Without fail one of the things most non-Nordics find captivating about the Nordic countries are their liberal approach to sex and the stunning beauty of their populations. It doesn't take long looking for information about Denmark before the beauty of Danish men and women comes up.
In the last few years there have even been some very widely viewed TV commercials which tackled the topic, such as Speis' "Do it for Denmark" campaign. But, one thing that doesn't get mentioned much, despite Danes reputation as some of the most shameless and sexually well-rounded folks out there, is condoms and condom use.
Though not a core part of this channel, I'm a huge advocate of safe sex, and of sex education. As part of that, one element of Danish culture that is quite disappointing, especially among my generation, is an overall casual approach to using condoms and practicing safe sex.
Here's a look at some of the stats (source: http://sti.bmj.com/content/early/2015/01/21/sextrans-2014-051814.full )
"Results Response rate was 20.4%. Condoms were used at sexual debut by 69.9% of women and 62.3% of men, while 14.3% of women and 15.1% of men used no contraceptives at sexual debut. Half of the respondents used condom alone at the latest sexual encounter with a steady partner (women 51.8%, men 55.2%), while 10% used no contraceptives. Having a sexual encounter with a casual partner decreased the likelihood of using condoms (women 43.7%, men 49.5%) and increased the likelihood of using no contraceptives (women 14.8%, men 20.9%). Data on sexual behaviour characteristics showed only minor changes when weighted for non-response. Conclusions The findings call for interventions addressing the use of appropriate contraception at sexual debut and at last sexual encounter; this seems particularly important when the sexual partner is a casual partner."
While this episode doesn't focus on the specifics of Condom usage. One thing I found quite interesting when first arriving in Denmark was how and where one goes about locating, shopping for, and purchasing condoms. After all, you see massive variations from country to country in the availability, range of options available, and approach to condom usage and it is, for many, an important consideration. So - to the Danes watching, I suppose my question for you in this episode is, where do YOU buy your condoms?
If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.
If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.
Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.
Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!
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