The Laura Perrins Interview: Feminism has starved men of sex, says Dr Catherine Hakim

(Today we talk to Dr Catherine Hakim, on the plight of the sex-starved British male. Dr Catherine Hakim is a pioneering British social scientist and author. Currently, she is Professorial Research Fellow at Civitas, the London think tank. From 1993 to 2012, she was Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, then at the Centre for Policy Research in London and the WZB social science research institute in Berlin. She is also author of Honey Money as well as Key Issues in Women’s Work. Her new book New Rules, Economies of Desire is out now.)


Laura Perrins: Tell me about your new book, the New Rules: Economies of Desire?

Dr Catherine Hakim: The New Rules started out as a book about internet dating, and how that is changing relationships. Internet dating is the new normal for meeting people, at all ages. My focus was the new websites springing up to facilitate affairs between married people. They are just like all the other dating websites in terms of the process involved. I got interested in this small, well-defined, hidden, niche mating market because marriage is excluded as a potential destination. This makes these websites, and their users, distinctively different. But how exactly? That was the question.

The most striking difference is the imbalance in numbers, with 10 men to every woman on the English websites. The Ashley Maddison website hacking scandal in Canada revealed that this imbalance is routine everywhere. This gives women the edge, which is unusual. Some women realised it and exploited it fully – just as men invariably do when they get the chance, which is most of the time. The men typically said they were in a sex-starved or celibate marriage, but were devoted to their family and did not want to disrupt their primary relationship. The affairs websites make it much easier to remain discreet, by allowing people to search for like-minded partners well outside their own social circle.

The imbalance in numbers got me into checking out the facts on celibacy, and imbalances in sexual desire within marriage, through the national sex surveys. To my astonishment, there are dozens of these surveys, carried out all over the world. Britain has had three surveys so far, in 1990, 2000, and 2010. The world expert is Professor Osmo Kontula in Finland, who has run six surveys so far. All the sex survey reports emphasise how the sexual experience of men and women is becoming more similar, in terms of average numbers of partners. But my readings found that huge differences remain in terms of sexual attitudes, desire and motivation, solo sex, casual sex, sexual fantasies, what men are prepared to pay for sex compared to women. 

There are also huge differences between men and women in reported celibacy, and in the desire for a more active sex life, even in married couples. A 2006 sex survey in Italy found that two-thirds of men and women are agreed that men have stronger sexual desires than women. People in France say the same thing. Age, class, education, and income make no difference – opinions are unanimous.

This new chapter on ‘economies of desire’ thus sheds new light on the motives and experiences of men and women embarking on affairs through the new dating websites.

LP: If I may take of the liberty of summarising your position, you are a feminist in the sense you believe in equality before the law, and equality of opportunity. But today, when feminists aim for equality of outcome or parity they are not taking into account female preferences, which you have discussed at length elsewhere?

CH: Yes indeed. In my book Key Issues in Women’s Work (and also in Work-lifestyles in the 21st Century: Preference Theory) I show that across all industrialised economies, women’s ideal lifestyle, and work orientations, differ from those of most men. Many women prefer part-time or flexible jobs, and/or they give priority to work-life balance, even if they earn a bit less. So the pay gap between men and women is inevitable, as they often choose different jobs. In Britain, there is no pay gap among people under 30, and the pay gap has now been fully explained by job choices. So we really are ahead of the game on equality, and should recognise it.


LP: Staying on feminism, it is true that they are very antagonistic to men and marriage?

CH: Radical feminism (rather than ‘vanilla’ feminism) remains the focus of university courses on gender studies. It presents an unremittingly negative view of heterosexual relationships – sleeping with the enemy. However young women today have a different perspective, take equality for granted, and quite like men!

What has not changed much, and may even be getting worse, is sexual harassment and everyday sexism. I think this could be a consequence of the male sexual deficit, which is growing over time, at least in Western Europe. Professor Kontula and I draw the same conclusion.


LP: One of the critical errors – what I think makes today’s feminists completely nuts (to use the technical term) is the idea that the men and women are very similar – almost the same. When it comes to sexual desire this is not found in either the research or indeed in everyday life. In fact, given the amount of testosterone running through the average male it is a testament to self-control that so many remain faithful in a lifelong marriage?

CH: As the Japanese demonstrate, overwork, a long hours culture, and a strong (Protestant) work ethic are the best prophylactics against a lively sex life. (Living with your in-laws is second best.) Even young people in Japan are choosing celibacy, to the consternation of the government worried about low birth rates. Capitalism seems to kill off the (traditional?) alternative of a life of libidinous indolence, with high birth rates.


LP: Are British men sex starved?

CH: Probably, most men are, especially over the age of 35. However Englishmen may have developed better methods of coping with it: cold showers, regular beatings with a cane at school or in religious retreats, and of course, the classic solution of homosexuality, where like minds meet and women become redundant. I forecast a rise in openly gay men across Europe, as a result of countries shifting from the historical surplus of women to the new numerical surplus of men throughout the world, according to the World Bank. This is the key downside of no World Wars – too many men! Of course there is the alternative French (or Latin) solution: affairs, treated as an art form, with seduction, courtship, flirting, compliments, and of course lots of wine and elegant outings. This seems a more constructive and creative solution.


LP: As such, should women be taking their ‘wifely duties’ more seriously?

CH: In many marriages, there is a fair exchange of unlimited sex (for him) and unlimited access to his income (for her). Today we have the bizarre situation of wives being able to refuse sex (with rape a crime) whereas husbands cannot legitimately refuse financial support for their wives, or even their ex-wives.

Most marriages start off with both partners earning, and a somewhat symmetrical relationship. This usually changes once children are born. Across Europe, even in Sweden and other Nordic countries, wives contribute a minority of household income, husbands provide the majority. This is the reality for most people.

The easiest way to get round an imbalance in sexual interest is for wives to identify the ‘treat’ they want in exchange for his sexual ‘treats’ – such as eating out somewhere nice every month. Fair exchange is no robbery, as economists point out.


LP: You certainly do not have socially conservative views when it comes to prostitution and extra-marital affairs. Do you believe the criminalisation of men who purchase sex is essentially criminalising the male heterosexual sex drive?

CH: The decriminalisation of the sex industry, globally, has been recommended by every organisation that has looked into it properly – Amnesty International, a United Nations Commission, and also the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. Men and women who sell sexual entertainment and sexual services do not welcome regulation or interference, however well-meaning.

The Nordic model is currently politically fashionable, but offers a classic case of mauvaise foi. Criminalising the buyer simply pushes demand abroad into more liberal, enlightened countries. In Sweden, 80 per cent of men who have paid for sex did so in another country. Pushing the sex industry abroad is hardly an admirable solution!

(Image: Karla Ann Cote)

Laura Perrins

  • North Angle

    “Today we have the bizarre situation of wives being able to refuse sex (with rape a crime)”

    Errr, what?

    “This is the key downside of no World Wars – too many men!”

    Well, given feminism’s drive for equality, that should equalise in the future when half of all combat soldiers are female. That’s going to happen, right? Women fighting and dying in wars? That glass ceiling in the military is still there, it’s up to you to smash it, ladies.

    I’m not going to hold my breath, mind.

  • redduster

    “especially over the age of 35”, I am well over that age and I can see the attraction of MGTOW. It could also be just age but I much prefer a good long walk with the dog. Certainly beats cold showers. Do cold showers still happen nowadays? Next you will be telling me there is bromide in the tea. Anyway, from what I see of an awful lot of young women, they are physically unattractive. They are fat and are about as attractive as the cattle fido and I pass in the fields, with the exception that the cattle have nice eyes.

    • I agree. There is another thing that I miss in women these days, few ever seem to have a genuine smile or even look happy.

      • Timmy

        They are not. They got tricked into wanting equality, so they got off their pedistal and climbed down into the muck with us men.

        They got tricked into thinking that working 50hr/per week at a mind numbing job was empowerment.

        • Groan

          I think this is because the initial impetus of modern feminism came out of literature, and still a lot of “gender studies” is based in looking at literature as if it is some sort of social science. But of course Jane Austin etc. were from, writing about, and writing for, a small and privileged class of people. The worlds described were often of a “rentier” class (even to Virginia Woolf etc.) who needed do no work for their existence and could indeed “choose”.
          Sheer housing costs means this is really distant world unless she finds a “Mr Grey” .

        • Nockian

          I’m going off topic here, but your comment does speak to something broader.

          Does anyone really wish to work-and I mean as distinct from production-if they can avoid doing so ?

          Jobs have become a lifestyle aspiration which is supposed to make people feel happy, but mostly it’s just drudgery and boredom. Many people are shuffled into ‘careers’ they mostly hate, but which become part of a cycle in which the income has to be used to buy happiness in compensation for the labour.

          I’m not suggesting for one moment that indolence, or ‘doing something you like’ is an option, it’s just that the way we think about work has become confused with the idea of happiness first. Many employers are sucked into thinking that they must make play pens for their workforce, who will then respond by increasing productivity, regardless of the fact that the average person can’t really gauge his efforts because the money earned is mostly fixed and as a small cog he cannot really see the fruits of his effort.

          Getting back to the subject. Its, a mistake to think men are sex starved, this is a hedonistic belief. It’s exactly the same hedonistic idealism that suggests jobs ‘make us happy’, when, in fact we soon discover that it is an empty sort of happiness that doesn’t live up to the hype.

          Empty sex is vacuous, even for men, there isn’t any fulfilment, nor accomplishment, it is meaningless, a mere physical sensation like scratching an itch. It does nothing for the mind, it does nothing to increase the pride, self-confidence, nor the feeling of self-worth.

          Only sex in a fully respectful relationship with another person that mirrors our values is of any worth. Sex is a purely selfish act that should be self aggrandising, it is confirmation of ones spiritual whole through a physical act. It unites mind and body, but the body is only the mechanism, the feelings and sensations are only the physical, it’s on the plane of the mind where we feel happy and not at the level of the body where we feel only pleasure.

          We are badly mixing up cause and effect and ascribing far too much importance to achieving happiness through pleasure. Its like sugar being regarded as food, when it is merely empty calories. The mind is not satisfied with pleasure, it is only a drug, it leads to addiction and hence the belief that men have insufficient sex. In reality we have insufficient happiness and increasing the amount of pleasure has zero effect on that emotion.

          People have been goaded by marketeers and smart political salesman to buy into the dream of achieving happiness as a value through pleasure, but happiness is not a primary value, it is a result of gaining/retaining a specific value and pleasure is a fleeting physical sensation.

          • Busy Mum


          • Nockian

            Exactly Busy Mum. Sex as Soma. It is no wonder that the hippy culture, drugs, sex and abortion were so widely promoted by elements within the CIA. Huxley was bound up with the intelligence services and the book didn’t spring from nowhere.

          • Busy Mum

            The old concept of self-control, and the ensuing self-respect, has been replaced by self-expression, and the resultant self-esteem industry.

          • Nockian

            Very true. One is a man by choice, not by evasion. All these new age websites that extol the virtue of egoless, mindless (ironically misnamed mindful) lifestyles.

            “Turn on, tune in, drop out. Don’t think, it only causes pain. Just do whatever feels good, because it feels good and never mind the cost. Listen to your gut, God or guru. Whatever feels right IS right. If it isn’t quite as pleasurable as you though, well, we can change it for something better. Stay in the moment, stay in the now, forget the future, forget the past and take whatever comes at you”

          • Groan

            Well put. In a very real sense we have bought into the advertisers world. Just one more Fridge, dress, Car, Shag., Sweet, Holiday and so on and we’ll be deliriously happy. Just like any addictive substance.
            It is no doubt whey religious groups increasingly appear to feel they should reflect the feelings of their “customers”. It seems almost impossible to have any discussion about what is good for people (what is morally right or simply healthy) rather than giving people what they want. Hence the bizarre turn by which, with ever increasing desperation, we attempt to persuade people they “want” what is “good” for them. From this comes the recourse to force that characterises the “left” in particular , justified by the idea that to continue to “want” things that they believe we shouldn’t is clearly a crime or masdness (rather than just the human condition). More recently that new and exotic “wants” have to be interpreted as needs of nature otherwise we have to face the fact that some/many people may just be capricious and egotistical. It is curious that the ideologies based on the perfectibility of humanity have had to apply oppression with far greater force than those with a more pessimistic view that people will carry “baggage” and need guidance not to go completely off the rails. The difference between rehabilitation and re-education.
            As far as I can see it has always been the case that women and men (in particular) have had their natural biology “policed” by their society. Indeed it has always struck me that the research that claims that men had privilege is based upon the lives of men who did things that were against the then law and moral teachings; but had the resources to get away with it. “My Lord Rochester” was widely condemned at the time as were the Victorian gents bowling along to Whitechapel.
            This appears to suggest the rather unsurprising fact that civilisation is by definition not natural, and there is always going to be some failure to “conform” to this unnatural state. Doesn’t mean being civilised is wrong, just that its not plain sailing.
            Perhaps immense wealth and safety may mean we could eventually live in a Hobbesian state of nature, without the “brutish and short” though I’m not sure beneficent consumerism would eradicate “nasty”.

          • Nockian

            You talk about ‘natural states’ but a human being has no ‘natural state’. This is why people are going wrong and falling off to one, or other side of the knife blade.

            Man doesn’t have the luxury afforded to plants and animals of having instinct and a ready source of food ready for consumption immediately. Man has to produce everything, he has to learn what he needs to survive then produce it.

            Where man differs from animals is in his choice to ‘produce or not’, which comes from his choice ‘to live or not’. This choice determines his life to be the value against which all subsequent values are judged. Anything that is dangerous to his survival is evil and anything hat promotes his life is good. This is where we begin to define our moral values because they are a necessity, not because they are convenient, or given to us by some authority.

            Civilisation is a moral good. Living within a group that adhere to the same moral values as we do is naturally sustaining. Civilisation is a natural corollary of rational thought, barbarism is the natural corollary of a refusal to be rational and therefore to give in to impulses and emotions.

            In order to achieve happiness we must first gain/retain values which sustain our lives as the primary value. Happiness is the emotion response to those values. Ethics is the science of determining the principles which achieve those values. Our lives are the prime value against we judge all other values.

            When we learned the power of reason some two millennia ago, we entered a new era. We gave up mysticism and barbarism not because we had some inner sense, nor God directed command, but because we saw it was better to be rational, to be civilised.

            Life is neither nasty nor brutish. Might does not make right. Force is the antithesis of rationality, it is to turn back to barbarism. The universe is benevolent, man is proven capable of rational thought, he only need to use his mind to become enlightened.

          • Groan

            Thank you. Very interesting. I don’t observe animals have a ready supply of food, the reverse is generally true with frequent shifts and changes in flora and fauna according to the shifts in climate and weather. Indeed it appears many of our diseases of affluence arise from our biological functions that assist with surviving the hardships of the vagaries of the natural world. A similar circumstance pertaining to the human animal until, as you observe, we began to change our environment rather than respond to it. I think the immense difficulty with making use of the power of reason is that the complexities of our psychology give us a constant obstacle course. I suppose I’d contend we are, broadly so early on our journey to enlightenment that an attitude of humility is needed.

          • Nockian

            Thanks for your interest.

            I meant that they don’t require tools to hunt, nor equipment to prepare the food. They also do not have to think if it is better economically to make a fishing net, or carry on with a rod and line. Animals don’t need fires, nor clothing, they are adapted to their habitat. If they are hungry they hunt, if they are in mating season they mate.

            Humans have always had to produce. From earliest times we see fires, shelter, hunting weapons, clothing and some basic technology. The definition of man is rational animal. It is our ability to reason that sets us apart, but makes it necessary for us to make a vast number of choices from an almost infinite number of possibilities.

            It’s great that you brought up the ‘obstacle course’ because that’s why we need some kind of guide and which is why the philosophy is so important. From philosophy we can derive ethics and principles by which we live our lives.

            Humility is not something we can afford, but an open, rational mind most certainly is a necessity. For enlightenment one need only step away from ignorance and evasion. Ayn Rand makes it easy. We should ask ourselves ‘where are we ? How do we know it ? What should we do ? A simple comittment to think and not to accept, to try and be rational by choice and to seek out our evasive beliefs and correct them. I think of it as a fitness course, just stop consuming junk.

          • Excellent thought here. I suspect that our view of work depends a great deal on why we work. If we’re working for a paycheck, it’s usually total drudgery. But if one is working because he likes the work, or he can see that what he is doing benefits others, it can often, even if hazardous and/or quite uncomfortable, be a source of pride and fulfillment. At least that is always what I found in the trades, those of us who could see benefits to others, enjoyed it greatly, the ones working for a paycheck were always whingeing about something or other. It also has ramifications in quality of work and productivity. Of course, it would be harder to see in an office environment, or on a factory floor, or even in retail.

          • Nockian

            It’s not quite what I meant.

            Labour is generally drudgery, it’s a bonus if the work is enjoyable. The point, lost on most people these days, is that the happiness does not come from the job, but from the honesty, integrity and independent effort required of any kind of work. There is a contract between employer and employee, each side is exchanging value. That the exchange is a honest one is all that is required.

            I once worked in a green house picking the leaves off tomato plants. It was back breaking work. I was hired to pick those leaves from 7am until 4pm with a stop for lunch. I did not stop picking leaves except to stretch my back or grab a drink. I did not work like this because my employer would think well, nor badly of me; neither did I work because it was enjoyable, nor because I was looking for a promotion. I worked because I had contracted with another man to sell my labour for an amount of money. I worked conscientiously because my ethics demanded that I did so. In other words, I was being true to myself and took pride in doing so-even though it has taken me a long while to realise this in a philosophical sense.

            We should really be working only for ourselves; not because it pleases a customer, delights our bosses, nor makes our families happy with us. This is a hard thing to sort out in our minds when we have be propagandised to think of duty, fairness and praise as being fundemental to effort. Yet, we do lots of things without a moments thought to any of those supposed virtues. We water the garden because a lawn is important to us, we feed the birds, wash our cars, paint the windows and all manner of tasks for which we receive neither praise nor monetary compensation.

            We expend effort on things because we value the things to which we devote the effort, but, in the workspace we cannot value a bit of paper, or widget in the same way, we cannot transfer our values to these things because they aren’t ours, so we value the only thing we do have; ourselves, the integrity and honesty in which we can take pride. It is from there that happiness springs. We can’t all find perfect jobs, but we can all take pride in our comittment to our own principles whilst carrying out the work.

          • I agree with you, it’s about pride and integrity. What used to be referred to as a man’s honor. What I said is more of an add on than a difference. It makes it easier, but we have in any case contracted to do the job, and do it properly.

          • Nockian

            Yes, very true. Unfortunately ‘honour’ has become synonymous with duty rather than the self imposed discipline needed for rational selfishness, but that’s the idea.

      • Busy Mum

        You clearly haven’t met me in real life 🙂

      • Sargv

        > few ever seem to have a genuine smile or even look happy.

        It’s hard to be happy when every newspaper says you’re a constant victim of a misogynistic society.

    • Rob

      And lovely long eyelashes usually. I would like to point out that I’ve never got (or desired to be) any more intimate with a cow than noticing their eyelashes no matter how long ago it was since I last had sex.
      Just remembered, I was once part of a team of farm hands pulling on a rope tied to the back legs a still-born calf that had turned around whilst still inside the poor cow. I can however confirm that sex was the last thing on my mind at the time.

    • Mary Ann

      Are you good looking?

  • Although the feminists make a lot of noise, I have grave doubts as to whether they are representative of more than a small percentage of the female population.Certainly I’ve never met any of these die-hard feminists amongst my friends or either of my daughter’s friends. Most seem to feel that feminism has done its job, women now get equal pay, job opportunities and most of the things that early feminists campaigned for.
    I’m glad that I’m not the only person to hold the view that we will never have equality of numbers in jobs because women make different lifestyle choices. Both my daughters are well qualified (one has a doctorate) and could hold down high level jobs, but the prefer not to do so and have chosen stress-free rather mundane part-time work. The net result is that many women in senior jobs are not up to the work, but have simply been appointed as part of the ‘numbers game’, which, of course, ‘proves’ to men that they are superior!

    • Timmy

      So your daughter went through the time and tax payer expense to get a doctorate that she won’t use. At the same time she took a seat away from a man (they only take in so many students per year) that might have used that degree to provide for a family.

      I read here I think, that your NHS doesn’t have enough MDs because the female MDs only want to work part time after the tax payers spent a million dollars training them. So you bring in foreign doctors, at tax payer expense. Pay twice to cover one slot.

      It seems that females want all the rewards without the responsibility.

      • My daughter studied whilst she was working full time in a decent job. Her employer encouraged and part funded her studies as well as facilitating her doctrinal research. Then a year later she was offered voluntary early retirement which she took!
        I don’t believe she took a place from anyone, few of the higher level courses are fully subscribed even at top universities. Certainly, she no more wasted the taxpayers’ money than many of those studying at most of the ‘new’ universities where many of the degrees are hardly worth the paper they’re printed on.

        • lloydg

          Doesn’t matter..!

          She still consumed a space of higher learning that was highly subsidized from the State, and took an opportunity from a deserving young man, who would have used the government investment in his education in a much more fulfilling way for his family and OUR society.

          Please pay back thevpublic funds invested in your daughter, as they were wasted on her, and stole opportunity from a man.

          • Utter rubbish. The wasted money in modern university education is on these meaningless degrees which lead students to believe they have a qualification until they actually start looking for a job in the real world.
            By the way, all higher studies are claimed to be self-funding, ie not subsidised by the state.

          • paul parmenter

            I don’t want to get embroiled in the personal details of your family, but it seems to me that lloydg’s basic point still stands. You say that your daughter’s employer part funded and facilitated her studies for a doctorate. That means her employer made an investment that has turned out to be wasted. It also means that any of her tutors (I assume she must have had somebody at least who oversaw and marked her work) also wasted their time and efforts.

