Girls on Top?

As unwise as it may be to start an article with a reference to the rather odious AA Gill, he wrote something a little while ago which made me stop […]

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As unwise as it may be to start an article with a reference to the rather odious AA Gill, he wrote something a little while ago which made me stop and think. In a sort of update of Jane Austen’s ‘truth universally known’, he wrote that ‘there is a truth known to every single single man, and it is that every woman could, if she were so disposed, push open the door of any pub in the country at 10 o’clock on any Friday night and shout “Anyone fancy a quick shag?” and she would instantly be confronted by a panting queue, whereas only half-a-percent of men could do the same thing. George Clooney? Probably. Benedict Cumberbatch? I don’t think so’

First things first, Mr Gill: you are utterly wrong about Benedict Cumberbatch. One steely glance from the dishy detective and any sane woman would rip her clothes off. The man is a dream boat. And as with any respectable opinion, I am backed up by The Sun: their readers voted him the world’s sexiest man this year. Point proved.

Further than this though, does AA Gill have a point? Although any opinion piece about the difference between the genders risks making horrendous generalisations, I have been doing my own covert research by asking various male and female friends, and it does seem that most boys wouldn’t think twice about taking up the offer of a “quick shag” if the girl was moderately attractive (although they probably wouldn’t text her the next day), but most girls would recoil from a similar advance.

And a 2009 study by Dr Achim Schützwohl (a Doctorate makes him much more credible than me…) in the journal Human Nature suggests the same: he investigated over 800 students from three countries and concluded that “While men are not entirely insensitive to their requester’s attractiveness, women have higher standards and are more likely to engage in casual sex with an exceptionally attractive man than with a less attractive man”.

So if we assume that Dr Achim and AA Gill are correct, why is this the case?  Are women just generally more attractive than men? Have less libido? Given the recent 50 shades mania, I think we can safely reject the latter. And though the inner prep school girl in me wants to shout that ‘BOYS ARE SMELLY’, I think we can probably also reject the former.

Instead, a fundamental factor at play must be the relative scarcity of women who actually would do as AA Gill suggests and openly offer casual sex to any takers in comparison to men who would do the same. We’ve all heard of the ‘He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut’ phenomenon, and I think many girls’ fears about their reputations, about being rejected, and about their personal safety – going home with a random stranger can be a risky business, after all – are just a few of the reasons holding women back.  This means the idea remains a fantasy; paradoxically, girls remain able to pick up a one night stand easily precisely because they don’t often try to do it.

However, some essential caveats must be made. How does the whole idea work for a gay one night stand? I assume there must be a totally different set of rules. And not all men will cheerfully take up any offer; just look at Superbad. While Seth/Jonah Hill may dream of becoming the ‘iron chef of pounding vag’, Evan/Michael Cera doesn’t fall for even such irresistible lines as ‘I’m going to give you the best blow j ever… with my mouth’.

But generally, the moral of the story is: Ladies, if you stand on a curry-splattered table at the Mahal and shout, ‘COME GET ME, BOYZZZ’, they probably will. You might even get lucky and bag a hottie like this