It is a subject that would make most governments blush, but officials in the Spanish region of Extremadura have launched a major programme to encourage what could be described as a more hands-on approach to sexuality.
The region’s socialist government has launched a €14,000 campaign aimed at teaching young people how best to set about “sexual self-exploration and the discovery of self-pleasure” – or to put it less delicately: masturbation.
“Pleasure is in your own hands” is the slogan of a campaign that has sparked political controversy and challenges traditional Roman Catholic views on people having sex, even on their own, for non-reproductive reasons…
“They are interfering with the right of parents to educate their own children about a matter as important as their sexuality,” agreed the conservative Confederation of Fathers and Mothers of Schoolchildren.
Officials from the neighbouring region of Andalucia have expressed an interest in copying the programme.
“Extremadura should be pleased with itself,” sniped Pilar Rahola, a columnist in the Barcelona-based La Vanguardia newspaper. “It may have the most unemployed young people in Spain, but they will be the best at masturbation.”
Unemployed, eh? Lots of time on their hands, too.