He runs from intimacy

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each for seven months, but he won't make love to me. He's happy to talk to me about anything, even marriage, but our lack of physical intimacy is a topic he refuses to be drawn into. He's also happy to go out with me, and he puts his arm around me in public and acts all physical but it's a sham. The moment we're alone avoids any sort of sexual contact with me. I've tried everything! (Daniella)

Huntress Hilary found herself in a very similar situation. She blew half a year's salary on sexy underwear, scented candles and a Thai massage course, to no avail. Nigel would kiss and cuddle her in public, but when they got behind closed doors, he came on like a monk. Was he deeply religious? Gay? What could possibly explain his lack of desire for Hilary when she was so hot for him?

Nigel's lack of passion drove Hilary to chip away at her French manicures and ruined her confidence. Nigel said he loved her. They even spent Sundays looking at houses for sale.

Finally, when Hilary confronted him about his lack-lustre libido, he simply made himself scarce and stopped returning her calls. Seven months later she heard he was dating his second cousin, who was - wait-for-it -pregnant.

Daniella has snared a shag-dodger and it's probably time to release it. The more a shag dodger likes you, the less likely he is to have sex with you. It's a lose/lose situation. Something about women makes them feel impotent and so they avoid intimacy altogether. Sex is something they locked in a briefcase and then forgot the combination to it. Shag dodgers only do love lite. That's why they often end up with mattresses. (Are you a huntress or a mattress?)

This puts the huntress in an impossible situation. Begging, of course, is beneath her, but who would buy a car without first test-driving it for reliance and compatibility?

Fear of intimacy invariably springs from childhood or a painful early romance. Dig deeper and you may find his first girlfriend slept with his uncle, but really, why bother? Pick up your pride with your petticoats and walk away. A relationship between two adults -- one of whom wants to dance the horizontal foxtrot and the other doesn't -- is far from functional, no matter how many plausible excuses are rolled out.

Recalled Hilary: "Nigel's reasons ranged from wanting to watch the cricket on TV, stress at work, not knowing if he was over his former girlfriend; the list went on and on."

The cousin finally gave birth to a baby whose father was obviously black. Nigel is white.

Hilary is now happily married to Theo. Nigel is still single. We suspect he hasn't had sex for over a decade. Question: How do you light a damp squib? Answer: In our experience, you can't!

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