What woman doesn’t want a man?

July 5, 2011 § 82 Comments

Show me a (straight) woman of my age who is alone and who says she doesn’t want a man.

Show me a liar.

I am used to being alone and I thoroughly “get” the many, many benefits.  I am used to it and good at it.  But human nature dictates that we all crave companionship – and sex, to a greater or lesser degree.  Anyone who says otherwise is either jaded and damaged into that position by experiences that have left her raw and in pain and fearful of being hurt ever again.  Or desperate, though even more desperate not to appear desperate.  Or massively on the defensive.  Or all three.

Sometimes, listening to my friends complaining about the men in their lives – make that practically every woman I know – I think, the single life has its compensations.  I am happy every day in a sort of low-burn way.  Jolly diligent about counting my blessings, for the umpteenth time.  Children healthy: check.  Children not crazy: check.  Or on drugs, yet: check (though not yet in their teens there is of course no room for complacency on that score!).  Roof over my head: check.  No sign of lumps, yet: check.  Family and friends I adore: check.  And new found pleasure: a frothy latte a day (I never used to like coffee, all my life, up until about six months ago, which was always awkward and dreary in cafes).  I relish my autonomy and freedom and privacy.  But don’t give me that chippy, “A man? No thanks, never again!”

It is sad.  And it is bullshit.

They might not want to be with the wrong man but who doesn’t want to be with the right one?

I will say it aloud and I will say the fucking obvious but unsayable (because it is not allowed) and because no one else will: I may have 2.4 kids and an ex-husband and may be rising fifty, in other words, a slack cunt on botched legs, but I do not want to be alone.


§ 82 Responses to What woman doesn’t want a man?

  • butterflyexperience says:

    Love the brutal honesty of your post 🙂
    Not sure how far I’d agree about every woman wanting a man.
    Maybe a fbuddy,sure, but if my marridge ever fails I don’t think I’ll ever want a serious relationship again.
    Fbuddy maybe, marry again – never

  • Emma Austin says:

    Hi there.

    I believe you can find a man. It requires more active work, but it can be done. First, you should challenge your own notions of how attractive 45 or 50 or 55 can be. You don’t need to be plankton. Have you seen any pictures of Christie Brinkley lately?

    It’s about opening yourself to what is possible.

    Next, you need to actively seek a man. This means the courage to say to friends you want one. There are divorced men out there who are very lonely and want somebody to date. Many would not want children. You should grit your teeth and sign up with an online and in person matchmaker site. There is no point hoping you will be introduced at a dinner party. Maybe you will, but why take the chance?

    You are intelligent, nicely figured, presumably solvent, available. You should look for a man somewhat older than you who is divorced and seeking what you are in life. But you must be bold and actually seek him, not sit around waiting for him.

    I too am commenting under a pseudonym but I’d like to recommend a few books to you. I wonder, can you be emailed?

    Best wishes,

    Emma (Jane Austen)

  • pica says:

    For the first time – an intelligent woman actually tells it how it is! We are literally invisible women – despite the fact that we are well educated, attractive and interesting – and still feel – and often look young.
    I went into a bar in London last week after a ‘work’ event and honestly felt that I could take my clothes off and run around naked and no one would bat an eyelid. What on earth happened to that girl that could turn heads and always get a date? I actually think that I am slimmer, better looking (certainly with better teeth now), have more to say than I was in my 20’s but NO ONE EVER SEES ME. I want to gnash my teeth and call out ‘i’m here’ but that would be so desperate. I too have lots to be thankful for – but i do not want to be alone. I truly feel like we are a lost generation.

    • Richard Addison says:

      I want to see you. I want to meet you. I want to know you better. My problem is that I am still very much tied to Hong kong and I just cannot seem to let go! I am a left over of the Raj. I am Colonial detritus and I do not want a Chinese mate. I want a Briton, a caucasian, a woman. Are you one of those? If so please talk to me. Can Plankton give you my email address?

      • mack says:

        You can put your wiener back in your pants now.
        The desperation is your comments is starting to scare people.

    • Lise says:

      If you are attractive and interesting then men would be attracted to you and be interested in you. Yet you claim men are not. So, one of these things must not be true, which is it?

  • Voula Grand says:

    It’s extraordinary that we can’t state such a fundamental obvious: men want to be with women and women want to be with men…. Why do we need to present ourselves as invulnerable? When my marriage broke down some years ago, it was only a matter of weeks before the relief passed and the loneliness set in…. Thanks for bringing it out in the open – loved your article in the Times today .. let’s hope for a world where you don’t need to say this anonymously – though I totally understand why you have. (And there ARE good men around, and there IS hope…)

    • Richard Addison says:

      This is the moot point: ” invulnerable”. I think what you are providing here that is so valuable is a genuine forum for true and real discussion which does not require pre-payment. Good introductions through the indelible wordcraft of the real dynamic person is what we need. Not Russian 26year olds hiding behind the iron curtain. This is the curtain of “you can never reach me, look how most sexually explicit I can be, you must always pay remuneration, hallmarked by con tricking mafia, oligarchially puppeteering as a spelling of a “R-E-A-L” relationship” in Russia! This is a pretence.
      The object purports to be a mirror, but is in fact in real terms, more like the 3D picture twisting picture card, with a hidden effigy in hollogram on the one side with a Marilyn Munroe icon from a 1952 B52 bomber and on the other the more sinister picture of Batman’s Joker!

