Pleasing the sweet lad from Scotland
July 18, 2006 11:02 PM   Subscribe

How to woo a Scottish/Irish boy.. are there tricks or sexual customs I should know? What is he used to from the local girls?

We're brand new, but plowing along. I find myself getting insecure about the cultural divide, curious to know if sex and couplehood customs differ as much as our language does.

Help me, how can an American girl appropriately woo a Scottish/Irish boy? More specifically, what are the common standards for women on the other side of the Atlantic?

Feel free to be explicit, as it's the sex and love stuff that I'm most concerned about. I know how to order haggis online, and am teaching myself to do a mean yorkshire pudding.

The things that confound me are perhaps more juicy: how do women across the sea deal with the grooming of their sex bits? what acts are most popular or entirely unpopular? how do these sweet boys respond best to girl overtures, both physical and emotional?

Not to standardize or shoebox, but please.. I need help!
posted by cior to Society & Culture (41 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

You're kidding, right? Women picking up boys--in any Western culture, anyway--is easy. Flirt like you would with any American boy and see how it goes. Why would you be "concerned" about the sex? I can't imagine it's terribly different on either end of the pond. Just remember he'll be uncut, and BJs are universally appreciated.
posted by zardoz at 11:18 PM on July 18, 2006

Joke I overheard recently (told to my fiancé as he showed up to a party in a skirt kilt):

Q. What do Scotsmen wear under their kilts?

A. On a good day, lipstick.

... and you can go from there.

Also, while your intent not to totally offend him with some minor thing is admirable, it sounds like he's already dating you. That is, he's already dating you -- not some construct of Girl that conforms to common standards of [UK] women. He's just a guy, and you're just a girl; we're all trying to figure it out, best as we can. I doubt he'll freak out if you're, for example, shaved more or less than he's most accustomed to, because most likely, he's seen more significant variation just among UK exes. You probably won't be a statistical outlier. (I hope this doesn't sound like "OMG you're just a notch on the bedpost," because it's not supposed to.)

(Unless you are getting a feeling from him that the cultural divide is quite large? In which case, can you clarify what are the differences you are already perceiving?)
posted by librarina at 11:19 PM on July 18, 2006 [3 favorites]

Wait until he's looking in your direction, then casually lick your eyebrows.
posted by RavinDave at 11:26 PM on July 18, 2006 [11 favorites]

Is he Scottish or Irish? Or a bit of both? It's VERY important for you to understand that the two aren't interchangeable.
posted by bunglin jones at 11:27 PM on July 18, 2006

I think you're worrying too much. We're not talking about somewhere obscure like Booniestan.

Do, however, remember that the people are "Scottish" and the whiskey is "Scotch".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:34 PM on July 18, 2006

I'll fix my own mistake here: The people are "Scots"...
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:42 PM on July 18, 2006

Best answer: Ditto on the Irish / Scottish distinction. That's like saying someone is French / Italian. You talk about him like he comes from another universe. It's only a cultural skip across one ocean. He'll know more about American culture than you'll know about Scottish for sure, but don't worry about it.

My advice, don't be easily offended. The biggest distinctions between British and American humour I have come across straddle the ironic / insulting / obscure borders.

Be yourself. If he wanted to date 'one of his own' he wouldn't have aimed for your knickers. Drink beer with him, make his mates your mates. As a Brit myself I can tell you there are no greater social lubricants than these.
posted by 0bvious at 11:51 PM on July 18, 2006

Drink beer with him

Yes, drink it.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:06 AM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]

Best answer: how do women across the sea deal with the grooming of their sex bits?

If he'll eat haggis, he'll eat anything, so relax.
posted by pracowity at 12:20 AM on July 19, 2006 [21 favorites]

This is a windup right? You don't even know if he's Scots or Irish. That could cause all sorts of problems when you come to buy him a bottle of whisk(e)y.
posted by handee at 1:07 AM on July 19, 2006

OK Cior, here's a little advice. Most Irish guys I know are really sweet, sensitive caring WHILE they are with you. Don't assume that translates into those times they are not with you. Don't get disappointed if they forget to ring while they are with the lads, it really is not you.
Sexually they believe they've hit the jackpot if you're as into sex as your question seems to suggest so relax about that. Explore all the things you want to do to him and I guarantee he'll be drooling!
Only they do need a bit of guidance with your needs.
Another thing I've heard is Irish-US couples arguing a lot over things that you might take for granted. Irish men can still be quite traditional in how they view relationships. And seriously, they'll tell you the most awful things about growing up with thier evil mother, but for God's sake don't ever criticise her! Sympathy, lots of sympathy.
Woman who complain lots are "mouthy". What in the USA you might understand as stating your needs, I've heard Irish men describe as whining.

