love out loud: what indie music owes to the pill
‘Oh my god Dunja, just once would you go for someone clean?’
Such was the reaction of my good friend, Lily, upon seeing a photo of Dracula, a recent partner-in-dalliance. When I pointed out that I do tend to favour men who shower and use cologne, she responded that what she meant by clean was someone who would wash their hair and maybe shave regularly.
Research recently undertaken by Alexandra Alvergne and Virpi Lummaa at the University of Sheffield, suggests that the contraceptive pill might alter mate choice in humans. This is because women want to be impregnated by Neanderthals with hairy chests that will scare off urban predators, but would prefer to raise their crib midgets with dudes of a more SNAG-esque persuasion. As the pill doesn’t allow for the hormone-induced changes in partner preference that occur during ovulation, those using it will theoretically be more attracted to pretty guys all month round (those who don’t want to trawl academic journals can get a rough overview here).
In essence, the pill has given birth to sexual freedom as well as the ability for boys to spend their adolescence Warcrafting alone in their rooms only to emerge at the end in skinny leg jeans and a vitamin D deficiency and still get laid. With the number of girls who are now on the pill, I’d hazard a guess that a high proportion of the indie music scene’s groupies are likewise avoiding a mid-menstrual-cycle inclination toward muscly types whose primary form of communication is best described as grunting.
Accordingly, this is a categorical difference between Lily and me: she is on the pill and I am not. Even more accordingly, the only relationship I did get into when I was using the contraceptive pill was with Bob Dylan, who rid his hair of product on a daily basis and always emanated the slightest waft of washing powder, due to the frequency with which he washed his clothes. But him aside, the men who have rocked my world have mostly been scarier looking, or at least significantly more unkempt, than the clean cut, well-dressed, borderline metrosexuals of Lily’s dating history.
Perhaps I am not attributing enough weight to the individual differences between Lily and me in our mate choices. And maybe this is all an oversimplification, but it’s also funnier and more conducive to this article. After all, you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.