While popular notions of history often paint Viking men as legendary, violent brutes, their customs and culture didn't always comply with lurid, modern-day expectations. As one example, Vikings often bleached their hair using strong soap and lye to conform to Nordic beauty standards – a method that conveniently also killed lice.
The sex lives of Vikings, rather than being brutish and violent as many may suspect, were actually soft, romantic, and even somewhat awkward. Additionally, compared to the rest of Europe at that historical point, they emphasized the freedom and happiness of the women in their communities far more than was expected – Viking women could choose from various suitors and break things off if they weren't properly satisfied.
Vikings took great pride in their appearance, scent, and their level of desirability. Men would make it a point to bathe at least once a week (which was frequent for the time). Men and women both dyed their hair and dressed in clean, colorful clothing, jewelry, and cloak pins to flaunt wealth and style. They engaged in premarital affairs, though marriage and procreation were still primary goals within their society. In fact, these two milestones were expected, and those who failed to fulfill them were often shunned.
This list of facts about Vikings' sex lives explores the many ways relationships and love manifested for these seafarers of the British Isles and European coasts.
Viking Women Could Divorce Their Husbands If They Weren't Satisfied
Adultery Was Common
Vikings Frequently Used Euphemisms In Reference To Sex
Those Who Did Not Marry Were Shunned
Their Views On Homosexuality Were Contradictory
Vikings Married Young