just some thoughts and I hate stereotyping by nationality but I've lived in a few different countries and sometimes that gives you an insight into your own countrymen. This only applies to the Irish, I have never met a Scotsman!
posted by Wilder at 1:42 AM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]

The Irish / Scottish thing is a bit weird. this makes me think you mean he considers himself Scots-Irish. Is he a flute playing Rangers fan by any chance ;-) (Please, do not ask him that - you could offend!!!)

There is a very big similarity in culture between the Scots-Irish (Ulster-Scots) and there is a big bond between the two, But at the end of the day if he is from Scotland he is Scottish so looking at Irish culture really isn't going to help you much.

The only thing to look out for is the humour - As Obvious notes, do not be offended. We Brits/Irish love our sarcasm and irony.

Other than that I'm sure he likes his sex as much as any Western fella. Everyone has their own sexual desires - doesn't matter if you are Scottish or American, some blokes like it kinky, some don't. Just ask him what he likes.

If he'll eat haggis, he'll eat anything, so relax.

Thanks for the morning "spill coffee all over your keyboard" moment pracowity, that made me laugh.
posted by twistedonion at 1:47 AM on July 19, 2006

Wow. I'm half Scot, half Irish. My (now) wife's sure-fire plan to hook me was to not run away when I put my arm around her one night...

There's nothing distinctive about either - they're (we're) no more or less dirty, uptight, straight-laced or wierd than anywhere else. You get the person you get.

But what liquorice said. Enjoy, relax, and talk to each other. And if I can stereotype for a moment, recognise the fact that you're both likely to be a bit feisty.

Good luck!
posted by dowcrag at 2:14 AM on July 19, 2006

Genuine, 100% Scots & proud here, vaguely disturbed that you're finding significant cultural differences. Think we might need to know more about these (and more about your own cultural background - its not like the 300 million US have a single cohesive cultural background)....

Anyway, he's the "stranger in a (not very) strange land" so he'll be wanting to sample whatever your" local customs" are, so chill, relax & don't try & give him what you think he'd get back home. If he wanted that, he'd be back home...

If you want to post more on the language or cultural differences, or want to clarify anything else about him or his background, feel free to post a follow-up & I'll do my best to put your mind at rest. Scots & Irish are renowned for generally being sociable, chilled out, open minded & eager to explore (otherwise we wouldn't have colonised half the world...!)
posted by khites at 2:21 AM on July 19, 2006

how do women across the sea deal with the grooming of their sex bits?

The same way that they do at home. In varied an interesting manners. Some don't groom at all, some groom it completely away, some have designs. Do what you like, he ain't gonna be upset to find that your hooch is shaved, and he ain't gonna be upset to find that it's a giant bush (although you might catch him picking hairs out of his teeth). He's just going to be happy that he's getting some.

what acts are most popular or entirely unpopular? how do these sweet boys respond best to girl overtures, both physical and emotional?

Whatever you want to do, I'm sure he will be happy. It's not like all Irish girls are "all anal, all the time" or something crazy. Irish girls will vary in their sexual preferences/appetites as much as they do in America.
posted by antifuse at 3:01 AM on July 19, 2006

I never dated a Scotsman, although my husband claims to be half Scots-Irish (think Oliver Cromwell) and half German.

Did date a couple of Irishmen and I would say the sex wasn't really all that good. They were very inhibited.

The first one I was young so thought it was just me.

The second one I had been around the block a few times and thus, knew it wasn't me, it was him.

He used to tell this joke, "What is the definition of a gay Irishman? A man who loves women more than he loves whiskey."

After all this time I couldn't tell you what that meant, but I would say that it seems to me that Protestant Irishmen are not nearly as inhibited as Catholics. Just a broad generalization.

As for "grooming" one's "bits", maybe I am giving away my age but I always thought that what you did with your "bits" was keep them well washed, which is universal.
posted by Ilaine at 3:11 AM on July 19, 2006


If you're really asking "what do I need to do to get him to reciprocate oral sex," the answer is, you've got the wrong boy.