    • Lewis Blight says:

      As a man of 49, I’ll tell you there are lots of men who like to meet, and have relationships, with nice women. But, it depends on what you consider ‘nice’. We men of a certain age are aware of various things about women, Things that we’ve finally figured out after many years. For example, about 50% of woman, by our age, and when the desire for children has been sorted, are not interested in sex. Myself and my partner read this somewhere, and thought it was silly, Then she assessed her women friends, and found that it was quite accurate. Stunningly so. The woman who said, after the death of her husband, “..at least there will be no more bed business..”. And lots of other little tales. So where it says in the newspaper article, “I would like a man to go to the cinema with………..Not even a sexual relationship if that wasn’t his bag.” That’s were women go wrong. Sex is always a man’s bag. Otherwise we’re just not that interested. Change that; we’re not interested at all. And another thing. If you’re cooking dinner for your partner one evening, have sex first, as soon as he walks through the door, then have dinner. That way he can relax all evening and spend time talking to you. Otherwise he’s just waiting to get to the sex.

      Final thought; no reasonable looking woman should ever have a problem getting a man if she tells him the right stuff or sends the right signals. Us men are seeking the right signals all the time to see whether it’s worth the bother. Jane Juska, the author or A Round-Heeled Woman expressed it so well in her advert, which led to the book. ‘Before I turn 67 – next March – I’d like to have a lot of sex with a man I like……’ That’s sending the right signals. Lots of men are interested in women of any age who are interested in things that interest them. Send the right signals so we men don’t have to guess, and you’ll have a choice of partners.

      Lewis Blight

      • Disaffected Second Youth says:

        I am in a similar position to the author of this blog (though never married and without children) and I’m finding the problem to be a drastically dwindling number of (available) men I would actually be interested in having sex with (women can be ‘visual’ or ‘physical’ creatures, just as much as men). So – it’s not as simple as just ‘sending out the right signals’, it’s finding that elusive partner who inspires the kind of chemistry where you’d want to rip his (or your own) clothes off in the first place. I dare say there are plenty of men who’d respond to the right signals, questions is, would we want to hop into bed with many of them? Probably not.

      • plumgrape says:

        I think what is interesting here, and I would agree with Lewis in principal, is that no man can risk the intemperate put down or sultry brush off . There can no tolerance for the quick inflection which implies you might be a sex pest, a womaniser or even a prospective “rapist”. Why should a man sit around or limit himself to a woman who wants to take forever to make up her mind, play hard to get or even absent over 45+

      • Gadget says:

        You could have been talking about me. I turned 68 last week. I’ve just ended a purely physical year-long affair with a man.

        Who says that older women don’t want sex? That’s exactly what I do want – need, in fact – but first I’d like to really like the man I sleep with. I also want him to be fit and with a good body. I know several men in their seventies and they are old, lovely dancers, good conversation but I wouldn’t want to kiss one of them!

        On dating sites I write to a reasonable looking younger man and he replies in couched terms indicating that, as you said, he just wants sex.

        I’m told I look about 10 – 15 years younger than I am, I’m very fit and active and healthy and intelligent – not exactly a beauty – but inside I am gorgeous and I have so much love to give.

        I have a 27 year old who constantly writes nice little notes to me but none of my kids are that young!

        How young do you think I dare go?


      • Chrysalis says:

        I like the honesty. Saves a lot of traipsing around the issue once a woman realizes that men are about sex and a bit of entertainment rolled in. And sure why not? Life’s too short – and one does not have to live together to have a relationship, it keeps things interesting. That is my idea of an ideal partnership.

  • mary says:

    I was so relieved to read your piece in the Times today. My husband died last year and all my friends have been great but they are married and there is a limit to how often you can be a gooseberry before you crumble!
    I boldly entered the world of Internet Dating about 10 days ago -I’m not getting any younger(56) I thought I had better get on with it. Well,men around my age just aren’t interested and I don’t want to date a man of 67 who looks like my dad did-some thirty years ago! I’m not sure where I go from here.

  • Helen says:

    Just read your piece in The Times today.
    Finally, someone said it out loud.

  • Nicholas Clinch says:

    Loved your article in the Times this morning but it cuts both ways – I am a very normal ditched 52 year old male, I go to the gym, have my own business/hair/house etc but can I find a friend to take out? The hell I can. Most if not all my friends are married and dont seem to have the ability to conjure up other singletons or single and furious with what life has served up.
    We boys dont ask for much, we dont mind baggage, we just would like someone to be kind to us and to like us!
    West Sussex seems devoid of fourtysomething unattached women -I despair.

  • paul clapham says:

    There was a film entitled ‘Where the boys go’. The principle is sound – you want a man, go where men go. Most middle aged straight men like sport and pubs – watching the first in the second is popular. They also like sports clubs and women are popular additions to a rugby club bar, for instance. If you can sing, join a choir. Play an instrument? Join an orchestra. Political? Join a party. Go to your local college and enrol for a language or other course. In such cases it’s reasonable to ask what the male/female split is.They don’t need to know why you want to know. All of this is time-consuming and time may be a precious commodity, given the two kids. But you won’t meet anyone sitting at home.
    FYI I am broadly in your target group but happily unattached. I suspect the shortage of middle-aged male candidates is because we remember the heartache of a previous break-up, where women remember the love and companionship that preceded it.
    Good luck and good hunting.

