Sophie Heawood: Carla serenades her busy sex life. Me too

Related Topics

Thirty lovers. It's a nice round number. A nice round number that the French know what to do with but one which still sends many of the English into befuddling apoplexy.

Let's compare these two scenarios. In France, Le Figaro has just given a glowing review to Carla Bruni's new album, having had a sneak preview of the record due out in July on which she sings that she is "... still a child /Despite my 40 years/Despite my 30 lovers/A child...".

She might be the President's First Lady, but he is her 30th fella and, by Jove, she still feels as fresh as a daisy. The French seem perfectly happy with this. A life full of love is a great thing.

Then look at this scenario: earlier this year our own parliamentarian, Nick Clegg, told a men's magazine that he had slept with "no more than 30 women" (which, to be fair to him, could also have meant "somewhere between one and five" or "a little over two"), the excitement was feverish. People were shocked by his high number of conquests, even though it wasn't quite on a level with Bill Wyman's claim of 1,00 notches on the bedpost. Had the Lib Dems found the magic weapon with which to swell their ranks - provided they could persuade all 30 of those women to vote for them? No but really, 30 lovers! How terribly, well, rude!

So what did old Cleggover do? He went and got all embarrassed about it. How tragically British. If only he'd realised that the best way to deal with his 30 lovers was to serenade them in song, not get het up and deny their existence. But that's the problem with us - past lovers are not something to be looked back on, lest we turn into a pillar of salt. Especially for women, there is some moral achievement in keeping the notches on the bedpost down. It's as if sexuality inhabited some kind of permanent wartime, where one must guard one's rations wisely and be careful to make them last. Yes, people can get hurt by sleeping around, and if you're in a monogamous relationship, lying and cheating will always hurt somebody, including yourself. But life is long and not everybody is married. If everybody is happy, why limit yourself?

My friend Paul, a music reviewer, said he used to feel it was somehow morally important to be stingy with five-star album reviews and only dole out a couple of them a year. Until one day he realised, ecstatically, that there was a never-ending stash of stars in his virtual cupboard, like a fantasy jar of self-replenishing sweets. So he started giving out five stars to any album that made him feel wonderful, and there were plenty of them, and the Lord was gracious and everybody would have prizes one day.

Well, that's how I feel about sex. It won't run out, and much as things can get boring – like when Fleur Adcock says in a poem that it makes her feel "like the lady in Leeds who has seen The Sound of Music 86 times" – well, this is the benefit of doing it with different people. It never gets boring.

Of course, some would say that it never gets very good either, since you don't know each other's funny little ways yet, and rehearsal time is limited. Still, at least you don't have to face them over that awful thing called breakfast.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Neo-Nazis march in London  

I'm taking my Jewish kids to a vile neo-Nazi rally in London this weekend because I want them to learn about free speech

Richard Ferrer
A police officer carries a casualty to safety  

Tunisia attack proves that we cannot stop terrorists carrying out operations against Britons in Muslim countries

Robert Verkaik
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map