A recent survey carried out to determine what British men feared most has thrown up some surprising results, alongside the ones you can guess. But which of these fears are actually worth keeping you awake at night, in the dark, shitting yourself with terror?
Put down the flame-thrower and buckle up.
Here’re the top 15 things guys are terrified of, and how much these things are likely to kill/maim/scar you for life.
15. Clowns (three per cent)
Fair enough, clowns are terrifying. I’d rather lose my job on the day a terrorist burgles my house and then shows me pictures of my parents doing it than see one clown.
14. Seeing Their Parents Naked (four per cent)
When your parents pensions become worthless, or have been squandered by a collapsing bank, you’ll have to learn to get over your pathetic fear of catching a glimpse of your dad’s grey-pubed winkle. It’ll probably be you who’ll have to lift him in and out of the bath and towel off his perineum. So best get over it now before the panic attacks hit.
13. Favourite Sports Team Losing A Tournament (seven per cent)
Unless the outcome of said sports event determines whether you’re going to experience sustained sexual violence or not, then being afraid of a poxy team losing a children’s game *probably* shouldn’t be too highly placed on your agenda.
12. Their Entire Internet Search History Being Made Public (eight per cent)
I think this one rests on the individual and how comfortable they are with their private information being made public. Some people might not mind others knowing that they enjoy watching My Little Pony-themed unicorn porn, while others might be afraid everyone would see that they clicked that link offering startling results in penile enhancement.
11. Knocking Front Teeth Out (10.5 per cent)
Even though you could easily get caps put in that probably look nicer and work better than your own teeth, it’s more the actual process of having them knocked out that scares people. Anyone who’s come over the handlebars of a bike to land on their face will have intimate experience with this particular fear.
10. Partner Cheating On You (11 per cent)
This one’s not even worth worrying about. If your partner does cheat on you then they’re a not-worth-it, cuntish cretin who can go and fuck off out of your life, end of story. Worrying about your partner cheating on you is more damaging than your partner actually cheating on you.
9. Snakes, Spiders… (13 per cent)
If you’re one of the 13 per cent of adult males who picked snakes or spiders as your top fear in a world that also contains the ebola virus, Katie Hopkins, and the dark, then you’re a strange bird indeed. While creepy crawlies are unsightly and would warrant a shiver when you touch them, they’re not worth losing sleep over, even though the second you close your eyes is exactly when the spider scuttles across the bed to nest in your ear.
8. Losing Their Job (16 per cent)
While losing your job can often be a good thing – as it forces you to do something different that you might actually enjoy instead of stacking shelves at Tesco -, for a lot of men it’s a terrifying prospect that will leave their children/dog/cat/ferret hungry. Definitely a fear we can all understand.
7. Losing Their Hair (17 per cent)
Unless you’ve a tattoo on your bare scalp that reads ‘I’m a super paedo’ then I don’t think there’s too much to fear from losing your hair. Just look at this century’s greatest Shakespearean actor/space captain Sir Patrick Stewart for proof that despite losing your hair, you can still be virile dynamo of a man.
6. Being Burgled (19 per cent)
Despite UK crime rates continuing to drop, it’s still an unsettling thought having a masked stranger enter your house to steal your shit and possibly hurt you and your family. If this was America, you could just get a gun to make you feel a little less terrified, but we Brits will probably have to just settle for a really good alarm system to feel secure. Also, if you don’t want to panic sell all your worldly possessions so you can afford to build an underground bunker in your back garden, don’t watch any of these movies… Cold In July, No Good Deed, Panic Room… the list is endless.
5. Getting Into Debt (21 per cent)
Anyone who has lived through the ongoing financial crisis can totally relate to being afraid of debt, particularly students, people with young families, and people on low wages. It’s the reason why people take zero hour contracts and break their backs working long hours in a poxy job till they end up dying at 60 of a massive coronary. Pre 2008, this probably wouldn’t have placed quite as highly on a list of people’s fears, but if you’re from an upper-middle class background, it probably won’t be in your top 15 now, or even have been during the height of the recession.
4. Terrorist Attack (27 per cent)
For over a quarter of the men surveyed, being caught up in a terrorist attack is their greatest fear. You’d think in the current climate of terror that it’s a perfectly reasonable fear to have, because reading The Daily Mail and watching 24-hour Sky News cycles would make anyone think that there’re terrorists lurking behind your couch. But in reality, the likelihood of this isn’t high. London for example only ranks 400th on a list compiled by risk assessment agency Verisk Maplecroft. You’re probably more likely to have a heart attack while watching Kay Burley pretend to be a journalist on Sky News than you are to die in a terror attack.
3. Old Age (31 per cent)
While we in the West see old age as the slow march to the grave, elsewhere in the world it’s probably viewed as more of a luxury. I think most people are afraid of old age because they’re frightened of illness rather than being old, which I reckon sounds kinda nice. If science finds miracle cures for age related illnesses like Alzheimer’s and falling heavily on a banjaxed hip, then I imagine old age will be a pretty sweet deal provided the Government or banks don’t spend all your pension on nuclear deterrents. It’ll mostly involve sitting around smoking reefer and playing videogames, sort of like being a teenager with less (read: no) public boners.
2. Death (35.5 per cent)
Unsurprisingly, fear of dying makes the top three, as it has done since the beginning of recorded time. Congratulations Death, you’ve spent longer on the ‘what humanity fears’ chart for longer than any other fear, including predators, barbarians and God, you must be proud. Valar Morghulis!
1. Illness (41 per cent)
Suffering from some kind of illness was top of the list, which is perfectly understandable. I woke up with a twinge in my arm, probably from sleeping on it too roughly or overwanking, but immediately began googling my symptoms convinced that unspecified slight pinching in the wrist is a red flag symptom for cancer, or AIDS, or both. Whereas it’s probably just cause I spent seven hours with my arm bearing the weight of my fat, often terrified, head. Fear of sudden illness is something we can all relate to.