In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Close
Close

Men are the ones that have the headaches now.
Back in my mother’s day, when girls said no
most of the time, they were all after it –
or so they said – in pain with their erections.
But now we call their bluff by answering yes,
the truth is out – they want it less than us.

Most of my female friends are on the pill,
willing, good-looking too. What do we get?
Men who can’t quite make up their tiny minds.
The bastards are all Marvell’s-mistress-coy,
perhaps insane, certainly undersexed.
What can the problem be? Are they afraid
of pregnancy or rape? Or is it just
that men fear sex is like a driving test
where they must get every bit right or fail?

Two men fell laughing through our chemist’s door.
One said he’d like some pills, something to give
his friend. ‘What’s wrong?’ the chemist asked the man.
‘He hasn’t had a girl at all for weeks.’
‘That’s normal, sir!’ Too right it is, I thought.

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