Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sexual Desire in Iceland

Sexual desire counts among the great human mysteries. What turns people on? What turns people off? What does not turn people either way?

Serious thinkers will tell you that taboos do it. Prohibit sexual congress between mothers and sons, for example, and a good Freudian will insist that mothers and sons want nothing more than to bounce around on the downy billows. This good Freudian will also explain that everyone wants only one thing in life… that being to copulate with his or her mother. You will appreciate the genius and you will also appreciate how nonsensical it all is.

If desire, as the Freudians insist, is elicited and excited by women, one must also admit that a woman's ambiguity, not availability and not unavailability, proves to be the best incitement.

In my humble way I once offered a slightly different idea. Since depression manifests itself in the absence of desire one would suspect that lifting the depression, recovering one’s pride and one’s morale would, ipso facto, cause a return of desire.

But, how can we ever measure something so nonspecific as human desire? Try this: if an event restored pride to a nation one would suspect that nine months after said event there would be more births and thus more epidurals. Such events are eminently calculable.

Last summer little Iceland became a giant killer, ousting England from the European Soccer championships. It was an enormous event in Iceland and produced a spike in the number of epidurals. We all understand that Iceland has never been known as a hot place.

Naturally, we turn to the Daily Mail for the story:

And it seems we know exactly how Iceland fans celebrated their historic win after a hospital in Reykjavik reported giving a record number of epidurals over the weekend.

The weekend marked almost exactly nine months since Iceland's 2-1 victory in Nice which saw then-England manager Roy Hodgson throw in the towel.

While the exact number of epidurals given is not known, any increase is likely to be significant since 10 per cent of the country's population travelled to France to watch their team play. 

Landspitali Hospital in Reykjavik, the country's largest, said a record amount of pain medication was given to women giving birth between Friday and Sunday night, according to Icelandic magazine Visir.

Those figures were backed up by a tweet from Asgeir Petur Porvaldsson, a resident from the hospital's anesthesiology department.

He wrote: 'Set a record for the number of epidurals in the maternity ward this weekend - nine months after the 2-1 win over England.'

So, there you have it. Definitive proof of what provokes lubricious longings. One suspects—without any real evidence—that said coital actions were taking place in duly sacrilized conjugal beds.

Apparently, the same rule applies in cities whose teams win the Super Bowl. And yet, to keep some perspective, we note that New York City saw a significant increase in births nine months after an event that had nothing to do with sports. After a blackout, when all of New York's lights went out, the city's denizens, perhaps out of boredom, perhaps because they were thrilling to how much electricity was being saved, got busy and produced children. 


David Foster said...

1) Why on earth would someone use epidurals as the indicator, rather than simply number of births?

2) Given that contraception is probably not unknown in Iceland, it would seem that the effect of the win was not just an increase in sexual desire, but an increase in the desire or at least the willingness to have children.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Excellent question about the epidurals-- I assume that it either has something to do with the peculiarities of Icelandic culture, or with the reports on the problem. I suspect that epidurals are not universal, but I may be wrong on that. I also agree that the increase in child births must suggest that victory in sports also motivates people to have more children. An excellent point, too. Thank you.

Ares Olympus said...

I might guess alcohol of celebration has something to do with it as well, reduced inhibitions, assuming there are more unplanned pregnancies under the influence than otherwise.

Exurban Bourbon said...

Nationalism is a potent force