Dating the Danes | Where have all the Vikings gone?

Last week, as a friend filled me in on her recent outing to a wine bar, one line stuck out like a sore thumb.

“And not long after I arrived, four men sat down behind us and started ordering pinot.”

Now to me, the thought of four straight men walking into a wine bar sounds like one of those terrible Irish jokes, except this time the punchline ends with: “And then they all left for a gay bar.”

It reminded me of the day I was once asked out on a date by Mr Metrosexual. I could tell he was fairly metro as his skin looked smoother than a baby’s bottom, but I comforted myself with the fact that perhaps his masculinity was expressed in other ways.

Finding those ‘other ways’, however, proved difficult – on our first date he eagerly informed me we would be attending a pop concert of a well-known female singer. Expecting myself to be the bigger fan, I was a little put-off when he started singing along to ‘Kun For Mig’.

Now it’s only recently I’ve come to the conclusion that the search for authentic masculinity in Denmark is extremely elusive. It appears that the Peter Schmeichels of this land have been replaced by a plethora of wannbe David Beckhams wearing oversized hipster glasses.

When I first arrived, I was rather intrigued by the fact the men here frequently used exfoliator, could recite three lasagne recipes by heart and knew that ‘40 denier’ didn’t refer to a type of shotgun. Fast-forward nearly two years, and I’ve begun to crave the type of man who wants to trek across Africa wearing nothing more than a lion-skin loin cloth.

As a Kiwi, my definition of masculinity is rather stock-standard – Wikipedia explained it well when it stated: “The stereotypical New Zealand male is rural, unintellectual, strong, unemotional and democratic … he’s good with animals and machines, and can turn his hand to nearly anything.”

My dad would also like to add in there that the Kiwi male doesn’t cook. He once made this well-known to ‘Mads’, who was staying with me in NZ.

It was Christmas time and Mads and I had decided to cook pebernødder. Just as Mads was placing the final pebernødder on the tray, Dad announced his entrance into the kitchen with the following: “Are you gay Mads?”

To which Mads replied sheepishly: “No Stuart … I just like cooking.”

At this point you’re probably thinking New Zealand men sound like backward, unevolved cavemen. But for all they lack, they do offer women an authentic masculinity that’s unrivalled anywhere else in the world – especially here.

It’s apparent to me that for all the Viking history Danish men boast about, there are very few real Vikings actually left. Even if they do exist, it’s a fair bet to say that these days they’d be applying hairspray under their helmet to keep their luxurious blonde braids in tact. Enough said.