The hotel sex test

Share
Related Topics
Sex and politics dominated the week. Andrew Marr ("Columnist of the Year") is teacher's pet and always gets first pick. Unsurprisingly he has chosen to write about politics yet again, leaving me with just the sex. Fortunately I have done my research and am ready.

Not that politicians observe the distinction. As John Redwood did his unbelieveably tedious Salome's dance this week (did I imagine cries of "keep 'em on"?) it went virtually unnoticed by his dwindling audience that - roundabout the fourth veil - he talked about morals. He would, he said, expect to be told by any incoming minister about anything in their past "which might cause problems". This is, of course, code for: no adulterers or closet same-sexers need apply.

It must simply be adding woe upon woe for the winsome actor Hugh Grant that in addition to public humiliation he now has no chance of serving in a Redwood government. To help him to recover from this PR disaster, Grant has taken on the wizard lawyer who advised Michael Jackson after the boy-in-a-bed accusations. Presumably we are now to be treated to a barrage of excuses such as "it's all perfectly innocent - I love giving people rides" and "her parents were fully informed".

Meanwhile Elizabeth Hurley's publicists were adopting the successful Princess Diana approach of hurt-bewildered-alone. A warning here - you get loads of sympathy at first, but eventually end up on a diet of Prozac and Baywatch.

It's all rubbish, of course. If there is an injured party it is the law- abiding citizens of crime-ridden Los Angeles, whose police have nothing better to do than go sticking their flashlights where they are not wanted. We all know from countless movies that the vast majority of Americans have sex in their cars at some time. We also know that thousands of prostitutes ply an active trade in all great cities. Do we really imagine that those hookers are there just to service the poor, ugly and unattached - those with no other option? If Grant was acting "insanely", there is an awful lot of it about.

Was this such an act of betrayal? I cannot speak for women in the blithe way that some female commentators write about men, but male sexuality is often a dark and difficult business. Germaine Greer, however, did capture something of its essence when she talked about how the continual production of sperm must drive men barmy. She asked women to imagine what they would feel like if ovulation was constant. So you don't have to be Michael Douglas, or go howl in the woods with Iron John, to see that there are characteristics to male sexuality which lend themselves to putting it about.

If you do not believe me, ask your male partner to answer the hotel test. It goes like this: he is abroad on business and staying in a nice hotel. After phoning you and the kids he goes down to the bar. A few moments later a very sexy woman starts chatting him up. She is clearly attracted to him and suggests a night-cap in her room - no strings attached. Now fix him with gimlet eye - does he go? Of course he does. Men are an easy lay.

This is not an excuse for male misbehaviour - it is a plea for realism. There is a romantic expectation about how couples should behave together that takes no account of how we really are. If one partner is, say, significantly more libidinous than the other, is that person to be denied an outlet for 30 or 40 years?

Surely the problem here is not the sex, but the lying and the public embarrassment, whether in front of the media or just one's own friends. The answer is not suppression, but honesty. Relationships for life - especially those involving children - need to be founded on negotiation and empathy, not just on fidelity and romance. Some will incorporate liaisons, others will demand sticking to the straight and narrow.

Lets stop worrying about deviations, too. Sex is not always about the healthy, bouncing backs and bottoms of the Joy videos. Men and women get their kicks in surprising ways, but is this really a matter of regret or scandal? For those who missed it, the best story of the week came from Osnabruck zoo. Two male storks have set up nest together and have managed to hatch a discarded penguin egg. Offspring and fathers are doing fine, apparently. But then, as Redwoodians might say, that's the Europeans for you.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Software Engineer - C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...

Software Team Leader - C++

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software Tea...

Sales Executive - Central London /Home working - £20K-£40K

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Executive - Ce...

Graduate Java / C++ Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Graduate Java / C++ ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The daily catch-up: what if Hillary sticks, drowning sorrows and open sesame

John Rentoul
 

i Deputy Editor's Letter:

Independent Voices, Indy Voices Rhodri Jones
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor