Stephen Fry returns to Twitter after row over claim that women don't like sex

Heidi Blake

Stephen Fry has returned to Twitter after leaving in a fit of pique following criticism over a magazine interview in which he claimed that women do not enjoy sex.

The author and broadcaster returned to the micro-blogging site after a four-day absence, sharing a link to a blog post in which he declared his belief that women are in fact capable of enjoying sex.

Fry, who is openly homosexual, found himself at the centre of a row at the weekend after he claimed that women only go to bed with men "because sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship".

He added: "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."

The 53-year-old faced a storm of criticism after the comments were published in a Sunday newspaper and responded by announcing his departure from Twitter in an angry post on the micro-blogging website.

He wrote to his 1,918,518 followers: "So some f----- paper misquotes a humorous interview I gave, which itself misquoted me and now I'm the Antichrist. I give up."

Fry followed the first message with a second that simply read: "Bye bye" and changed his biography to read: "No longer in service".

His departure prompted a flurry of panic among his millions of followers who flooded Twitter sympathetic messages bearing the hash-tag #weloveStephenFry.

It came a year to the day after Fry temporarily abandoned Twitter because he thought there was "too much aggression and unkindness around".

But he returned for the second time today to share the link to his latest blog post and write: "Hello there! Thought it was time I had a little blog. To set the record straight. Or straightish."

Explaining his decision to leave on his blog, he wrote: "You may wonder why I duck out of Twitter at such times: well it may seem pusillanimous but it’s really, as I have said, just to avoid being sympathised with or told about an article I would otherwise never have got wind of. I soon enough slink back and before long it’s as if nothing happened. Clears the air. Does good on all sides."

The broadcaster also declared that he would never give another print interview, any more than he would consent to be: "mugged, raped or burgled".

He said that he did not mean his original remarks to be taken as "some eternal gender truth" and said he was simply "taking a thought for a walk".

Fry added: "I know that women enjoy sex. If women also say (and I’m in no position to agree or disagree with them) that they have as equally insistent and urgent libidos as men then I have no doubt that must be true also. It is perhaps sad to think that they are as pathetically in the grip of a base and humiliating need to get their rocks off as men are, but if that is the case then that is the case and god knows I’m no expert on the subject."

His return was met with delight by his legion of loyal fans on Twitter.

One woman, tweeting under the name bonniegrrl, wrote: "Twitter without @StephenFry is like a cupcake without icing! Thank the Bluebird his bio now says: "Normal service being resumed..."

Another user wrote to Fry: "Glad you're ok. You left us alone with the haters - you have to ignore them as we do."