Study Guide

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Sex

By Stieg Larsson

Sex

Twenty years […]. That's how long it had been. As far as he was concerned they could go on sleeping together for another two decades. At least. (3.37)

This is Blomkvist, on the topic of Erika Berger, of course. Their sexual relationship is positive but controversial, since she's married and he has other lovers.

Hardnosed b****. She really is f***ing retarded. He handed her the cheque he had written while she was in the bathroom. This is better than a whore. She gets paid with her own money. (11.187)

Yep, at least half the sex in this novel involves rape. This is what Salander's guardian, Nils Bjurman, thinks after he forces her to give him oral sex, and then she demands her money.

She no longer felt the need to please anyone who bought her three beers in a pub, and she did not experience the slightest degree of self fulfillment by going home with some drunk whose name she didn't remember. (12.189)

It's hard to imagine Salander wanting to please somebody who bought her beers! Having fulfilling work with Milton Security, and having a Holger Palmgren as her guardian gives her self-confidence, stability, and a healthier sex life.

"We should have locked the front door. Erika – this is Cecilia Vanger. Cecilia – Erika Berger is the editor-in-chief of Millennium. (15.85)

This is what Blomkvist says when Erika surprises him while he's in bed with Cecilia. Blomkvist is too smooth. Poor Cecilia – she'd have rather met Erika under different circumstances.

"I'm really pissed off," Berger said. "I drive all the way up here and find you in bed with the town femme fatale." (15.110)

This playful comment might work subtly in Blomkvist's mind to help him suspect Cecilia of being dangerous and hiding secrets. She isn't, but since Blomkvist basically accuses her of lying, their personal relationship is a little busted up at the end.

She did not give a damn about labels, did not see that it was anybody else's business who she spent her nights with. If she had to chose, she preferred guys. (18.2)

Salander and Blomkvist both have this basic attitude, though Blomkvist isn't interested in men, as far as we know. What we mean is, they both like sex – as long as it's consensual.

"I want to have sex with you. And I won't have any problem working with you, but I will have a hell of a problem if you kick me out now." (21.142)

Well aren't we forward, Salander? How could the Blomkvist resist a line like that? He's not one to turn away a lady.

"I've never touched another man, as a matter of fact…except for my father. That was my duty." (24.93)

We see the sheer insanity of Martin peeping through the suave CEO/cocky serial killer. We feel terrible for the boy Martin who was raped by his father and exposed to who knows what horrors. But he sure doesn't seem to resist practicing horrors on others.