Setting His Thighs on Fire: Better Than Setting His House on Fire!
Today's AM New York column is on the ridiculously personable Cosmo editrix Kate White and her new book, bravely titled "How to Set His Thighs on Fire." This woman does not mess around with mere heat, people. SHE WANTS FLAMES!!!
I've always maintained that writing self-help love advice books is a treacherous profession, mainly because no matter how many PhDs you have or men you've shagged or episodes of Sex & the City you, like, totally know by heart, you'll never think of anything remotely new. It's ALL been said.
Then I read "Thighs," which includes these two tips:
1) “Slip a hair scrunchy around the base of it.” ("It" being, well ... you know. IT!)
2) “Slip a glazed donut around his [IT] and nibble it off.” (The second "it," of course, is THE DONUT, not that other thing. DO NOT nibble the other thing off. Your sex life will surely go downhill ... although, in all fairness, that probably would "set his thighs on fire." But most likely not in a good way.)
During our interview Kate explained, "You want to find a way to encapsulate what people are thinking but not articulating." How did she know I think about donuts during sex all the time???
We can discuss Scrunchies-As-Sex-Toys later, but suffice to say, Kate White clearly has a gift.
A gift I more fully explain in my column, which I've pasted after the jump:
(PS - You got that the title of this entry was a Lisa Lopes reference, right? Righhhht??)
KATE WHITE: HOW TO SET HIS THIGHS ON FIRE
AM NEW YORK – “THE DATING LIFE”
JULY 10, 2006
BY JULIA ALLISON
No one has ever accused Cosmopolitan of being subtle.
So it’s not surprising that the latest book from Cosmo’s editor in chief, the irrepressible Kate White, sports one of the most ballsy cover designs I’ve ever seen. A pair of impossibly long, tanned supermodel legs attached to four-inch stilettos spread wide across the top of the cover, while the model’s hands clasp an apple red fire extinguisher in between her thighs. “Thighs,” of course, is the operative word, as the title below screams in neon pink and orange caps: “HOW TO SET HIS THIGHS ON FIRE.”
Um … use gasoline?
Okay, okay. Maybe not.
Although some of the book’s tricks are almost as unconventional (two words: glazed donut), nowhere in the book, subtitled “86 Red-Hot Lessons on Love, Life, Men, and (Especially) Sex” must you resort to flammable liquids. Whew!
Actually, I wouldn’t put it past the winsome White, a 50-something size 4 blonde who picked up a tip or two (or 86) since taking the helm of the legendary magazine eight years ago.
In fact, “How to Set His Thighs on Fire” was an accidental book. Although White is a veteran author with six titles (including the bestselling Bailey Weggins mystery series) under her fashionable belt, she never even wrote a proposal for “Thighs.”
“One day I was talking to my publisher,” White explains, “and she said, ‘Do you like your job, Kate?’” (This seems to me a silly question, as anyone who has ever talked with White knows that she’s deliriously in love with her job.)
So of course White answered, “‘More than you can imagine – it has been the most delicious, fabulous experience of my life.’” She then “jokingly” added, “‘Someday I want to write a book on How to Set His Thighs on Fire about everything I learned!”
Apparently that’s all her publisher needed to hear – the next day she sent a contract over to White’s literary agent. “My agent called me and said ‘I have a contract for a book I’ve never even heard of!’ And I said, ‘maybe it’s a mistake!’ and she read the title and I said ‘oh my god.’”
The resulting book is a grab bag of observations and wisdom written in the style of notoriously provocative Cosmo cover-lines, filled with laundry lists, amusing anecdotes, and (unsurprisingly) a healthy dose of alliteration.
While White herself epitomizes the famous Cosmo-girl mantra – “Fun! Fearless! Female!” – she also integrates that persona into her writing. She’s not afraid to discuss topics like (#62) “The Most Neglected Moan Zone on a Man’s Body” (hint: it’s not his feet) or brazenly proclaim (#83) “Sex is one of the Best Things in Life.”
In the first chapter, White acknowledges that it’s not exactly difficult to seduce a guy: “‘Why don’t you drop your pants?’ will usually suffice,” she writes. But for “three alarm seduction” (that would be the legs a blazin’ kind) women should “tease, tantalize, and torture” their victims. Er, men.
The next 85 tips appear in a stream of consciousness fashion, segueing from sex to men to love back to sex, almost like a How-To Tip of the Day calendar, but in book form. Of course, this makes sense, given that White wrote the “How to Do Anything Better” guide over at Glamour for years. “You could say I’m the ‘How to’ queen!” she laughs.
Her job perks include a constant diet of new findings about human behavior, and sharing that info just seemed natural. “I soak up everything,” she says, “I’m always thinking, ‘is there any lesson to be learned?’”
Ultimately, White just wants women to feel more comfortable about their bodies, their relationships and their sex lives.
Like your saucy, more-experienced best friend dishing her advice to you at a sleepover, White’s lessons are sometimes common sense:
- #9: Guys Will Do Whatever It Takes to Get You in Bed (shocking!)
- #42: Guys Like Women Naked, Period (yep)
- #71: Guys Secretly Love a Little Kinkiness (uh, secretly?)
But they’re always accurate:
- #16: Nine Topics that Make Guys Gag (This includes shoes, catty gossip about your friends, below-the-belt functions, your “fatness,” and old boyfriends.)
- #48: How Long to Wait Before Sex (“Long, slow, torturous progress is still the hottest, healthiest scenario.”)
- #66: The Lie Your Girlfriends Tell You About Guys (Basically, if a guy isn’t chasing you, he’s just not interested. Yes, despite the clever excuses your girls come up with.)
And some are just invaluable:
- #38: Why You Shouldn’t Be Soul Mates with Him (Expecting one person to fulfill all of your needs is unrealistic and ultimately, disappointing.)
- #61: Guys Don’t Give Clear Warning Before They Leave (“One of the activities that guys dread most is the ‘Relationship Talk,’ so he’ll avoid it at all costs … until one day he’s just had enough and drops the bomb.”)
- #64: How Not to End Up in an Endless String of Bad Relationships (“You’re the common denominator.” Ohhh, snap!)
- #6: Guys Like a Firmer Touch During Sex Than You May Expect
- #65: Almost Everything Can Benefit from Some Added Sex Appeal
- #27: Think With Your Panties
Who knows, #27 could change your life!