‘What’s a Jewish ménage a trois?’ my tax accountant asked me last Wednesday. ‘I don’t know,’ I responded, which is pretty much my standard response to any question my tax accountant asks me. ‘One erection and two headaches,’ he said.
I shared the joke with friends at a literary festival a few days later and they stared at me blankly, so I was forced to explain it. The only thing less funny than a joke told badly to the wrong audience is a joke then explained badly to the wrong audience.
You see it’s funny because married Jewish women of a certain age and social standing have a reputation for coming up with any excuse to get out of having sex. I bumped into my tax accountant again the following day and told him how badly his joke tanked, and he said in future I should just replace the word Jewish with the religion of the person I’m telling the joke to.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It can’t be true that most married or relationshipped-up women over forty avoid sex, can it? I didn’t have to wonder for long, a couple of nights later, at a dinner party with my closest girlfriends, sex came up naturally, as it does. One of my friends is pregnant and she said ‘I used to like everything a lot more than I like anything now.’ But she’s six months pregnant, that’s to be expected. Another friend who is married with two kids said she doesn’t give blowjobs anymore, not even on birthdays. But it was a relief to hear that every woman at the table agreed unanimously that we don’t dislike sex at all. It’s not that we avoid sex, it’s that we avoid long sex.
In our twenties and thirties, we loved long sex. Not Sting vibes, three-days-till-you-orgasm long sex, that’s just silly. More like sex that lasts the whole episode. These days we’re happy if it just lasts the commercial break.
Life is full, we’re busy, we don’t have time for your tantra. A friend at the table who’s married and has two kids said she recently told her husband to hurry up during sex. She thought she was just thinking it, she didn’t realise she’d said it out loud. Another woman at the table said, ‘I don’t like the fiddling’.
And of course, at some point the conversation turned to the perfect combination for a threesome. Ninety nine percent of the woman at the table said they’d opt for a threesome with two men. We’re a competitive bunch, there’s very little less sexy than sharing a bed with a woman who has a better ass than you. Although one of the women was quite keen on having another woman join her and her husband to make up the perfect manage a trois. She said ‘He and I will have quick sex, and maybe while we’re busy she could do the dishes.’