It’s a balmy, tranquil evening in West Philly.
I’m sitting on my porch with my neighbor–let’s just call him Hottie Neighbor to preserve his anonymity–giggling over Cosmopolitan. Not the drink, but the trashy women’s magazine that every month features a celebrity in various states of monochromatic undress, superimposed with suggestive, alliterative headlines touting the infamous “how-to” sex articles. Although no one admits to reading it, Helen Gurly Brown’s brainchild is the best-selling women’s magazine, especially on college campuses.
This month Cosmo’s got Alyssa Milano (staunch protester of nude celebrity pics on the Internet that she is), gazing fetchingly into the camera, hands on hips, chest thrust out, boobs protruding so far out that I feel like they could take out one of my eyes.
Superimposed near her left mammary in bold type are the words: “Man-Melting Massage: The Magic Ways to Touch His Back, Arms, Even His Earlobes!” The article is the subject of our mirth.
“Look at this!” I snort, “There’s something in here called ‘The Erotic Pinch!”
Hottie Neighbor grimaces, grabbing the magazine. “Sounds painful, oooh!” he exclaims. “Look, The ‘Pubic Hair Tug-of-Love.’ They say it’s the ultimate brush-rush!”
He reads on: “Start by gently pulling a few strands of pubic hair between your thumb and forefinger using both hands. After a few tugs, gather some more of his locks between your index and middle fingers, then your middle and ring fingers…”
“Wait a second, I’m lost. Which one is the index finger again?” (We pause to figure it out by process of elimination.) OK. “And so on until you are combing his whole down-there do with your fingers.”
“Does it really say ‘down-there do’?”
“Like you style it.”
“Hair is nice, though.”
“Hair?” I questioned.
“Yeah,” Hottie said. “Like I was going out with this girl with really long hair, and she used to whip me with it.”
“Oh,” I reply. There is an awkward pause. Hottie Neighbor runs his hands through his hair and glances down at the magazine.
“What about this one?” Hottie says. “‘The Underarm Igniter. Get his mojo rising by playing a sexed up version of Itsey Bitsey Spider.’ Eek! That would tickle. You’d probably get elbowed in the face.”
“They’re kind of reaching,” I replied back. “There was this one Cosmo article where they were like, ‘get a warm rock and rub it in his pits’ or something.”
“Ew! It would get all sweaty,” Hottie exclaims. “Where would you find a warm rock in the middle of Philly anyway?”
“I don’t know,” I say, replying with enthusiasm. “Maybe from one of those abandoned houses that burn down. I think I read in The Joy of Sex that sweaty armpits are supposed to be sexy. But that was written in like the ’70s.”
“The French are into armpits. There’s this thing they call a cassoulet…
At that moment, several police cars and an ambulance come squealing down the street, and Hottie Neighbor is drowned out. So much for a tranquil West Philly evening.
Cassoulet isn’t just a Julia Child recipe. Stay tuned for next week’s column.