“Did anything… Happyn?” Asks Ben, with a sly wink to David, who’s scrolling through the various dating apps on his phone.
“Nah… think she’s blocked me. I was well cattin’ for a chopping.” I splutter over my tea.
“You were what for a what now?” I’m ignored. The token female in a strictly male conversation. (I later discover ‘catting’ = rather keen and ‘chopping’ = sex)
“What’s Happyn?” Joe pipes up from the sofa.
“Happyn’s like Tinder, but you don’t have to be a prick to be on it.” Jordan replies from the pool table, cue at the ready to hit a red into the far pocket. He misses and swears.
Joe still looks confused, despite Jordan’s excellent explanation.
“Basically, if you fancy someone within 500m, and they’re on Happyn, this app helps you hit on them.” David explains, his eyes fixed on a pixelated blonde who looks like she’s sucking an invisible lollypop. The boys look excited.
“That means you have to be within 500m of some women…” I remind them. There’s a pause. “We’re in Morzine…”
“You mean Manzine.” They all mutter, bitterly.
And it’s true. There is a disproportionate amount of men to women in this small, anglicised French town nestled on the border of the Swiss Alps. Of course I’d known putting a bunch of like-minded guys and girls in a foreign country and then plying them with lots of alcohol and little responsibility, things get a tad messy. But I hadn’t quite expected such an overwhelming masculine majority. And I was curious, how exactly does a 10 – 1 ratio affect a male-dominated microcosm?
Well, for a start, girls definitely do just want to have fun in Morzine. They have so much choice. You can see them on the slopes, the graceful skiers with their fur hats and waist-cinching ski jackets, the too-cool boarders with messy plaits and cheeky grins, and my personal favourite, the posers, who’ve less nailed the art of skiing, more mastered the Bend and Snap with a dropped ski pole.
It’s quite clear that women hold all the power here. All it takes is one pert Italian bottom to ski past 10 baggy boarders and they’re falling all over the piste.
But it gets worse. It turns out, when there are so few women to choose from, the men seem to get less… choosy.
“It’s called the 2 point raise.” Dan explains to me on my second night (quite the initiation). I’m drawing a blank and my face shows it. “Ok, so let’s say she’s a 6 in England. Here, she’ll be an 8, purely because she’s a woman.”
“Isn’t that a bit… harsh?” Dan shrugs.
“It’s the truth of it. Last season we had 8 girls staying here and let me tell you, back in London half of them wouldn’t get a look in. Here? They worked their way around this town no problem.”
“Right.” I nod, inwardly horrified.
But despite this certain callous attitude, it seems that women still hold the upper hand here. Morzine is a rare example of a society that begrudgingly embraces women having just as much sex – if not more – than men, without being called ‘slags’. These saucy seasonnaires are just having fun, playing a game with few rules and plenty of opponents. Go get em’ girls.