A MAN from Leeds came within a split second of putting a row of Xs at the bottom of a text message to a woman he likes.
Martin Bishop, from Roundhay, keyed in a row of three kisses and three hugs before deleting them and replacing them with a thumbs up symbol and a photo of a bulldog wearing sunglasses.
Bishop said: “I am angry and ashamed. I really wanted to send her some mark of affection but try as I might I just couldn’t make myself do it.
“If you are reading this Tracy, I am very sorry. I am just a frustrated prisoner of the rigid gender tropes of my culture.”
Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: “For Northern men adding kisses at the end of letters, cards or other forms of communication is very much the Last Taboo.
“Though it makes no logical sense whatsoever, they can’t help feeling that openly expressing fondness for a member of the opposite sex is something you only do if you are gay.”
Professor Brubaker confirmed there was one known incident of male kiss usage north of the Humber. “In 2010 a man from Middlesbrough put a row of Xs and Os at the bottom of an email he wrote to a woman at work he fancied, but then he sent it to his mate Carl by mistake and he has never heard the end of it since.”