Stephen Fry has enraged feminists with a bizarre outburst in which he claimed that women are incapable of enjoying sex.
The openly homosexual broadcaster said it was clear that women had no interest in sex from the fact that they do not go out seeking casual encounters in graveyards or on Hampstead Heath.
He claimed that women only go to bed with men “because sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship”.
Fry’s remarks have been branded “rubbish” and "madness" by feminists who have questioned his qualifications for making pronouncements on female sexuality.
The 53-year-old, who hosts the popular quiz show QI on BBC1, launched the bizarre tirade in an interview published in the November issue of Attitude magazine.
He said: "If women liked sex as much as men, there would be straight cruising areas in the way there are gay cruising areas. Women would go and hang around in churchyards thinking: 'God, I've got to get my f------- rocks off', or they'd go to Hampstead Heath and meet strangers to shag behind a bush.
“It doesn't happen. Why? Because the only women you can have sex with like that wish to be paid for it."
He continued: "I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want.
“Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, 'Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!' But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?"
Germaine Greer, the eminent feminist author and academic, said Fry’s remarks were “gratuitous” and accused the broadcaster of having “delusions of grandeur”.
She said: “Stephen Fry is clearly under a delusion that he is an authority on female sexuality. Well, if he thinks that women are not interested in genital encounters with total strangers then he is absolutely right. But to conclude that we are therefore uninterested in sex is madness.
“It is true that men have an interest in a kind of sex which women find infinitely depressing, and it’s true that women really don’t want to hang around toilets hoping that someone will come along and play with their bits. That is not what passion is about for us and we would be placing ourselves in mortal danger if it was.
“Women have an idea of passion which men like Stephen can’t even begin to imagine. What women yearn for is intimacy. The fact that for women sex is an integral part of closeness doesn’t mean we are any less interested in it.’
Rosie Boycott, the feminist journalist, also denounced Fry’s outburst as “rubbish”.
She said: “Women are just as capable as men are of enjoying sex. We don't go cruising or cottaging on Hampstead Heath because we don't need to.”
Paul Flynn, the journalist who interviewed Fry, said: "I thought it was quite an odd generalisation to make at the time, but he delivered it with certainty and it was clearly something he'd thought about."
Fry also used his interview to disclose details of the “extraordinary underworld” of cottaging – anonymous sex between homosexual men in public lavatories - with which he was “slightly obsessed” in his youth.
Fry responded angrily to criticism over his comments on the microblogging website Twitter last night.
He tweeted to his 1,910,676 followers: "So some f------- paper misquotes a humorous interview I gave, which itself misquoted me and now I'm the Antichrist. I give up."
Moments later, he sent a second message saying: "Bye bye," prompting fears among his followers that he intends to leave Twitter in protest against the outcry.