From Left: Bjarni, Baldur, Julio, Jesús & Andres | Photography By Jeaneen Lund
It seems stupendously counterintuitive, but Icelanders swim outdoors year-round — thanks to the abundance of geothermal waters found in nearly every town or tiny village. So you’ll find guys swimming laps no matter the weather, says Bjarni Snæbjörnsson, one of the members of Reykjavík’s gay swim club.
“Swimming and going to the hot tub are a way of life,” he explains. “It’s part of socializing. It’s important to do the practice, and then, when it’s finished, you go to the hot tub and spend an hour talking and gossiping and organizing what’s next.”
The Reykjavík club (part of the larger Styrmir sports club, which also includes soccer and volleyball) is small but diverse, with members who hail from Thailand, Mexico, and Spain. Although it’s a way to meet new friends, the native Icelanders warn that it’s not a hook-up spot. “It wouldn’t be the best place to do that,” Snæbjörnsson says. “It’s a very small community. We know pretty much everyone.”