Naughty Guide to Iceland
Perhaps not the most obvious place to go for a sexy holiday, Iceland sits in the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland to the west and the UK & Scandinavia to the east. With a population of only 330,000, there’s plenty of space to enjoy the dramatic volcanic scenery and fairytale forests. Despite the isolation, Iceland has many hidden charms which can beguile and seduce. It’s a spiritual place, where sex and nature combine to produce a sensual mix of heady eroticism. The home of elves, magic and the Northern Lights, Iceland knows how to play to the senses. Don’t be fooled by this distant island’s glacial image, because Iceland is anything but cold when it comes to sex. So get ready to enjoy some hot and steamy action in ‘The Land of Fire And Ice.’
Equality and Gender in Iceland
Famous for their progressive attitudes towards gender and sexuality, Iceland was the first country to have a political party formed and led by women. They were also the first country to have a directly-elected female head of state. Then, in 2009, they went one better and elected the world’s first openly gay head of government, Johanna Sigurdardottir.
Iceland has always paved the way for women’s rights and it’s one of the few places where women are encouraged to speak out about prejudice, chauvinism and sexual harassment. Every year, there’s a “Slut Walk” in downtown Reykjavik – a peaceful march which protests against slut-shaming, sexual violence, victim-blaming and other sexual and legal issues which are a product of modern ‘rape culture.’ Marchers are encouraged to wear what they like (some even turn up nude) and walk loud and proud through the streets of the capital to show that women should be able to wear what they like without fear of verbal or physical abuse.
In general, Icelanders venerate women. Rudeness, disrespect and anything which makes a woman feel uncomfortable in public, will not be tolerated. For instance, when I was in Reykjavik recently, I saw signs in restrooms telling women that if they were being harassed or felt threatened, to tell the staff immediately. I tested this theory when I was being bugged by one guy, told one of the wait staff, and the guy was asked to leave the premises straight away. I was quite shocked, but reassured at the same time and I felt much safer walking around Reykjavik for the rest of my stay, knowing there was this automatic ‘protection policy’ towards women.
The Sex Trade in Iceland
Proclaimed as the world’s most feminist country, stripping and profiting from nudity were both outlawed in 2010, although this had an obvious impact on the sex trade (prostitution is also illegal) and many strip clubs, bars and brothels were forced underground and became unregulated.
When it comes to sex tourism, too, Iceland often gets a bad rep, with many websites insinuating that Icelandic women are easy and slutty, which obviously attracts a certain type of tourist. Once they land on Icelandic shores, however, they soon realize that the locals here will not stand for disrespectful or threatening behavior towards women, whatever their profession.
Because all paid-sexual activity has been forced underground, it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for if you’re after a little BDSM, swinging or fetish role play. Many Icelanders use the website Einkamal to hook up with like-minded people, but be patient as Icelanders can be a little cautious and furtive when it comes to putting their heads above the sexual parapets.
Yes, you read that right. Did you know that Icelanders believe in elves? To the locals, elves (or “hidden people” as they are more commonly known) are very real and some women even claim to have had sex with them, declaring that they are better lovers than mere mortals. So if you want to experience sex with an elf or two, the best way is to wander into one of the forests or through a volcanic valley, tune into nature and wait for an elf to come and whisper naughty things in your ear. According to one elven sexpert, elves are tall and slim and emit light from their bodies. They can read your sexual mind and know exactly what you want in bed, and they’re very skilled in performing oral sex (“they have very long tongues.”) What’s not to like?
LGBT in Iceland
As mentioned, Iceland is very open about homosexuality, transgender and other sexual identifiers. The main scene is obviously in Reykjavik, but Akureyri in the north has a growing LBGT community with new bars and clubs opening all the time. The annual Gay Pride march through the capital is one of the highlights of the cultural year, for all persuasions, with 85,000 turning up for the celebrations – that’s a quarter of the entire population!
Iceland’s Penis Museum
More formally called The Iceland Phallological Museum, it holds the world’s largest collection of penises and penile parts. Most exhibits are animal penises, including whales, bulls, seals and even a hamster. The museum also claims to own elf and troll penises, and it acquired its first human penis in 2011 when a 95-year old Icelandic man died and donated his member to the museum. You can also visit an exhibition of penis casts of the silver medal-winning Iceland Olympic Handball team from Beijing 2008. The casts are shown in a different order to the team photograph on display, so their identities are known only to them and their wives!
Strip Clubs in Iceland
As mentioned, strip clubs are illegal in Iceland but they get around this by having ‘Lingerie Bars’ instead. Inside, they look like a normal strip club, complete with pole, but the staff aren’t allowed to use it, only the customers are! You’re also expected to buy drinks for the girls and this is how they make money – the more drinks customers buy, the more commission the girls make. They have private rooms you can go to where the girls dance for you, naked. There’s a no-touch rule but things like spanking are allowed if you ask. You also get to play your own music and can take photos, so go prepared and you should be able to get a decent, personalized experience for your krona. Iceland is expensive, for everything, so get saving now.
