The "Spanish Sex Tsar" sounds like one of those wacky made-up sex acts like a "Cleveland Steamer," but the sex position is all too real. In an effort to help correct Spain's population decline, the country's government appointed Edelmira Barreira to serve as its official "commissioner for the demographic challenge," Spain's ABC reports.
Last year, Spain saw the number of deaths outpace the number of births for the first time, which means that its total population shrunk. Spain's total fertility rate is one of the lowest in the developed world: Women between the ages of 18 and 49 have an average of 1.3 children, which is below the EU average of 1.58 children and America's average of 1.82. A representative from Spain's education ministry told ABC that birth rate decline "aggravates other economic imbalances and generates important impacts in the welfare state."
Barreira, a demographics expert, is currently tasked with creating a national strategy to correct the demographic imbalances and present it to Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy. It will most likely be something boring and technical, rather than a super sexy suggestion, like playing Barry White over the national radio or giving out tax credits for lingerie purchases.
Many believe that declining birth rates in industrialized nations are due to women being more involved in the workplace, waiting to have children later in life, the increased cost of having children, and a variety of other factors, but no one has pinned down the exact reason for Spain's low output.
Rafael Puyol, a professor at the IE Business School in Madrid, thinks that the problem is people are too tired after working long hours. "They do not help with making a family. Then a child arrives and it is even worse," he told ABC. Maybe Spain could try offering people a paid one-hour break during work to go home and have sex, like a councilman in Sweden proposed for government employees recently.
Other countries with low birth rates have tried some inventive ways to boost couples' sex lives. In Denmark, the government created "Do It for Denmark," a 2014 ad campaign to persuade couples to take romantic vacations to have sex. In 2010, South Korea ordered the lights in all office buildings to shut off at 7:30 PM once a month to encourage people to head home and see what happens with the lights off. And in 2012, Singapore's government created a "National Night" for couples to stay home and "make a baby, baby," which was sponsored by Mentos.