In the spirit of the classic sixties slogan, Make Love Not War, let’s turn our attention briefly away from ever increasing global conflict and focus instead on more amorous matters closer to home.

‘Outrage in chocolate box village,’ screamed a headline in last week’s Daily Mail, ‘as raunchy book The Art of Sexual Ecstasy is left alongside the likes of Thomas The Tank Engine at lending library used by schoolchildren.’

Setting aside the sheer length of the headline (I think that’s about half my word count for the week) the story turned out to be closer to home than you might think, with the chocolate box village in question being none other than nearby Pitton (I’ll leave you to decide which box of chocolates the community represents).

Read more: Sex book at public exchange causes outrage among Pitton villagers

But let’s not let a lengthy headline get in the way of a good story. According to the report, locals are ‘at loggerheads’ over the book – ‘A course in enhancing pleasure and deepening intimacy’ – being left in their bus shelter turned free book library. An anonymous ‘concerned dog walker’ discovered the book, helpfully removing it before it could be picked up by any unsuspecting child or Pitton husband. His help didn’t stop there, with the dog walker dutifully working his way through the book to confirm its inappropriateness: ‘the book is all very arty with diagrams and text,’ he told the Mail, quickly adding ‘but I really didn’t spend that long looking at it.’ He then threw the book away.

Now. I don’t know if our concerned dog walker has children, but I admire his optimism that waiting for a bus, they might choose to pick up a book rather than stare at their phone. I’m reminded of the 2011 London riots when Clapham High Street was completely ransacked … with the exception of Waterstones, which lay untouched and untroubled by the looters. Even if someone young had picked the book up, it’s nothing to what they could find on a quick Internet search.

I’m less familiar with the book’s contents than our concerned dog walker, but I’m also less concerned, too, about what it contains. It’s one of those British traits where we are more worried about images of sex than of violence: the sex in Poor Things got an 18 rating at the cinema for its sex content whereas the invention of the atomic bomb in Oppenheimer managed a measly 15.

Among the books which didn’t concern the dog walker are The Increment (in which a soldier goes on a psychotic killing spree) and Hannibal Rising (cannibalism and Chianti). Then there’s Thomas the Tank Engine, often criticised for its outdated attitudes, and far more likely to influence an impressionable young mind.