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更新时间:2017-2-26 9:52:42 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Paid Hour a Week for Sex? Swedish Town Considers It

A local official in Sweden has a novel proposal to improve work-life balance and lift the local birthrate: give municipal employees an hourlong paid break each week to go home and have sex.


Sweden is already celebrated for its generous welfare state, including 480 days of paid parental leave, universal health care and a common ritual of coffee and pastry, known as fika, which is considered sacrosanct.


Per-Erik Muskos, a 42-year-old councilman from the northern town of Overtornea, wants to add to those benefits, by offering the municipality’s 550 employees the right to subsidized sex. In introducing his proposal this week, he told fellow members of the town council that it would give a nudge to the dwindling local population, add spice to aging marriages and improve employee morale.

来自北方城镇上托尔内奥(Overtornea)的42岁地方议会议员佩尔-埃里克·穆斯克(Per-Erik Musko)想再增加一项福利,即给550名市政雇员提供有补贴的性生活。在本周介绍自己的提议时,他告诉市议会的其他议员,这将有助于解决本地人口逐渐减少的问题,为陈旧的婚姻增添情趣,还能提振雇员的士气。

The idea quickly got attention all over Sweden, where for at least some, it was a welcome distraction from President Donald Trump’s vague reference to problems the country was having with immigration, which were strongly denied by baffled Swedes.


Noting that “sex is also a great form of exercise and has documented positive effects on well-being,” Muskos suggested that local municipal employees could use an hour of the workweek already allotted for fitness activities to go home and have sex with their spouses or partners instead. The motion, which is expected to be voted on in the spring, needs a simple majority to be passed by the 31-member council. As of now, opinion on the council is divided.


“We should encourage procreation. I believe that sex is often in short supply. Everyday life is stressful and the children are at home,” Muskos explained in his motion in Overtornea, a town of about 4,500 in the picturesque and remote Torne Valley. “This could be an opportunity for couples to have their own time, only for each other.”


His proposal has generated praise, ridicule and criticism. Some critics fear single workers could while away their working hours on the dating app Tinder trying to find a date for their weekly interlude.


When Muskos introduced the motion Monday, some council members giggled while others said they were not amused. But befitting a progressive country which has long been perceived as a beacon of sexual enlightenment — including blissfully kitsch performances at the Eurovision Song Contest — the proposal was taken in stride.

穆斯克周一提出这项动议时,一些议员笑了起来,另一些人则表示并不觉得好笑。但与一个一直被认为是性启蒙灯塔——包括欧洲歌唱大赛(Eurovision Song Contest)上欢快的媚俗(kitsch)表演——的进步国家相称的是,这项提议获得了从容应对。

It made headlines across Sweden and beyond. “Suggestion: Let the staff have sex during working hours,” a headline in the newspaper Expressen declared, under a photograph showing a couple in bed.


Muskos told colleagues the proposal was no joke, though he acknowledged practical problems like enforcement. It would be difficult to tell, for example, if an employee eschewed sex in favor of a walk in the country.


Sweden has among the highest fertility rates in the European Union, according to Eurostat, the bloc’s statistic agency, in part because of the country’s generous parental leave systems and immigration. But the fertility rate has nevertheless been decreasing recently.

欧盟(European Union)统计机构欧洲统计局(Eurostat)的数据显示,瑞典属于欧盟生育率最高的国家之一,部分原因在于这个国家有着慷慨的产假和移民制度。但尽管如此,该国的生育率最近也一直在下降。

Malin Hansson, 41, a sexologist and specialist in reproductive health in Gothenburg, applauded the initiative, arguing that sex reduced stress, improved sleep and strengthened immunity, while enriching intimacy between couples.

哥德堡41岁的性学家和生殖健康专家马林·汉松(Malin Hansson)对这项倡议表示称赞,称性生活有利于减压,可以改善睡眠、增强免疫力,还能增加夫妻之间的亲密度。

“If it was up to me, I would introduce this across the country,” she said, adding: “In Sweden, sex is considered just another activity.”


Stefan Nilsson, a Green Party member who sits on the health and welfare committee of the Swedish parliament, said he was skeptical that taxpayers would want their money to finance work-hour sex, but allowed that the idea might be a canny investment in physical activity, noting that healthier workers cost the government less.

担任瑞典议会健康与福利委员会委员的绿党成员斯特凡·尼尔松(Stefan Nilsson)表示,他对纳税人愿意拿自己的钱支持工作时间做爱持怀疑态度,但也承认这个想法或许是对身体活动的一项精明投资,指出员工更健康可以让政府减少支出。

Others were less persuaded.


Tomas Vedestig, 42, a left-leaning municipal councilman in Overtornea, said that when Muskos made his pitch, his colleagues were so taken aback that they thought they had misheard him. Vedestig said the proposal was intrusive and threatened to embarrass people who do not have sexual partners; do not want to have sex; or had medical conditions that precluded sex.

42岁的上托尔内奥左倾地方议员托马斯·韦德斯蒂(Tomas Vedestig)表示,当穆斯克提出这项方案时,他的同事们大吃一惊,还以为自己听错了。韦德斯蒂表示,这项提议有点唐突,有可能会让没有性伴侣、不想做爱或因为健康状况无法做爱的人感到尴尬。

“I don’t think it’s the employer’s business to to say ‘go home for an hour and make babies,'” he said. And some proponents worried the proposal was too stingy: “I spoke to a couple of older gentlemen who said, ‘One hour? That is not enough time.'”