Smidjuvegur 14 – Kopavogur, IS-200
9pm-1am weekdays, 9pm-5am weekends
Located just outside Reykjavik in the town of Kopavogur, Goldfinger is an ‘erotic dancers nightclub’ with a full bar and private rooms. Because paid-sexual activity is banned, you buy the girls drinks as your payment, and they get money from the establishment in the form of regular wages. You are allowed to buy some private time, though, roughly $150 for 15 minutes or $500 for an hour. Of course, you have to be discreet about what you’re going to be getting for your money, nothing is advertised or spoken about in the open.
Shooter’s Coyote Club
9pm-1am weekdays, 9pm-5.30am weekends
Formerly known as VIP Club (which got shut down,) Shooters is a lot seedier than Goldfinger but you can still get some naughty action if you’re willing to pay insane prices for shots of very watered down alcohol. They have private rooms and presidential suites, and lots of bachelor parties come here. You’ll need at least 20,000 ISK ($180) to even get through the door here.
9pm-1am weekdays, 9pm-5am weekends
A champagne bar with an impressive wine list, it’s the caliber of the vintage bottles on the menu which provides the ‘mask’ for the other stuff that goes on here. It’s a typical strip club interior – purple neon lights, black, chrome and purple decor, black chairs and sofas and gaudy chandeliers, but you’ll be treated to an air of exclusivity, plus a variety of dancing girls who can dance privately for you in one of the VIP booths. Again, you’ll need around $150-$200 to start off your night.
Sex Toy Stores
Surprisingly, there’s a dearth of sex toy stores in Iceland so you really have to do your research. The main one is a little outside of the city center, so take a taxi.
Adam and Eva
It looks like the last place you’d find a sex shop – industrial and surrounded by office buildings and busy freeways but it has everything you need in here. From fetish wear and tons of vibrators, to BDSM, lingerie, massage oils and anal toys, they’ve got it covered. You can also order online for delivery, if your Icelandic adventure has taken you to somewhere more remote (to try Elf Sex, perhaps?) You can also try http://www.blush.is to get sex toys delivered to your hotel.
They don’t have burlesque shows as you’d know them in the US, but you can get something pretty close with a drag show, especially during Gay Pride season (first two weeks in August.)
Drag-Sugur @ Gaukurrin
3rd Friday of the month, 9pm-late
Entry: 1000 ISK ($8)
Taking place on the second or third Friday of every month, they hold public viewings of RuPaul’s Drag Stars with their own drag show afterwards using local talent and special guest stars, plus occasional comedy and lots of raucous fun. It’s not a big place and can feel a bit ‘divey’ but if you get there early enough to bag a table, you can easily settle in for the evening.
4pm-1am weekdays, 4pm-4am weekends
Any bar with a dress code should ooze elegance and sophistication, and Loftid doesn’t disappoint. Meaning ‘Air,’ Loftid is as sexy as they come, full of mahogany furniture, plush booth seating chandeliers, Chesterfields and an army of cocktails with a 1920s Art Deco vibe. Iceland’s beautiful people come here to see and be seen, and you can get some gorgeous light bites to go with the expensive drinks. It feels formal, but it’s not stuffy.
There’s a bit of a dive-bar feel to this place but it still has a seductive sexy side thanks to a rocking atmosphere, friendly staff and a modern, hip crowd. They have DJs playing retro music to get everyone in the mood and the walls are covered with thousands of sexy little pin-up pictures and photos which make great conversation starters. There’s two floors, with a staircase bordered by tons of Playboy covers, as well as famous album covers on other walls. You can grab a burger, sample a milkshake, or try a local beer on quiz night.
Perlan (The Pearl in English) is a unique restaurant with stunning views over the city, mountains, coast and countryside. It has a very futuristic look, like something from a sci-fi film – a large glass dome sitting upon six huge water tanks. On the fifth floor, diners can eat under the stars and be treated to super-sensual dishes such as salmon with asparagus and hollandaise sauce, langoustine soup and dark chocolate mousse. There’s a viewing deck outside (perfect for catching the Northern Lights) plus a Winter Garden where you can catch art shows, photography exhibitions and classical concerts. The staff treat you like royalty and the ambiance exudes romance, passion and a touch of Icelandic naughtiness. Overall it’s a one-of-a-kind restaurant which appeals to all five of the senses, making it the perfect place to go with that special someone.
