Taken from A Hedonist’s Guide to Life

Oscar is a failed social climber whose address book shrinks like the waning moon

Life in the jet set is an endless stream of boats, planes, beautiful women, conspicuously dressed men, and exotic animal skins made into horrible clothes. Their life is dedicated to pleasure: one long group holiday that dot-to-dots its way through the Med in the summer (anywhere with a mooring for their gin palace – Monaco, Cannes, ‘St Tro’, Ibiza); in the winter, Gstaad, St Moritz and St Barts; and in between, breathers at the Meadows, the Priory or some Scientology 'chill-out facility'. But they’re not simply chasing the sun and each other. They’re after non-stop fun – with money to burn, models to shag and fast cars to drive too fast, frantically trying to mask their insecurity by surrounding themselves with life’s more obvious luxuries. They are not the Valentinos and Elle Macphersons of this world – they are the people who aspire to be like them, or with them. It’s not a hard club to infiltrate: all you need to be is very attractive and willing to sleep with morbidly unattractive men. Or be rich, or appear rich.

Buy a Rolex
Jet setters love a watch – ironic considering their regard for punctuality and distinct lack of pressing appointments. The bigger the better: the hard-to-find Rolex Daytona in steel, Hublot’s Big Bang, Audemars Piguets and Panerais. Fakes can easily be sourced online, but beware: while jet set don’t know much about anything, they know where to buy Tods loafers in Cannes and they know watches.

Quit your job
The jet set don’t work. They acquire. They invest. They are invested in. The girls start niche fashion labels. The boys are in the shady world of oil or minerals. Or they “just chill”. The only 9-5 they know is their tanning regime. They might work a little over long lunches at 55 in St Tropez via their BlackBerry, until the nightclub promoters summon them. Play with your PDA a bit and it will be assumed you’re managing your mineral extraction empire.

Go shopping
Shopping, along with topping up tans, getting laid and keeping up with each other, is their raison d’etre. The men wear frayed jeans, a shirt open to the navel and sockless loafers. Their fashion icons are Gatsby, Studio 54’s Steve Rubell, and Flavio Briatore, possibly the worst dressed human being on this and any planet – now, then, and forever… and ever. The girls are a little better. They love an It-bag and a bit of Louboutin and Choo (but can’t quite muster the courage to ask Eurotrash’s poster girl Tamara Mellon – who they met once – for a discount).

Invest in property
The jet set live everywhere and nowhere. Ask where they’re from and they’ll ask back: “How long have you got?” only to reel off in their mid-Atlantic accent names of places and schools and rehab clinics…. Buy a place in New York, St Tropez and London, an Argentinean cattle station and a house in the Hamptons. Buy a private plane, a big yacht and a Riva Aquarama to get you to the boat.

Find a mate
The guys like models, or if their oil business has gone belly-up, will settle for an ugly heiress and models on the side. The girls like art dealers, polo players and boys they went to school with.

Go to a party
The jet set have panic attacks if they think they've failed to make a guest list or, worse, gone to an inferior party. There are even agencies to get you into Eurotrash hotspots, but blaggers beware. If caught out, the jet set could try and interrogate you (over dinner at Harry’s Bar).

Memorise the following:

Your favourite film is… Scarface. You love the scene at the end with all the coke and the guns. Your favourite book is… Anything by Bret Easton Ellis apart from the last one which you found a bit weird and ‘quite hard’. Your favourite sexual position is… Doggy! Yeah baby, yeah! Your favourite designer is… Flavio Bratore. He has the best taste of anyone ever, anywhere, ever… Your fantasy dinner guest…Giselle. They will ‘high five’ you at this point and you’ll be in.

Your favourite book is… You have never read a book in your life. And will never do so. Your favourite sexual position is… Whatever the nice man in the sealskin bomber wants. Your favourite designer is…Cavalli and Jitrois. Your favourite restaurant is… You last ate solids in 2001. Your favourite song is… Anything by Jay-Z who you met through James Blunt who you met through Petra Nemkova.

Content copyright of Oscar Humphries

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