Tonight The Wife attended a “Passion Party”. Apparently, the purpose of these little get togethers is for women to huddle around sofas, drink cosmos, and then participate in some erotic multi-level marketing. There would seem to be a wide variety of, er, bedroom enhancers for sale; supposedly, in this setting, it makes for great fun to purchase things that most women wouldn’t want to be caught dead buying in broad daylight. This points out a glaring chasm in gender relations: when I told the Lyrical Jackass where The Wife was, his first question was “How come guys don’t do that kind of thing?” My response to him was that, while women enjoy embarking on potentially embarrassing tasks as a group, most guys prefer a solo approach. That would explain why women love to go to the bathroom together; it’s also why dudes prefer to do their “adult shopping” while wearing a trench coat, black socks,sock garters, black shoes, a fedora and a pair of Ray Bans (ALONE!) Men want to look like an ass to no one other than the person they’re trying to woo. Women think it is hilarious, evidently, to buy whips and chains in semi-crowded settings.

This revelation to LJ led to another tangent of conversation with Buns later on, in which I inadvertently stumbled on a stroke of marketing genius. Being as how The Compound is also the site of The Wife’s hair salon, there is no shortage of female-centric magazines that I find littering the place. I am not ashamed to admit that I have read more than my share of this pulp crap, and my general opinion of it is that, AT BEST, it sends mixed messages. Chief among these is that women should be happy and content with the bodies they’ve had bestowed upon them; this is followed up with miles of dieting advice, pictures of anorexic looking waifs and supermoms who manage to juggle six kids, yoga, volunteer work at a violence prevention center, a fulfilling career and no television in their homes. They never show a picture of the husband; he probably looks as though laying his head on some railroad tracks might be a welcome diversion.

ANYHOW, one other element that strikes me as ludicrous (and hence my stroke of genius), is that the covers of all these rags often shout to the reader How To Keep Your Man Interested, How To Spice It Up In The Sack, Ten Tricks To Blow His Mind, Three Things You Learn At Tantra Camp, whatever. And, apparently, this sells magazines, a fact I find amazing. While some of the more sensitive type guys will always appreciate attention to detail when it comes to massage oil selection, most of us could care less what moves Christina Aguilera can teach you to sustain new heights of intimacy behind closed doors. Wanna know the one thing you could put on every single magazine cover every single month, that would guarantee to “keep him interested”? Just Do It.

There. I said it. Steal Nike’s slogan from the last couple of decades, print it on every cover, follow the instructions, and most guys, most of the time, will do any single thing you want done. Shutters need painting? Wear some high heels, a come hither look in your eyes and little else, and that poor slob will give himself a heart attack splashing up paint like the fate of the free world is riding on him. Need the oil changed? Casually mention that you were considering taking it down to the dealer to have such a simple task done, while wearing nothing more than a smile after a shower, and all of the sudden he’s juggling 10W-30 and a filter in some bizarre attempt to establish alpha status. Works every time.

As men, we’re relatively simple creatures. We thrive on competition, owning tools, a good cup of coffee and a turn in the sack on occassion, although not necessarily in that order. There is no need to complicate the issue. Romance isn’t dead, ladies; it just needs to get laid once in awhile.