They will, or they won't, and you can't make them like it if they don't. Dump this one and find someone who does.

Good luck.
posted by Ilaine at 3:15 AM on July 19, 2006

In the US, guys usually do the pursuing. Girls can wait around for guys to buy them drinks and approach them.

In the UK, it seems, that girls are the ones that do the approaching.

Also, during my time in the UK, it seemed that the American general girl rule of "If I really like him, I won't sleep with him for 3 dates" does not apply. Guys and girls that I discussed this idea with thought that this was silly. They felt that if one liked a guy, sleeping with him earlier in knowing him showed him that a girl liked him a lot. I told them that girls in the US might sleep with a guy earlier in knowing him, but that this meant that he wasn't boyfriend material.

I don't know if this applies to all Irish and/or Scottish guys, but quite a few of my classmates in the UK were Irish and Scottish and while they were in the UK, these rules seemed to guide them and the women who pursued them.
posted by k8t at 4:06 AM on July 19, 2006

Oh, and I knew a lot of Irish guys who only slept with serious girlfriend... but that could just be them.

And while in the UK, I found that bikini waxing was not as common as it is in the US.
posted by k8t at 4:07 AM on July 19, 2006

1. Forget the haggis, only americans and old men eat that. If you want real old-school cool, "learn" how to make mince and tatties (and add some mustard).

2. If you want to be like the locals, eat a lot of fried food, drink your bodyweight in alcopops and die at 60.

3. It might be too late for this, but zardoz has it: when you first see it, don't crack up that he's uncut -- we're not big on needless operations, so 99% of people don't have it done.

4. Seriously, don't try to be Scottish in your approach to sex. The open American approach is such a breath of lusty air that he'll much prefer your way of going about things, compared to the automatic presbyterian guilt that used to be so common over here.
posted by bonaldi at 4:12 AM on July 19, 2006

And not from personal experience, but the American girls I knew that dated Scottish and Irish guys said that they LOVED b.j.s in a way that the American girls had never seen in American guys who sort of "expected" them.
posted by k8t at 4:14 AM on July 19, 2006

Best answer: What is he used to from the local girls?

If they're Glaswegian then a sixty day habit, couple of kids by the age of seventeen and a never ending diet of buckie and junk food.

I find myself getting insecure about the cultural divide, curious to know if sex and couplehood customs differ as much as our language does.

Now if only your president displayed such concern..

One of the beautiful things about any relationship with someone from another country is finding out the differences between you, but as others have mentioned there really aren't any significant differences to dating.

The most important thing you can do is talk with each other to find out what you both like. Open and honest communication in any relationship is incredibly important, much better than asking an online community what you think he'll like.

Oh, and find him a local shop that sells Irn Bru and pies..
posted by Nugget at 4:45 AM on July 19, 2006

Actually, you can get Irn Bru online, a fact that has made me an extrodinarially happy man.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:18 AM on July 19, 2006

Also don't discount the possibility that he likes you because you aren't like the girls he's known elsehwere.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:07 AM on July 19, 2006

Seconding mince and tatties, but nixing the mustard.

I'm half irish / half ???, born in canada and raised in a scottish/british/german/polish family. Mince and tatties are a childhood favorite, though I think they might be scottish?

When I was young, my sister took highland dancing and performed at the scottish pavilion during Winnipeg's Folklorama. They always had this wonderful dish.
posted by utsutsu at 7:32 AM on July 19, 2006

I'm still confused as to whether he's a Scot, Irish or both. Where did he grow up? Anyway, as a general rule don't be surprised if he likes to spend some quality time in the pub, must Brits/Irish (myself included) think of this as a second home. So I would go with the drink beer advice. As far as sex is concerned, I don't know that things are much different on either side of the atlantic.
posted by ob at 8:07 AM on July 19, 2006

Not to standardize or shoebox,

posted by mdn at 8:41 AM on July 19, 2006

Response by poster: For clarification, he lived in Scotland for a large majority of his life and his parents are Irish. He moved here from London, so really.. this is the whole UK-shebang. I know the difference between the cultures, should've written Scottish-Irish in my original post, as opposed to Scottish/Irish.
posted by cior at 8:49 AM on July 19, 2006

Response by poster: He is not an alien, but he is very different from all who came before and it's produced a bit of anxiety on my part. I'm simply trying to get a grasp of where our differences might be without having to get into a long and weird conversation about it -- he seems happy to avoid mucking about in relationship talk, so I was excited to ask all of you instead.

