Sex. From One Gentleman’s Point Of View

At the risk of facing an all-female firing squad I’d like to tell you a sexist joke:

A department store that has just opened offered free husbands. When women go to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the entrance:

“You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors to choose from. You may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!” So, a lady goes to the store to find a husband.

On the 1st floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 – These men Have Jobs. The 2nd floor sign reads: Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids. The 3rd floor sign reads: Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids and are extremely Good Looking.

“Wow,” she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the 4th floor and sign reads:

Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework. “Oh, mercy me!” she exclaims. “I can hardly stand it!”

Still, she goes on to the 5th floor and sign reads: Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and Have a Strong Romantic Streak. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the 6th floor.

The sign reads: Floor 6 – You are visitor 71,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that you are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened a Wife Store just across the street. The 1st first floor has wives that love sex. The 2nd floor has wives that love sex and don’t nag.

The 3rd through 6th floors have never been visited…

Like many with a funny bone I’ve always loved the comedy of Sir Billy Connolly. That’s not one of his I hasten to add but he did say this:

“The trouble with men is they need sex to feel loved, and the trouble with women is they need to feel love in order to have sex – so it requires a lie from one or the other”. 

As his Parkinson’s disease progresses, Billy has stopped live touring and now finds himself becoming more philosophical through his writing and the occasionally infrequent TV travel documentary.

He’s married to the wonderful Lady Connolly, better known as the Australian psychologist Pamela Stevenson. When she goes down the shops, I don’t imagine she bothers with her official title. I doubt they lie to each other either. They’re both far too clever for that.

As a man, I seriously hate being labelled as some kind of blinkered race horse who’s single goal is to reach the finishing line marked SEX. It might be what drove Russell Brand to make an example of himself, but not me or I would suggest the majority of other British men. We’ll leave Italians, French and Spaniards out of this.

I’ve never needed sex to feel loved, but it is part of what I need to feel wanted.

Australian sex therapist Bettina Arndt’s talk on mismatched sexual desire takes groping as an example. Men do it. Women loath it. But in a committed relationship, if you’ve ever felt a cold hand wandering across you under the bedclothes and rejected it, bear in mind men have twenty times the level of testosterone than women.

One man explained his actions to Ms Arndt.

“I’m going to get into trouble for this. I know she doesn’t like it but it’s me saying “Hello. Here I am. I still love you. I still want you.” Where has she gone, the lover I married?”

Scientists studying relationships have discovered women at the start have a very strong sexual, physical and passionate desire but within a couple of years this evaporates. Heterosexual men are very different. They have an itch that never goes away. An “eternal flame” which lasts their whole adult lives. Imagine that.

Men also use sex as a release from tensions they face around them. Women it appears look on it quite differently.

One lady told her book club she’d told her husband “You can have fifty thrusts but don’t jiggle my book”. You can imagine him lying there next to her prior to making the move.

Sex. From One Gentleman's Point Of ViewOlder man and older woman kissing

Reaching out from a man to a woman in a committed relationship is regularly not about sex. Touching you, whether it be in bed or in Sainsbury’s, is about making a connection with you. I’d agree we often get the timing wrong, but the sentiment remains.

I dream a good deal and am amazed about my brains ability to replay even the smallest painful details from decades ago as I sleep. It’s as if someone is wandering down the dusty corridors of my mind, pulling open old filing cabinets and throwing the papers of ancient experiences which affected me into the air and saying “look”. I scrabble around on the floor picking up the papers and ram them back into the files until I wake up sweating and upset again. That someone is a woman.

The cabinets marked “rejection” in my mind now have an entire floor to themselves with a red neon sign above the door and my nightmares are relentless. Major damage.

But I’m lucky. I met a gorgeous blonde ten years my senior who dragged me into a side room in a London museum by the London Eye and…

Because my brain is still unhindered, I wander down those corridors, open a file and occasionally find those wonderful memories. As Billy’s Parkinson’s takes hold of his brilliant mind he finds the doors to those corridors and floors increasingly locked. With his Glasgow welder’s black humour, he might tell you that’s not entirely a bad thing.

Interestingly his wife is the founder and president of the Los Angeles Sexuality Centre, an online sexual research engine which operated for five years until she moved to New York. According to Wikipedia, Connolly is a past Secretary of the American Association of Sex Educators, Councillors and Therapists.

So when Billy reaches out to Pamela in bed at night, I suspect she puts the book down, turns out the light, snuggles up to him and welcomes his hand as it takes her towards him. I would very carefully suggest you do the same.

Make both of you happy. Life is short.