The recent decision by the Mills and Boon publishing house to move into sex education has been heavily criticised by education experts as having a potentially disastrous effect on children.
Mills and Boon, better known for the world of budget romance, is insisting it will not compromise its distinctive editorial style for this new venture. "We'll be using the same tone and language we always have," confirmed rugged spokesman Jake Goodheart. "We're not about to change a formula that has made us untold millions over the years."
Unfortunately, early reviews are showing that far from being informative, the works are only confusing their audience. "See this bit here," complained the young son of the Observer's Science Editor, "I can't work out what's supposed to be going on. If they want to make a baby, for a start, why is he described as 'the handsome gardener'? Isn't he supposed to be her husband, or at least a live-in lover?"
"And this description - are we really supposed to learn anything from this? 'She grasped the gardener's manhood, pulling it towards her delicate flower' - is a 'manhood' some kind of gardening implement? A trowel, maybe?"
The company's spokesman remained adamant that these problems would not impact the success of the venture. "Before Mills and Boon came along, the popular literature was full of 'effing and jeffing', whatever 'jeffing' might be," he insisted. "When we moved away from all those nasty words, our readers didn't understand overnight what 'his hardness' meant, or 'her yearning', but they soon learned, and were all the better for it."
"Anyway, it can't be worse than last year when we tried to publish a sex manual in the style of 'Lord of the Rings' - we're still getting complaints from people scarred by the thought of the hero 'sinking his mighty dagger into her bubbling love pool.' Personally, I haven't got the first fucking clue what that was all about."