I met my first wife at a party. I met my second wife at a party — and I’m convinced that I will meet my third wife at a party too. As I write, London is awash with parties, so my chances of finding my next wife are looking good.

So far, I’ve met a sweet, bisexual marine biologist, a German curator — I’m not sure of what, but then everyone is a “curator” these days — a beautiful art critic who is famously bad in bed and one living legend. Her name is Tina. Tina Brown....

I met my first wife at a party. I met my second wife at a party — and I’m convinced that I will meet my third wife at a party too. As I write, London is awash with parties, so my chances of finding my next wife are looking good.

So far, I’ve met a sweet, bisexual marine biologist, a German curator — I’m not sure of what, but then everyone is a “curator” these days — a beautiful art critic who is famously bad in bed and one living legend. Her name is Tina. Tina Brown. Yes, that Tina Brown.

Younger readers might be scratching their heads wondering: who’s that? (That’s like when young people say, “who are the Doors?”) She was the editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk magazine. (Gen-Z readers will be wondering: were they bands too?) Tina was once the Queen of New York, a media mogul at the center of modern celebrity and social power.

It’s funny how that Tina-New York media universe, once so powerful, has disappeared off the radar. But in the 1990s all ambitious journalists in London waited for the call from Tina or Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter; it was the stuff of our dreams. My friend Toby Young got a call from Carter to come work at Vanity Fair. My friend Tom Shone got a call from Tina to come work at Talk. And I got a call from my wife Julie Burchill saying she was leaving me for another woman. It’s a funny old world!

But I love going to parties and chatting up high-powered, high-status women who are never interested in low-status, no-power men like me. I tried it with Madonna once and bombed. I tried it with Anna Wintour and bombed. Nigella Lawson. Bombed. I could go on forever.

When I first saw Tina at my friend’s party I said to myself: don’t even think about it. She won’t be interested in talking to you. But hold on, I thought; after all, she’s a woman and you’re a man! Actually, to women like Tina Brown I’m not a man; I’m navel fluff.

That said, when I meet these high-powered women I have this hope that maybe they’ve grown tired of all those super-rich, super-successful, super-power men with their beautiful big homes in the Hamptons, Paris and London, and that living with me in my small, dingy, two-bedroom apartment with the leaky toilet in North London would be a refreshing and exotic change for them. “Gosh, you have such pongy drains and charming damp patches on the ceiling — how wonderfully Les Misérables!”

OK, men like me don’t have big houses and lots of money, but we’re funny, cute, sweet and lovable. (When I pointed this out to my friend who only dates high-status men she replied, “So are gerbils!”) But the thing about high-powered men is that they’re no fun to be with — especially in the bedroom. They think about work all the time; we think about sex all the time. But then power women aren’t interested in sex; for them power is sex.

But Tina is not like that. I know what really turns Tina on: talent. In her student days she allegedly slept with one of the ugliest men in British journalism because she loved his writing. That’s so romantic!

My Tina fantasy goes like this: after a long afternoon of cold vodka and hot sex she whispers in my ear, “that was the most amazing sex of my life, thank you!” She then begs to read all my old pieces and declares, “My God you’re a brilliant writer — if only Malcolm Gladwell had half your talent!” And after our weekend of passion, I’d text her: Marry me? “Yes, of course,” she replies. “You really are the most fascinating — and talented — man I’ve met in my life. Love T xxx.”

The thing about trying to chat up a high-powered woman is that you can hold her attention for less than two minutes before you lose her. So you have to make an impression fast. Forget the small talk and go straight for the filth. My opening line to Germaine Greer was: “So, what was Warren Beatty like in bed?” To my surprise she did not tell me to F-off, but did an impression of Warren having an orgasm — what a classy broad! (And what a funny guy!) I was wondering, should I go up to Tina and say: so, what was Martin Amis like in the sack? (They’d been lovers at Oxford.)

I didn’t and we had a nice chat about journalism and various people. The thing is Tina is really sweet, surprisingly warm — and dead sexy! I waited twenty years for the Tina call — but alas, I suspect I’ve got a lot more waiting to do.

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s August 2022 World edition.