Jan 14, 2009 - quirky, Society    43 Comments

Fighting recession with S.E.X

Credit crunch, recession, economic bail outs, stock market crash; who hasn’t heard these words or have not been affected by them (you may have escaped them if you are living in Mars, but chances are, that the news of economic gloom reached outer space as well). The price of food items has gone up, fuel prices go roller coaster from one extreme to the other in the span of a couple of months, the car you leased last year is not so affordable any more with increased interest and monthly payments – in short; life is getting tougher by the day. The question is; how do one battle out this recession. You cannot forgo food; you gotta live. You cannot get away with not paying your electricity and gas bills as you gotta cook that food and run that refrigerator. Where is that you can cut corners and save those Benjamins (or Quaid-e-Azams or Gandhis or Queen Elizabeths depending upon whose face adorn your local currency)? Most of us are in a quandary about our saving options, but the Brits are quite clear on how will they save that extra bit of money – they turned to sex as a cheap recreational way to pass time.

According to BBC, A YouGov survey of 2,000 adults found sex was the most popular free activity, ahead of window shopping and gossiping. The Scots were most amorous with 43% choosing sex over other pastimes, compared with 35% in South England. Around one in 10 respondents to the survey said their favourite free activity was window shopping and 6% chose going to a museum as the cheapest way to pass the time. But the sexes differed on their priorities, with women preferring to gossip with friends while men had sex firmly at the top of their list.

Reading this bit of (dated) news reminded me of my 9th grade Pakistan studies class. Those who are not Pakistanis or have not lived in Pakistan during the school years should count themselves lucky that they never had to endure a subject called Pakistan studies and memorize Quaid-e-Azam’s 14 points, but I digress. Among other unmatchable gems, 9th grade Pakistan Studies book states lack of recreation facilities as one of the reasons of Pakistan’s population explosion. A gallacticaly stupid thirteen year old me could not work out the connection between ‘lack of recreation’ and ‘rising population’ and I asked my teacher, “How can the number of parks and cinemas we have be responsible for the population explosion?” My teacher got flustered and told me to ask my mother. As I never took much interest in Pakistan studies, I never bothered to ask my mom. It is only now that I understand the connection between poverty, lack of recreation and population explosion. Looks like Pakistanis have always been onto what Brits are just discovering. When there is nothing else to do, hit the sack, preferably with a member of opposite sex. Unlike Brits, we are quite lax about family planning and we do not have NHS which provides free contraception and morning after pills.

Ah the perils of third world living.

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  • haha.. welcome to the subcontinent countriess.. we contibute heavily for the world…

  • Funny that you mention the thing about the book. I distinctly remember reading some lines to the same effect in one of our school books (and understanding them too)…was in the 8th standard perhaps.
    There must be some common source.

  • I read about another gem of a reason for population increase in one of the preparatory notes for the same subject at the same level.
    It said most of the rural population lived in villages that were close to train tracks (with trains operating round the clock).
    I confess that I wasn’t innocent enough to not get it, though. 😛

  • Hahah, Tazeen, that really is quite dense at thirteen. I read it too in eighth or ninth grade (one of those) and understood immediately:p

  • Interesting approach, that. I am happy to hear that Pakistan issues condoms and morning-after pills to its people. This would be considered a progressive idea here in US where, for the past 8 years, we have been living in a fools’ paradise. Birth control is:”just say no” which is why our population has gone from 200 million in 1970 to over 300 million and counting ,now. Too many damn people running around scre@#ng!!

    I hope that you have an interesting new year with many pleasant surprises to greet you.

  • Train tracks?I don’t get it.And I read this recreation line too,in the 11th grade,aged 16.Honestly… thought it was because babies were fun to play with…and then literally did not think more of it.I feel phenomenally stupid now.

  • No stupid (pardon!), people just wanted more kids to entertain them since other enjoyment facilities were lacking! 😉

  • Looks like Pakistanis have always been onto what Brits are just discovering. HAHAHAHAHAHA… same goes for many of us here as well… U knw the joke where train passes a town daily in midnight and the town is the most populated…. ;);)

  • LOL! Admit it. You knew everything about recreation activities, but asked the question on purpose!

