Sex, anyone?


Published March 15, 2001 8:00PM (EST)

Just two days after a National Institute of Public Health report found that Swedes are having more first-date sex but using fewer condoms than they did two decades ago, former Swedish tennis star and concerned retiree Björn Borg urged his countrymen to "F--- for the Future."

The inscrutable five-time Wimbledon champion took out a full-page English-language advertisement Friday in Sweden's biggest business daily, Dagens Industri, urging his compatriots to "Get to it!" to ensure that there are enough people around to finance old-age pensions.

"If nothing drastic happens soon there won't be anyone who can work and put up for our pensions," read the ad for Borg's Sweden AB. "Luckily there is a simple solution that is both enjoyable and relaxing: the Swedish model."

Well, add the NIPH to the long list of the Swedish model's detractors. According to the study, almost 12 percent more men and 6 percent more women have been "getting to it" on first dates since a similar study was conducted in 1989; condom use over the same time period has dropped significantly. While the spread of venereal diseases has increased in Sweden in recent years, the babies are not forthcoming.

Perhaps they're reluctant to come into a world where fading stars use social issues to hawk clothing lines.

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Ironically, Borg's ad came out three days after a Swedish tabloid reported that one of the nation's top gender equality experts, Cabinet minister Lars Back, had enjoyed himself a little too thoroughly on a flight from Stockholm to New York on Saturday. After a few too many drinks, Back allegedly harassed several flight attendants and vomited in the lap of his boss, Sweden's female equality minister.

Though the gesture revealed a certain fraternal sentiment, it was perhaps not the kind of equality Back's colleague had in mind.

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On the other hand, with leaders like these, maybe celebrities can save the world.

Mr. Showbiz reported Sunday that former movie star and American self-involvement expert Kevin Costner believes that the key to avoiding nuclear Armageddon is getting a group of world leaders to watch his movie "Thirteen Days."

"This is clearly a very political movie. And I do want [British Prime Minister] Tony Blair to see it," Costner told the Independent.

Our own frat boy in chief saw the film at home last month, inviting the Kennedy clan over for a private viewing at the White House.

No word on whether he asked them, as long as he had them on the phone, whether their refrigerator was running.

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It's long been noted among people who concern themselves with such matters that "Jack Tripper" would have made a good name for a porn star. Is it the comical but masculine lilt of the John Ritter character's name in "Three's Company," or were subliminal forces at work on our mass consciousness?

According to a story on E!Online Saturday, an unidentified viewer was watching Nick at Nite reruns of the once-beloved ABC sitcom "Three's Company" when he or she experienced a flash of unexpected insight into the actor's shorts.

"Jack was dressed in blue boxers," the viewer told MSNBC, "and plopped down on the bed [and] exposed some things that probably shouldn't be seen on television."

Yes, the things were Ritter's privates, a sight that sent the viewer directly to the phone to notify the network.

"They were shocked and said, 'Gosh, you were right.' They were taken off guard because this has probably aired hundreds of times since the '80s."

E!Online moved quickly to confirm the rare Ritter sighting.

"Yes, his scrotum falls out of his shorts," a spokesman for Nickelodeon told the Web site.

Nickelodeon made immediate plans to snip the offending episode before showing it again, but Ritter took a more philosophical view.

"I've requested that [Nickelodeon] air both versions, edited and unedited," he told the New York Observer, "because sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't."

By Carina Chocano

Carina Chocano writes about TV for Salon. She is the author of "Do You Love Me or Am I Just Paranoid?" (Villard).

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