Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Harsh Truths for the Frisky Teens Itching for Love; TV WATCH

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Harsh Truths for the Frisky Teens Itching for Love; TV WATCH

Article excerpt

IF THE universe really is governed by an all-powerful deity, then adolescence is surely the most cruelly sublime joke he's yet played upon the human race. The typical teenage male has enough hormones to repopulate the planet, enough acne to ensure that he'll never get the chance, and an ego as fragile as a Ming vase, and his already dire lot is made just that little bit worse by callously inquisitive adults, forever reciting their intentionally sadistic mantra, "going steady ...?" Nosey relatives won't allow themselves to be fobbed off with mere boasting, dear me no: they require evidence, which is why I've now patented the Hickey-omatic[c], a simple attachment which fits over the nozzle of a standard vacuum cleaner.

Now, in minutes, you can produce so many imitation love bites on your own face that your amazed family will be convinced that you must have just spent the entire night with Britney Spears. And her sisters. And their female friends.

And their pets.

But when someone does finally allow you to park your pink Lexus in their garage of love, you might well discover that the great Jehovah has yet another impish joke up his celestial sleeve. Because humanity's most romantic pastime can have some decidedly unromantic consequences, as C4's Teen Taboos is anxious to point out to its viewers.

Until yesterday morning, I'd thought that chlamydia was a pot plant, and that STI referred only to the Shanghai Tea Institute, but I now know that Sexually Transmitted Infections are sharply on the increase among young people, and having listened to six teenage interviewees talking frankly about their below-the-waist behaviour, it wasn't hard to see why.

Because the chaps cheerfully admitted that "when I get drunk, I don't fink of wearing a condom", while the girls were equally irresponsible after a few Bacardi breezers, caring not a fig for personal protection, and seemingly wearing knickers only to keep their ankles warm.

Being so physically repellent that even the dogs in the street refuse to mount my leg, I've never had to endure the eyes-averted ignominy of a visit to the local clap clinic.

But the programme's optimistic mission (based firmly on current medical advice) was to persuade people "to have an STI test before each new relationship", so the six participants had all agreed to undergo a genital examination, to determine if their reckless sexual behaviour had yet caught up with them. "This is the swab that will go into your penis," a nurse told one dis- The chaps cheerfully admitted 'when I drunk, I fink of wearing a condom', while the were equally irresponsible after a few Bacardi breezers, caring a personal protection seemingly wearing knickers to keep ankles warm tinctly uneasy young male (who'd been informed beforehand by cruel friends that the procedure would be agonisingly painful), and the cavalier way she was brandishing a rod of knitting needle proportions seemed to confirm his worst fears. …

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