    • Richard Addison says:

      It is a problem Paul if you do not drink! Confidence is also another important issue and time of course naturally, you are correct. What is important? Is it not the reading and writing and computers? Tea perhaps? At a garden party? Now surely that would be nice, wouldn’t it be?

      • anchorsaway says:

        Stop drinking Paul for sure. The combination of sport and drinking is a heady one indeed!! I always feel that the drinkers somehow feel that the following of a sport camouflages the fact that they couldnt run for the bus if you put a rocket up their arses. It doesnt.

  • Mary says:

    I am much older than you but would after 40 years of marriage and a horrendous divorce like a loving man in my life and I haven’t found one and I probably won’t, as the one I’ve conjured up for myself surely doesn’t exist and if he does someone else already has him!
    But I have learnt to enjoy my independence, I can do what I like when I like and have taken up new interests – the few men I’ve met want a ‘wife’ to replace the one they have lost, one(healthy, able) man asked if I’d cook his dinner soon after we met, going on to tell me how his wife always cooked while he sat about, calling him when it was ready – I’ve been there done that and I don’t want the T shirt.
    I’m lucky with lots of friends, family and grandchildren but do feel lonely sometimes – it’s the ‘we’ word that still hurts. ‘We’ are going to Paris, move house, design a new garden,etc. but then I remind myself that there is nothing so lonely as being in a dead marriage, when your husband is ‘playing away’ and all your friends leave you alone assuming you are just hanging out together as they are.
    I found the first time I went on holiday without my ex very difficult, surrounded at the airport by all the other couples together, but then I saw husband snarling at his wife and I felt better, at least I wouldn’t have to spend my holiday dodging bad moods and struggling to keep everything running smoothly.
    I tried a couple of dating sites and the men my age were so bossy, ‘I want a woman who wears tailored clothes! Is ready to go on my boat/come on holiday when I want to go – no thank you. I want someone who wants to fit in with me as I would (if I liked them enough) with them.
    Please don’t look like a plankton – the sad thing is if you look as if no one wants you they won’t – enjoy what you have, take up new things for the sake of wanting to do them not to find a man and you never know.
    All Best,

    • Lewis Blight says:

      Mary doesn’t say how old she is, but my guess, from what she does say, is 60 plus. I’m 49, and through my work, and to a lesser degree in my private life, I come into contact with older couples. It makes me shudder sometimes the way some older men address, or behave towards, their wives. I accept that it’s the way it was years ago, but thank goodness it’s changing. No wonder these older, set in their ways, men are not found attractive. That said, I’m sure all men of that era can’t like that, but it’ll be quite a few I expect. Leave them well alone, but keep looking and don’t give up, is all I can say.

      • plumgrape says:

        I wonder if many of these problems aren’t self perpetuating. I feel one big problem is the claims made upon an individual. If you like someone, see them, go out with them, do things with them, be with them, talk to them, love them, live with them, marry them, but don’t expect someone to fall into some pre-conceived notion you have.
        Of course it helps to find an individual attractive and indeed this may be an incentive to invest more in such an individual, perhaps indeed at the expense of another, but I can’t help thinking that if the truth be told we all need each other what ever out situation and circumstances and now I suspect (thinking about Omar on “The Wire”) the more awful the individual the more fascinating the understanding if one can get beyond the impression. Shocking, ain’t it?

  • bevans says:

    Hello Plankton,
    I sympathise with your situation , and from a male point of view I am in a similar state.but in my seventies,slim,own hair and teeth.I long to have female company. I just have my Labrador dog. perhaps you could offer some help.?
    Best wishes.

  • Sarah Hague says:

    You do have rather an ace card to play you know : you don’t want any more kids. That is the disadvantage with younger women. At some point they start nagging for a baby, or worse, they just take matters into their own hands.

    You, on the other hand, are not in the baby-wanting league. When I met my dearly beloved one of the first things he asked me was ‘do you want any more kids’ to which I replied ‘God no!’ and thus we continued our meal in peace.

    One can be sexy without the fallout. It’s pretty liberating.

  • Neal Bisnath says:

    I am 57, professional, three lovely kids, separated for about 18 months. Your expressions are fresh and honest. Yet, it would be interesting to read your views on why a man, upon marriage, becomes, in due course, the most unappreciated person(to his wife). Accepting, of course, he is anything but perfect.

  • Martin says:

    Well one thing that is going for you is that you can write. A very appealing skill which is fast declining in this text driven world of ours.
    Did you also write the article in the Times as well.
    I would thus predict that if you did, you will not be single for very long. Writing well is incredibly sexy and very sensual. There are available men out there – that I can promise you. And no they are not the spine chillingly boring, ugly or self interested ones that you so righly are trying (and seemingly succeeding) to avoid.
    My advice? Never stoop to toe curling poetry and alwasy remind people that you know that Kate Bush did not write Wutherings Heights and that UB40 is not a German Sub.


    • Richard Addison says:

      Well done, Martin. I agree with you. “Writing well is incredibly sexy and very sensual.” 3 stars***

  • Graham says:

    That was so funny!! From a guy that knows what you’re talking about. I totally agree. I’m single – thank god!

  • Martin Pettinger says:

    Everything you say rings exactly true, except that I am male, and widowed after 20+ years of a good marriage. I too think most of these things (gender adjusted) and am just as frustrated. Am not frightened of being alone, but like it less and less.

