Roles Of Attraction

    Gina, I spend quite a bit of time researching sex stuff for this column (the subject boosts readership almost as much as publishing my photo) in really boring academic journals.
    Those professors could crank out a research paper on Hooters and focus on the temperature of the beer. It's not exactly arousing. The academics do their best stuff on insect and lizard/reptile sex, because the moral of the story is almost always the same: Shame on you girls!
    Many insects (the black widow spider, for instance) seem to think is perfectly normal for the girl to eat the guy, after sex. In a related matter, male tungara frogs make funny noises to attract hot babes, but when the girls say, "No, not now, I have to wash my hair," then predators hear the wooing noise and toddle on over to eat the guy frogs.
    When writing about humans and sex and stuff, most of the academics focus on investigative journalism. For instance, the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, always a dependable source of hot sex news, reported this year that girls are much more likely than men to post their photos on social networking sites.
    The inevitable academic sermon: it's "disappointing that in the year 2011, so many young women continue to assert their self-worth via their physical appearance -- in this case, by posting photos of themselves on Facebook as a form of advertisement."
    I don't know, Gina. The photo thing might not be so bad as long as the girls don't plan to have their boyfriends for dinner after sex.
    There are so many things I could say, I'll simply employ a technique I picked up from good ol' Virginnie Woolf: I will leave this space blank, so you can just imagine it is filled to repletion. (This is what Woolf has her narrator say in Orlando, one of her funniest and most accomplished novels, a book that is basically a lyrical chronicle of a main character who lives for 400 years and changes sex in the middle of the book -- and which is why people who really understand how literature works never file Orlando under "Biography," despite the fact that Woolf calls it that in the subtitle; or under "travel to Disneyworld" because that's the only other time they've heard the "O" word used in a bookstore.)
    There are so very many jokes to be made -- dirty, Disney-related, or simply dinner-themed (or, heaven help us, all three) -- about what you just wrote in that first section, I feel a need to retire to the fainting couch with a headache for a bit of precious time, Darlin' Larry. (Insert sound of Mint Juleps being delivered to a room where there is the low sound of fans humming and guitars strumming, far in the background.)
    Whew. Thank you for letting me catch my breath. May I explain something to you, my dear co-columnist without a clue?
    Nobody is eating nobody in a family paper, Larry. Not if we want to keep our jobs.
    Young women and -- just in case you hadn't noticed -- young men assert their self-worth via their physical appearance because, ummm, that's when a person can do such a thing. Good for them. It makes a summer's day worthwhile.
    But somebody your age, Larry, or mine? (Worse if it's yours, naturally.) Well, not only has that ship sailed; it's turned the corner, figured out Earth was flat, dropped out of sight, and left the building.
    Not that I'm bitter.
    See what happens when academics write about sex and stuff? I'm trying to boost readership and you're writing about a "lyrical chronicle," which sounds like some kind of chick-lit that would turn guys off to sex for a year. Or at least a few minutes.
    Listerine commissioned a survey this summer on what features of a person first catch our eye. Of course, "overall attractiveness" finished first, because lots of folks lie to pollsters. "Smile" finished second, which I'm sure made the Listerine folks, well, smile. "Eyes" were third, followed by "body shape" at No. 4, which suggests to me that the survey only found about three guys to question.
    "Apparel" finished fifth, which means that girls should spend a lot less time shopping and a lot more time brushing their teeth. And gargling.
    By the way, Gina, just between you and me, tell me a few of those dirty Disney jokes.
    I agree with you about one thing, Larry: I don't believe people who say that the first thing they notice about an erotically interesting member of the opposite sex is "eyes."
    As one fabulous stand-up comic said when she was addressing the issue: "Honey, when I see a hot, good-looking guy, I'm not looking at his eyes. After all, I got eyes!" We tend to look at those bits we don't "got" because those are the ones we want to "get."
    Here's my real advice, Larry: Lose your fascination for predator frogs and male-eating spiders and develop a healthy interest in the birds and the bees.
    And never, ever ask any woman to tell you a dirty Disney joke. She'll bite your head off.

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