The traditional view of sexual selection via female mate choice is that female preference for certain males either has no net fitness cost or is beneficial to overall female fitness. A more contemporary view is that preferred males can at times reduce female fitness. This view has arisen from the realisation that conflict between the sexes is an inevitable feature of sexual reproduction, as each sex necessarily has a different agenda for maximizing fitness. Despite the hailing of sexual conflict as a paradigm shift and its prevalence in the recent sexual selection literature, compelling evidence that attractive males reduce female fitness remains taxonomically restricted. Here we review the findings of a series of investigations into the fitness consequences of female preference in the fly Drosophila simulans and compare them with its sibling species, D. melanogaster. We show that there are stark differences in the fitness consequences of mating with preferred males in the two species and discuss this contrast with reference to the current debates in the sexual selection literature.