I’ll start with a multiple choice question, one I imagine teachers will be adding to their sex education classes.
What is the first thing a girl should do post-coitus?
a) Take a selfie and upload it to Facebook
b) Spend 30 minutes in the shower rinsing every last scrap of shame from her skin
c) Leap out of bed and fix her spent lover a tray of milk and cookies.
According to an apparently un-ironic blog published by Glamour US over the weekend, if you want to keep your man happy the answer is c) Cookies.
I assume that a) and b) would be the right choices if you wanted to keep gossip-hungry friends or almighty God gratified, but if it’s a man you’re trying to please, a toddler-style snack to renew his strength really is the only option.
Ever since Carrie Bradshaw sat at a laptop in an inexplicably affordable apartment and wondered how to keep the menfolk happy, women have been instructed to try all sorts of radical things to keep their boyfriends on
Hands up anyone who invested in a special “sex scouring pad” to tease their partner with, as advised by Cosmopolitan one news-dry Friday back in 2006?
I’m sure a few of you have also suffered brain-freeze from ice cubes you were told would introduce different sensations to the bedroom, but which actually made you gag and splutter over your startled suitor.
Glamour’s list is more imaginative, however, suggesting things women can do both inside and outside the bedroom to please the patriarchy.
Apparently, to keep him happy, a girl must act as her boyfriend’s PA, emailing him the latest online gossip about his favourite TV shows.
She should also assume the role of PR, bragging about him to her friends and family, and even strangers on the street.
Slightly more sinister is the notion that women should be open-minded in the bedroom (“an open mind is attractive”) and answer doors in their underwear – “or, better yet, naked”.
Presumably, that last tip works only if the woman in question answers the door to the man she’s trying to impress. I imagine that if she pulled the same trick with the postman the fallout would be rather different.
Of course, this list is more sexist than sexy, reducing women to play things, private chefs, skivvies and gossips.
It takes existing stereotypes, blows them up tenfold and serves them on a silver platter (along with his favourite meal, as suggested in tip number nine).
Spare a thought, too, for the men painted in such primitive terms, the ones who like fixing things and are apparently made very happy by unthinkable sex acts involving scarves, followed by helpings of
(Smother them, then mother them, is that the rule?)
Women’s magazines hold a privileged and delicate place in society, appealing as they do to a young, impressionable audience which looks to the media for advice on how to navigate the minefield that is falling in love.
If the best that publications such as Glamour can offer is this misogynistic froth, then we’re in real trouble.
So I’m swooping in with some alternative advice.
Girls, if a man wants you to make him a snack after sex, opt for burnt toast, a speciality of mine.
If he doesn’t like his bread with a generous helping of charcoal, he can make his own. (And he usually does.) If he wants you to answer the door in your nightwear, invest in a onesie.
And if he asks you to be open-minded in the bedroom, suggest a threesome with your handsome ex-boyfriend.
Of course, if a partner, male or otherwise, requests any of the above, you should dump them and find someone who loves you, irrespective of whether you can recite sports stats while engaging in a complicated sex act and whipping up a bolognese.