back to top

16 Ways Denmark Wins At Sex

Why Scandinavians are winning between the sheets.

Posted on

1. They’re a liberal bunch.

As the first country in the world to legalise porn, make sex education mandatory, and recognise registered partnerships for same-sex couples, Denmark's government has always placed an emphasis on inclusion and tolerance. Most Danes live by the mantra: if it feels good and it's not hurting anyone else, go for it.

2. They make sex a priority.

90% of Danes aged 16-95 say a good sex life is "vital" to them.

3. They’re really hot.

Brad Barket / Getty Images
Getty Images / Andrew Toth

Danes cycle everywhere, dress well, and have ridiculously high cheekbones. Just look at Helena Christensen and Mads Mikkelsen. It's no wonder they all want to have sex with each other.

4. Danes are totally cool with public nudity.

From communal showers, to plentiful nudist beaches, clothing is optional in Denmark. New arrivals attempting any municipal leisure activities should steel themselves for a buffet of breasts, bottoms, and Leo Sayer-style bushes.

5. Oh, and "adult nights" in public swimming pools are a thing in Denmark.

Think candlelight, Barry White, and couples dry humping (at least, I hope that’s what they were doing…) à la 1970s porn pool party.

6. They do lots of "research".!-.aspx

Porn is regularly screened on public TV channels in Denmark, and a recent YouGov study exploring sexual behaviour found that Danes consumed more X-rated content than any other nation surveyed.

7. Danes aren’t afraid to experiment.

There’s more swinging in Denmark than in any other Scandinavian country and adventurous Danes set up International Swingers Week in 2008.

8. Viking sperm is in demand.

The tiny nation of just 5.5m boasts the biggest sperm bank in the world. Plus, many would-be parents from around the world just really like the idea of giving their future offspring Viking genes.

9. Kids get "Sex Week" at school.

Paramount Pictures /

From the age of 6, Danish children are taught how babies are made during a national curriculum "Sex Week". By the age of 13, they’ve covered LGBT rights, masturbation, and STIs.

10. They get a lot of encouragement from the council.

Denmark’s birth rate is at a 30-year low, so the authorities are urging Danes to get it on. Folk in the Danish town of Thy recently agreed a deal with the council to get to work in the bedroom to help keep the area’s under-populated institutions up and running.

11. And the church.

Priests in Zealand run carnal-themed masses calling on the congregation to go forth and procreate: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

12. And childcare organisations.

A nursery in Jutland offers "couples time", caring for children outside of normal working hours to allow mums and dads to go home together and make more babies.

13. Even travel companies.

Danes, apparently, have 46% more sex when they’re away from home, so a Danish travel company is begging couples to get away and “Do it for Denmark!” Anyone sending in a snap of a positive pregnancy test after their trip is entered into a prize draw for a three-year supply of nappies. That’s how Danes roll.

14. They drink a lot and are attractively lit at all times.

Danes consume 11 litres of pure alcohol per person per year and burn the highest number of candles per head in the world. Lubricated and romantically lit, it’s no wonder Danish bedrooms see some action.

15. They’re the happiest nation on earth.

*Actual* science shows that sex makes us happier by boosting serotonin levels and Danes have the highest levels of contentment on the planet – so they must be doing something right.

16. They’ve got time to practice.

Denmark has one of the shortest working weeks in Europe at an average of just 34 hours. This leaves 134 hours to fill every week. You could watch the entire third series of Borgen, sample every Danish pastry, and still have time to kill. And because Denmark’s dark and miserable most of the time in winter (think Mordor October-March), taking to your bed is often the best option. Candles lit? Barry White on shuffle? Then let’s begin…

For more things Danes do differently plus how we can all get happy, Scandinavian style, Helen Russell's new book, "The Year of Living Danishly" is out now, published by Icon. She tweets @MsHelenRussell