This used to be home to one of Reykjavik’s main pharmacies, hence the name, but there’s nothing sterile or medicinal about the place now. The building was designed by an eminent Icelandic architect and the current decor reflects his Art Nouveau and Romantic styles – parquet flooring, brown, black and chrome furnishings and lots of plush drapery. Nestle into one of the tall booth-style tables and enjoy an interesting mix of cuisines from Iceland and Argentina. There’s a 6 course tasting menu if you want to try a bit of everything, or you can go for the luxury Iceland Gourmet Menu with aphrodisiac appetizers, sultry mains and devilish desserts. Seafood is the specialty here, so don’t waste the chance to sample some of the city’s finest fish.
Classic Icelandic local cuisine meets modern, sexy design in this rustic restaurant that’s a favorite with the city’s environmentally-conscious gourmets. Obviously, meat is a specialty here, so expect luxury burgers, reindeer steaks, whale, lamb and chicken, all cooked on the 1,200-degree Celsius smoldering coals of the kitchen. All ingredients are locally-sourced from farms in the area and you won’t see an electric oven in sight. The decor is wood, stone and rock-themed, so you can’t get much more Nordic than this. For aperitifs and digestifs, relax in the seductive lounge and enjoy a sexy cocktail or two before the main event.
Kolabrautin @ HARPA
One of the country’s most elegant restaurants, every dish here is designed to seduce. It’s part of the HARPA Concert Hall and has a gorgeous view over the water. Combine a concert with a meal here and you’ll soon be feeling up for something very naughty later on. The food oozes style with dishes like gnudi with ricotta cheese and truffle zest, strawberries & chocolate, and trout roe with Parmesan. If you want to splash out, this is the place to come, so dust down your ballgown and prepare to be dazzled.
Vesturgata 2a, Grófin, 101 Reykjavík
The Fish Company is located in the historical and quaint Zimsen building, but more specifically in the old stone cellar which has been eclectically designed to captivate the imagination with shades of whimsy and warmth. A favorite among locals and travelers alike, the Fish Company has deftly reimagined traditional Icelandic cuisine with tantalizing elements of Nordic fusion and adventurous traditionalism. The striking blend of the rustic and the sophisticated are seamlessly reflected in both its menu and decor. The perfect locale for an intimate evening for two, the Fish Company is sure to delight with one of Reykjavik’s most outstanding culinary experiences.
Hverfisgata 12, 101 Reykjavík
Simplicity, locally sourced ingredients and the traditional ways and means are but a few of the concepts that make Dill a unique and pleasantly satisfying dining destination. In the evening and dinner hours, the soft lighting creates a particularly stunning romantic atmosphere which couples nicely with the clean and imaginatively prepared New Nordic Cuisine. Utilizing their on-site garden, the Dill experience is rooted in freshness, and is absolutely one of Reykjavik’s most popular dinner venues. With the explosion of new culinary ideas being melded with traditional elements of Icelandic cuisine, Dill stands as one of the innovative forerunners of the New Nordic movement. Establishing and ambience of sexy and alluring, while still being warm and receptive is not always an easy blend to maintain, but Dill passes it off effortlessly with wonderful charm and flair.
A few minutes away from the HARPA Concert Hall, Hotel Borg was opened in 1930 and maintains that Art Deco style and glamor. Bathrooms have heated marble floors and all the decor has movie star chicness. The bar is glamorous and cocktail-centric, and there’s free Wifi and a small spa. Perfect for pampering.
This is a gorgeous and surprisingly spacious hotel in the center of Reykjavik which still manages to retain a sexy boutique feel. The rooms are actually apartments with quirky names ranging from ‘Big’ to ‘Biggest’ and there’s a fabulous Mountain Suite, too. Each apartment has a private balcony and is decorated to the height of sparse Icelandic style with nice touches like fur throws, black and white framed prints, Nespresso coffee machines and Soley organic toiletries. It’s classy, sexy and simple Icelandic elegance and if you want to really up the romance, the Mountain Suite has a cool roof terrace with views over the snow-topped roofs of the city.
Attached is the Klaustur Bar, a sexy little cocktail lounge which serves tasty local dishes as you sip on gin & tonics, exotic whiskies and a great wine list – hard to find in Iceland. Sit up at the bar or melt into the rustic woodwork as you snuggle up to that special someone and watch the snow outside.
Hverfisgata 10, 101 Reykjavík
Located in downtown Reykjavik, the 101 Hotel is an ultra stylish, modern boutique hotel and magnet for artists, hipsters and the contemporary jet set. It is the ideal sanctuary to experience and explore one of the world’s most creative and unpretentious cities. Black and white dominate the color scheme, with a very sexy minimalist and open design space in the guest rooms. Sleek Nordic furniture is elegantly contrasted with contemporary Art, creating an intriguing ambience of seductive sophistication. The 101 Lounge is also a vibrant and sexy night-life destination where pleasure seekers congregate to mingle and celebrate the dynamic and unique energy of historical downtown Reykjavik.