Unfortunately as far as ‘seduction’ is concerned the twenty-first century has begun as a time of confusion and there is no immediate sign of im­provement. Now male reluctance to show emotions has been over­come, the ‘new’ post-feminist woman turns out to have had enough of cotton wool. Men must again, as they have traditionally done, fight back their tears. There are no more certainties. There was always one aspect that supported men through difficult times. As a man you could always rely on it, and that put you beyond women’s reach: sex and love were never confused. Having sex and being in love at the same time was a kind of bonus. In most cases what young men experienced was an unbridled hunger for sex. Good sex, bad sex, emotionless one-night sex, it didn’t matter. The sole performance criterion was a single feeling: lust.

There has been an obvious sea change. Nowadays the young generation of women have sex for sex’s sake. Today’s young women are self-confident, assertive, promiscuous and brazen. After the sexual revolution, heralded by the pill, the waves of feminism and the achieve­ment of economic independence, for the time being woman, with her much greater social intelligence, still has the initiative. The man as hunter – those were the days. Women worldwide watched the tv hit Sex and the City in their thousands. Not only were viewers being presented with four highly educated single women, but the really revolutionary thing was the unbridled pursuit of a great deal of high – quality sex by pr executive Samantha Jones. Keep your wedding plans! Samantha prefers pleasure to love and is proud of it! True, this was a frequent component of many tv series and films in previous decades, but then it was always a male prerogative. The man’s role has shifted: from active to passive. Will it all come right in the end? I have my doubts!

Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), a member of the Academie Frangaise and best known for his animal fables, also wrote much erotic poetry, including the following ‘Epigram’:

Let’s Love, let’s Fuck, these are pleasures That one must never separate;

Enjoyment and lust are rare treasures For the soul to cultivate.

A Prick, a Cunt, and two fond hearts Create sweet songs in many parts,

Which the holy wrongly blame.

Amaryllis, ponder this:

Love without sex is a paltry flame,

Sex without love is empty bliss.

The twenty-first century

chapter eleven