A few weeks ago, the announcement that Austria would be home to the world’s first sex school gave the term ‘adult education’ a sizzling new meaning. The Austrian International School of Sex was to impart ‘hands-on’ lessons in lovemaking, and was due to open in mid-December. Open sent a request for an interview to the would-be headmistress, the controversial Swedish artist Ylva-Maria Thompson, who once hosted an erotic television programme in Sweden. We were informed that it was all a big hoax. Instead, we got an email from The Young Industries, also known as Bird Base, an organisation that said it had initiated a campaign to raise awareness about the country’s problems, particularly its low birth rate. Their email read: ‘Austria (and Europe) stands before enormous challenges. An ageing population, a failing system of education and budget deficits out of control, yet there is almost no discussion in the media and the little discussion there is [is] from locked positions. We wanted to break this gridlock.’ Whether they succeeded is doubtful. But they did touch upon one popular technique of Applied Sexuality 101: faking it.
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