Daydreams to blush by

In a fantastically funny essay in his book AA Gill is away (Simon and Schuster), British writer AA Gill talks about the time he got to make his own porn flick. Apparently there's a place in California where you can make it all happen – you submit the script and they edit it, and then you get studio and equipment, actors and actresses, and get to watch your fantasies committed to celluloid.

Gill's fantasy, worryingly, involves a girl and a large iced cake tumbled up in mutual disarray. Sadly, the actor who was scripted to attend to the girl in the cake, wouldn't go there. Something to do with a 'sugar allergy'. Only in California.

He writes: 'No story I have ever covered has elicited such fantastic interest as the making of a porn movie. Not war, pestilence, politics or celebrity. People come up to me in restaurants, at parties. They call me, wanting to know what it's really like… There is a vast, intense interest in seeing people have sex on screen.'

He's right: most people are fascinated by sex, especially the kind everyone else is having. It's not only the pleasure principle that drives us; titillating also is the fact that sex is embedded in our psyches as a bit of a naughty, dirty, rude thing to be thinking or talking about. Some of us are scandalised by it. Very few of us are over it, or bored by the thought of it.

That's why Health24 launched the Great South African Sex Survey. What, we wanted to know, did people think about sex? What do they do, what do they refuse, what do they fantasise about?

It's given us totally blush-worthy material. Have a read:

(Heather Parker, Health24, January 2008)

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