Is the perfect day different for men and women?

A new study claims to have nailed down the average woman's fantasy day

Share
Related Topics

Lou Reed's idea of a perfect day sounded pretty good to me. Drinking sangria in the park, feeding the animals in the zoo, and maybe taking in a movie. Reed wrote his anthemic song 40 years, when life was a little less complicated than it is today, and our expectations were not quite as high. So what would a perfect day look like in 2012? Thanks to scientists writing in the Journal of Economic Psychology, we now know the answer. Or at least we know half the answer.

Researchers asked 900 women with an average age of 38 what daily activities they liked most, and how much time they spent doing them. Armed with this information, they were able to construct a fantasy day for the average woman. I am assuming they chose to research women's desires because the female of the species is a more finely calibrated, psychologically interesting, diversely engaged individual. According to the survey, a woman wants eight hours of sleep and 106 minutes of "intimate relations".

If asked, men would prefer it was the other way round.

And what about women wanting to spend 57 minutes talking on the phone? Haven't they heard of texting? Why talk to someone when you can have a perfectly good conversation – or even an argument – without expending all that energy actually talking?

In any case, my own personal research would indicate that, for a woman, 57 minutes represents only one phone call. "The most pleasurable activities are usually less enjoyable the longer they last and the more often we do them," assert the researchers. Up to a point, I'd say.

I have always maintained that one of the only benefits of getting older is that you know what you like and you don't like, and you might as well keep on doing the thing you like until you don't like it any more. And of course, even a perfectly balanced life – with a mix of private time, work and pleasure – would become boring after a while.

Variety seems to be the key for women – they want their day filled with 16 different pursuits – whereas men's idea of a ideal day would be less diverse in nature – maybe a few hours watching football, followed by a few hours talking about it.

As I have demonstrated, it is difficult not to stray into gender stereotypes faced with this type of research, but it does strike me that women's and men's desires are probably much closer aligned today than they were 40 years ago. Socialising, cooking, exercising, shopping - these have become much more gender-neutral activities. And way back when, I doubt anyone would put a good night's sleep at the top of their priorities.

These days, once you hit a certain age, it dominates one's thoughts. Hands up who's not tired most of the time? Perhaps we've missed the crucial line in Lou Reed's manifesto for the perfect day: "Problems All Left Alone".

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul
 

Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living