GOTN Avatar

A guy with no sense of humour walks into a bar

Sorry ladies, the news is in. A study of 80 dudes somewhere in America, as reported by world class science journal The Metro, concluded that men don’t want you to have a sense of humour. Well, they do want you to have a sense of humour, but one which means you laugh at all their jokes rather than coming up with your own.

It’s a shame, because for so many years we straight girls have been desperately trying to earn the right to write ‘GSOH’ on our dating profiles. Guys might complain that we’re taking an hour to pick an outfit before a night out, but they don’t realise that while they’re tapping watches and rattling car keys we’ve spent forty-five minutes putting the finishing touches to our favourite version of that Aristocrats story.

I’m joking, of course, but you’re not obliged to laugh.

Here’s the deal: some people are hilariously funny to me. Their humour gels well with mine, probably because they grew up on the same diet of Rik Mayall and Viz magazine. Other people are unutterably tedious, and I find their jokes about as funny as an Arrested Development marathon.

See that bit about Arrested Development? I will probably get more shit from people who love it than I usually get from “Men’s Rights Activists” when I write about feminism. For a very good reason: if comedy matters to you, it really fucking matters. I’ve known people who’d break up with a partner if they didn’t like Python, or stop speaking to them for a month because they couldn’t agree on the best episode of Red Dwarf (I probably wouldn’t dump you over a Red Dwarf argument but I would hit you hard and fast with a major – and I mean major – leaflet campaign).

There are loads of couples for whom making each other giggle is fairly low on the priority list. They share loads of other cool shit – comfort, great sex, a sense of adventure, a passion for tasting all the different cheeses they can buy from the local organic market, whatever.

Humour is like sex to me, and it matters as much and for the same reasons: it’s personal, it’s powerful, it’s something raw and open and intimate. If you do things to me in bed that elicit a shuddering climax, you’ll have my attention. The endorphins, the connection, the sheer physical joy of letting yourself go, blah blah. For the same reason, you’ll get my attention pretty quickly if you make me laugh.

Equally, when we’re fucking, you’ll quickly lose me to boredom/sadness/someone else if the best reaction I can get out of you is a barely-disguised yawn. I want sparks, whimpers, bangs, and a veritable firehose of jizz. I need a similar level of enthusiasm when I tell you a joke.

If you don’t find me funny, don’t fuck me

Onto the survey, and the reason why it’s tosswank. The 80 men they spoke to about their GSOH preferences may well have been indicative of the general population. It might be that straight dudes in general don’t want girls to tell jokes. I seriously doubt it, but fine. For the purposes of this argument, please file that fact in the ‘could not give a shit’ folder.

It doesn’t matter to me what the majority of men want, and if you’re a straight girl it absolutely shouldn’t matter to you. Look: often the majority want really awful things. They want to watch Del Boy falling through the bar in Only Fools and Horses for the seven thousandth time. They guffaw at grandmas falling over and showing their knickers in hilarious ‘caught on camera’ TV shows. And while we’re on the subject of awful, tedious drivel, you know what’s been voted ‘Best Comedy’ at the National Television Awards for fully three years in a row? Mrs Brown’s Boys.

If you’re looking to find the love of your life, or even just the love of your Saturday night, don’t go doing what the majority want. You’re not a trawler casting as wide a net as possible to catch a whole bunch of just any old fish. You’re looking for a really particular kind of person: someone you fancy who fancies you back. If all you want is a fuck, you can doll yourself up and smile prettily at everyone, bite your tongue when you think of a witty remark and cross everything you really want off your ‘fancy’ list – you may well end up getting laid. But is it actually going to be any fun? How much are you going to enjoy fucking someone if they respond to your jokes with a glazed look or a polite cough?

Here are two messages I received when I was registered on OKCupid:

Message 1: “I don’t get it when girls try to be funny on sites like this.”

Message 2: “I’ve never laughed so much at a dating profile before.”

Guess which guy got laid?

