Teenage girls of all generations have had pop heart throbs and happily talked about them. My mum's lot loved Elvis, 60s girls went for David Essex and the like, the girls in my class at school panted for Duran Duran and then Take That and their successors came along.
But lads? Well, I'm guessing it's always been harder to admit which pop stars you fancy, because the intention is slightly less delicate than that of a girl dreaming of her handsome Nick Rhodes or Jason Orange sweeping her off her feet.
In the gym today, a bunch of sixth form boys were having an iron pumping competition, while watching one of the digital music channels playing some kind of Top 10 pop girls thing from the last decade.
There were some good radio songs in there (that's good radio songs, not good songs per se) that I hadn't heard or played for a while. I found myself knowing all the words to Sweet Dreams My L.A. Ex by Rachel Stevens as I worked the chest presser.
I played this such a lot on the radio when it was in the charts.
Anyway, these lads were giving their own opinions on the "fitness" (appropriate term, given our setting) of these popstrels. As well as Stevens, there was Christina Milian, previous incarnations of the Sugababes, Britney Spears, P!nk and one or two others.
They kept their comments quite respectful as far as the other gym patrons were concerned, though there was no ambiguity about what they were actually thinking. Must be all the testosterone flying around, aided by lifting dumb bells that succeed in displacing your scapula while you pretend not to notice. Nothing makes an adolescent boy more boyish than lifting weights while staring at decorative pop stars.
And their final conclusion?
"None of them are as fit as Cheryl Cole or Alesha Dixon."
Blimey. Sixth form boys really do find those two attractive? Cheryl Cole has the build of a wastepipe and Alesha Dixon the personality of the same.
As this crumbling, delapidated 37 year old tried to locate his own youthful red-bloodedness of yore, I recalled who, on purely lustful terms, my favourite female pop star of the 1980s was. I liked the music, of course, but on this occasion it was a distinct second best...
I feel sorry for today's teenagers; they don't have a Hoffs after whom they can hanker.