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Emma McLaughlin Headshot

Come Now -- Or Not at All

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My pediatrician was the one who told me about them. She's cool, as pediatricians go, but nonetheless, I wasn't expecting an erotic recommendation while standing between the sticky Hess truck and the infant scale. In the ensuing weeks I, like the rest of the world, heard all about this phenomenon. For me the tipping point came on the subway. At any given hour, on any given train line, there are at least two women clutching copies. Across every demographic. And not hidden in some e-reader, but standing, sitting, reading with their covers facing out. We Are Doing This. All of us. Hold hands, here we go. I bought all three. I'm doing my part and so should you.

It's been a hell of a wait. For the most part women's fiction (the kind we talk about at parties) offers harrowing depictions of rapes and incest if you follow Oprah's selections or fuzzy references to sex atop Louboutins if you follow Amazon's. Which is nothing compared to the desert of the big screen -- emphasis on dry. I believe the last genuinely sexy on-screen moment took place in a Monte Carlo shower and involved a shell-shocked James Bond sucking blood off a tremoring finger. Minutes before that franchise remembered who they were marketing to and cast the love interests to be less, um, complex.

We're a generation whose adolescence was distinctly informed by Adrian Lyne and his quivering immorality, unabashedly filmed. We all wanted to be blindfolded in front of an open fridge. Or to be adulterously taken against a wall to a chorus of Silent Night. Richard Gere collectively unpeeled our bathrobes and tugged us down that grand piano at the Reg Bev Wil.

We "chicks" have munched our popcorn while romantic comedies became just comedies and then each female protagonist got recast for Matthew McConaughey or Seth Rogan. Or Adam Sandler playing everyone. And we stopped going. Studios will tell you that they can't turn a profit on female-driven entertainment. Which is like the Gap saying no one is buying clothes anymore. No. No one is buying your clothes.

As a result we've became dependent on waiting 80 thousand pages -- or minutes -- for that pale kid to take Bella so hard things break. There was such estrogen-fueled will for Ryan Reynolds to get it on with Sandra Bullock up there in Alaska that you could've harnessed theaters to power the country. And in the meantime we await publishing to burn up the presses with what the media will supportively term something like 'Clitlit'. So, ladies, we have a mandate that I anticipated as much as I did discussing S-and-M at my two year old's checkup.

We each have to buy a ticket to Magic Mike. The movie about the male stripper with that guy from The Vow. Channing Tatum's Eight Mile. Of course that's Mathew up there next to him in the leather pants. This is a process. Put it out of your mind that Mr. Wedding Planner proudly eschews deodorant. Sure it's a clunky return, sort of like your husband taking you to Chippendales. Okay, exactly like that. But they hired a serious Oscar-winning director! They nodded their heads by giving "us" Oliva Munn! Mostly it's a lot of abs. But they're trying. More importantly, they're feeling us out.

SO PAY YOUR THIRTEEN DOLLARS. You don't even have to go in. Give the ticket to a friend. Too much hangs in the balance. Date nights watching Will Farrell manqués streaking in sports socks. Cuddling in front of True Blood, the atmospheric equivalent of sharing Ethiopian and internet porn. Yes, Mad Men has been renewed, but once Don Draper's navigating the seventies you might as well be watching HBO's Real Sex.

The future of sexy is in our wallets. Otherwise, look forward to Christian Grey having a southern twang while feigning attraction to an Anastasia who looks an awful lot like Andy Samberg. Whatever does it for you.