    You should check out the Marathi books we had in ICSE for 9/10th grade back in 1995. It was all porn, right from man having sex to man visiting prostitute and stripping them naked!

    No wonder India has this population explosion.

  • Brits just finding out what the subcontinent knew all along. How true!

  • Lack of proper health care for women is responsible for the high birthrate in the sub continent. If more kids and mothers survive childbirth, things would be different.

  • Actually population explosion has absolutely nothing to do with ‘recreation’ and very little to do with literacy. Among Indian states atleast the fertility rate is most highly correlated to infant and child mortality, i.e. people have more children because they are not sure about their survival/health. It has little to do with wealth or literacy.

    In the slums of Mumbai you will find almost no second generation families with more than two kids.

  • Oh and I am sorry, I forgot to mention a very important point, the single most important factor for population ‘explosion’ is the increase in life expectancy, which perhaps sounds a bit paradoxical given my previous comment. But while we have been fairly successful at providing healthcare for youth, we have not done as well for very young kids.

  • Chriz,

    I think it is about time we take a hiatus in procreation.

    JDee and Oxy,

    I seriously don’t get the train tracks joke. Would you not be mighty pissed at being woken in the middle of night to feel amorous?

    Green Kermit,

    You know me, I usually miss the obvious.

  • Apoo,

    You had sex-ed and that too in Marathi!!!
    You guys are soooo privileged.

    SloganMurugan and Vikram,

    This post is obviously written in jest.

  • Very true, the three(poverty, lack of recreation and population explosion) are inter-related. What is even worse is the “Hindustani nari”(sathi savitrhi, pathi vratha, abla nari) mentality portrayed in Hindi Cinema, but when it comes to population explosion, India follows suit, after China. What do we attribute this to – poverty/hypocrasy? Weird…

  • lol Tazeen…

    But looking at it objectively, it really is all we have in these tough times.

    Now to find a partner 😀

  • i was doing social surveys at a katchi abadi in pechs, right next to the train tracks, and just beyond the flyover. several of the locals claimed that with the train keeping “others” up all night, “they” procreate and hence the population would shoot up. no one admitted that they were also indulging in train induced lovemaking.

    on a related note, here’s a crude shair for this occasion.

    “Load shedding karnay walo, baat hai seedhi saadhi,
    Load shedding karnay walo, baat hai seedhi saadhi,
    Jitni jaati hai batti utni barh jaati hai abaadi!”

    frankly, i think this explanation makes far more sense than the train …

  • Speaking of population and recreation, Rusell Peters once said, those who have the smallest, do it the most… Proof – Population of India and China 🙂

    Yeah, now Indians reading this do not know whether to laugh or…

  • We had this point in our social studies in Class VIII, as a big cause of overpopulation. Welcome to the grand ole Subcontinent. We set the trend

  • lolz…u still remember all that stuff….hats off to u….soon this recession will turn this favorite activity into shit or more infants will be killed.

  • Azra,

    Let me know if you are successful in finding one.


    Looks like Russel Peters is pretty huge in India these days. Another commenter from India mentioned him.


    Yes, both the countries have equally stupid text books that why we keep churning out similar gems.

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  • Khatmal,

    wah wah, poetry on my blog.

    I find it very strange. People in PECHS kachi abadi were openly talking about their neighbours doing it with a young guy collecting data for social research. That’s pretty cool. I was once working for a reproductive health campaign and we couldn’t people to talk about their own reproductive health concerns.

  • Haha — funny post. I also remember reading this line from Pakistan Studies book aloud in the class. Our teacher used to conduct the class this way — students would read from the book one by one, aloud. And I distinctly remember some of us giggled at that time, including me.

  • Bonjour Tazeen,

    Wonderful post. And it gives a little insight what it means to live in Karachi.


