State-Sponsored Anti-Divorce Classes
Reflecting concerns over the rising rate of divorce across Asia and in China in particular, government officials in one state in Malaysia have taken some extraordinary measures by offering state-sponsored courses in maintaining marital intimacy in an effort to help keep couples and families together. Officials in the northern Malaysian state of Terengganu are now providing sex education for the elderly, sex courses for newlyweds and free honeymoons for couples in crisis. The move is highly unusual in a Muslim-majority country like Malaysia where discussions of sexual matters are rarely public.
Three out of every ten marriages in Terengganu now end up in divorce and the state’s family development board responded by offering a sexual relations course for newly-married couples that encouraged the couples to bathe together and use exotic fragrances to stimulate desire. The state board also took the unusual route of hosting romantic holidays for couples facing imminent divorce. The free 2-night packages were offered at popular state beaches and island resorts where the couples could also get free marriage counseling. Seminars offered for elderly couples were aimed at showing the long-married couples tips on how to get their partner’s libido going again and keep thing exciting.
The state government even went so far as to ask several local cosmetics firms to create special perfumes designed for use by couples when they found that some Malaysian couples were getting divorced because their sex lives had become routine and their partners had particularly bad, romance-snuffing body odor. The family development board has plans to hold an additional 16 such programs over the next year. It will be interesting to see if the plans will actually help reduce the Maylay divorce rate, as marital intimacy and satisfaction are difficult factors to measure accurately in any nation.