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Monica Porter

Dates – and other ingredients

Jewish Chronicle, 10 October 2014

Do Jewish men make the best lovers?

Ha! I knew that would get your attention.

But seriously, this is a question which we gentile women occasionally consider whilst having a good old chinwag about the male of the species. Jewish men do have a reputation for being highly adept in the bedroom, but is it deserved? Or is it a myth propagated by those very same chaps, perhaps in order to woo non-Jewish ladies? A friend of mine who often describes herself as a shiksa (I thinks she just likes the sound of the word) swears by Jewish lovers. She has had several, and says she adores their ‘dark Jewish looks’. But colouring is not the same as love-making.

I believe I’m well-placed to offer a view on this absorbing issue, having recently spent a year toiling at the coal face of the treacherous internet dating scene and meeting a diverse range of men – in terms of age and occupation, cultural and ethnic background, and socio-economic status. Of the couple dozen or so I got to know, five were Jewish.

Now, when I say ‘know’, that might mean in the simple dating sense – going out for drinks or dinner – or in the, ahem, more intimate sense. And a lady never tells. Well, except for me, clearly, as I wrote a candid memoir about my escapades. And let me tell you, on the whole I did not come away with a very high opinion of men of any stripe. Such a load of rascals…

But anyway, back to my Jews. The first was a forty-something media executive with a renovated farmhouse in Berkshire and swish sports car. He was well-educated and cultured. A bit smarmy, perhaps, but he told funny Jewish jokes and did a brilliant Jackie Mason accent, and you can forgive a man his failings if he makes you laugh.

Next up was a cocky young estate agent from Hampstead, who was in many ways typical of that smooth-talking, shiny-suited breed. But his patter was tinged with an appealing self-irony. I liked that he didn’t take himself too seriously. And he was cute.

Then there was an advertising copywriter who hated his day-job and dreamt of being a successful stand-up comic, so was making nocturnal appearances at small comedy venues. Slightly-built and nervy, he struck me as the Woody Allen of Golders Green. No sex god, obviously. But I soon discovered that he was entertaining company. Humour and intelligence can be as much of a turn-on as a great body and movie star looks.

After him, I met a super-bright young internet entrepreneur who still lived with his family in St. John’s Wood. He was at the cutting edge of the digital revolution and utterly passionate about the technology. A total geek, in other words, but in a charming way. And with lovely manners.

Finally there was the lecturer who went to Israel each year to visit relatives and pay homage to the holy sites. A handsome hunk with a designer beard, he too was passionate about certain things, and I’m not referring here to the Wailing Wall. If you get my drift.

So, now to the big question. No doubt you are eager to know how these fellows stacked up in the Casanova  department, as against men of my own, Christian persuasion. Well, here’s the truth. And it might not be what you want to hear. Jewish men are neither better nor worse at the bedroom arts than anyone else. Ardour and sensuality are not culturally or racially inherited gifts, they are strictly individual.

However, I can honestly state that the Jewish men I have known, intimately or otherwise, through both the online and offline worlds, have, on the whole, been more articulate and more literate than the general run of men out there. I’m a writer, so this matters to me. After all, sex is just sex. But a guy in this day and age who can spell and punctuate? That is not to be sniffed at.