    I dont want a housekeeper ( I have my pride) but whats wrong with wanting a congenial ( and preferably sexual) female to she a life with? And where are all these lonely ladies? Internet dating sites seem to be full of ‘players’, or gold-diggers. Perhaps we should get together?

  • Andrew says:

    These comments are about your article in today’s Times rather than the 5th July blog.

    I agree the odds are in favour of men but I don’t think it’s as easy for us as you make out and that you are over stereotyping us. I am now in my late 40s with children, but not living with me, looking for the right woman for all the reasons you describe for wanting a partner. By “right” I mean compatible, not 10-15 years younger; I am not seeking to punch above my weight or exploit the odds.

    I am what many women such as yourself would appear to want – a very nice person, considerate, loving, and caring – as well as degree -educated, professionally qualified, like cinema and theatre, understand and enjoy business and politics, a “great father”, very well-travelled, sporty (still playing / running as well as watching….)

    Yet, I’ve found that previous relationships have ended and new ones failed to start or take off exactly through my being nice, stating feelings, offering advice, avoiding points-scoring etc. Whatever you say, it seems that for the great majority of women, these qualities in a man represent weakness (or are not male qualities at all) and if we show keenness it’s actually a turn off, if not immediately then eventually. Women appear to prefer men who are less open and keen, and who therefore represent more of a challenge because the implication is they have more going for them and are better catches.

    Finally, I really dislike the term “plankton” for yours and others’ plight.I realise you need to be provocative to attract readers, but it’s in the same awful league as describing children of failed marriages as “baggage”. There are a lot of lonely women and men out there, in many cases for reasons beyond their control and with very sad stories.

    Many thanks

  • twicebitten says:

    Dear plankton-lady. Reading your article in the Times left me feeling a little sad, you see there are middle-aged blokes out there who do not fit into the gay/permanently horny/psycho/saddo bracket. I should know, as i am one. However, by this age most of us have some sort of baggage and sometimes it’s a case of “once bitten, twice shy”, but take heart blokes like me would like to meet ladies like you. We find it just as difficult to get back into the dating game and are probably wary about getting battered again, so treat us gently, don’t scare us off and i hope you find someone ( bet this gets deleted cos i’m a dad and not a mum!)

    • Lewis Blight says:

      The first thing to realise, perhaps, about dating, or finding a partner, is that it’s just like the old lottery saying. ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’. Nobody is knocking on your door and making your life all lovely. You’ve just got to get out there and look. It seems internet dating is the easiest way, but that’s still just like real life; where you fancy hardly any of the opposite sex, and hardly any of the opposite sex seem fancy you, especially the ones that you fancy. Just like in the real world! Still, If you approach it in a sensible manner, be who you are (maybe a bit risky, perhaps!), that’s about the best chance you have. Oh, and another thing; if you’re going to date anyone who will go on a date, without making any realistic assessment whether you like anything about them or not, you’re going to pile up the numbers and only get disappointed. And then, human beings, being what they are, are going to moan that “there’re no nice men/women out there”. Maybe that’s because you’ve been going for the wrong ones, making no effort to assess what you want, or a whole host of other reasons, but the fault is just as likely to be with you as with ‘the whole of the opposite sex of your age’. Just a thought. Best advice to anyone. Don’t dwell on the past. Tomorrow is a new day. Start it as though it is.

      • plumgrape says:

        I think it’s more a case of doing the best you can with what you have got and certainly you must be in to win! The fancying business is true. If you don’t fancy your prospect then perhaps you are left with the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young adage “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”!

  • Steve says:

    Read your piece in the Times. You do realise there are hundreds of shy, reticent men out there who’d love to find a woman like you? Having been through a hellish divorce, I’m now trying internet dating. Gosh, I’d love to be snapped up… And I’m tall, dark and handsome – been told this lots by people I trust. It isn’t half as easy for men as you think it is…

  • Joan Doreen Taylor says:

    Hi just readthe article in the Times [July 6], what a relief to hear it from another woman.
    There are no decent men, the first one to come near me for years turned out to be a sex pest who had to be told very firmly where to get off, too boring fo words.
    My friends tell me I am lovely but where are the men who agree. And yes plenty of married men on the hunt but who needs that and all it’s attendant garbage. Like “The Plankton” I want one of my own!!.
    To say so means you may be seen as a man eater or desprate; maneater chance would be a fine thing.
    This includes my freind she is tall red headed and lovely and spends her time getting involoved with men and then trying to get away from them because they turn out to be fools.
    Where are all the nice men they must be out there somewhere????

    • John says:

      Dear Joan Doreen,

      Please read your post in the cold light of day and you will possibly see, if you have the capacity to be self analytical, why you do not have a partner. From the male point of view, you come across as a very agressive lady, and I for one would be thinking. WHY BOTHER !

      Kind regards. John

  • Tony Knight says:

    I read your article in the Times. I do think you are being unduly pessimistic for someone with as much intelligence, looks and wit as you obviously have. It can only be a matter of (very short) time before you meet the right man, you sound like the perfect partner, and men are not quite so shallow as you may think.
    In the meantime I would be happy to take the 2 comedy tickets off your hands.

