do it. He did it. At a later party and described himself in court as entirely under the spell of his girlfriend because of love.
A few days ago a man poured gasoline on a former partner (English) and put her on fire in a Swedish village. They had separated but a common child lived with both of them and were handed back and forth according to some schedule. When she handed over the 5-year old daughter she also told him about her new lover. Her former husband snapped. Love is dangerous.
The book, A Brief History of Swedish Sex, priced at around $7.99, is found here, with links to different platforms and ways to read it. Available on Amazon, Apple iBookstore and many other places.
Here is a reader reaction (in Swedish) from a learned reader who is so saddened and shaken by the story that he asks "Where will this end?"
Update: It seems that Dagens Nyheter (DN) has now retracted/delinked their 3 front-page articles on Sex Addiction that I have linked here. Annoying and wrong!