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Guest Post and Giveaway: Sex and the Viking Woman: The Noteworthy Three by Gina Conkle, author of Norse Jewel

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm so excited to welcome debut author Gina Conkle on my blog today. She has written this fascinating piece of Guest Post on Sex and the Viking Woman that I can't wait to share in the following! This tour is a part of Entangle's Norse Jewel Official Blog Tour. My review of Norse Jewel will be up on June 27th in this link.
  
Don't forget to comment to enter the big Giveaway (below)!
 
 
Sex and the Viking Woman: The Noteworthy Three

Sex played a definite role in the sagas, and Norse women embraced pleasure. But, what about romance?That’s when I remind you men committed the sagas to paper.

Sure, there was a smidge of romance. But, it’d be more accurate to say there was sex. Lots of it.

But, even with male writers recording their history, Norsewomen defied diminishment. Their passion reached across the ages with thought-provoking differences.

So with that in mind, let’s dive into what I call the noteworthy three:

1. The Pleasure of Beholding – Roman and most western European traditions lean toward the masculine viewpoint, placing women as erotic objects. Desire, and the joy of witnessing a fine form, are largely the province of men ogling women.

Not so the Norse. Iceland’s sagas spread the visual wealth. Women quite often take delight in viewing a handsome male form. Of course, the scale tips the other way with men delighting in lovely women.Yet…

According to historian Jenny Jochens, when it comes to the sagas and sex “…an almost identical vocabulary was deployed for both sexes.”

Talk about equality!

2. Hair and Clothes – Poignant moments show up in the sagas. A popular topic found is men laying their heads in a woman’s lap. Just like other primates, this displays a show of trust. And like other primates, grooming occurs. The sagas tell of women washing their man’s hair…just a part of love, courtship, and sex.

Another way women showed affection? Sewing shirts for their man. Of course, the task often turned to comical drudgery after the wedding. Leave it to men to write that in the sagas!

3. Enjoyable Sex – Admonishments of duty in the vein of “…lay back and think of England…” won’t be found in the sagas. Women liked sex. In fact, their extra-curricular activities caused as much trouble as the men’s.

And the sagas ran the gamut of euphemisms:

*to amuse oneself (at skemmtaser)

*crowding together in bed (hviluprong)

*enjoy him (njotahans)

Norsewomen enjoyed their sexuality, reveling in an earthiness seldom seen in history.

I’ll close with a quick retelling of one Norse drama…a tale of two women and a man:

On Iceland, handsome Hrutr and Unnr fall in love. Business demands that Hrutr sail to Norway. While there, he encounters the ageing, lusty Queen Gunnhildr, whose antics spread across the sagas. She provides beautiful clothes for Hrutr --- probably didn’t sew them herself. But, Hrutr accepts these gifts and the queen informs him: “You shall lie with me in the upper chamber tonight; we two alone.” They went upstairs and the queen locked the door from the inside. (Nj 12.3:11-15)

They carry on for a year but Hrutr grows homesick. The queen asks him if there’s a woman waiting for him in Iceland. “No,” he lies. But, she doesn’t believe him. When he leaves, she places a bracelet on him laden with a curse: he’ll be able to satisfy other women, but not his intended in Iceland.

Hrutr and Unnr marry, but they meet with sexual frustration. They couldn’t “travel together” (samfor --- another euphemism). After several years, Unnr tells her father she wants a divorce because she cannot “enjoy him” (njotahans). They divorce and sadly go separate ways, but not without additional drama.

It wouldn’t be a “saga” with it! 


Thank you Punya for inviting me to be part of your review blog and to share part of the day with your readers.
 

Norse Jewel

 
A Viking Romance

AD 1022

Two lives collide when Helena, a captive Frankish woman, finds herself in desperate need. Hakan, the Viking chieftain who takes her, has plans…to lay down his sword and live a quiet farmer’s life.

Trouble brews when Helena, not born a slave, longs for freedom, and the chieftain who bought her longs for peace. They discover one surprise after another that hot Viking summer. But, will deceit and old loyalties destroy what is their greatest discovery…each other?

Buy Links:

 

An Excerpt from Norse Jewel:
(this is from one of my personal favorite scenes~ Punya)

The blade’s tip nudged the lacing, then one gentle rocking motion and another and the tie snapped. She was free. The dress slackened, and Hakan’s hand slipped into the slim opening, parting the garment at her side.

Her breath hitched when his thumb brushed her naked ribs. Such tantalizing friction teased her.

“Did I cut you?” His head dipped to check her skin.

“Nay. But, you’ve cut me free. Again.” She rolled onto her back, feeling the warm invasion of his hand still on her, and managed a wobbly smile.

Awareness, thick and hazy, shrouded them when their gazes collided. Her attempt at conversation was lost. Labored breath moved in and out of her chest, and ’twas clear in that moment why women tossed well-laid plans to the four winds. A good man, the right man, muddled a woman’s mind and made her want to bare body and soul. Make him handsome and strong, and temptation stripped away clear thinking, and gladly so.
 
 
 
About the Author:

Gina’s a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll. When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.

Connect with the author (click on the following links):


 






(Note: I'm not responsible for the contents of this post, including the original Guest Post, blurb, links, the author bio and the giveaway, as all of the above were provided to me by the author).

3 comments:

Michelle McLean said...

lol I love historical tidbits - great post!

Gina Conkle said...

Hey Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this blog.

Have a great day-
Gina

Punya said...

Thank you for stopping by Ms. McLean. :)

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