In the 1972 movie Play it again, Sam, Woody Allen touts his sexual prowess by saying "I was really great last night; I didn't once have to sit up and consult the manual."

Which begs the question, if Woody Allen doesn't need a manual, who does?

No-one, according to a quick poll in our women24 offices. Well, no-one but me. Because while I never imagined having much in common with Woody Allen it turns out that I am enough of a nerd to have actually tried the whole sex by numbers thing.

You see, when a friend gave me a copy of The modern girl's Kama Sutra or Smokin' Sex (or whatever these types of things are called), I was rather keen to try it out. My husband, on the other hand, needed some convincing. It turned out that, talented, virile creature that he was, he couldn't imagine a possible scenario that would require the use of a manual.

"You don't need any help babe," he growled affectionately.

Yes I know. I married a very, very nice man.

Nevertheless, I, being of the conviction that one can always up one's game, decided to memorize as many of the tricks and tips as I could manage. I studied the various pages, chockablock with awe-inspiring (if somewhat mind-boggling) positions, for about forty minutes before sashaying into the bedroom in my finest lingerie.

No prizes for guessing how that worked out.

I can't remember whether it was because in the flesh I wasn't quite as limber as I imagined myself to be, or if C was freaked out by my unfortunate fascist approach (higher! lower! macht schnell!) but we went to sleep in a huff.

A couple of weeks later we watched Blue Lagoon on TV. After lots of derisive laughter – the young castaways build a double storey mansion with vast windows and wide sweeping verandas, from bamboo shoots and spit, presumably – we decided not to change the channel. The sex bits were coming up, you see.

Now while this whole trapped-on-a-paradise-island-throughout-your-sexual-awakening-years is a cool fantasy, the whole business had us in giggles. And not only because of the male lead's ridiculous hair. The coming of age seduction scene was so wooden that it sparked a debate: would you know what to do sexually without someone telling (or teaching) you how? Hmm… rather difficult to say seeing that we're not exactly inundated with information about kids getting stuck on desert islands. Although, haven't we all heard a story about some couple in Smalltownburg who've been doing it wrong for fifteen years?

Nature or nurture? What do you think?

I've decided that yes, I do believe that nature takes its course. But seeing that I'm not in the habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth, I'll keep on reading those sex tips.

Have you read a sex manual? And – this is the important bit – actually taken that advice into the bedroom?