"I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want," he said. "Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, 'Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!' But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?"[Update: Stephen Fry has since tweeted that:
So some fucking paper misquotes a humorous interview I gave, which itself misquoted me and now I'm the Antichrist. I give up.His next tweet was a rather ominous "Bye bye". I'd actually be interested to know what he did say and what he meant and it would be good if he could engage in the debate rather than go off in the huff. I disagree with my best friends all the time but that doesn't mean to say I love them any the less - and so the Twitterverse will have its say for a few hours and move on, and we still love him no matter what.]
Jan Moir bitterly offended most people I know with similar unfounded and ignorant generalisations about gay relationships just after Boyzone star Stephen Gately died suddenly of natural causes last year. She continues to make it her raison d'etre to pick on all sorts of other groups of people from breastfeeding mothers to women who stay at home to look after their children to mothers who go out to work. You get my drift.
I tend to think that because everybody's different, they'll find their own way of dealing with relationships and sex. People's lives are their own and, as long as we're talking about consenting adults, we just need to live and let live. Fry's approach is one of sweeping generalisation which shows that he has no understanding of the pressures facing women in today's society.
My first thoughts when Nick Clegg had his "30 women" moment with Piers Morgan (although he never actually said he'd slept with 30 women) was that if he'd been a woman, he'd have had every single tabloid publication in the country calling him every name under the sun and suggesting that he was not fit for public office. The old double standard, that there are nice girls and girls who sleep with men is still alive and well in the 21st century. Still, men can do as they like, but if they choose to do it with women, guess who gets the blame? I'm bemused by the number of fathers I know who would be happy for their sons to get out there and sow their wild oats but still want to keep their daughters locked up until some time in their mid 50s..
Fry also asks us to believe that all gay men find sexual gratification from late night anonymous encounters on heaths or in bushes which is an equally ridiculous assumption.
Oh, and not that hanging around in the cold and dark is my thing anyway, I, in common with every other woman on the planet, don't have rocks. That's probably why we don't use that phrase.
The notions that wanting sex to be within the context of a relationship is a purely female idea and that a dislike of casual sex equates to a dislike of sex itself are completely wrong and show no understanding of the cultural context. Stephen Fry should think more about that before he opens his mouth on this subject again.