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

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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Business Development Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron has reiterated his pre-election promise to radically improve the NHS  

How can we save the NHS? Rediscover the stiff upper lip

Jeremy Laurance
 

Thanks to Harriet Harman, Labour is holding its own against the Tory legislative assault

Isabel Hardman
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor