Women will pant for men who can fold, authors say

May 06, 2007|By SUSAN REIMER

WHAT DO WOMEN WANT? Man's eternal question. What turns women on? Another good question, but one not asked in polite company.

The Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative, a loose, anonymous affiliation of professional women, thinks it has the answer to both questions: half-naked men, vacuuming.

The group has produced a cute, pink picture book of very attractive men doing household chores and being considerate and saying metro-sexual things, such as, "Just because I'm married doesn't mean I shouldn't take care of myself." (The guy is clipping his nose hairs.)

The book is called Porn for Women, and it is available online for $12.95, although you can't imagine the stuff that comes up when you Google the title.

"What really turns women on? We, at the Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative, have dedicated our careers to answering this very question," reads the introduction.

Readers are then invited to enter a fantasy world "where clothes get folded just so, delicious dinners await us at home, and flatulence is just not that funny."

The creators photographed four attractive men -- a dot-com founder, an archaeologist, a chief of pediatrics (who says he admires Alan Alda), and an art gallery founder -- with cartoon balloons that say stuff like: "I don't have to have a reason to bring you flowers" and "Why don't I get a minivan, hon, so you can drive something fun?"

The men are photographed changing toilet paper, putting the seat down, stopping to ask directions and taking out the garbage without being asked. But the double-page photo that will get to most women is the one in which the dot-com founder looks soulfully into the camera from atop a fluffy white rug and asks, "Want to snuggle?"

This book is good for a few laughs over a bunch of wine with the girls. But, predictably, it has a few noses out of joint, proving yet again that we feminists aren't listening when people say we don't have a sense of humor.

On blogs and message boards, women are complaining that the book reinforces the stereotype that women don't have a sexual appetite and only use sex to domesticate men.

There are complaints that the book minimizes the real imbalance between men and women when it comes to keeping house and raising children.

"Making me dinner should be a standard, not something I fantasize about," read one post on feministing.com.

Women appreciate these things, several posters wrote, but it doesn't turn them on.

That's all true. But the book is a joke, OK? Not hilarious, but funny. The men are attractive, but not smokin.' And in the pictures, they have more clothes on than your neighbor wears to get the newspaper. Nice, but not crazy sexy.

Can we all lighten up, here?

If we are spoiling for a fight over the likes of this book, we all have too much time on our hands.

Besides, laughter can be an aphrodisiac, too.

susan.reimer@baltsun.com

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