no more lonely nights

My problem is men. I just can't be bothered any more. They just want to get me into bed, and then they go. Where am I going wrong? This weekend, an old flame came to visit and then he ran away on Saturday morning. On Saturday night, I pulled a friend, but I said "No sex, I want respect", and in the morning, he had scarpered, too. One man once said "I love you" and then he moved away. Should I become celibate?

Sarah, Coventry

Uncle Ony: Dear me, Sarah. Whatever happened to dating, to the gentle pursuit of one's amours in the back seats of cinemas, walking hand in hand in the park, enjoying a shared milkshake with two straws, gazing into each other's eyes? Is the art of conversation dead? Do young people not talk to each other any more before leaping into bed, limbs a-flail? Mrs Ony and I had been going out for several months before I touched any part of her that wasn't her hand (though, thinking back, that was actually leaving things rather an exaggeratedly long time). If you find someone you actually like before demanding sex (with or without "respect") you may find they hang around at least long enough to join you for breakfast.

Auntie Ag: Oh, darling, it always deeply saddens me to know that there are still men around who want not only sex without commitment, but sex with even as little bloody conversation involved as possible. Much as I hate to admit it, Ony may have a point here. No need to become celibate (nor, indeed, to go through all that tedious hiking and soft-drink sharing), but it's probably an idea to cut down on actively pulling and wait for someone to happen along who will woo you a bit - take you out for lovely evenings, buy you champagne and generally be nice to you. If you suspect someone is trying to get you into bed with as little effort as possible, angel, it's an insult. Just say no.

colour me rad

What colour Rizla papers should I buy to be truly trendy? I am confused because the packs all look different but the contents seem to be much the same.

John, London W11

Uncle Ony: Buy a rainbow selection of these things, whatever they are. Why follow the herd?

Auntie Ag: Apparently, grey is the new brown for this season, darling. So, buy any colour packet you like, and colour it in with a lead pencil.

all creatures grate and pall

I share office space with a colleague who has some kind of soft-toy fetish. Her desk is festooned with cuddly rabbits, monkeys, owls, etc. This is a bit annoying but I can live with it. However, it makes me feel very foolish when we have visitors, particularly if they are important clients. Our management are very keen on a "clear desk" policy and we receive endless memos about de-cluttering, but there are never any checks in our office. She just ignores company policy and I'm very reluctant to make an official complaint as, otherwise, we get on well.

Colin, Southampton

Uncle Ony: I'm afraid that your colleague has just as much right to her personal space as you do - and as much right to affirm her human individuality. As for clear desk policies, they are but another way in which the inhuman jackboot of management stifles the creative instincts of the workforce, and she is quite right to have no truck with them.

Auntie Ag: I'm not altogether sure you can stifle things with a jackboot, Ony... Anyway. Ugh, I agree that rabbits and the like have no place in the office. The only desk ornament that is really acceptable is a beautifully framed (maybe Tiffany) but unobtrusive family photo. I would discreetly set off the fire alarm one day, angel, and this will prompt an immediate check of the building by your fire warden to make sure everyone is safely evacuated. It will also mean the immediate demise of the menagerie when the rabbits are spotted (perhaps, darling, you could plant a tiny seed somewhere that an excessive number of cuddly toys is a fire hazard in itself?).


My ex-girlfriend frequently has trouble with little household tasks - blown fuses, dripping taps, broken shelves and the like. I don't mind dropping round to sort these things out, but my new girlfriend gets really angry when I do.

James, Dundee

Uncle Ony: It is wonderful if you are able to keep on good terms with previous partners. Many of us would wish to be able to say the same! You must explain to your new lady that being able to share is one of the most important life-skills for the Nineties. Why not invite her along next time you go to your ex-girlfriend's home to help out - they might find that they get along terribly well.

Auntie Ag: Of course your new girlfriend is furious - by constantly inviting you round, your ex is trying to get you back, and by running round at her beck and call, you are encouraging her to think it might work. Though, if you really have failed to spot this, you must be so dim that one wonders why she's bothering. Or are you being just a little disingenuous? If you want to go back to your ex, do the decent thing and tell your new girlfriend properly. If not, be prepared to pass on the phone numbers of an electrician, a plumber and a handyman to your ex. Or a copy of the Yellow Pages.