The Metro article is bullshit because it rests on the idea that the results of this survey actually matter. It’s written as if straight girls who read it will have some kind of revelation, and immediately change their behaviour in order to snag a guy who’s a proper catch. In reality, jokes matter to some but not all of us. If you’re not that funny, you won’t need someone to laugh at your jokes, because there’ll be other things you value. If you are funny, or you aspire to be, you’ll be fully aware that not everyone gets you.

Listen up: straight guys, Metro journalists, and scientists who tell jokes for studies: the world isn’t divided into men vs women, with one gender getting the mic and the other sitting in the audience. Your job isn’t to mould us into people so bland that anyone could reasonably look at you and go ‘meh, you’re OK.’ The point is to find someone who gets you so hard that they cannot tear themselves away. Whether it’s your warmth, your lovely arse, your political ranting, or your awful impression of David Cameron.

I don’t expect you to find me funny, as long as you don’t expect me to fuck you.


  • Bee says:

    “if you don’t find me funny don’t fuck me”

    I couldn’t agree more! Props GOTN xx

  • Vida says:

    Being funny is incredibly central to being who I am, for me. God, that’s a terrible sentence. But you know what I mean. There’s a particular joy to be found in being able to make men laugh. I like it when they appreciate my cupcakes with enthusiasm in the same way, actually.

    The worst thing in the world is when you’re with a group of men, you say something funny, no one laughs, then a couple beats later one of them says exactly the same thing, and they all guffaw. This is such a bad, bad move, men. Don’t do that sort of thing.

    I hideously embarrassed myself in class today. Wardrobe malfunction. Gah. But I’ve just realised, reading this, that it was worth it, because when I told the story to my class of 4 lovely people who I get on with really well, it made my Catalan student (who has such a deep voice that the little classroom vibrates when he talks, laugh so much he cried. So… worth the horror.

  • Ian says:

    Being able to laugh with my wife is one of the central and most important joys of my life. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it would be to love someone who didn’t think you were funny, or how cold it would be to be with someone who didn’t make you laugh.

  • Alex England says:

    I’m amazed you wasted your time writing about such poppycock. 80 men said…… you can find 80 men (or women) to say anything, and it’ll always be rubbish. My girl and I spend all our time laughing, but we never ‘tell jokes’. We just enjoy each others’ company and with that comes giggling and laughing and teasing and pointing out silly things about the world. We don’t need to ‘tell jokes.’ And have you really been ‘desperately trying to earn the right to write ‘GSOH’ on our dating profiles’? I feel so sad for you all. Is that what the modern world has come to?

  • D. says:

    I probably wouldn’t dump you over a Red Dwarf argument but I would hit you hard and fast with a major – and I mean major – leaflet campaign


    That is all.

  • Ian says:

    I couldn’t help myself, as my brain tripped over “veritable firehose of jizz”, I think it was the earnest adjective that really did it. So I Googled “Firehose flow rate”, and a minimum appears to be 100 gallons per minute, so assuming the orgasm lasts 4 seconds (I’m only guessing, I have a small sample size) that’s at least 6.6 gallons of the stuff. Eek!

    It does seem this “study” rather incideously rehashes some outdated gender roles, is it only me that detects some underlying 50’s morality in “men prefer women who are receptive to their jokes” hinting at desired female submission and fatuousness? Even if this undercurrent is only a perceived one, you’re quite right the idea that 80 US-based, hetrosexual, college undergraduates could usefully be extrapolated to characterise the population as a whole is surely ludicrous! Even if we tenuously were to accept the basic mathmatical merit of the study, the message it provides is an appalling one to young women and me alike who, sadly, are the ones most likely to ingest “news” as promulgated by such pop culture/news outlets.

    *drops mic and walks offstage*

    …Also, I can’t be the only one who’d quite like to hear GOTN’s version of the Aristocrats joke!

  • RB says:

    Oh God, I have to be with someone who I can make laugh, or vice versa. I’m a comedian so it’s basically how I communicate; it’s a fantastic way of easing tension, of bonding, of finding common ground and being honest, romantically and sexually. Otherwise, what’s the point? Back at the start of my ethically slutty phase I was flirting with possibly the most beautiful man I’ve ever met; I nearly drooled at the sight of him. But any intentions fell apart because any joke, any laugh to be had, just never had any effect on him at all; he took things so very seriously and never cracked a smile despite there being humour to be had, and I just gave up completely. It was stilted and awkward for that reason. I could never just fuck someone without bonding in that way.

