And this is the point: there was nothing extraordinary or remarkable about his apparently humble self-mockery. Often, these are non-verbal, or so understated as to be almost undetectable.Alternatively, his invitation may be so sexually explicit that it can easily be dismissed as a meaningless drunken joke if it backfires.'I tried to get off with her but she wasn't having any' at least sounds cocky and laddish, whereas 'I asked her out for coffee but she said no' just sounds pathetic.)English females are accustomed to this rather ambivalent form of courtship.Sometimes, however, we find it hard to read the signals accurately, and spend inordinate amounts of time discussing the possible meaning of some obscure hint or ambiguous gesture with our female friends.In which case, chat-up lines such as 'Er, fancy a s***? English males are particularly squeamish about the idea of dating.Going on a 'date' is just a bit too explicit, too official and unambiguous — the sort of embarrassing cards-on-the-table declaration of intent that the naturally cautious, indirect Englishman prefers to avoid.
Indeed, during the course of my research, I was continually struck by the difficulty of having any sort of sensible conversation about sex.Today, she decodes our unique behaviour in the bedroom.The notion that the English don't have much sex, or have a laughably low sex-drive, is widely accepted as fact — particularly abroad.And banter specifically excludes all the things that make us uncomfortable: emotion, soppiness, earnestness and clarity.Banter allows courting couples to communicate their feelings without ever saying what they really mean, which would be embarrassing.Or that 'You're just not my type', uttered in the right tone and in the context of banter, can be tantamount to a proposal of marriage.