How to get close to your lover, in Iran

Take advantage of a shared taxi

Journalist Kamin Mohammadi talks about how young Iranians find their way around obstacles:
As for dating and sex - well, what would you expect of a population that is overwhelmingly young? Some 70% of Iranians are under the age of 35 and this army of young people has grown up under the restrictions - and its curious contradictions - and they are used to bending the rules. The state runs to keep up.

When my friend and I were able to stray further from home, we had to take taxis home. In Iran, as well as private taxis, there are shared taxis called savaris which you can share with as many other people as are going your way. The driver squeezes in as many people as he can and here the normal rules of the Islamic Republic - so keen on gender segregation - seem to go out of the window.

Although people try to arrange themselves so that strange men and women are not sitting on top of each other, my friend and I found ourselves sitting so close that I could feel his heart beating, the closest we had ever come physically.

One friend, Iranian-born and brought up in the West like myself, told me of a romance she had had with a young man from Tehran which consisted purely of them riding around in savaris. They would ride from one end of town to another, asking the driver to take no other fares when they wanted to talk, and asking him to take other fares when they wanted an excuse to get physically close to each other.
- Viewpoint: Taxi sharing in Iran's 'sexual revolution' BBC>>
- Cartoon by Touka Neyestani from Irancartoon>>

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