And Alex Said: Sex

14 February 2003

Column 15: Sex, 14th February 2003

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. Or has somebody just farted? Up and down the country, people are sending red roses, seductively munching expensive chocolates, listening to the wailings of Celine Dion and Ronan Keating, and their brains are clearly turning to mush – calling each other things like baby, sweet pea, pumpkin or sugar-poos.

Except at Imperial College of course, which is about as romantic a place as the room in a hospital for digestive disorders where they wash out the bedpans. As you’ve probably noticed, there seem to be rather too few ladies to go round – or perhaps we’re just too clever to want to call each other things like honeykins.

That doesn’t mean we don’t try, though. If you’re in a relationship, please spare a thought for those of us with body odour, funny teeth and faces like comedy vegetables. Last year I won a prize at a village fête for having a cauliflower amusingly shaped like a man’s head. This was particularly upsetting – I haven’t got a garden and I’m about as green-fingered as Edward Scissorhands. It was also rather painful having a rosette pinned to my face. It would have been less embarrassing if I’d won the contest for the largest marrow, I suppose, but I’d probably have to turn down the rosette for that.

Love is blind. As I’ve often said to the ladies, my face might look like a sackful of mouldy, sprouting potatoes, but my beauty is within – so just close your eyes. The nun wasn’t having any of it, however. She mumbled that she had taken a vow of celery, or something, which sounded quite kinky. I asked if I could watch, but the police escorted me from the women’s changing rooms before she could answer.

The combination of psychology and blindfolds wasn’t getting me very far, so when I received some junk email advertising pheromones, I got out my credit card – and I had a warm feeling that the money from selling my kidneys was being put to good use. You might argue that using pheromones is deceiving the opposite sex, but, as I said to the lady in the Post Office, surely it’s not much different to using deodorant or perfume – after all, behind that Hugo Boss fragrance you probably smell like something Vanessa Feltz would deposit about twelve hours after eating a chicken vindaloo. That chat-up line did not work as well as I expected, and the unfortunate coincidental muscle spasm that caused her shoe to hit my gonads left me in some considerable pain.

It seems the pheromones have been less than successful. These days I’m still not getting much luck with the ladies – most of them still push me away and say I smell like an old tramp – but I can drive a cocker spaniel wild from fifty paces.

Would a girlfriend even fit in with my student lifestyle anyway? Even if I looked like James Bond, what lady would want to come back to my shitty hovel of a flat? I’ve got a single bed, peeling wallpaper, crockery all over the floor and the place smells like the carcass of a hippo. Is this really the way to begin a beautiful relationship?

And who really needs sex? Why can’t we just learn to love each other, in the same entirely innocent way that Michael Jackson loves children? Come on girls, jump into my bed – I’m just being friendly. I promise I won’t get my “Thriller” out while you’re asleep, and I certainly won’t “Beat It”, at least, not while you’re in the room.