Coherent sentences and exclamation marks are once again quivering at EL James’ intention to scrape the barrel, I mean continue to grope for a story, of Shades of Grey. Whoever suggested the need for further volumes from POV of Mr Grey needs to be taken outside for a lengthy chat. However, EL James has evidently missed the results of research into sexual behaviour that rather disappointingly found 85% of people fantasising about having sex in a romantic location. Not blindfolded threesomes through car windows off the A342, but in a bloody candlelit restaurant, presumably with abandoned disregard for EU hygiene directives, or indeed other diners.

Thankfully, for those who find the allure of Milk Tray and Music For Having Sex To. Vol. 1, a little vanilla, 65% of people reported fantasising about being dominated, while only 47% of people wanted the dominating. This shortfall explains why mistresses are always in such a bad mood (apparently). Mind you, it’s hard to know if participants understood the questions, as I recently asked someone whereabouts they were feeling sick, and they replied ‘on the sofa.’

Research itself is obviously flawed, and not just because they didn’t ask me. Its shortcomings are particularly well understood by pollsters, whom are currently playing down involvement with the election pubic opinion polls. For example, other recent findings include that sex actually cures a headache, although a bloke in a long-term marriage may well be responsible for having undertaken this research. The problem is that people indulging their fantasies are too busy doing so, leaving those available to complete sex questionnaires clearly not getting enough action, which is a bit like asking people in the club queue what it’s like inside. The age range and gender of participants is unclear, but most women I’ve known wouldn’t tell me their sexual fantasies, much less a stranger with a clipboard. And there comes a time when blokes fantasise about some peace and quiet, preferring to curl up with book on decommissioned branch-line stations than a temptress, but who’s going to admit that?

In other news, not only have women lost the ‘headache’ excuse, but also the menopause, as the US’s FDA has approved the manufacture of a daily pill flibanserin – female Viagra. Once again its developers are presumably male, and no one’s told them that the long-established female Viagra is actually the chardonnay grape. That’s not to say research isn’t useful. Writing a weekly blog for a year is the sort of activity even a smidgen of personal research might have warned me against. It’s work experience, without learning anything, no one watching and not being paid. I frequently now plan days involving things that might be interesting to blog about, which is like choosing kitchen décor on the basis of a sugar bowl.

The finding that people want to be wined and dined before made love to, may come as a shock to a society that finds porn within the reach that previous generations once found a tin bath and cholera. It’s not quite as shocking as discovering that you have a reputation not for having a big dick, but for being one, but it’s close. It’s the sort of information that reminds us that the sensible default position in life is to accept you know nothing, and work from there, otherwise you’re constantly being proven wrong, which is something no one fantasises about.

My novel, The Life Assistance Agency – selected for WHSmith Fresh Talent 2017 –  is available here –

and here,thomas-hocknell-9781911129035

and on ebook here –