My Chemical Romance, a band who split up this week, once tried to breed with me. We were at a rock festival at one of the small islands off Venice, when a hurricane brought the main stage crashing down, injuring a load of teenage fans. There was screaming, terror, panic, with air ambulances trying to get through and failing.
I was there as a journalist, in the relative safety of a portakabin dressing room with The Killers and MCR. But we were all pretty scared - apart from Gerard Way. A woman wrote into the health advice column in the Times this week, asking if it was normal to be 29 and have slept with 25 people.
She had been long-term single while her friends were in long-term relationships, so, over the years, she had gone out and had some casual sex. Anyway, having now got an actual boyfriend, this woman was feeling a bit anxious and wondering what to tell him. Firstly, these stats — did they poll anyone who has ever been to Kavos?
Surely you could hang out at some bunga bunga parties on that beach and get through 25 dudes in a month and still have time to chill on Sundays like Craig David did? You get sexually experienced by shagging one person every night and finding out more and more about how to do it right.
Some sex with a lot of people is never going to teach you as much as a lot of sex with some people will. In essence, casual sex is rubbish, and 25 partners might teach you nothing. I read that letter and imagined all her 25 lovers one by one. There was Number Three, whom she got off with beside the smoke machine beside a dancefloor. He ruined it when he whispered in her ear "Can I finger you? She developed a doglike commitment to the idea of going home with him, even though all sexual desire had already been rinsed, and the more she looked at his head, the more it resembled a fireguard.
There was Number Six, who was called Deepak. She went out with Deepak for three months, if you can call it going out. If you can call him Deepak. He was probably called Dave. Then there was number 13, Graham from work, who was indiscriminate in his sexual affections and just wanted everyone to like him.
Sometimes his tactic actually worked, as ultimately everyone is just a tangle of limbs looking for their magnets. She slept with Graham every night for a week before realising she could never do it again. The next two years were spent smiling at him in passing but never quite catching his eye, like hovercrafts where there used to be submarines. She smartened up her act, and then there was number Laszlo was beautiful, and had started getting work as a model.
She tried to toss her hair back over her own shoulder as she said it, imagining that they were as cool together as the cowboy and the chewing gum girl. Her stomach was a little locked box as she spoke. Numbers 16 to 18 were the one that had a dog, the one that looked like a dog, and the one that could have have been vastly improved by the full participation of a dog. The third time she went down on him she asked him why he never returned the favour.
Number 21 was Gary. They went to bed in Wales for a whole summer. When they woke up it was still raining. It was uniquely irritating. And so on, until she arrived at the new guy. That England is a cold country and when somebody touches you, you feel warmer. That we are animals, and this is what we do, the cold calling of one body to another.
So, dear anxious lady, you tell your boyfriend whatever you like. All he really needs to know is that you are a whole person, made of flesh and bone and invisible histories. Remember, when your past calls, you can let it go to voicemail anyway. Follow Sophie on Twitter: heawood. Tagged: Stuff column Sophie Heawood.