    A joke. Hopefully your SOH is G and it cheered you up. I appreciate this isnt a dating agency but I would be delighted to accompany you
    (though I might draw the line if its Ken Dodd). .

  • AnonW says:

    I read your piece in The Times and feel I must comment. I could write exactly the same in reverse, with the exception of two things. One is that I am a widow since 2007 (I rarely use the female form as widows, be they male or female are all in the same leaky lonely boat, although it is a true siblinghood!) The second is that I lost our youngest son to pancreatic cancer last year at just eight years younger than you.

    The whole strain probably caused my strokes, but it takes mre than two strokes to kill a true London mongrel. You need something like a 45 mm howitzer to be certain. And then it would have to be a direct hit.

    I haved lived in rural Suffolk for the last forty years, so I decided to return to the city of my birth and see the best and cheapest, therapist on this earth; London. I now live in Hackney and drink in the same pub where my great-grandfather wetted my grandmother’s head in the 1880s.

    I came because I couldn’t drive and because of that living in the country was just living in a beautiful prison. I have plans to write a book called F**k the Countryside, but I keep getting distracted by my blog and also because I still have usable skills.

    This evening, a female friend is coming round as she wants a couple of dresses pinned for alteration. I must be one of the few men, who was taught to make clothes by his mother. That may seem strange, but then I come from a multi-skilled family and they made sure I was prepared for life.

    They didn’t teach me to cook, but I learned that when my wife died, as it was preferable than starving.

    As I read your piece in The TImes, I could say so much of what you say with the gender reversed. But I’m not downhearted as my late wife told me to be strong and fight like I always had since we first met. She also said that she married me, because she knew life wouldn’t be boring. So whatever I do in the future, I will be true to her in one way and not be one of the herd.

    I shall follow your blog with interest.

    I’ll give you one piece of advice. If all else fails, put on a Dory Previn CD.

  • TJ says:

    Read the Times 2 article and now this. Am a 54 year old single male. Have been married. Have also had the younger model. WLTM – but honestly I only seem to encounter, self-pity, rancour and/or avarice in those models closer to my age. Men of my generation are confused by what is expected of them – and if you think that’s bullshit try getting your married-with-fellas friends to administer the truth drug and I bet I’m proved right.

  • Tasha says:

    Oh thank goodness, someone who has said the unsayable! I also read the article in the Times today which is what led me here to say to you, its true.

    Although not divorced yet I am separated, a victim of younger model syndrome, severa ltimes over. However I agree, being single has its compensations and I like being able to do what I want to around the criteria of having a son who is great fun.

    But of course its lonely, your article made me smile at the situations of friends who say “but you are lovely and there will be someone out there”.

    So we are voices in the wilderness – a thought though, if being 30 is the average for male 60 somethings, maybe – as a 54 year old – we have a chance with males in their 90’s!

    Thanks again for being so honest, it is very refreshing.

  • Ken McBride says:

    Whoever “The Plankton” is thank you for the honesty of your article printed in Times 2 today. As a man happily married for 34 years I am so grateful not to be alone in life. I have many friends in your situation – beautiful women who I think the men who left them must be crazy or corrosively selfish. I guess, but this may sound, indeed be patronising (though not meant to be) that as I also know men who are separated/divorced/widowed, that what really should define us is not marital or parental status, but our intrinsic value as people – we are each unique. I wish “The Plankton” happiness even if she never meets a decent man. If you do meet someone don’t go for second best but one who will help you swim in fresh water far away from the bottom.

  • John says:

    Dare I say you are one very honest woman?
    I have met many women around London from about 40 to about 70 (they never really reveal their proper ages). I am 74, separated for a few years, healthy (go to gym) but have a tummy which I am not proud of and generally not the sort that attracts women for a long term realtionship. I have a couple of lady friends whom I meet for day outings to museums, RHS shows etc. I sometimes long for the comfort of spooning in a comfortable bed and all that goes with it. I don’t kid myself that I am God’s gift to women – of any age – but they must be out there somewhere. Like you I just wonder where they are?
    I am very comfortable in my life, nice flat in a good area, Costa daily for latte and muffin, lots of chat online to kids and grandkids etc etc.
    Loved your piece in the Times.
    Take care

    • Richard Addison says:

