Contrary to popular belief, Viking men weren’t always the brutes of legend. When it came to Viking sex lives, they had a softer, albeit semi-awkward, romantic side to them. Additionally, compared to the rest Europe at that point in history, they put a higher emphasis on the freedoms and happiness of the women in their community. one of the more surprising Viking facts is women could choose from various suitors and move on if not 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 (back then, that was considered often). Men and women both dyed their hair, and dressed in clean, colorful clothing, jewelry, and cloak pins to show off wealth, style, and lure each other in. They engaged in premarital affairs, but marriage and procreation were always the goals in their society. In fact, it was expected, and those who didn’t marry were shunned. This list explores the many facets of what Viking relationships and love were like.
Viking Women Could Divorce Their Husbands If They Weren't Satisfied
If a man was terrible in bed, it was socially acceptable for his wife to leave him. She also had grounds for a divorce if her husband wore women’s clothing or preferred men. She would also get her dowry back and any inheritances she received throughout the duration of the marriage.
Adultery Was a Common Occurrence
Extramarital affairs were a common occurrence in the Viking Age. Despite its popularity, having an affair was generally frowned upon and eventually became considered a crime for both men and women. If a woman was caught having an affair, her husband could get away with killing her and her lover.
Vikings Were Big on Euphemisms
Apparently, big bad Vikings were a bit awkward when it came to communicating about "the deed," so they opted for euphemisms instead of the direct approach. A man would “turn towards” a woman, and what happened next is up for interpretation. Sometimes they would “crowd together in bed” or “enjoy each other” and then the man would “rest with her” or take matters into his own hands and “amuse one’s self.” The most explicit known recorded euphemism they used, is that the man would “brolta a maga” which translates to “romp on her belly.”
Those Who Did Not Marry Were Shunned
Scandinavian men and women who never married because of their orientation were shunned from society. As long as you married a partner of the opposite gender and had children, though, your extramarital activities were generally ignored.