Forget the 50 Shades crap!

Erotic literature has been in the spotlight lately, thanks to the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy that now has become a hugely hyped film. But what really makes a text erotic? Is it graphic descriptions of people having sex, leaving nothing to the imagination, or is it the undertones in the text that rouse our sexual curiosity and make us draw much more vivid pictures in our heads? Or maybe a subtle blend of both?

I think we can all agree that 50 Shades is not a very erotic text, in fact it’s rather dull and one could argue that people would have to be completely ignorant about sexual practices to find it sexually stimulating. It’s just a very bad version of Beauty and the Beast with a few awkward sex scenes, for crying out loud. Where is the stimulation in that?

Having said that, it must be admitted that Icelandic writers have not been very effective in writing erotica, in fact you would have to dig very deep in icelandic bookstores to find that category listed. That does not mean that they don’t write erotic texts and if you are interested in getting to know how Icelanders look at erotic there are a couple of writers you should get to know.

Not for the faint hearted.

The very best of them is without a doubt Sjón, whom you might know as a lyricist in some of Björk’s songs. A little over a year ago he published the novel Mánasteinn – Drengurinn sem aldrei var til, or Moonstone – The Boy Who Never Was as it will be titled in the english translations that will be published both in the U.S and the U.K later this year. You should definitely keep your eyes open for that one.

The story is a about this teenage boy, Moonstone, who lives in Reykjavík in the very dramatic year of 1918. He’s poor, he’s gay, he is absolutely fascinated by movies and to top it all off he sells him self to strangers – male strangers – to be able to afford seeing every film that comes to town.

The book is hardly for the faint of heart as already on the first page we are thrown into witnessing the boy performing a blow job on one of his clients in the open air. I’ve heard of people who have thrown the book away, never to open it again, after reading just a few sentences but I’m telling you that would be a huge mistake. Not only is this one of the best written books to be published in Iceland for a very long time, but also it tells a story that anyone wanting to know anything about homosexuality in icelandic context should read. The climax when Moonstone is discovered having sex with a Danish marine in a warehouse as the independence of Iceland from Denmark is being celebrated just outside the door is a scene that you will never forget. So keep those eyes open for the english versions this spring. You will not regret it.

“…what really makes a text erotic? Is it graphic descriptions of people having sex, leaving nothing to the imagination, or is it the undertones in the text that rouse our sexual curiosity and make us draw much more vivid pictures in our heads?”

Erotic, sad and eerily beautiful.

Another icelandic writer who you should check out is Vigdís Grímsdóttir. Her stories almost always have highly erotic undertones and one of the best examples of that is Z – A Love Story that was published in english a few years back. The protagonist, Anna, who is terminally ill has retreated to a cabin away from the city to examine her life and the red tread through her story is the love she had for the mysterious woman she calls Z. Their relationship did not work out but it is to the memories and feelings of that love that Anna clings in these last weeks of her life. May sound sappy but it is as far from sappy as it is possible to get. It’s erotic, it’s sad, very sad, poetic and eerily beautiful. One of the best books about love between women that I have ever read. I promise you that you will not be disappointed if you read this one.

Should you on the other hand like to explore the erotic genre from the beginning maybe you should start with the Bible. Yes, the one and only. The Song of Songs, also known as Song of Solomon, is one of the most erotic texts you can feast your eyes on, as strange as that may sound coming from that book that has been used to tell us not even to think of sex before marriage through the ages. If you don’t believe me check it out yourselves.

Another stable in “world literature” are the icelandic Sagas and even there we find an example of erotica. Bósasaga og Herrauðs has some very explicit descriptions of one of the protagonists, Bósi, tactics to get the ladies to please him. And he succeds every time with no detail left to the imagination. You can find the english translation of the story on the internet, just google “Bósasaga” and you are in for a surprise.

Other milestones in erotic literature through time are of course Justine by Marquis de Sade, which still has the power to shock with it’s brutality, and Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch but these guys, as you know, gave their names to Sadism and Masochism. They invented BDSM so they really know what they’re talking about.

There are of course loads of erotic books from bygone times and one of the first to make its subject matter homosexual sex was The Sins of the Cities of the Plain that caused quite a stir when it was first published in 1881. There are a lot of other examples, the list is in fact practically endless, but with uncle Google at your fingertips I leave you to find out of it for yourselves. Just don’t let anyone try to convince you that 50 Shades of Grey and the flood of books that followed in it’s wake have anything to do with erotica. Search for the real stuff and you’re in for a treat.

Main photo, above: Still from the film 50 Shades of Grey which is just as the book it’s based on. Below: Venus in Fur has been filmed several times and here is a trailer from the Roman Polanski version. The movie is based on the play of the same name by American playwright David Ives, which itself was inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s novel.

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website:

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

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        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
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        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

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        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

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        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

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          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

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          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

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