Greek Islands: Sex and Kamaki

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According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the women visiting Greece during those times landed in a country that had just shaken off a seven-year military dictatorship and where courtship between Greeks was tightly regulated by strict tradition that still kept unmarried girls inside the home.  Some believed that the practice boosted tourism as many of the seduced women would return with friends or relatives.

The Greek Islands in the 70s and 80s might as well been described as the Sex Islands, when at that time most local men practiced the art of “Kamaki”.   “Wherever we went, they would hit on us,” says Tarja, a Finnish woman who first visited the island of Rhodes in 1980, met her future husband on her first night out — and eventually settled down to start a family.

A taboo-breaking documentary has recently exposed the seedier side of vacations in Greece with a focus on a once-legendary army of lovers that courted — and bedded — thousands of tourists two decades ago.

Titled Colossi of Love, the documentary highlights the halcyon days of the kamaki (Greek for harpoon) suitors in the 70s and 80s when droves of women from mainly Scandinavia, Germany and Britain flocked to the Greek islands.

“I used to make love on the beach, in the water, on the rocks, everywhere. For me, making love is living” said one gentleman reminiscing the good old days on the Greek Islands.   But the rise of AIDS would eventually bring the carefree era to an end, but not to say that kamaki is dead on the Greek Islands.

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