Where would tabloid newspapers be without the survey? Despite the stay of execution that has been the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and other seismic shifts of the recent past – for example, despite Trump’s repeated refrain of the “failing New York Times”, that paper and others have seen a surge in subscriptions since the 2016 election – the industry remains in crisis. A sustained decline over decades, brought on by the dawn of the internet and a fundamental change in how people get news, is unlikely to be halted by recent events, however tumultuous they might be. So, with budgets ever tighter, journalists ever worse paid, real reportage is increasingly squeezed out in favour of reproducing press releases, running safe and easy to produce fluff. A great example of the latter is the survey, and the Daily Star newspaper produced a corker post-Christmas. For apparently, the paper in an EXCLUSIVE poll, has discovered the four words women most love to hear during sex.
Now, putting aside my criticisms of the concept of such a survey, my decrying of the death of news, and stressing that I normally curl my lip in derision at such a feature, I have to say on this occasion it caught my eye. In my early forties, married for fifteen years, to the woman I met in 1993, I’ve been monogamous with my partner for a quarter century. I’ve never cheated, as far as I know, neither has she. We have a healthy sex life, but with two kids, careers, twenty-five years of familiarity, could things be livened up a little, could we do with a little more sparkle? Hell yeah.
So, to that survey, which I have to admit, I read with not a little enthusiasm. The poll was of 5,300 women and they were asked to list the four words they found most arousing when in the boudoir. Here are the results (most popular responses):
1. You feel so good – 32%
2. Come hard for me – 21%
3. I need you now – 19%
4. I love your body – 16%
5. I’m hard for you – 12%
Now, according to the article these responses display a liking by women for compliments (“You feel so good”, “I love your body”) and dominating phrases (“Come hard for me”). Of course, one could take issue with these conclusions, but to do so might entail over analysis and so for arguments sake let us assume that they are correct.
But now I’m struck by a second issue. The most popular response, “You feel so good”, was only favoured by 32% of respondents. Which means a whopping 68% didn’t vote for it. Did they just not choose it? Did they actively dislike it? Unfortunately, the article does not make this clear. The outlook for my planned night of passion is further put in doubt when I consider the most popular dominating phrase, “Come hard for me.” Only 21% of respondents liked this, 79% not opting for the phrase as a turn on.
So, what to do? I could of course ask my wife for her thoughts, but this would ruin the fun. By now readers might have guessed that I fully intend to put the survey to the test by surprising my wife the next time we’re amorous. And the fact is I’ve hit upon a solution: the scatter-gun.
Instead of choosing one response, to heighten my chance of success, I have opted to utilise all of them. In the midst of coitus, I will unleash all five phrases on my unsuspecting partner.
But now we have a third and final issue. In what order? The obvious solution might be to just repeat the phrases in order of popularity. In which case, while clenched in passion, I will suddenly say: “You feel so good, come hard for me, I need you now, I love your body, and by the way, I’m hard for you.”
This construction though suffers from two corresponding defects. If we take the survey at face value, then repeating the most popular phrase at the start of the sentence, and ending with the least popular, risks making the greatest impact at the start followed by a series of diminishing returns. A corresponding problem is that the sentence is clunky and doesn’t really make sense, which might be a little distracting to is both.
A better formulation then is to start with the least popular, ”I’m hard for you”, then continue on to the most popular, “You feel so good.” Thus the sentence I will speak will be as follows: ”I’m hard for you, I love your body, I need you now, come hard for me, you feel so good.”
This builds to a crescendo, as (I hope) our lovemaking will do in consequence. It is also grammatically correct, which is important to me, seeing as I’m a writer.
I just hope my wife agrees and appreciates the effort I’ve put into all this…