Having returned once again to the dating trenches, I've been surprised by just how many attractive women there are in Sydney and how few of them want to have sex with me.
This is largely my fault, seeing as I only go out once a fortnight to my local RSL, then proceed to drink the bar dry of Jameson; so I'm not always the most attractive prospect.
Recently, I ran into a charming gentleman by the name of James Maclane, a dating coach who teaches men the essential art of attracting women and was surprised when he rated Sydney one of the best places in the country to go out on the pull.
James and his team at Social Coach have worked all over Australia helping men with their social and romantic skills and also sniffed around nightclubs and bars in all our major cities.
He's thus rather uniquely positioned to compare the pros and cons of each (except Darwin and Hobart, sorry).
"Generally, Australian men are a little less socially and romantically savvy, compared to Europeans and even Americans," says James.
"Dating skills and social intelligence are certainly not subjects taught at school, which is a bit unfortunate. If you weren't blessed with socially confident parents or, friends who did really well with women when you were at school, it can be a very difficult thing to learn as an adult.
"In this country we tend to live in large houses, in sprawling car-dominated cities, everyone held at a distance; it's not a tight-knit living arrangement like many European cities.
"We've also inherited some of the 'sexual repression' of the English, as well as their preference for dealing with all romantic and sexual matters after quite a few drinks.
"And we're now confusing ourselves further by becoming increasingly more status and money oriented like Americans," he says.
So what to do? Where to go?
Well, if you're a single man in Perth, James feels sorry for you. And if you live in Adelaide and dig hot bogan chicks, you've got it made.
His list of best Australian cities for the single guy looks like this:
So let's take them one at a time and hear what James has to say.
The Hidden Aussie Paradise. You'll regularly see a really average-looking dude with a mullet, flannel shirt and a pack of Winnie Blues with a model-hot woman, dressed to kill.
"Seriously, hot girls will come and pick you up if you can dress OK and hold their eye contact," says James.
He theorises that any male with a "bit of go in him" leaves Adelaide by age 21, leaving many extremely hot girls to fight it out for whoever's left (that'd be the dude with the mullet).
"There also seems to be a decent population of attractive, international students in the city because of Adelaide Uni," he says.
"The main negative for guys is that local, more 'enlightened' men, report struggling to find an interesting conversation with attractive women.
"It may be a little politically incorrect but there are hot Aussie bogan chicks galore with nowhere near enough attractive men to go around."
Awesome, if you know what you're doing and tick all the boxes; otherwise it can be tough.
"For guys who know what they are doing and who tick most of the boxes, Sydney is very easy. Men have a huge number attractive, intelligent women (who will only date a certain kind of guy) and a large number of tourists to choose from," says James.
On the flip side, he says it's a brutal environment for women over 25.
"In Sydney (and Adelaide) you regularly see large groups of attractive women with no guys whatsoever. This would be rare in Melbourne and Brisbane and unheard of in Perth and Canberra," says James.
"Even the most desirable women can really struggle here with the 'man drought'. So much so, that many decent women just give up on dating altogether, making the dating pool even smaller for less confident guys."
Still, James says many guys do struggle to attract women in Sydney for a variety of reasons.
(i) "Many Sydney women are just not prepared to compromise," he says. "They only want the 'dream guy'. There aren't many of those to go around. And they get no shortage of attention."
(ii) "Post-codes, schools and careers play a huge part in Sydney social life and many outsiders report that making friends with natives is very difficult".
(iii) "Many desirable guys new to Sydney report seeing many attractive women by day, but have no luck ever finding where they go at night. It seems the private party scene is big and if you can't break into it, it can be tough meeting great girls in bars. If you're not skilled or bold enough to try to talk to girls during the day it can be a really difficult city," says James.
(iv) "Kings Cross sucks in a huge percentage of the city's most attractive women at night, leaving far less for other places. So, if the Cross is not your style, you'd think hot girls don't go to bars much."
(v) "The extremely high cost of living and spectacular property prices understandably can make some women fairly cautious in their choice of mate. A woman who grew up in eastern Sydney may need to marry a man on a reasonable income if she is to live near where she grew up, and be able to take time off work to raise her kids," says James.
In this respect, he argues Sydney has become very much like New York and London: There are lots of accomplished, lonely people here.