      Yes, it was good, I agree John. The problem I feel is meeting seemingly interesting and attractive women who are not quick to ask a question impossible to answer like: “What kind of relationship do you want?”. How can this be answered I ask on an initial encounter when you know nothing about your party? Or how can you answer “How do you find me,” (please give me a judgement), when you have only just met?
      Or should your counterparty neccessarily by default require you to pay the bill, even if you are not working and your party has a good, well paid job, owns property and will says that they have “no money”, in effect, that is of course “no money” to speak of, forget all the equity in the fully paid up £300,000 home they live in? Is this equitable or conducive to a good and sustainable long term relationship I ask?
      I have also found that if you, the man, want to address this issue and propose a budget when your party cannot pay, you may be called mean no matter how large the budget you propose. I mean after all, we do certainly want a “certain kind of relationship” I assure you. I think this is tragedy in the making!
      I can’t help but feel that there may be better prospects for a relationship, in the scenario where a woman calls up or chats up a man say in public or “cold”, (see ,women, how difficult that is!), say in a public place, asks a “man” for his number and offers to take him out of course expecting to pay, adjusting sights or venues in accordance with your hopes, expectations and budget. She calls back some days later, persues, makes the momentous initial effort of choosing when to call specifically, after all as you know, he might be busy, talking to somebody else, or not even in “the mood” (at least you wouldn’t have to worry about post menstrual tension(PMT)!). Then she pays for the dates by default, listens, and treats her “man”, as she would like herself to be treated, ie showing, by example, how she herself expects full service. This, I think, is an excellent upbringing and teaching also for younger women, who instead of giving a cold shoulder, brushing men off in an humiliating fashion possibly even in public, particularly when the men are younger or more vulnerable, and all in all, altogether “doing unto others as you would have others do unto you”!
      Surely, in the light of John Gray’s “Venus and Mars” expose on the defeminization of women working and competeing in the workplace ie on the “hunt”, this is the way we should be moving forward. Don’t call me, I’ll call you! Don’t call me, please give me your number and I will ask you out and of course let it be understood that I will pay (after all you are probably unemployed as my entire sex has emasculated you and usurped your job!) Did you notice by the way how we are doing much better than you in school?
      Ironically, I can remember a number of times when I have heard women say that men have given them their numbers and asked them for a call or wanted to be spoken to, probably because the men were embarrassed or shy only, myself, to be later told, expressing “don’t look at me like that” things like, “I don’t call men”.
      I am afraid that I think there may be a battle of sexes ongoing and sometimes there is an abyss in the difference. I enjoyed Baron-Cohens “The Essential Difference”. It even has tests that you can do! Good luck, Bud.

      • Lydia says:

        it’s very common for men to ask repeatedly the first time you’re meeting them how are they doing. It’s a silly comment for either sex to ask. Just wait and see how it goes.

        As for paying culturally most of us find it better if the man can pay on the first date but determines where that is. I pay much more than most people and I’m reasonably well off and men find it rare women offer to pay so they seem to seize with enthusiasm that I should pay which does make me feel I’m making up for woman kind. As men have usually not had to pay a babysitter etc and perhaps don’t have to spend so long and as much money on clothes etc I’m not srue it is always fair to make the woman pay.

      • Quixa says:

        Mostly I think the women want to find out if the man is just looking for a one-night stand or casual sex. Because that’s a waste of time in most women’s opinion and they’d rather not bother with those guys!

  • anchorsaway says:

    Thanks for your article in the Times. Am still grinding through the last knockings of my 30 year marriage – waiting for my four children to finish their education (last one starts University this year) – before setting sail! I want some time without anyone but hope, really hope, to want a man again some time. Softly softly for me but feel in a strong negotiating position actually knowing what I dont want. No drunks need apply!!

    • Richard Addison says:

      Honestly, this fascinates me. The drinking scenario is seriously multi faceted. I was just told this week: “Why would you drink milk if you can drink wine?” Actually the problem is that besides the fact that drink costs a great deal of money particularly when bought by the glass after glass after glass, frequently in a watering hole. Funnily, this isn’t always for the drinker’s account herself, but more for the adjutant, the exponent, the guest. Then madam behaves agressively and differently to her normal fabulous self after only just a few and what really takes the buscit is she does not appreciate this! In conclusion moreover Madam “most definitely”, does not have a problem except perhaps the one you already know about “the problem being not able to get enough”? Does Plankton do as Plankton is?

      • Lydia says:

        I don’t drink but I don’t mind men who do. I do find some middle aged people use drink as a huge crutch however and it’s a bit boring for the non drinker. It’s the drug of choice for many and puts a known dampener on sexual performance too.

      • anchorsaway says:

        Sounds like you may have been stung yourself but in a rather different way to me. Before my husband had issues with alcoholism he was a friend and partner of some 30 years standing. He has become someone that I dont recognise and have no desire to know. “Not being able to get enough” is not THE problem for me. Indeed after many years of no choice in the matter “getting enough” is way down the list of requirements. Something to be rediscovered against a backdrop of shared interests and mutual respect. Alcoholics suffer from impotence and are truly unappealing to the sober. I no longer drink myself – someone has to collect him after the crashes mop up and appease the neighbours as well as keep the family on track. I wouldnt want you to think that I dont know how to have fun. I do. I just need a clean page. It will be a nervewracking business for me to have sex with someone – I hope that the opportunity arises. I shall have to make sure that it does!!

  • Lydia says:

    It doesn’t have to be so. You need to be positive. I could write a totally opposite picture of dating in your 40s. It’s fun. There are lots of good men out there (in London in particular) and it can’t simply be because I’m a lawyer and look reasonably good that I find it fairly easy. I think it’s about a positive mental attitude and being happy and content both in yourself (I don’t need a man to complete me but I do like men and I am open to remarry) and with men and the world.

    Most of us are more attracted to radiators not drains.

    Let’s analyse why some of us can find a lot of men (or women) and some not. Obviously sometimes that person isn’t quite right but there are always others and you make good friends along the way but the tenor of this article is that there are no men interested in women in their 40s.

    in my view a woman in the 40s is the best kind for men in their 40s adn 50s because (a) we won’t make you give us 3 new babies something the 30 somethings might and you’ve already brought up your family (b) those of us in good jobs are self supporting so we won’t be fleecing you on a second divorce (c) we are happy have confidence and are fit and ilke life and (d) can be fairly sexy and pretty. What is not to like about women in their 40s?

