4 Guys on the Pleasures of Lady-Flesh in Spring

Old sports:

The weather has finally started to warm up here on the East Coast, to the great joy of plenty of us. It's wonderful not to need about six layers, plus a hat and gloves, every time you walk out the door. In fact, I was so giddy about the rising temperatures that, the other night, I didn't think twice about biking over to Trader Joe's in the very short running shorts I'd jogged in earlier and a pair of flip-flops. (On top, I did wear my little ski jacket, since it wasn't that warm yet.) I got to the store about a minute before they closed to the public, which made me the one lone customer shopping as the workers--all of whom seemed to be male that night--stocked the shelves. And as I walked down the produce aisle, I noticed one guy after the other looking up at me from his crate of baby spinach, or glancing over at me from where he was packing baby carrots into the refrigerated case, or pausing to gape as he unpacked an enormous carton of apples. At first, I thought they were thinking What the hell is her problem, coming in here so late? After the same thing happened to me over in the cheese section, I had to look down at myself to make sure I wasn't actually in one of those dreams in which you don't realize till you're in public that you're actually naked. But then, when it happened again as I picked out some bread, and once more in the aisle where they have the soup and dried carbohydrates, it hit me: These men were drop-jawed because they hadn't seen girl-flesh in so long that the first glimpse of it was making them slightly delirious. This, despite the fact that the girl flesh in question was not particularly appealing; since I'm paler than skim milk and excessively prone to bruising, I'm sure it looked like I wasn't walking on two legs as much as on two over-ripe albino bananas.

This experience compelled me to encourage my male friends to tell me all about why they get so excited about the first signs of skin in spring. I will report what they had to say. (Keep in mind that this is all in good fun, even if it is a bit sexist!)


"I like to see all kinds of girls in their skimpy outfits--even the ones who are overweight or ghostly pale, like you are, Maura. In fact, I hate the kinds of people who are like: Oh. My. God. SHE should NOT be wearing THAT. Hey, don't look if it bothers you. Leave the work to those of us who are happy to do it." --34-year-old journalist Jake Stein*


"I personally get very into tank tops, though it helps if the girls are somewhat tanned first--sorry, Maura. But skirts are great too, as are cleavage-exposing shirts, although that surely goes without saying. After months of being bundled up, it's a pleasing aesthetic shock to have it all unveiled." --31-year-old copy-editor Jack Thompson


"The moment when the first sun-dresses of the season come out of the closet--it's a wonderful thing. They are the most exciting of all the warm-weather clothes, especially when they're so thin that they enable us to see all the curves and lines of a woman's body." --Mr. Stein

"It goes without saying that more than anything else, visual cues spark a man's sexual desire. And we have such rampant libidos that the idea of sex in any setting--even with a complete stranger--seems quite desirable. And the more skin that's exposed, the more easily a man can imagine the act." --38-year-old lawyer Bear Cummings


"I LOVE the first few bikinis of the year--especially when they are worn by co-eds who are out 'studying' on the green with their friends. I'm sure they're freezing their butts off, but I appreciate that they know it's their cross to bear." --34-year-old happily married Cliff Mountain, an architect (who lives in a southern college town)

*Names have been changed to protect those who may be foaming at the mouth.
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