So farewell then, sexual intercourse

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The Independent Culture
The orgasm stuff. This orgasm-in-a-bottle business. We have to come to terms with the fact that, thanks to modern science, women can now go out and buy something which, when washed down with a glass of soothing water, will make them yowl like Siamese cats then roll over with that placid smile on their faces, the one which they wear just before they say: "What? What are you looking at? Oh no. Forget it. Have you any idea what time it is?"

Technology can deal with that, too. Just incorporate a digital clock in the orgasm-pill bottle and it will do everything a man can do. We've had it. Redundant. Withered on the vine.

I am of course particularly badly affected. As a man of egregious and quite astounding sexual prowess, I have for many years operated a nice little sideline in doling out advice to my less- accomplished fellow men. They are a dismal lot. Can't get anyone to go to bed with them. Can get people to go to bed with them, but can't get it up. Can get it up but can't for the life of them get it down again. Can do both without any difficulty but then just sort of black out, only to be woken a few minutes later by a fierce woman looming over them, shouting: "You were snoring! You farted! You were mumbling; shut up! Shut up! Cuddle me! Hold me till I melt, it should be perfect, is that too much to ask? I hate you! You are a bastard! Cuddle me!"

I was thinking of putting it all into a book but there's no point now. You can have my advice for free. My advice is: go to a prostitute. How could I charge for such advice now? It will soon be our only hope. Prostitutes, a much-maligned class possessed of great virtue and a hell of a fund of good yarns, are currently categorised as women who will sleep with men for money. In five years' time, they will be categorised as women who sleep with men. Full stop. Nobody else will do it. Not for money, not for anything.

Would you? I ask you chaps. Have you looked at yourselves? Have you investigated your body recently, dispassionately and in a good light? Have you noticed its ineluctable thickening, the rocky nastiness of the toenails, the cheesy blue-veining of your steadily withering thighs, the hairy whorls and clumps which, having deserted your head and your reedy shins, are marching steadily down your torso and bursting out of your ears and nostrils? Have you? Have you?

Of course you haven't. Nor have you refined or updated your sexual technique, have you? No no; you still lie there smelling of onions and computer, twiddling this and tugging that with an expression of hopeful dismay on your face, like someone on Income Support trying to finesse a fruit machine.

And you can stop smirking, you women, with your nonsense about foreplay and mood lighting. There you are, an absolute riot of crumpled winceyette, lying there looking thwarted-in-advance, wondering whether Godfrey is going to try his bloody nonsense again tonight, and whether it would be the same whoever you were with, although you bet it wouldn't be the same if you were with Colin Firth, he'd know what a woman wanted, what a woman needed, tenderness and eye-contact, murmured endearments and a steady counter-clockwise movement just absolutely bloody so.

It's all a one-way traffic, in both directions. Men can't get to grips with what women want, for the simple reason that what women want is for men to know what women want. And women can't get to grips with what men want, because it seems silly and degrading, and women are worried they'll laugh at the wrong moment. As if there were anything risible about plaited- velvet fetters, Agent Provocateur lingerie, thigh boots and leather corsets and six-inch spike heels, little St Trinian's gym-slips, shiny latex, hot breath, half-closed eyes, video cameras, sharp feral bedroom scent, cries of alarm and amazement, yes yes ooh ooh ooooooh.

Can't see anything funny about that, what? Hmph. But the truth is that men and women only go to bed with each other because if you're heterosexual, there's no real alternative. Homosexuality is much more sensible. When did you last go to a gay dress-code bar and see grown men kvetching and moaning about having to dress up like cowboys and bikers and construction workers and things before their lovers would pay them any attention? They don't complain that it's degrading. As a friend's auntie observed of the extravagances of the gay scene: "It's nowt to do with them being homos. It's just because they're blokes."

The truth of the matter seems to be that (with the exception of, for example, myself and anyone with the immense good fortune to be the object of my affections) the sexes are a completely closed book at bedtime. And now that, for women at least, the art of seduction has been reduced to removing a childproof cap (odd how I've never noticed that particular double entendre before), I reckon it's curtains for the whole sorry business. There will still be those who speak wistfully of transcendence; the spark across the abyss, a tangle of limbs, the inability to tell where one body ends and the other begins, the entwined sleep of grace and inevitability. But, I ask you, what are the chances of that?

Quite. And so I predict a different world. Freed of the necessity to dissemble for the purposes of potential gratification, our social structures will radically change. The women's shoe industry will never be the same again. Hemlines will settle precisely on that Barratt's executive- housing- estate of erogenous zones, the knee. Liz Hurley will have to seek another sponsor.

And men will be different, too. No more wars, no more mighty inventions, no more heavy engineering or space travel or symphonies or novels: all stuff only done to impress women, so there'll be no need of that, either. The bottom will drop out of home improvements. The housing market will collapse. Men will cluster together in shady bachelor chambers. It will be a peaceable, tranquil world. And if there are any ardent, personable women who occasionally feel that joy-in-a-bottle isn't quite enough, well; they know where to find me. !

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