    Or does it come down to whether one is plankton or at the top of the tree? Women tend to want men who are good looking or clever or nice or financially secure and can be the same the other way around. So I find plenty of men because (a) I am fairly well off and earn my own money (b) am 9 stone (c) have a 32DD chest (d) like men am happy and quite nice and like to please (e) enjoy life and (f) wear high heels and I suppose am reasonably high up the food chain. I don’t like plankton men either – men who are unemployed fat ugly nasty and unable to form close relationships Thankfully lots of men are not in that category.

    • plumgrape says:

      I like your idea of the plankton men. Well done. Yours seems to me to be quite a good erudite remark. Thank you, Lydia. I observe and fully appreciate the attraction of an older woman for a younger man, but I also see that a younger man’s opportunity to have a family can easily be stolen by an older woman satisfied with or without her own family.

    • Lewis Blight says:

      I agree with Lydia. Think something about yourself, or almost anything else as well actually, and odds are that you’ll be that person with that attitude towards life. And, to paraphrase what Lydia says, ‘don’t look to someone else to make your life great’. Have a great life, and look to share it with a partner, who, hopefully, also had a great life before you came along. Then, have a great life together. Who wants to spend their time with someone who blames other people, circumstances, or anything they can think of, for the reason why their life isn’t all they think it should be. Be an interesting person, and maybe you’ll meet other interesting people. Just a point of view, of course.

    • Quixa says:

      ha ha, yeah maybe it is because you have large breasts and are well off! Yep, yep, yep, yep, probably! I don’t, and the only men I still seem able to attract definitely fall in the plankton category! Addicts, unemployed, going to seed. . . etc.

      For the record, I have a decent (slightly above average wage) career, am slim and fit, but am not pretty and am not well endowed! Yes, I think that’s why…

    • John says:

      Well said Lydia. I would suggest however that your ‘success’ with men comes from your self confidence and having the intelligence not to scare men away before you get to know them.

      Kind regards. John

      • Lydia says:

        It may just be that I’m pretty happy as I am anyway so I don’t need to have a man or it may be something as simple as heel height, breast size and interest in sex.

  • anchorsaway says:

    I realised reading your comment about plankton men how instantly recognisable they are as a type and that I have struggled to match my picture of the female equivalent with the Plankton of this article. She needs to pop down to Lidl to see just how bad it could be!! Then have some fun …

  • plumgrape says:

    To anchorsaway:
    The drinking problem of “not being able to get enough” is just not being able to get enough drink. It has nothing to do with sex! I think sex is pushed down the chain. Sex or love will play second fiddle. Sex is surely an expression of love and love I think is a conception. With drink the love is self love for drink, hardly sex! Surely God knows performance is difficult enough without a loving partner, a committed love, co-operation or shared interest and participation. Long may love live.

    • Lydia says:

      Tip to men – don’t send me a link to your forthcoming operation – not a good seduction tactic ………(yesterday’s “lothario” did, although may be he was joking… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EVVzUI8s2U&feature=related )

      • plumgrape says:

        I think what is interesting about your comment Lydia is that whilst I appreciate the importance of fitness and help to ensuring good vigorous blood flow, circulation and “performance” on the part of a man, there is no question that “laziness” and “debilitations associated with age” append disinterest. Considering the “effort” an older man must make, or the embarrassment risked, compounding this with the old time consuming activity games many women like to play, like “hard to get”, or “it’s your money we must spend”, many or even most men just simply cant or won’t be bothered. It’s a shame. Loneliness is the result.


    We all want the same stuff. Why are we all so neurotic and shy-we are all getting older and as I have learnt looks are a relative thing and charm, humour, style, charter,tolerance etc are vital ingredients too! Found your blog through the paper-The Times I think-am following it as I think I can learn what women of our age are seeking and also can see it is is the same thing that I am seeking. I know it is!

  • june muskett says:

    i am older than you plankton but ive read your articles and laughed and shed a tear to as i can indentify with them. so. you have said lots of what ive been saying for years,

    its sad women seem to have a sell by date, last year a friend of mine mid 40s divorced,no kids her partner left her, she was so desperate to get him back, everyone said she will find better shes lovely, which she is, but she said to me i cant go through that dating website thing and noone my age will want me, he was 3 yrs younger than her.they are back together now cause she wouldnt give up. i thought god you are younger than me, what hope do i have, i look 10 yrs younger im told, dress trendily feel younger and have girlfriends 40s and 50s but most men who will actually go out with me and there are not many are far too old for me, why i wonder can your girlfriends overlook your age and it just doesernt matter to them, whereas men cant. i have not looked after myself to end up with a bloke who looks 20 yrs older than me, i had a lovely dad who only died last year, i dont need a father figure.

    keep it coming, its great.,

  • […] of the people surveyed divorced between age 40 and 55.  The author of the Plankton blog herself addresses this question: Show me a (straight) woman of my age who is alone and who says she doesn’t want a […]

  • mjay says:

    You are an empowered crone who DOES NOT need a man.

    Enjoy the WomanPower that courses through your veins; free of the patriarchal oppression of heteronormative youth that every woman is imprisoned by, you can finally come into your own.

    Fly free – and embrace your Oneness! You are EveryWoman, now unyoked from the domination of The Patriarchy!!!!!

  • Lydia says:

    We have always had men and women who did not marry nor have children. In the Middle Ages women would live a life in a convent to be free of those cares and problems of having a man and children. The “batchelor Gay” or not gay is also common and the 50s chap who has always lived with mother is common too.

