So many mind-boggling stories leap out of the newspapers every day that I had thought I was immune to surprises. But in this case, before reading it to my wife, I had to make her promise to accept that I was not actually making it up, or was not repeating some complicated joke.
Its headline was “NHS tells children daily sex will keep them healthy.” Yes, the NHS in Hull compares genital sexual activity with the regime of eating five portions of fruit and veg a day, as a recipe for cardiovascular health. Mr Slack (whose name is the only amusing thing in the article) is the director of the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health in Hull. He is distributing a pamphlet to parents, teachers and youth workers. It carries the slogan “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”. You and I are of course paying for it through our taxes. After all “they (children) have an equal right as an adult to an enjoyable sex life.” And we, presumably, have an equal right, indeed obligation, to pick up the pieces.
In case you should still suspect that I am making this up, you can read the story here.
Just to give a balance from the other end of the spectrum, Dr M B Foote MD covers some pages on the perils of solitary vice in the young. There are many. Amongst them he specifies as most common “consumption, medical depression and insanity”. On a later page he boasts of having recognised a woman as a nun (dressed in mufti) from her pallid countenance. “I instinctively diagnosed her case as one of sexual starvation.” His book, titled Plain Home Talk, was last revised in 1896.
What would we do without the experts?