DARE TO ASK: Mere fidgets behind his fantasies
By PHILLIP MILANO, The Times-Union
I have noticed that women seated with crossed legs frequently rhythmically
move their top leg up and down, or alternatively pivot their foot. Are they just
nervous, or is there something, shall we say, more interesting going on?
Peter N., Madison, Wis.
No, your fantasies aren't true.
Anna B., 52, Seattle
Is everything sex to men? It's just fidgeting. And, to let you know a little
secret, foot-twirling burns something like 250 calories an hour. That's why I
twirl my feet when I sit cross-legged. Also, sitting cross-legged isn't
exceptionally comfortable for extended periods of time if you don't move your
Yvonne, 27, Columbia, Mo.
I pivot my foot, and it's just something that relaxes me. I'm gonna be a bit
more conscious of it now, oh dear!
If we could get something more out of it, we might do it more.
Katrina, 21, Moses Lake, Wash.
Pete, is there anything, anything else at all, that might have caught your
attention over all those years up in Wisconsin?
Ron S., 60, Stockton, Calif.
Sorry, guys. Sixty-six out of 66 women responders to Dare to Ask can't be
wrong: It's leg-bobbing. That's it. Nothing else.
"It's likely anxiety of some kind, or they [leg-bobbers] are lost in thought,
just as you might run your fingers through your hair or tap your fingers on the
table," says acclaimed California sexologist Lonnie Barbach, author of numerous
books including The Erotic Edge (Plume) and For Yourself (Signet).
If anything, she said, this question says less about women than it does men,
who aren't known to allow much time to elapse before enjoying a carnal thought
(though, contrary to a myth attributed to sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, it's not
once every seven seconds, but more like 37 times a week, compared to nine for
women, a California State University study revealed in May).
"Maybe men are just keeping their erotic lives fresh by thinking this,"
Barbach said with a laugh. "I mean, isn't that an interesting fantasy?"
To get to the details: such public leg movement just doesn't do anything to
contract a woman's thigh muscles -- which is a pretty critical part of the
precise scenario around which this column is expertly dancing.
"When women are in public they're in public," Barbach said. "While you guys
are fantasizing about what we're doing, we're busy doing other things."
Which brings us to the end of this column, during which we have successfully
failed to mention what it is that we are writing about. To which you might ask:
How long can we hold out?
Well, as George Costanza and his Seinfeld pals famously put it in Episode 51
-- aptly called "The Contest" -- we at Dare to Ask shall remain, to the bitter
end, the masters of our domain.
Kings of the county.
Lords of the manor.
Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions and answers, or mail to
Phillip Milano, c/o The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL
32231. Include contact information.