    What is clear is that plenty of men and women live very happily without a partner either a live in partner or one who does not live with them. It is not a state of sadness of a man or woman not tio have a partner. Given how little sex m any people have after 50 and how many men are sexually dysfunctional after that age it is not surprising really.

  • Shirley Roach says:

    Speaking personally, I have had more sex since I was 50 than I did during my 26 year marriage! I’m now almost seventy and still enjoy it but finding a partner who is still able to participate is difficult.

    I just need a younger man!


  • Josephine says:


    I have been on my own since my husband died in 1997. I have been on over 50 internet dates with no luck at all. I am now 48 and know that I will spend the rest of my life on my own. Sometimes I get so lonely I feel that my heart will burst and I long for some moment of intimacy, with another human being, I have forgotten the sweet caress of a lovers touch. Time is not on my side, years are slipping by and every birthday I celebrate only echoes my loneliness. I use to be quite attractive when younger, but time has not been kind and it does seem that men are very visual creatures,that no matter how kind, charming and nice you are to them they treat you like you are nothing when you no longer have sexual appeal. In fact I feel that my aging is almost an insult to society and that is reflected in the snares and insults one often receives on a day to day basis. I will often give way to an elderly man crossing the road, but men seem to favour not running over young women, as they usually stop to watch them wriggle by. It is comforting to know that there are other women out there like myself whom have loveless lives, but it does’nt stop the loneliness that one feels.

    • Lydia says:

      That’s so sad, J . I am about your age and feel totally different. 48 isn’t old at all. No way need you spend the whole of your life alone. You might need to end up with someone with a similar level of looks to you but you don’t need to be unloved, untouched etc. If nothing else just get a temporary boyfriend. There are masses of them on line.

      So what about these looks? Chanel said there was no such thing as an ugly woman, just a lazy one. Can’t they be imporved? Most people can get thinner. Can; you just wear clothes that make you more sexually attractive.

      There’s no need to be lonely anyway. There are lots of ways people can meet and help others even if you don’t get into bed together.

    • John says:

      Dear Josephine, a suggestion. Stop looking for men, instead, go out and enjoy yourself doing activities where men also participate.
      At the risk of advertising, type ‘SPICE’ into your search engine, and spend nights at the theatre or cerock. Your weekends may be well filled kayaking, climbing or coasteering in West Wales, I did, and met many ladies of a ‘certain age’

      Good luck. John

  • Mike says:

    You know what they say…”Women eh? Can’t live with them, can’t live without them”.

    Been married now for over 42 years. Still love her dearly, but the only thing that has kept me with her is the fact that I’ve had a mistress, in varying shapes and forms, for about seventy-five percent of my married life.

    When I come round the next time I think I’ll opt to be gay. Much cheaper and less stressful.

    (Only joking God).

    • Lydia says:

      Well an article in the Telegraph last weekend reported on a study suggesting that if men and wom en dated a bit more like gay men we might be happier, being naturally polygamous. Trouble is most men and most women aren’t happy with that in their partner.

  • John, a gentle man. says:

    Dear Plankton, what a well written article. (Times modern 6th July).
    I do however disagree with your conclusion that ‘there are no men’. There are plenty of eligible males, even if you lived in the Outer Hebrides, there would be many, but, following up on Paul Clapham’s post (6th July) I would also suggest that you are looking in the wrong place. Further, Lewis Blight (7th July) and Plumgrape (8th July), both very brave men, hit the nail on the head by pointing out that, in nearly all men ‘of a certain age’, sex is still very important while in ladies of the same demographic, the desire for sex has dropped to less than 50%. Why not try enrolling in activities or clubs which you would enjoy for themselves but where men also go. Be yourself, don’t be desperate, kiss a few frogs, and who knows. If that fails, mail me. lol

    • Lydia says:

      We mustn’t skirt around the sex issue.

      If 50% of women in their late 40s are basically asexual (my last boyfriend met a good looking woman on a first date, got on well until she announced she didn’t go in for that kind of business any more….) then here is our answer that if you’re one who does like sex then you’re in clover.

      So buy Jane Fonda’s new book (for the sex bits) although she did find in her 70s that the testosterone had some effects she didn’t like.

      If you aren’t into sex and are happy with that and don’t want to bluff then look out for men who aren’t too interested either. I’m sure they exist. although try tio avoid the one I was writing to who sent me a youtube video of his doctor showing the operation he was about to have – something about a kind of pump they add to the male organ to ensure som e kind of quasi erection – why this man might have thought that would make me interested in h is is any body’s guess. I’d just made some kind of joke about the trouble with older men is there can be erectile dysfunction and out comes the video link – some of them certainly know how to entice women in… not…

  • Lydia says:

    With so many women my age who seem to have given up this making it really easy for non planktons really, isn’t it?

    48 is young sexy and pretty. I hope in my 60s I feel there are still lots of men out there if I need one.

  • Hannah says:

    You are so right! I love it. Sick of having to pretend everything is rosy as a 42 year old single Mum.

  • Hannah says:

    I am dying to have sex, look young for my age and told I am attractive. No-one wants me. Ever. Unless I take risk of some dirty online thing which I don’t. Living without intimacy is killing me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading What woman doesn’t want a man? at The Plankton.


%d bloggers like this: