We all know it is coming… by the end of January each year, retail morphs into 50 hues of red and pink and men starting sweating each time they cross the family threshold, for fear of being asked “So what are you getting me for Valentine’s Day?” or “Where are we going on Valentine’s Day?”. And to top it all off, this year, we have the premier of ‘50 Shades’ the movie to rattle our S&M cages. I’ll bring the handcuffs, fear not, dear readers.

Most men hate Valentine’s Day (unless they are proposing and need a jolly good old backdrop) and I can understand why. It just means pressure not pleasure. And they usually come up with the goods as a way of keeping the peace or so that they get to see and touch some nice undies by midnight. Oh, cynical me, but it is true. Putting so much pressure on the boys is enough to generate 14th Feb erectile dysfunction, on a global scale.

Back in the day, when I was a school kid wearing white knee high socks, my late mother would always send me a Valentine’s Day card, just in case I didn’t get any. Bless her, I always knew which one was from her, not only because of the handwriting but also because of the postcode. If she had gone to Aberystwyth I might not have guessed. But alas, the postcode was always London NW something and usually smelled of her perfume. Bless all mums the world over.

But anticipation was all, back then. Getting a text or Whatsapp message is just not the same as getting a card in the post, or anonymous flowers from a mystery admirer. The mystery of romance seems to have dwindled altogether in 2015 – I wonder how Tinder members celebrate this auspicious date? Two hook-ups in a night? Mystery and anticipation are two of the key factors in seduction and romance. Even Mr Grey knows this.

I actually hate Valentine’s Day and would always opt for staying at home eating some great steak (not Rump) and then having some even greater ‘rumpy pumpy’ both before and after food. Greedy, me… The thought of being crammed into a tiny restaurant with a single sad red rose donning each table, paying exorbitant prices and eating a heart-shaped chocolate fondant for pudding almost sends me over the edge.

And whilst you might shout ‘Oh bitter, twisted Leslau’, I am speaking up for the boys here – just because women can be so bloody demanding and annoying. A man having his hand forced to make any type of gesture or shower of affection is not a genuine demonstration of love. A man will do what he wants to do (eventually) and will end up resenting you, either sooner or later.

One of the most romantic gestures a man ever displayed was showing up at my doorstep, single rose in hand, picked from a garden and sporting a sexy public schoolboy smile (wearing clothes, not naked)! A man will always show you (for better or worse) how he feels about you through what he does, 100 times over what he says. Talk is cheap and actions that are spontaneous and natural should be the most cherished and loving of all: those that come from the heart, in the truest sense of the words.

The irony is that women also love men to show us this genuine, more spontaneous side to their personality. The money spent on us doesn’t make us weak at the knees – it is the Flash Mob in Grand Central Station (‘Friends with Benefits’) or the non-sensical soliloquy (‘When Harry Met Sally’) that really gets us going, commercialism aside. But men are all too often scared of being rejected to do these things for fear that all we women want is ‘The Valentine’s Day Dream Boat’.

And now onto the boys… bottom line girls (excuse the pun) what most men really want for Valentine’s Day is you for starters, main course and pudding, à la When Harry Met Sally. And you can be served à la mode, on top or with or without dressing. Who needs 50 shades of anything and they also don’t care if you fake it! Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends!