In Iceland there are many misconceptions surrounding asexuality and to the general public asexuality is still relatively unknown, says Gyða Bjarkadóttir a member of a group called Asexual in Iceland (Asexual á Íslandi). The group intends to change that by taking part in this year’s Reykjavík Pride parade. It’s the first time asexual people in Iceland march together as a group in the parade.  

Gyða Bjarkadóttir is a member of a group called Asexual Iceland (Asexual á Íslandi). The group intends to draw attention to the cause of asexual people in Iceland by marching together in the upcoming Pride Parade.

“We’ve formed a group that will be participating in the Reykjavík Pride Parade. The asexual flag has of course been seen in the parade before, but as far as we know this will be the first time asexual people actually march together in it as a group,” says Gyða, but for those who are not familiar with the matter, asexual people are individuals who experience little or no sexual attraction towards other people.

Come to think of it, it seems that asexual people haven’t been very visible in Iceland. Is that due to prejudice? Are asexual people faced with prejudice here?
“Well, not in the form of outright legal discrimination, like not being able to marry, adopt or have children and things like that. It has more to do with not being acknowledged as a group in society,” she says, meaning that many people seem to have a hard time fathoming the idea that there are actually those who don’t want to have sex. “Not wanting sex simply can’t be a thing, right? There must be something wrong that can be fixed.”

That’s one form of the prejudice according to the group. “Then there is also the more serious issue of corrective rape, i.e. when someone who is asexual is forced into being sexually active. There are even cases when asexuals do that on their own accord to try to conform to society’s expectations. Even though they don’t want to do it, they feel like they have to.”

So, would you say there are many misconceptions surrounding asexuality in Iceland?
“If people know of asexuality in general, then yes there is some misunderstanding. Many people think it’s a choice, like celibacy. Or that it has to do with hormonal imbalance, which is not the case. Asexuality is not caused by a hormonal imbalance, mental illness or past experiences like sexual abuse. It is not being afraid of sex or relationships. Finding the right person doesn’t fix it.

“We’ve formed a group that will be participating in the Reykjavík Pride Parade. The asexual flag has of course been seen in the parade before, but as far as we know this will be the first time asexual people actually march together in it as a group.”

Many asexuals still seek romantic relationships that are like any other romantic relationships, just without the sex. Because sexual attraction is separate from romantic attraction. Like homoromantics who are romantically attracted to members of the same-sex or gender. Or aromantics who feel little or no romantic attraction to other people, but can be heterosexual. And there there are of course asexual aromantics, i.e. persons who experiences both little sexual and romantic attraction towards people, or none at all.

The flag of asexual people.

That said, being asexual doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t feel any sexual attraction. Some asexual people identify as gray asexual or graysexual, which means that  have very little sexual attraction. Another group identifies as demi sexual, that is, they do not feel sexual attraction unless a romantic attraction has been established. Asexuality is basically an umbrella term for people who feel limited or no sexual attraction at all.”

On that note, what can you actually tell us about the asexual community in Iceland? For example is it big or small?
“The community is small even if you take into account that we just make up about one percent of the population. There might be several reasons for that. One is that asexuality is fairly unknown to people in general. And then there’s the fact that we’ve been a bit inactive as a group.”

Is there an association in Iceland you can join as an asexual or as an ally?
“Asexuals are a part of the National Queer Organization Samtökin ’78 but we haven’t been very active there,” they say and add that asexual people are however welcome to join their group. Everyone who is interested can get in touch through a new Facebook site they’ve set up.

Asexuality is a umbrella term for people who feel little or no sexual attraction, according to the group.

“There was a discussion going on in a Faceboook group called Hinseginspjallið (an Icelandic queer chat group) where someone asked if there was some group for asexuals in Iceland, a place to point people to that needed it. What most of the people there and in general don’t know, is that there has in fact been an asexual Facebook group for some time, meant as a safe space for people to explore their asexuality, ask questions and get support. But it is closed and therefore hard to find. This is because not everybody there is ready to tell the world they are “ace” (a popular nickname for a person who is asexual). However, the discussion on Hinseginspjallið had the effect that a person in our group set up a public “like” page, where other people could contact us and join the group. And after that it wasn’t long until we started receiving our first messages.”

Gyða says that the role of the Facebook page is in part to educate people. “People can find out what asexuality is and if they relate to it, then they can join our little community,”she says and adds that because of lack of information on asexuality even some of the group’s members didn’t realize until very late in life that they were asexual. The group hopes to help fix things like that with education through their Facebook site and also with increased visibility through events like the Pride Parade.

“It might sound silly to some, but its life changing to know that there are others like you and to find out that there’s nothing wrong with you even though you have little or no desire to have sex in this “sexual world”.”

“It might sound silly to some, but its life changing to know that there are others like you and to find out that there’s nothing wrong with you even though you have little or no desire to have sex in this “sexual world”,” they say. “Knowing that there is nothing mentally or physically wrong with you and that you don’t need to change is just amazing, especially after struggling with who you are for a long time. That you were simply made this way. That you’re perfectly normal. Our site and our participation in the Pride Parade are steps to get that message out there.”

And now the Pride Parade is just around the courner. Do you guys have anything else coming up? Any organised events?
“Apart from perparing for the Pride parade, which of course involves a lot of work, we’re working on putting more content on our new Facebook site, both facts and fun,” they say. “So should anything come up, i.e. any events, then we will definitely post it there.”

The group encourage everyone who’s interested in asexual issues to take a look at their site: Asexual á Íslandi. There you can join the closed Facebook group for asexuals and aromantics (including gray and demi). And allies are also welcome to get in touch if they have questions. Just send them a message! “We will try to answer them and help the best we can.”

Main photo: Sigurþór Gunnlaugsson

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

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.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      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 comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

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

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

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - 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.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      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.

      Dohop
      - 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.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      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.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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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.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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