As a remedy against the temptations of the flesh the Buddhists devised a meditation in which they imagined woman’s body as a bag of filth. Medieval ascetics viewed woman as ‘a temple built above a sewer’, and St Augustine said: ‘Woman is the gate of hell.’ If one takes these words literally many men have entered hell down the ages, at any rate too many for them all to be damned. Perhaps it is precisely those who failed to enter the gate who wind up there. Perhaps the abstainers have most to hide, who is to say?