Free Beer & Sex HTML version

1 Free beer and sex
A friend of mine once claimed that all good backpacker advertising should
include the words Free, Beer and Sex. The order wasn't important so long as
you squeezed them in somehow.
He wasn't suggesting that the backpacker circuit is a great place to find sex. His
point was that the expectation of sex is enough to propel most young males on round-
the-world trips.
When I was a young guy, growing up in England, people who ran holiday camps put
out a similar message. Some of my mates fell for it and, like other yo ung guys, didn't
have the courage to own up to the truth when they got back home. They fantasised
about their exploits. The legend lived on and the holiday camps prospered.
Others of my mates hit on a better tactic. They joined a local tennis club or yo uth
fellowship group and met girls there. Their next trick was to get the girls to go to the
camps with them. Jive sessions were also highly rated but nothing could beat the
peace marches.
To my loss, I never saw the point of trying to "Ban the Bomb". I was too naïve to
realise that the marches were about something far more attainable. They provided
unparalleled opportunities for getting to know the opposite sex. Big distances were
involved and there were overnight stops. So long as the weather was fine, nothing
could beat snuggling down in the long grass with a fellow peace activist.
Later, the flower-power thing took off. Making love became a moral imperative that
would banish the urge to make war. In Australia, it reached its climax in the alterna tive
lifestyle movement. Groups of young people occupied abandoned farmland and
formed communes. Thirty years down the track, some are still with us. It's interesting
to see how they evolved and I'll tell you about them elsewhere.