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Advice Goddess

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Home is where the tart is

My husband and I have "date night" every Saturday after we get our kids to bed. He's told me numerous times that it would really turn him on if I'd dress trashy. Over the years, he's bought me many provocative outfits I've never worn (leather miniskirts, leather pants, a tartan schoolgirl skirt, chain belts, stiletto-heeled boots, "Daisy Dukes," midriff-baring tops, etc.). When I try to explain that flabby thighs in miniskirts and a tiny cropped top plus a tummy bulge are not sexy, he just tells me I'm hot. Why can't he see that I'm not as svelte as I used to be? Reality Check

He's thinking "Woo-hoo!" You're thinking "Mooo, mooo!" Even if you are a bit of a heifer, is it really in your best interest to correct him?

Like a lot of married people, when you pledged "'til death do us part," you probably didn't give much thought to how, exactly, you'd make that happen. It starts out promisingly. On the first date, everybody dresses like they want somebody to want to have sex with them. And it often works. Then they land the person, and they dress like they want somebody to want them to fix their toilet. And it often works.

It doesn't help that women waste weeks, months or years of their lives staring into the mirror and bemoaning their ugly elbows or freakishly enlarged pores. If your husband is even aware that you have pores, I'll give you $5. While there are "leg men," "butt men" and "boob men," most men don't disassemble the women they care about into their individual figure flaws. Most men don't want stick figures, either. In studies by psychologist Paul Rozin and others, men consistently preferred women with a bit of meat on them just not so much that they need to be hoisted out of bed by three orderlies with a Hoyer lift.

If you want your husband to be there through thick and thin (or thick and thicker, as the case may be), you'd better work on seeing yourself through his eyes. Chances are, when he's begging you to put on that Catholic schoolgirl uniform, what's on his mind isn't how little time you've spent in Pilates. What should be on your mind is slipping into a sexy little French thing called bien dans sa peau being comfortable in your skin, much like all the hot black and Latina secretaries I used to see when I lived in downtown New York City. A lot of them were fat, but they wore bright, tight, sexy clothes, and strutted around like they were fat and proud.

Of course, with all the bulges and folds you purportedly have in your skin, getting truly comfortable in it might take some doing. Fake it until you make it. Pick some hussy from the movies and play her on date night ... and beyond. No, you don't have to dress like you'll be the featured stripper at the PTA meeting, but would it kill you to throw on a low-cut top, a skirt and cute shoes before the hubster comes home? The guy's been patient with sexual vanilla for quite some time, probably because he loves you. He does have his faults. Like, maybe he's blind. Maybe he's dangerously nearsighted. And maybe you should count and recount your lucky stars. Whatever you've got, he happens to want. Can't you run with that? I mean, as fast as you can go while being chased around the bed in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform and thigh-high stiletto boots.

The weigh to the door

I'm a health and fitness freak, and find disregard toward the body to be incomprehensible, bordering on unforgivable. Recently, I fell for a wonderful guy who rapidly gained 10 pounds when he already stood to lose a good 15. Despite my efforts to be kind and encouraging, he takes no steps to diet or exercise. How do I get him to understand that he needs to do something, lest I fall into the arms of the next triathlete who asks me to dance? Gut Feelings

Here you are, a girl for whom "disregard for the body" is practically cause for bringing a guy up on charges at The Hague. Yet, you fell for a guy whose idea of doing crunches is probably power-eating Doritos. What happened, you tripped over his empty KFC buckets while rushing out to the gym? Get up, dust off the remains of Extra Crispy, and get real: As wonderful as this guy might be, you can't reprogram your lust for washboard abs into a lust for abs by Kenmore. You can, however, help him drop some weight approximately 122 hard-bodied pounds of a girlfriend who's trying to "get him to understand," when she'd be happiest getting a cattle prod and locking him in the basement with a treadmill.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com).

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