    So, yeah. What GOTN said. x

  • CGAM says:

    Fucking hell, funny women – that is IT for me. More than anything else. I haven’t finished reading this article yet and I had to scroll down and post this; there is nothing hotter I swear. I don’t mean like ‘funny within the context of a relationship’ funny, when you get to know each other’s foibles and shit, as I don’t think that really counts – I mean funny funny. It doesn’t seem to be a sentiment I hear expressed that many heterosexual men and that is genuinely annoying to me.

    I made a mental list the other day of all the famous women I fancy and they’re nearly all comedians – I didn’t even realise beforehand. I’ve given people this answer when asked about what I’m most attracted to in women and I don’t think anyone’s ever appreciated how fucking much I mean it. Or they’ve assumed I’m being self-consciously unshallow or something because I didn’t say something physical. But there is nothing more attractive.

  • Dumb Domme says:

    For a very good reason: if comedy matters to you, it really fucking matters.

    FUCK. YES.

    men don’t want you to have a sense of humour. Well, they do [. . .] one which means you laugh at all their jokes rather than coming up with your own.

    One of the things I loved best about my last relationship was my ability to make that man laugh (hard and often). He got my humor, he appreciated my humor… and he also got laid (hard and often). Funny how that works. :)

  • music says:

    Damn straight! I absolutely love this post. It’s a breath of fresh air, and a wonderful response to a survey that could have done more damage than good.

  • Rapunzel says:

    Interesting you should mention The Aristocrats: I did a study on a group of men (me, myself and I). Turns out it is an irrefutable fact that Sarah Silverman is the sexiest woman ever to have existed. Because she is funny as fuck.

  • I have been known to not want sex, then my bloke has made me laugh and I’ve gone “oh go on then!” Laughter turns me on, I’ve never gone out with anyone who didn’t make me laugh. Making him laugh feels awesome too x

  • Advizor54 says:

    In college, when I was madly in love with Allison, she broke up with me with this line,

    “I think we should break up, because I don’t laugh at your jokes.” That broke my heart, but she continued, “I know you are funny because everyone else laughs, but I don’t, and it wouldn’t be fair to you.”

    A that moment I was willing to give up every episode of Flying Circus,, Three’s Company, All in the Family, and M*A*S*H (yes, i’m old-er) in order to keep her, but she was right. She never laughed at my jokes, not the clean ones, the dirty ones, the saucy ones or…or….or….. I hated losing her, but I also realized she didn’t think at all how I did. She didn’t find humor in disaster (my family) or mirth in misery. She HATED puns and in retrospect I’m glad she had the wisdom to see that this was an important part of who i was. She’s still in my heart, obviously, as i write about her 25 years later, but she was a wise 19 year old.

    • Girl on the net says:

      This made me properly sad, but I totally get this. You’re right, I think she was wise. That’s bloody hard to hear though.

  • Is that laughing with you or at you, that they want? As I am happy to do both, especially if the guy is a complete bell end

  • Russell says:

    Laughed out Loud at the Red Dwarf Hard Leaflet campaign. You really went out there and twatted it.

  • Digibroc says:

    I think there’s an issue with their data, and I can totally see how it could happen. I’ll try to extrapolate backwards, using my ridiculously tuned research knowledge and skillset.

    80 men said they don’t want a woman that tells jokes
    80 men said they didn’t want a woman with a sense oh humor
    80 men said they didn’t want a woman who laughs a lot
    80 men said they didn’t want a woman who would laugh at them
    80 men said they didn’t want a woman who would laugh at their cock

    thank you…I’ll be here all week!

