Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

It's cold out there, but warm in bed

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Even before I'd flung the curtains open to let in the light, I could make out the evidence of last night's excess on the bed. There was a torn box of frosted doughnuts, and peeling back the edge revealed several pastry carcasses with the icing licked off. But there was no man in sight, just a bunch of rainbow sprinkles scattered in the sheets. It could only mean one thing: the winter blues. And, unfortunately, I've been much more interested in making love to a box of Krispy Kremes than an actual partner.

My girlfriends tell me that my December to February hibernation period is a symptom of what they call "Sexual Seasonal Affective Disorder". While most of them are sticking to their new year's resolutions by detoxing and doing yoga, I've been inhaling carbohydrates like there's no tomorrow. If it's cold and miserable, aren't we suffering enough?

Like many singles, I'm in my element during the long days of summer, when sunshine elevates endorphin levels and glimpses of tantalising bare flesh rev up our libidos. At the moment, the idea of exposing milk-white skin that hasn't seen the light of day in months doesn't exactly appeal.

So when my some time shag-buddy J invited me to a dinner party at his house, I was tempted to skip it in favour of a takeaway curry. Apart from anything else, my boiler has been on the fritz - again - for almost two weeks, and it's pretty hard to feel amorous when I'm walking around my flat wearing gloves and a hat.

My girlfriend Victoria admits that, during the darkest days of winter, she has also been tempted to recycle someone from last season. "I've had one or two relationships that were cyclical, we tended to get together in autumn and drift apart in the spring," she says. "Because when I look outside and it's rainy and horrible, I'm not exactly motivated to go out on the pull."

Still, with Old Man Winter kicking ass and taking names, I realised that if I don't take matters into my own hands the hottest action I'll be getting this season will be with my electric blanket.

After hearing of my plight, a friend sent me a link to the "world's first self-warming vibrator", but the idea of using something that claims to operate via an infrared laser on my nether regions freaked me out. So, since SAD sufferers supposedly respond to light therapy, I braved the freezing rain for a little flirting therapy at J's party.

Despite the miserable weather, the party was rocking - and I was one of only three girls there. I'd knocked back several shots of bourbon when someone suggested a game of spin the bottle.

After kissing several cute boys, my mood had brightened and I found myself getting turned on. At around 3am my girlfriends left, but I lingered in the kitchen with J and told him about my radiator plight.

"Well, you're always welcome to stay here," he said. "How about I make you a bowl of pasta, and you can have a hot bath?"

"I don't know," I said. "Isn't this whole thing just a ploy to get me into bed?"

He stuck his head out of the kitchen and smiled. "Would it be so bad if it was?"

He may not be Mr Right, but he seems to be offering me carbohydrates and sex on demand. Maybe winter has an up-side after all...

c.townsend@independent.co.uk

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