Inevitably, in exploring the specifically female experience, these songs paint detailed portraits of the philandering males as well. Brush the cries of ‘hussy’ from your ears (tellingly there’s no equivalent term for the male vamp played by Jarvis in Pulp lyrics) and listen to what the songs are telling us about boys.
The boy in ‘You Could Have Both’ is less innocent victim of a wily seductress, more smug fuck having his cake and eating it too: he’ll ‘always have everything just as [he] wants it’ - both the cosy companionship offered by a girlfriend (‘someone to drive you home’), and the late-night thrills of the acquiescent mistress (‘a phone to ring at three in the morning’).
Similarly, once you get past the shock of the narrator calling another girl a ‘dead-eyed bitch’ in ‘Giddy Stratospheres’, you realise that the drive of the song isn’t really concerned with the seduction of the boy - it’s about trying to force him to realise his potential (in fact all the narrator wants from him is for him to get on the train, a la Billy Liar).
Kate’s scared that the spark she sees in the boy will be killed if he stays in an uninspiring town with an uninspiring girl. Meanwhile, the boy is a coward, afraid to be with someone who might inspire and challenge him (the ‘giddy stratospheres’ he’ll never reach with his current squeeze ‘come from [his] fears’). The portraits of men in these songs are just as unflattering as those the narrator paints of herself: the individuals who populate Long Blondes songs are weak, selfish, cruel - and ineffably human.