  • Blue Romantic says:

    “Everybody’s dead Dave…”

  • Richard says:

    90 seconds is a length of time that features heavily in my life. It is how long it takes me to have sex (ok, 95 if it’s the second time within a week) it’s the length of time it takes to walk to the shop to buy beer. It’s also the length of time it takes to walk back, despite the extra weight.
    It’s also the maximum length of time I could stand to watch Mrs Browns Boys before feeling a desire to peel myself with a razor. Then it’s the length of time I would happily sit in a vat of vinegar, after being peeled, instead of watching another 90 seconds of that disgraceful diarrhoea.
    Probably not what your post is about but felt a desire to say something. Keep up the good work.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I understand completely. Someone made me watch a bit of it once and I have been trying to forget it ever since.

  • Torta Rustica says:

    When, at the beginning of time, I had to choose between being sexy or being funny, I went for funny.
    Fuck men with no sense of humour! Actually, no. Don’t fuck them

  • I was shocked by the study you mentioned. There are actually men who don’t want the women they date to be funny? (And where did they find these stuffed shirt asshats, anyway?)

    I couldn’t wrap my brain around it at first. How could this be? Then, I figured it out. These are the same men who are intimidated by intelliget women. Witty people are usually smart people. There you go.

    I totally agree with you on this, GOTN, I couldn’t have sex with someone who doesn’t get my sense of humor. (Hell, I don’t even like to be in the grocery store with people who don’t get my sense of humor.) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, laughter is the best aphrodisiac. A good belly laugh is akin to a good orgasm – combine both, add some cocktails – boom – perfect evening right there.

    This also gave me an idea for a new form of sex play. Tie your partner up, stand in front of a brick wall under a spot light and tell jokes until they are begging you to fuck them. What would we call it? Comedism?

    Great post as usual!


    • Girl on the net says:

      Haha, OMG I would totally be up for that. As long as the person telling the jokes is funny, I’d be begging for a shag within about … oooh… 15 minutes?

  • Brendan James says:

    Anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a woman being funny is a Fucking idiot! Who wouldn’t want to be around a woman he can have a good laugh with! I saw Katherine Ryan live recently and was surprised to be a little disappointed (not that I’m in any way suggesting that’s indicative of anything though – just thought I’d mention). Please tell me though GOTN, that you ARE a fan of ‘Only Fools!!!’ Don’t think I could handle it if you’re not, you were kind of the perfect woman up til then! Lol. Granted, the falling through the bar thing is massively over-egged though! The chandelier, and loads of other bits were far better!

  • Brendan James says:

    Loving your book btw! Please do another one! :)

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thank you =) Really glad you like it! There may be another one coming at some point… we’ll see.

      Katherine Ryan is awesome – I saw her a while ago and loved her. She was on Radio 4 recently – I think it was Susan Calman’s new show about lists (which is well fun, if you haven’t heard it already). Sorry to have to say though that I’m not a massive fan of Only Fools. It’s a bit too gentle and rests on slapstick for big pieces (like the chandelier). Perhaps if I’d grown up on it I’d feel differently.

  • Jo says:

    Heck yes! If I don’t initially find someone physically or sexually attractive, but that person makes me laugh my ass off, I become attracted to him / her. funny>hot

  • Azkyroth says:

    A guy with no sense of humour walks into a bar


    …and everyone else laughs.

  • Jazmina says:

    Every article that I read by you I think we seem very similar and seem to have had pretty similar experiences and seem to have reacted similarly too. I bet we’d get on really well, that doesn’t happen often to me when reading blogs or articles and makes a refreshing change. so referring to this artcile, I agree that basically you shouldn’t give a fuck and tell that joke regardless of your gender. We’ve grown up in an age where most comedians haqve been male but that’s slowly changing and now some of my favourite comedians are female. Us women have been told that we should laugh at mens jokes and that we’re not funny even when we try, but I get a lot of people roaring on occasion, and that’s a thrill for as much as it is for them. It gets your blood pumping and chills you out, not to mention the oxytocin released. A good deep belly laugh is a cure all, just like a good thorough screw. I recommend Diane Spencer as a comedian you might enjoy. She has five hour long shows on Youtube, start with Hurricane Diane or Wit, Charm and Filth is my personal favourite. I was going to actually recommend your blog to her as well. You’re welcome.

  • Bodhi says:

    You don’t like Arrested Development?! I’ve been thinking about buying that for ages. On physical media!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.