It’s hardly a surprise that poor Liz Hurley got pregnant. The prospective father, film producer Steve Bing, may be the heir to a £280 million fortune, but apparently the penny hasn’t dropped when it comes to figuring out how babies are made. Bing, cross that Liz is in the Christmas pudding club, seems to think that ‘not’ being ‘in an exclusive relationship" constitutes a form of birth control. He may not have considered it exclusive, but, even if true, since when did spreading it around mean you couldn’t get one of your non-exclusive partners pregnant? In fact, since when did it mean anything but ‘I’m a lousy, commitment phobe who is trying to move the relationship goal posts long after the goal has been scored?’ Oh, and PS, I wasn’t the only player in the penalty area.
A friend of Bing’s says that ‘he thought that she'd never get pregnant because she had been on the Pill all the time they were together’. Isn’t it strange that men with a morbid fear of responsibility have such a touching faith in the infallibility of contraceptives? Mr Bing should take better care of his bong . Face it, Steve, you don’t need a paternity test to tell you that if you really don’t want a baby; you learn the difference between assuming and thinking, and you do what all truly wise men do - you put a nice, shrink free wrapping on your gifts to be doubly sure. Or you just don’t go there.
Bing’s ‘not in an exclusive relationship’ is just another phrase in the men’s edition of the Dirty Dumper’s Dictionary, and roughly translates as ‘she was just a bit of fluff who sleeps around’. In paternity terms it’s a euphemism for ‘it could be anybody’s’ and similar in style to Mr s-ex president Clinton’s claim that he ‘never had sex with that woman’. Sex, it seems, only counts if you’ve been married for years and it’s the sex you aren’t having any more with your wife.’ Everything else is just fun. Hookers, meanwhile, are fun you pay for.
Then there’s the ‘we were never seeing each other’ rebuttal, meaning: I slept with her but I never saw her in public, or ‘she’s not my girlfriend’ meaning, yes I do sleep with her, and I see her in public, but I don’t actually remember her name. 'She knew what she was getting into' is another phrase for – I took out a relationship insurance policy and told her I was a dirtbag right from the start, so what’s she complaining about now?; 'She turned into a bit of a stalker' means she rang me twice in one week; and ‘Relationship? It was all in her imagination- ‘ may turn out to mean you’ve been dating Mr Steve Bing’
To men like this a woman they’ve slept with once but from whom they now wish to disassociate themselves is known, amongst several hundred other disagreeable things, as a ’trout’ (and of course also a Monica); a woman who they ‘really, really love’ even though they have affairs with other ‘trout’, is usually a ‘wife’; while a lover probably means the woman is someone else’s wife.
Naturally enough, women have a different understanding of this language and the women’s edition of the Dirty Dumpers’ Dictionary would be slimmer than the chances of our Liz being photographed in a dress that didn’t show her underwear. ‘Not in an exclusive relationship’ means that the guy wants to have sex with you and anyone else he happens to come across in the course of his day (luckily, due to the self delusional quality of most men, the opportunity rarely presents itself as often as they imagine); but to a woman ‘a non exclusive relationship is an oxymoron, and the man a bloody moron for even suggesting it. ‘Sex’ is loosely defined as anything involving tongues, ‘lovers’ number every man you’ve ever slept with; being a ‘girlfriend’ means you’ve had at least two dates with the same man; and a trout is a freshwater fish, maligned by pig-faced prats who wouldn’t know a good relationship if it pulled them out of the Thames with hook through their snouts.
But nowhere is the gender gap better illustrated than the famous ‘on a break’ Ross/Rachel impasse on the TV show Friends. Ross sloped off to the photocopy shop and slept with the assistant while the couple were no longer seeing each other after having an argument. According to Ross, all’s fair in love and photocopying – no harm done – they were ‘on a break ‘after all. But as far as Rachel was concerned, not seeing one another did not mean that they automatically saw, slept and xeroxed other people. Most women will agree that the correct behaviour in these circumstances is that men should sit at home, pining, while composing love sonnets for the girlfriend’s answer phone in between trips to the florists. Sleeping with the photocopy girl only duplicates your problems.
Ah well, who could but long for the good old days of Christmas past when if a girl got in trouble, the man just ‘stood by her’. Take Joseph, for instance, - we all knew for sure that Mary’s baby boy child definitely wasn’t his but he still behaved like an absolute saint.