            This is very much the same reason why historically, men who founded and endowed specialist institutes of learning would not permit women to attend. It was not blind, evil prejudice, but a very practical recognition that female students would be very unlikely to produce any worthwhile return on the investment. They were much more likely to go off, get married and have babies. This might not have been true in all cases, but it was a heavy risk that was not worth taking. Today of course, it is not seen as a risk at all, and our institutes of higher learning are flooded with young women, a significant proportion of whom will still not be value for money but who get the places and the support anyway.

          • Her employer made an investment and a year later decided to offer her (and a number of other staff) ‘voluntary redundancy’. The terms were too good to refuse. Otherwise she would probably still be there. No doubt if something appropriate to her qualifications became available, she would consider it. I suspect that she may find an academic post in due course.

            Your argument against educating women at universities is illogical, why stop at university? Why not stop at ‘A’ levels? Why not stop at GCSE levels? Indeed, why educate them at all? Perhaps all should have compulsory courses on cooking and babycare.

          • Woman at home

            An educated mother contributes to the next generation. That is priceless.

          • Sargv

            > An educated mother contributes to the next generation.

            Actually, given that educational level is in reverse correlation to fertility rates for women, this is completely opposite.

            One in three British women with Master’s degree in the age range 40-44 is childless comparing to one in seven with “some college” education.

          • eric strickland

            FART ! she could have did that without wasting some mans chance at having a career and producing for the community what waste .

          • Mary Ann

            Why are you so obsessed with giving university places to men, You seem to think that it is OK for women to be poorer.

      • lloydg


        feminists will have a lot to answer for at some point.

        They are the most spoiled, ruinous cohort we have ever had.

      • James60498 .

        I don’t know English Pensioner or his daughters but I do have two close family members who are “doctors”, but neither are getting anywhere near my health issues thank you.

        Having a “doctorate” does not automatically mean that you are a medical doctor.

  • Colkitto03

    Its a good interview but it only really analyses human interactions, comparatively, over the last 70 years. Before the war sex was not that available and many men were celibate for extended periods. Historically the cultural interaction between men and women surrounding sex had been very stable for centuries.

    The advent of the pill in 1960 vastly changed the dynamics of relationships. Historically, levels of prostitution in urban areas were were vastly higher than they are in the very modern era. Before World War II, if a young man wanted sex, he had two basic options: marriage or a brothel. So in the 1930s, one in five American men for example lost his virginity to a prostitute.

    The pill meant that suddenly the supply of ‘free sex’ grew vastly after the early sixties.

    • Groan

      Yes constantly we underestimate the difference made by the ability to almost completely reliably separate sex from procreation. Much of the historical “research” on these topics is focussed on the tiny minority of an elite, who had the resources to lives completely different lives from the overwhelming majority of people, who would very directly live with the consequences of their actions. Far more akin to the subsistence cultures around the world rather than our culture now ,which behaves as though everybody can live in the style what was once the privilege of a few members of a “gilded” elite.
      In this context the correspondence from WW1 is a window on far more “sober” world entirely unlike the excesses of the then elites.

      • Colkitto03

        When I read letters from WW1 I am amazed and how beautifully men and women wrote. How measured, considerate, and mature they were. They seemed so much more thoughtful and eloquent.

        Today the consumer world and its comparative wealth has completely warped the lens through which we look at life.

        • Groan

          Indeed all the more when one realises the youth of the correspondents. I have always thought Marx was so mistaken because he genuinely believed that at a certain stage of economic development all people would realise there was enough to go round and would “naturally” be happy to share it out. Time has proven him hopelessly naïve on this, as there is a never ending demand for more and more, and no sign of his hoped for realisation. From “relative poverty” to identity politics injected into consumerism it seems we are destined to generate more “need” and dissatisfaction.
          As you say most of those correspondents would not have imagined the future generations would have such health, freedom, ease and comfort. I dare say they’d also be dismayed (as I expect the austere Marx would) at how trivial the concerns of our society.
          In liberating ourselves from most of the concerns of that ww1 generation we appear to have lost our minds.

        • Busy Mum

          They, of course, had virtues which they valued.

          Whereas today’s ‘values’ encompass virtues and vices in equal measure.

          • Colkitto03

            Very true.

      • paul parmenter

        “…constantly we underestimate the difference made by the ability to almost completely reliably separate sex from procreation.”

        Yes, and thereby hangs much misery.

  • James Chilton

    I have reason to believe – or at least hope – this “interview” is a spoof.

