Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sweden's Reputation: Blame it on the Ads...

Sweden has a reputation of its people being more comfortable with open sexuality and sex in general. I can't really say one way or the other. I've noticed that Swedish parents seem more comfortable with their teenagers' sex lives. But I haven't seen any streakers in the streets of Stockholm. I haven't seen any acquaintances naked...But I have marked that they do show a lot of things on TV that, for example, the US shies away from. And the TV commercials show a lot more. And the ads in other places.

Here's a (sorry, blurry!) picture of an ad displayed in a Stockholm subway train.It says:
"Isn't this the world's most beautiful place to have sex?"
It's an ad promoting Stockholm County Council's drive for sexuality and health.

This is a picture of an ad on a Stockholm subway car. Those are tents and the sign says, "Isn't this the world's most beautiful place to have sex?" It's an ad promoting condom use.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to be so open. But I'm so unused to it. In the subway! With little kids eating ice cream right next to me.

So, at the end of the day, Sweden shouldn't be mystified about its reputation since the ads keep the idea alive. It's like those silly postcards with the polar bear superimposed onto a picture of Stockholm. It keeps the misunderstanding going. Then Swedes say how crazy it is that people think polar bears roam the streets here...


  1. Ha,ha,ha I had a similar experience when I was in Germany back in 1996. You pick up a magazine and newspaper and it was big deal to see someone fully naked on the front page!! :o)

  2. Yes I was thinking the same thing. But I meant to say it was "no big deal" to see someone naked on the front page!! I must proof read! :o)

  3. Sweden is very mixed when it comes to social freedoms. It's tolerant when it comes to things like this, and swearing; you could recite George Carlin's 7 words on national TV at 3 PM without getting into trouble.

    But on the other hand it's absolutely fundamentalist about drugs and thinks marijuana is equivalent to heroin.

    1. Thank you for explaining some of the differences.

  4. Interesting, John! Thanks for commenting.