  • Before I read the last paragraph, I was thinking that Asians have known this for a long time 🙂 Though I am not sure if this strategy of hitting the sack when there’s nothing to do can be really successful considering women would rather gossip with friends than have sex 🙁

    I remember trying to memorize Quaid-e-Azam ke 14 naqat :*( in grade 9 but luckily I escaped to Canada before I had to write my exams..hehe

    Funny post!

  • chalo atleast we are aware of SOMETHING even before the rest of world and atleast we contribute to something to this world by adding in to numbers to souls… so lets jump up…. wow… such a great nation.. lol

  • Ha ha Great post and very insightful. Here people still prefer TV and computer so no population grow

  • Grin! Hubby belongs to the marwari community. So when i did ask him about the really huge families his reply always was..” yaar us zamane mein TV nahi tha” 🙂

  • MAK,

    Of course i remember it. How old do you think I am? 65?

    Bonjour Georg,

    Karachi these days if quite different from what you witnessed 30 years ago, but I am glad that you liked it :).


    people are glued to TV here as well but we still manage to procreate at an alarming rate.

  • reminds me of this one time an MP in India said on Doordarshan that the only way to bring India’s population down was to give every home a tv!

  • i think sloganmurugan and vikram were worried about setting the record straight with the supposed link between horny-ness and birth rates.

    f. and saadia, it’s a relief to know that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t ‘get’ it. although it wasn’t long before i got it: everyone was in fits when the sentence was read in the class.

    when i did get it however, i didn’t find it funny. i was thoroughly outraged: they’re telling us here in this book that overpopulation is because poor people don’t have much to do except for gettin’ laid.

    they might not have ‘recreational activities’ but to suggest that they don’t find much to value about their lives except for sex and popping babies is really offensive.

  • I remember had to write it in the exam and forgot 3 and had to repeat any 3 of the already written…to complete the count 🙂

  • I dont even remember reading that in Pak Studies. Goes on to show just how much interest the subject generated. Did they seriously include that point? Hahaha, I’ve never wished I had paid attention to Pak Studies pehlay.

    On Family Planning, I dared to base my Development Support Research on Family Planning Issues in Pak (M.A.Final Year Karachi University)Due to time constraints I was told to research on one specific community. Looking for an easy way out, I focused on the 200 lower grade employees (Clerks, Gardeners, Office boys etc) who lived within the University.
    The most awkward research I’ve ever done seriously.
    But, the day I was supposed to give the presentation, dear Jamiyat sent threats to my teachers that they would not tolerate such ‘unislamic’ gestures within the university.
    So, instead of presenting the research & the campaign to a full auditorium, my class was stuffed in a small classroom, only with the course in charge and a couple of other department teachers present and rushed through the whole presentation.
    As a part of the campaign I had arranged a session of sorts with the women we had worked with, even they were threatened and refused to let us enter their houses for the session.
    Am sure this attitude adds a lot more to the population.

  • That also tells about the super charged guys on their expedition to find girls mobile numbers.

    God, we need to be entertained!

  • This makes me wanna put on my astrologer cloak and weave a spell, ‘For you, sex is recreation more than a personal statement, and you need a partner with an equally lighthearted approach who will become involved with you in other ways as well.’
    p.s. this is prediction for every Pakistani, starting NOW.

    Tazeen, you got me there with that Pak Studies bit, I now wonder how I always knew there was something too weird for a 9th grader to know.

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  • aha
    OMG! that was me when I was learning stuff about India!!!
    Now, i’m like huh…i should know this and it’s embarassing that i don’t!
    But that’s soo funny!

    Hmm and interesting…and it makes sense..weirddd

  • after reading ibteda’s comments no WONDER the family planning program was an abysmal failure! =/

  • I remember i got exactly what my teacher meant when we studied this same topic in the 9th grade 😛 and plus we were lucky enough to have a kind of a teacher who explained us further in quite detail.

  • ur kidding me – did they MENTION that in ur school book?

    (hey i’d hav asked the same question :P)

    hmmm…well..and all along i thought it was only a hypotheses

    or u think its more of an EXCUSE? 😉

  • of course it is an excuse! If Lack of entertainment was a reason, other less entertaining places would also be exploding like the subcontinent.

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