  • MrVeryAngry

    I worked out long ago that there are, in fact, only two races on the planet – men and women. Once you get your head around that everything is just fine and dandy. Or so my wife has told me to say…

  • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

    Make love to a feminist? Who would, why and how anyway?


  • Phil R

    “The decriminalisation of the sex industry,”

    In Germany the sex industry is both regulated and legal and the women are regarded as performing a useful service and keeping other women and girls safer by providing a legitimate outlet for men.

    I think the half way house we have in the UK is the worst of both worlds

  • Partridge

    The surveys and research mentioned in this article, and the conclusions drawn, bear no relation to the real world I have lived in all my life, nor that of the vast majority of men and women I have known.

    • paul parmenter

      I have to agree with you. Not that it is anything like my world either, but I have read many comments from men who say that feminism has been the greatest thing for them simply because it has encouraged large numbers of women to copy the most promiscuous male behaviour, offering their sex for free or comparatively cheaply. Comparative to marriage, that is. The orthodox thinking among such men is that this is one of the main reasons (alongside the horribly skewed divorce laws, of course) that have driven down the marriage rate. Plentiful sex without ties or responsibilities? Yes please, and keep it coming.

      I don’t agree with the morality – or lack of it – but I can’t argue with them on their logic.

  • EnglandLaments

    Of course the sex industry should be legalised and regulated. That way, it can be ensured those who participate in it do so from choice, rather than from coercion, plus they can be taxed on their income as for any occupation. Finally, regulation can mean regular checks for STDs.

    • Sargv

      And who will need marriage (with all its current financial implications) in such a society, except for 10% romantically inclined lucky people, who were able to find their soulmates?

      Legalised prostitution will finish the role of women as gatekeepers to sèx, so they’ll will vote against it. Drop in religious/conservative men, and it becomes obvious this will never happen.

  • Hound_Of_Zeus

    “The easiest way to get round an imbalance in sexual interest is for wives to identify the ‘treat’ they want in exchange for his sexual ‘treats’ – such as eating out somewhere nice every month”

    WHAT! Is this a piss take? It has to be! It must be!

    • Timmy

      You heard it here first.
      Women , use sex as a weapon to get what they want.

      Men, if you get married you will pay to support your wife and if you want sex you pay extra.

      • Hound_Of_Zeus

        Yep, I love the term ‘celibate’ as well, oh yes, that made one chuckle so it did. Surely they mean ‘staying away from crazy shrill harpies’ yes, yes, girls – semantics etc etc.

    • Mary Ann

      Sounds like a form of prostitution to me.

      • Hound_Of_Zeus

        It’s funny how it’s a “Dr Hakim” that puts this trash forward. Incidentally, I believe that the providing of goods and services is how protitution is paid for in many Islamic countries. CW really should be ashamed of themselves for putting such blatant subversion forward.

  • gammosiuwong

    There are conservatively hundreds of thousands of British men that legally visit foreign prostitutes; probably each month! I remember the disgust of a totally unattractive, obese, foul mouthed Australian woman in Pattaya directed at white men who had come for a “root”. Self awareness? Zero.

    In my experience most men over 35 want what’s called the “girlfriend experience”. What is this you might ask? A slim, physically attractive and well presented young woman, who was unfortunately born a poor farmers daughter fixes you in the street with a beaming smile. You hold hands, you take the woman for dinner, she behaves like a lady, she thanks you for spending money on her. She makes suggestions for your stay and yes, you may or may not have sex. What’s not to like?

    And why do men travel thousands of miles to do so? Because you can’t find a girlfriend in the UK that won’t on a whim, at the drop of a hat leave you penniless, childless, a wage slave forever and will most likely throw in some false malicious allegations should she not get her way.

    The feminists want to control men’s access to sex of any kind but it’s too big a world for them to succeed. For now at least.

    • Timmy

      Feminism is about removing restrictions on female sexuallity while maximize restrictions on male sexuallity.

      Those restrictions equal control.

    • gammosiuwong

      Might I just add that these foreign working ladies have my respect. They do, like most men, what at times cannot be pleasant job because they usually have a child to support. Those British entitled b*tch*s on State or Daddy support have only my contempt. I’m for ladies with courage every time.

    • Argurious

      In this country it’s not feminist but police officers and the judiciary who control men’s access to prostitutes isn’t it? How awful it must be to have to purchase attention from a young woman, who wouldn’t look at you twice without financial inducement, in order to get your ego, and possibly other things, stroked on a regular or occasional basis. While I have no moral objections to transactions like this it does seem rather sad to me for men, of any age, to have resort to “pretend” relationships with women, hired to serve that purpose, in order to get some kind of a sexual of semi-sexual buzz.

