Thursday, 2 May 2013

If I were a man, I would get so much sex.

If I were a man, I would get so much sex. That's what I pitched to a newspaper this week. I'm not going to say which one but perhaps you can work it out for yourself: tabloid, right leaning, has popular women's section. 

Surprise, surprise they went for it. Funny that. If you want to work as a freelance feature writer for the national press, I'll give you a top tip: put the word sex in the subject bar. Works every time. Problem is, of course, that you then have to WRITE about sex. Ah! So, how much do you want to give away? There's the rub.

So, the crux of my feature was a survey out last week that said 10.30 pm on a Saturday night is the time most couples say "I love you" to each other. 

Again, funny that. I wonder why that could be? Precursor to something perhaps? Which reminds me, I once read in some other unreliable newspaper survey that the most common time for couples to have sex is a Saturday night after Match of the Day, in bed, with the lights out. But I am going back a few years here.

Anyway, this same survey, the one just out, revealed that many men NEVER tell their wives or partners that they love them, either because they think they should know already or because they do stuff around the house to help out and think that should suffice. 

This got me thinking. And by the way that's my second top tip for if you want to work as a feature writer for the national press: read the national press, a lot, and then sit down and do some thinking. It's harder than it sounds.

So I pitched an idea. It's easy, I wrote, if I were a man I would be able to get as much sex as I wanted because all you have to do is follow ten simple tips and Hey Presto! Bob's your live-in lover, or rather, your lover is your live-in lover. 

1, Look her in the eye, A LOT, but particularly when she is talking to you about her day and how that woman in Sainsbury's (or Waitrose, depending on your demographic) pissed her off. 

2, Make remarks to indicate that you are listening. A simple 'Uhu' now and then will suffice. 

3, Always notice what she is wearing, especially if it is new, and always say it looks great. ALWAYS. 

4, Ditto hair. Notice that is has been coloured/cut/blow dried/shaved off. 

5. Talk to her about her feelings. And your own feelings. And everybody's feelings. A LOT.

6, Combine this with trying and stay awake on a Saturday night long enough to say the regulation, "I love you" at 10.30 pm before... Well, you know what before.

7, This bit is crucial, you MUST actually stay awake on a Saturday night long enough to actually have sex.

8, Say, "I love you", be romantic, do big gestures, book tables for dinner and weekends away. Notes on the pillow telling her you think she's beautiful would be good. That's a free special tip from me that will GUARANTEE sex, I promise. I know it sounds cheesy, but really, we are THAT easy.

9, Buy exciting and personal presents (nothing for the house and certainly NOT for the kitchen, unless it's a Kitchen Aid) for every single birthday/anniversary/Valentine or, best of all, for no reason at all. 

10, Do not think that unloading the dishwasher or hanging up a bit of washing is a substitute for any of the above because although very nice and much appreciated YOU SHOULD BE DOING THIS ANYWAY. 

A bit of all of the above - as listed - combined with trying not to fart in her presence ALL THE BLOODY TIME and picking up your dirty pants will work an absolute treat. Really, it's not Rocket Science.

And don't come telling me I'm being sexist and why shouldn't men get any of the same treatment because men don't need any of the same treatment, they just want IT. Full stop. They are almost always in a state of high alert looking for a bit of action. Unless they are ill. They don't even mind farting. Honest. Well, not in my experience anyway.

That was my pitch. An absolute gem. How many other women might relate to this and give me some juicy/funny anecdotes to go in the piece? (anonymously of course). Loads! 

For example, I remember a girlfriend (not that sort) telling me that the way into a woman's knickers is through her head. Sounds nasty, but I knew exactly what she meant, and she wasn't being anatomical. (Just to clarify, she meant that women like to be wooed into bed.) 

Another friend told me that she always knows when her husband is after a bit because he suddenly and uncharacteristically asks, "So, how was your day?" before bedtime.

Conversely all men need is; "So how about it big boy?" and then they're off. 
Actually, who am I kidding? They don't even need that.

Sadly, after a discussion with a lovely editor at this national tabloid newspaper with a right leaning and popular woman's section, that shall remain nameless, I had to turn the work away because she (or rather 'him', upstairs, the overall dreaded EDITOR) wanted it to be about my own experience ONLY. In other words, he wanted it to be a piece in which I slagged off my husband.

No, I said. This is a piece about EVERYWOMAN. I want to write GENERALISATIONS about how most women feel about sex and love and relationships: that for women - most women - sex is part of a package involving intimacy, a feeling of connection, appreciation and being told they are loved once in a while, hence the survey. That was my angle. 

I was happy to write about myself a bit, to kick off, and then include lots of lovely funny anecdotes from other women - and maybe some men too, and top tips.

But no, they wanted it to be entirely personal, so I turned it down. I had to, didn't I? Bye bye work. Bye bye money. Not a good feeling. But I did the right thing. And not for the first time, damn it.

I did do the right thing, yes? I mean, I love my husband and he's a good man and I know it sounds like I'm saying that HE doesn't do these any of these things, as above, the romancing and the complimenting etc, but he tries his best, as I guess do 
most men, so I'm not going to write something that sounds like a massive whinge about him. I'm just not.

So, here is my third and final top tip about being a freelance feature writer for the national press: DON'T DO IT. 

Just put it all in your blog instead.

Comments please! On the blog. On twitter. On the Facebook page.

P.S. And for those of you on tenterhooks for news of the kitchen, I think I just may have found the builder - hooray!




  1. I guess there's a fine line between revealing enough information to make an article interesting, and not embarrassing yourself at the same time. It goes for any writing, be it for a national newspaper or a personal blog.

    I have the same issue. Even on my little blog. Particularly as I'm finding myself wanting to write about my divorce, my newly found experiences of online dating, life as a 'part-time' dad, and how I really feel about an ex-girlfriend. However. I always find myself 'holding back'. Whether it's a conscious decision or a sub-concious decision, I'm not sure. I've written hundreds of blog entries that I've deleted after re-reading them, as I've thought that they were just too personal.

  2. Yes, always about striking a balance. I think good writing has to be essentially honest to draw readers in but you don't want to give your whole life away. Having said that I've never deleted something for being too personal - maybe that's a problem! Using material about other people is much more tricky. I have stated to be more careful about what I include about the children - which makes writing about myself even more likely - but then there's always the husband, so watch this space! Only kidding. E
    (And a great bit of blog promotion there btw. Hats off. Must try that myself.)