A lovely collection

Well, folks, I’ve done it:

“There should be at least two men desiring you at one time – more if you are very skillful or fortunate”

This has proved trickier than one would hope but I’ve finally managed to collect a coterie of men (just at the point when I have to switch books).

There’s Triathlete, of course. There’s the Australian sailing enthusiast I went out with on Wednesday (who was lovely and accomplished and interesting but who nursed two pints over FOUR HOURS, something I found rather unconscionable). I’ve got a date with a rather dapper film buff on Thursday. And then there’s a charmingly odd guy who works in TV I’m seeing the following Wednesday. It’s pretty much a full house.

So, after a month of shameless flirting, I think the author of the book would be rather proud of me – I’ve turned into a fairly decent coquette (drawing on my own natural inclinations as well, of course).

But here’s the thing: having a veritable harem isn’t giving me that glow of satisfaction I thought it might. Instead, I’m growing increasingly bored. It’s the dating equivalent of eating cotton candy: so delicious at first but eventually you start feeling a bit sluggish and ill.

In a way, I totally get the point of having as many men in your life as possible. When there are lots of different possibilities on the horizon you don’t get too invested in any one person. I don’t have to feign indifference, a la The Rules – I actually AM indifferent because there isn’t enough time/brain space to get attached to any of them. So if one falls off the radar or blows me off or turns out to be a massive Meatloaf fan, I can easily forget about him and move on.

But somehow it’s not turning out that way. Instead, I find myself wanting to blow ALL of them off. Triathlete’s text messages are too banal, the Sailor is probably teetotal, the dapper Film Buff is too short for me to wear my new witchy boots around… and so on and so on. Faced with the prospect of dating four men at once, I kind of just want to cancel all upcoming dates and devote myself to running more, reading all the books I never get the chance to read and finally giving myself a proper facial.

I know this seems like I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth (and spitting straight into it) and I’m sure the inertia will pass once I feel a little zing with one (or more) of them. And in terms of the experiment, it has been a resounding success. I absolutely loved this book – the author is sharp, witty and completely uncompromising about what women should expect (and what they must demand) from men. Women aren’t encouraged to pander to men or make them the central focus of their lives. The point of having a love affair isn’t to find a husband; it’s to have a bit of fun and test out your powers of persuasion. It’s all strangely empowering.

But alas, September is now truly underway and so I’ve got to leave the Technique behind and try something new. This month, it’s Sex and the Single Girl by legendary former Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown. It caused massive waves when first published in 1962 and is regarded as one of the first books to acknowledge that single women have certain… ahem… needs.

I think it’ll suit me just fine.

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