Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Rules of Engagement

Continuing the Adult Themes here on the Daily Duck (and I dread to think what kind of Google ads we're going to atttract if we continue like this - although that might be good for revenues, but I digress), The Telegraph’s Oliver Pritchett amusingly skewers the modern predilection for shocking surveys about how much more fun today’s teens are having than we ever bloody did:

Teen sex surveys ruin your love life

A shocking new study reveals that, by the age of 15, more than 64 per cent of boys and girls have taken part in surveys about their sexual habits and attitudes. In Britain, the vast majority of girls have answered questions about their virginity at least six times by the age of 17. Many young people claim to be regularly taking part in two surveys a day, often with different research organisations.

A truly alarming number of young people questioned for this latest study admit that, on at least one occasion, they gave "casual" responses, ie they didn't know or care if their answers were accurate. Four out of five said they had been interviewed by a researcher when drunk. Some said they were so drunk that they had no idea whether they were being questioned about how many sexual partners they had had or how many lagers….

Elsewhere, Peter B gives us Tom Wolfe’s nice observation about changing sexual mores amongst today’s teenagers:

Only yesterday boys and girls spoke of embracing and kissing (necking) as getting to first base. Second base was deep kissing, plus groping and fondling this and that. Third base was oral sex. Home plate was going all the way. That was yesterday. Here in the year 2000 we can forget about necking. Today's girls and boys have never heard of anything that dainty. Today first base is deep kissing, now known as tonsil hockey, plus groping and fondling this and that. Second base is oral sex. Third base is going all the way. Home plate is being introduced by name.

Not being big baseball fans in England (we call it ‘rounders’ and view it as a game for Girl Guides and Boy Scouts too feeble-minded to attempt a proper game like cricket), we don’t traditonally break down what might euphamistically be termed ‘courtship’ in this fashion, but if we did it would of course go something like this:

First base: Formal introduction by a third party.
Second base: A series of awkward conversations, in the drawing room of a mutual acquaintance, about the weather.
Third base: Expensive but tasteful marriage ceremony in St Paul’s Cathedral, followed by the clumsy, never-to-be-repeated unmentionables of the wedding night.
Fourth base: Many thousands of hours pottering in the garden or knitting by the fire with the wireless on, and then, the peace of the grave.

That’s the middle-class version of course. The working-class version might be familiar to you from the famously classy ‘Carry On’ film sequence, and follows this pattern:

First base: How’s yer father?
Second base: A bit of what you fancy.
Third base: Slap and tickle.
Fourth base: Rumpy-pumpy.

Mind you, the French, being the experts at romance, do it best:

First base: Long, deep kissing in the most public place available, such as the fromage section of the local supermarket, or the entrance to the Sacre-Coer.
Second base: Full intercourse.
Third base: A post-coital cigarette and a turgid, inscrutable discussion about the meaninglessness of life.
Fourth base: Taking a mistress.


Blogger Harry Eagar said...

St Paul's? I thought St. George's, Hanover Square.

The ad you've attracted, however, is the very chaste eHarmony dating service.

August 19, 2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Let's see, take a mistress, or the peace of the grave. Tough choice.

Although I should note that in America, given that we're not as sophisticated about such things as are the French, doing the former has a good chance of leading to the latter.

August 19, 2006 11:22 PM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...


You do realize, I trust, that you are soooo yesterday on this subject, you old toady. All the really cool kids are with me.

August 20, 2006 6:04 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Wow, I didn't realize that in Canada, "cool" means "universally recognized as being a stupid and foolish publicity whore". Which is also the definition in NYC and LA, I believe.

August 21, 2006 3:11 AM  

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