In 2008, University of Chicago Chair and former Stockholm University professor Don Kulick observed: "From being admired and envied by many as beacons of sexual enlightenment in the 1960s and '70s, the Scandinavian countries today have some of the most repressive sex laws in the Western world. Sweden is the most draconian. ... The message conveyed by [recent laws] is clear: your sexuality is the property of the state, and the state will claim its right to regulate and punish that sexuality, wherever you may be. So whatever, indeed, happened to sex in Scandinavia?"
Although it does not directly answer Kulick's question, Oscar Swartz's new book, A Brief History of Swedish Sex: How the Nation That Gave Us Free Love Redefined Rape and Declared War on Julian Assange, traces the change that Kulick describes. Structured as a timeline, the volume vividly illustrates how a political coup by a group of radical feminists at the highest levels of government caused the free-love era of "Swedish sin" to give way to a wave of anti-sex and anti-male hysteria that vilified heterosexual sex and villainized men. It was into this morass that WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange waded when he had consensual sexual relations with Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén -- and then became the target of a Sweden-initiated international manhunt.