      • gammosiuwong

        No, it’s feminists for example behind the Northern Ireland trial to criminalise the clients. You are mistaken if you think it’s about ego but I quite agree it is sad for other reasons. Nevertheless in a choice between sad or suicidal I’ll take sad thanks.

    • Sargv

      > Because you can’t find a girlfriend in the UK that won’t on a whim, at the drop of a hat leave you penniless, childless, a wage slave forever and will most likely throw in some false malicious allegations should she not get her way.

      You have 1mil+ of Poles, good chunk of them are ladies. Just sayin’.

  • Under-the-weather

    This article is a UK study and says a lot really. We’re all different, men in my circle wouldn’t dream of visiting a prostitute, (thank G for those who prefer with an emotional connection), and then there are those who can’t do without.

    • launcher

      I was like you until a golf trip to Portugal; the whoring and drug use was astonishing.

      • Under-the-weather

        I’m a woman?

        • launcher

          You are in an ideal position to not know what the men in your circle do when no women in your circle are present.

  • Guardian’s Quitter

    Feminism, like most symptoms of the left wing mental illness is best dealt with by being laughed at. They don’t like it.

  • James60498 .

    A married man died and went to be assessed for admission to Heaven.

    There were two places for married men to line up for their interview.

    One for those who had been hen pecked and under the thumb. This was a long queue. The man joined it.

    The other was for men who hadn’t. There was only one man here.

    Saint Peter came out to meet those waiting. He asked the man on his own. “What are you doing here?” . The man replied “My wife told me to stand here”.

  • DrNo

    You don’t need cold showers or anything like that.

    Just watch TV for a few minutes and you’ll see something that will just kill your desire to be anywhere near a woman completely.

    Could be an ad break with 5 consecutive adverts all displaying total contempt for men. Could be yet a “men bad, women good” news story. Or a drama with a ridiculously unrealistic feminist-inspired female lead, rescuing men from burning buildings while she is nine months pregnant.

  • Charleston

    Did the interviewee really say feminism is causing a sex deficit ? Or was that just your interpretation Laura ? Sounded to me like work life balance was implicated.
    And does a transactional model of treats really fit in with your idea of marriage ?

    • Laura Perrins

      I asked the open question were British men sex starved. And Dr C gave her answer. The headline took one step further.

      This is not my theory – I just did the interview!

      • Charleston

        I think you’re stretching her argument to fit your title. However, to differ from Dr C’s explanation, I’d imagine becoming a parent is what divides the sex-satiated from the sex-deprived at 35. For both sexes. Regardless of the oh-so-romantic lure of “wifely duties” (how could any man resist), I expect many couples have other priorities for the first years of parenthood.

  • Argurious

    Feminism has starved men of sex? Not as far as I’m concerned. Is somebody trying to create an urban myth, on this site, to this effect? Insinuating that feminists are Lysistrata-like harpies which withhold conjugal privileges in order to get members of the opposite sex to change their behaviour and toe the line? That isn’t my experience. To be honest anally retentive right-wing women seem more frigidly disposed, in my experience, than feminists, or at the very least far more choosy and reticent in respect to whom they grant sexual favours, which undermines the thrust, no pun intended, of the article above.

    Many feminists, I have found, are very accommodating in all sorts of ways.

    Dogmatic controlling right-wing women on the other hand are an entirely different story.

    (A tale involving cold wet cardboard comes to mind.)

  • Sargv

    > This is the key downside of no World Wars – too many men!

    She can call herself a ‘vanilla’ feminist, but she still a full-blown misandrist.

  • Sargv

    > The easiest way to get round an imbalance in sexual interest is for wives to identify the ‘treat’ they want in exchange for his sexual ‘treats’

    The easiest way for man is not to marry, make any talk about marriage a deal breaker and hence keep her constantly anxious about the status of your relationship (so she’ll have to use sèx to keep you around). This is what British men seems to do in ever-increasing numbers.

  • Sargv

    I wonder why neither Laura nor Catherine mentioned pôrn?

    This is by far number one outlet for every sèx-starved men of the last two or three generations. It beats prostitution hands down, and according to studies runs havoc across the bedrooms of every Western nation, with men preferring the never-ending variety of phantasy to demanding, entitled, not enthusiastic enough or just plain plain looking girlfriends and wives.