"Many people's lives seem largely work and career-focused and there's very little time for anything else; dating, travel, arts, culture, sport, seeking some enlightenment, happiness," says James.
He also says that, because of the huge focus many Sydneysiders have on their careers, many professional men aren't particularly masculine and many professional women aren't particularly feminine.
"Most exercise regimes seem to focus on the gym/running for both sexes rather than, say, masculine sports for men and/or ballet and salsa for women," says James.
"I regularly see groups of eight immaculately-presented women sitting face-to-face at a corner table, seemingly expecting some super-confident, handsome guy to come up and make a sincere attempt at getting to know them in front of her seven friends," says James.
Not likely to happen in this country.
Plenty of great-looking girls to go around, although James's clients report struggling to find a decent conversation. Upgrade your style from a printed T, you might stand out.
James says it's roughly a 50-50 gender split of attractive people in Brisvegas.
"Obviously it's got great weather a lot of the year. Guys who learn a bit about style and go beyond the printed T-shirt once in a while might do really well," says James.
"There's plenty of party action on the Gold Coast; skinny, buxom platinum blondes and partying tourists galore and they're just waiting for strong confident and athletic locals to come along and join them.
"Again for any brighter guys who are struggling in Brisbane you may want to give Sydney a try; a little bit of masculinity can go a fair way in the better suburbs, particularly if you up it in the style stakes," he says.
James says these are his impressions of Brisbane, as "I've spent the least amount of time here of any of the cities".
About average; maybe not quite so much glamour but far many more interesting and enlightened women.
Having run many events in Melbourne and dated lots of girls there, James says it's roughly even-Steven for both sexes.
"Melbourne obviously lacks the weather and beaches that other state capitals have, and people tend to be a little less physically active and/or looks orientated," he says.
"Many of the men and women tend to be more arts, culture and book-minded than the other capitals. In many respects, the cliche is true; Melbourne is a more enlightened city than the other Aussie capitals.
"Property prices and the cost of living are not horrendous (like Sydney), so the city seems a little bit less status-oriented, than Sydney or Perth. Another interesting thing about Melbourne is that the people seem to travel a lot more than the other capital cities, which makes them more worldly," says James.
Compared with Sydney, it's very friendly and both sexes seem to have a better sense of style.
"It also has a really social, fun-to-be-around bar and cafe scene. Unlike many of the other cities, the bars and clubs aren't purely pick-up joints or meat markets; they're just nice places to hang out in," says James.
Beautiful, clean, well organised city. But cold and everyone knows everyone.
"Canberra seems to be an oasis of highly-educated, cultured, enlightened, reasonably well paid men in high level positions in the public service," says James.
"Guys really struggle here because of a relative shortage of women. I'd bet any half decent woman living here would have a very easy time of it with dating," he says.
Intelligent, single Sydney girls might consider the three-hour drive.
Extremely tough. Armies of tall, athletic, masculine men and just a few seriously hot girls to go round. Remember, though, a little bit of style and culture can go a long way with some of the best ladies.
James says dating can be very tough for guys, yet for fit, reasonably attractive women it's very easy.
"There's a small number of extremely attractive women (the city is famous for models) and, because of the weather, everything is always on display. It seems there are 10 tall, athletic, masculine, highly-paid guys for each hot girl," says James.
"It has a heavy, almost-overwhelming sport, beach, drinking culture compared to most other places in Australia. It seems to be an extremely masculine place, even in the really wealthy places.
"Because of the weather, it's really a minimal clothing city so men and women must stay in shape. Fit, attractive women have it very easy," he says.
However, thanks to the mining boom you'll also encounter "materialism, status-consciousness on a grand scale".
"A little bit of good news: guys who are just a bit more enlightened, better dressed and more well read than average can find a really powerful niche in Perth. This would be among the really beautiful women, who are not willing to date just another beer swilling, surfing, footy player," says James.
"For the many Perth guys who really do struggle, consider getting some style advice and maybe taking your annual holiday in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, where there are large numbers of attractive, educated women just waiting for masculine, single guys," he says.
NB: Billabong hat, singlet, boardies and thongs with Oakley's sunglasses won't get you far here, however.
If you'd like to check out James's website and his services, go here.