Diary

Way to go

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With Autumn in the air and the prospect of longer nights in bed clasped in the arms of her beloved, the Amorist was grateful to The Times for reminding us this week that a cardiac arrest at the exquisite moment of sexual climax can be fatal. Sometimes that moment of intense pleasure can make the heart thud with such ardour it does indeed seem, as the French say, as though our entire being is extinguished in la petite mort.

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However, it seems that women are less likely to suffer an arrest in the boudoir than men, and have been counselled henceforth to keep some practical CPR instructions on their bedside table, along with their sex toys and lace basques.

The reason more people die from heart attacks during sex than they do, say, on the sports field, is that no-one apart from a flushed and exhausted lover is available to administer CPR. 

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What's more, the amour that's still breathing might hesitate to call for help from neighbours or hotel staff because it turns out that heart attacks in flagrante delicto often take place during illicit extra-marital sex sessions. 

According to the survey, conducted at a hospital in Paris, people suffering cardiac arrest during sex suffered loss of blood flow for three minutes longer than others who collapsed doing sport. The Amorist guesses that that critical time delay was just enough for his wife or mistress to struggle into some clothes before running into the street for help. 

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The Amorist persists in her belief that sex is one of the most enjoyable forms of sport, and she has the fire brigade on speed dial, just in case a situation arises in future when she needs some mouth to mouth.

But what a way to shuffle off this mortal coil. The Amorist would rather die in the throes of passion than on the bus. And if the worst happens, she'll find herself in the company of some historic figures: Lord Palmerston, who allegedly died aged 80 in 1865 while seducing a maid on a billiard table; Pope John XII died in 964 of a stroke in his mistress's arms; Former US President Nelson Rockefeller died aged 70 in 1979, allegedly while dallying with his secretary.

My most beautiful of all little blue grey mouse catching, pearly bottomed, creamy-thighed, soft-waisted mewing rat-pursuers! Letter from Peter Pears to Benjamin Britten, 1941