Rosie Hore: Week 7

ROSIE thinks you should do something amazing today – but not necessarily for the right reasons…

AIDs Blood dates fit grad needles NHS rosie hore Sex

I don’t get much post. On those rare occasions when I do have the excitement of something waiting for me in the post-room, I’m inevitably disappointed when it’s yet another letter urging me to ‘Do Something Amazing’, and give blood.

These letters make me feel guilty on two accounts. I feel guilty because I went to give blood once, and then never went back. Then I feel guilty because the only reason I went in the first place was nothing to do with the goodness of my heart. It was because of a boy.

This boy was clever, wily even. And he was powerful, because he was the keeper of the secret that would change Give Blood’s marketing strategy forever. A secret I’m going to blow open to the world: the blood donation centre is the best place on earth to pull.

You might not think that being forced to part with the contents of your veins would put anyone in the mood, but bear with me. Follow my instructions, and you’ll be in for a heady afternoon of squash and biscuits, nurses, needles and antibacterial swabs. It’s the unbeatable first date, guaranteed.

The romance starts like any other – with a pint. You have to drink a pint of water, cos they’re draining you of a pint of blood, see. But small-talk over your drinks isn’t going to last long. You are plunged immediately into a questionnaire that’s ALL about sex. Have a flirty peak at his answers to the likes of ‘have you ever had sex with someone who might have AIDS?’ and ‘do you share needles?’. That form is the NHS version of Never Have I Ever.

At this point, the date gets very heavy, very fast. Suddenly you’re on your back (or even on your back with your legs in the air if you’re the fainty type), with a needle in your arm. This is the moment to bring out your caring side. Hold her hand as she lies there and, in my case, shakes uncontrollably. Wipe away her tears. If you can get each other through this stage, you will be rewarded. Namely (after snaffling the free biscuits), head to a pub, compare your good karma and get completely pissed on a half-pint.

If I were being cynical, I would say giving blood goes the same way as most relationships: excitement and a warm glow, moving onto some awkward questions about your sexual history, descending into pain, being drained of your blood and getting very, very drunk. But I’m not being cynical. The boy, for once, had got it right: what happens in those donation centres is magical. And I assume the recipients of your much-needed blood are grateful too.

You no longer have an excuse to put off giving blood. Get onto to find out the next donation date near you. Put on your best dress, get your chirpse on, and I’ll see you there…