I'd rather have a British man any day

Americans top the league table for libido, but would they share their jumper with you? Glenda Cooper on what women want
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The Independent Online
What do women want? asked Sigmund Freud all those years ago. According to Durex, they want a lot, but not a British male. The cheek of it. In an international league table the British male has been placed as the last choice for a lover by all our European neighbours. Ten thousand people in 15 countries were polled by Durex - and none longed to sleep with British men despite their long experience (average age of losing virginity is 16.7 years) and their reputation for safe sex (third best in the world).

It's enough to make you sympathise with the Euro-sceptics. The British have always had a great tradition of love. What's a few Casanovas and Julio Iglesiases next to the centuries-old tradition? There was Byron, who had everyone in the Regency period, including Lady Caroline Lamb and his own sister. Rochester, who makes today's writers of smut look like Enid Blyton; James Boswell, biographer of Samuel Johnson, who prowled the Embankment with onion-skin contraceptives at the ready ... need I say more in defence of the British lover?

Of course, such marathon runners don't necessarily make great lovers. You'd think twice about including Henry VIII, who had an unpleasant way of ending affairs on the scaffold - but British men today have got over this macho do about nothing. The Durex survey found that the British were the most considerate lovers. Time for less Don Juan and more Fitzwilliam Darcy.

This is what women want rather than the Stud-u-Likes from the so-called sexual superpowers, the US and Russia. (The average annual rate for Russians was 135 times and for Americans 133). Thought we'd got over notches on the bedpost some time in the 1970s, but never mind.

Who could ever fail to fall for the British modesty and understatement, the simplicity of approach ("You dancin'?" "You askin'?"), the originality of thought (why have a boring candlelight dinner when you could take her to see Norwich City?) and the willingness to share Marks & Spencer jumpers. Paris, Milan and New York are passe and overdone when you consider the uncharted territories of Leicester train station, Surbiton shopping centre or Great Yarmouth pier (complete with funfair) for romantic encounters. And there's something very refreshing about the British male's complete lack of physical vanity - you may not love beer bellies but at least he's more interested in your body than showing off his.

British men are the best. And anyone who thinks Italians are the greatest lovers is in for a shock: a seduction school has just opened in Naples. Pupils pay pounds 250 for lessons in wooing. Before getting their diplomas, would-be Romeos have to charm a beauty into bed.

Do you want to be seen with a man like that? I rest my case.