Thanks for the humor and pep talks.. the reassurance about sex, food and quirks of culture much appreciated.
posted by cior at 9:00 AM on July 19, 2006

a never ending diet of buckie and junk food.

/derail ... what the hell is "buckie?"
posted by frogan at 9:12 AM on July 19, 2006

what the hell is "buckie?"

Buckfast is a 'delightful' tonic wine. Only 15%, but knocks your socks off for unknown reasons. If your boyfriend drinks this stuff, cior, dump him immediately ;-)
posted by jack_mo at 9:28 AM on July 19, 2006

More on several of these topics in the comments at the English To American Dictionary, since both Ireland (well, one of them) and Scotland are part of the UK.
posted by baylink at 9:49 AM on July 19, 2006

typical americanisms i live by:

good sex will get you dinner, great head will get you a fat ring and a mortgage.
posted by Davaal at 9:54 AM on July 19, 2006

For reference, Buckfast tastes like a cough syrup and bleach mixture, and is about as good for you.
posted by influx at 10:28 AM on July 19, 2006

Don't expect him to open his wallet, make sure you hide his coke, and tell him to practice his bagpipes somewhere else. Also, he loves deep-fried Mars bars and deep-fried pizza, guaranteed. </yet more sarcastic stereotyping>
posted by wackybrit at 12:06 PM on July 19, 2006

Response by poster: Funny is great, but sheesh.. some of you are really missing the point. I like a boy, he's different, asked MeFi, didn't expect so much ribbing on the stereotypes. :(
posted by cior at 12:20 PM on July 19, 2006

he is very different from all who came before

You still haven't told us HOW he's different. Is he nicer? Meaner? More indifferent? Quicker/slower to jump in the sack? More/less likely to tell you what he wants in bed, if you've made it that far? If we knew exactly what behaviour was causing you the anxiety, we could be more helpful.
posted by antifuse at 4:16 AM on July 20, 2006

I like a boy, he's different, asked MeFi, didn't expect so much ribbing on the stereotypes. :(

Cior, there's really not much else we can offer. What do you want here? We don't know the guy, and all we have to go on is that "he's Scottish". That's begging for stereotypes, and stereotypes are either done for prejudice or for lolz, and you're getting the lolz.

I'm simply trying to get a grasp of where our differences might be without having to get into a long and weird conversation about it

It's like someone else said: the fun of a cross-culture relationship is discovering these differences together and working with or around them. If you're hoping to work out in advance whether you can avoid the deep intransigent divisions that can put cross-culture relationships on the rocks, you're not going to find that answer here.

I mean, if I say that a big difference between the Scots and the US is a far lower tolerance for hippy-dippy shit, so expect some ribbing if you come home from the therapist with tilted chakras ... what if he's not like that at all? I know hippy-dippy Scots, too.

If he moved to the US, perhaps he was sick of small-minded Scotland and everything shutting at 11pm? We don't know and you're the one who gets the fun of finding out.

I can't even do a summation of basic points here, because all there is to offer are stereotypes, and they're insulting to both nations and probably useless to you. Like antifuse says, if you explain in what way's he is different, we'll be able to narrow down our picture of him and perhaps explain the Scottish perception of him. Until then keep yer smilies to yourself.
posted by bonaldi at 6:04 AM on July 20, 2006

Response by poster: /me completely regrets asking this question. Thank you.
posted by cior at 10:27 AM on July 20, 2006

Baylink, don't make me come over there. Ireland is not part of the UK, and neither NI nor Scotland are very similar to each other, or to Ireland, or (especially) to England.

One thing I've noticed about the USians: alone among the English-speaking countries, you seem to have drawn the line for extremely-OTT drinking at roughly the point that the rest of us call a night out.

Four or five pints of tap beer at the pub is squarely in the 'moderate' range for a bloke from either Ireland or the UK. Providing he's not doing it every night, that whole eyebrow-raising thing so many Americans seem to do when we pick up pint #2 won't be at all welcome.
posted by genghis at 11:34 AM on December 6, 2006

Response by poster: Follow-up, we just bought a house and moved in together. Seems I figured it out.
posted by cior at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2007 [4 favorites]

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