Over at Buzz Feed, they're all a-buzz about Porn for Women, the new photo book from the Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative. It features muscular male models cleaning house, taking out the garbage and declaring themselves eager to snuggle or listen to complaints endlessly.

Not a spoof -- certainly not, not with the name "Cambridge" associated with it, and that word, "Cooperative," that's a sure sign of earnestness, too -- Porn for Women has sparked the humorless tirades one might expect, plus the occasional giggle and some groans over the rather retro and mostly sexless self-portrait of women it offers -- drawn from all those surveys that led to these conclusions. Ah, the social sciences! Let's check their bibliography and statistical results, shall we?

What no one seems to have noticed is that the book is based on a completely faulty premise.

A man who'll vaccuum the house, who'll lend an appreciative ear: Women certainly like these things, they'd appreciate them. But they're not -- as the Cooperative puts it with such scientific precision -- what "gets women hot." Trust me. If men like that truly did turn women on, George Clooney and Daniel Craig wouldn't have careers. Does anyone believe women look at those two and fantasize about sharing a cup of chamomile tea?

Right. Remember all those "sensitive new males" in the '80s and '90s? Remember how many women soon declared themselves disgusted with their whining and wished for the return of the silent, hunky fireman-hero type?

I'm unemployed -- sorry, I mean, freelancing -- these days. I have plenty of time to clean house and do the laundry. And my wife Sara is grateful. But our lives have not zoomed into sweaty dreamland. That's partly because Sara started teaching elementary school full-time six months ago. I'm lucky if I can see her when she's not falling asleep exhausted over a pile of student papers.

So -- in my deeply masculine, widely experienced yet humble opinion -- what precisely does turn women on?

I haven't the foggiest. You got me. New drapes? I'm completely clueless.

April 11, 2007 8:51 AM |



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