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Dear Andrea:

We've been trying to sex up our sex life (we have been married 10 years and yes, things can get a little boring) and among other things I went to Victoria's Secret and bought some not too slutty but certainly sexy underwear, and ... nothing. He just wanted to get them off so we could get down to business. Isn't this the kind of thing men are supposed to like? Now I feel kind of silly for wasting the money and time.

Love,

Not In The Mood

Dear Mood:

I'm convinced that fancy underwear, in particular, is vastly over-rated. Males are reputed to be visual responders, while women are said to respond more to words, emotional states, and even smells than to raw visual input. But if you ask men what they really want to see women wearing, most of them say nothing. Or rather, "Nothing, thanks."

So what will reignite a long-banked fire? In a word, teamwork. Don't stand there by the bed throwing what amounts to metaphorical sexual spaghetti strands at the wall until one sticks. You want to make a mutual effort to reconnect, which takes time. Skip the last TV show. Prioritize. Let the new sexy emerge organically, and then when (if) you discover that some sort of shopping trip is in order, try going (or leaning over the laptop) together.

At the same time, I would never discount the power of feeling sexy. It could be new underwear or new muscles or a new haircut or new boots (hello). But I'm all about the doing something for yourself that reaffirms your hottitude in your own eyes. And — if you don something that makes you feel that way and then act on it with him, I can pretty well guarantee he'll notice.

Love,

Andrea

Dear Andrea:I like the way boxers look. But I get jock itch and need to keep out moisture and I think briefs work better for that. Therefore, I usually wear briefs or sling-type underwear. I feel kind of silly in the little tight things, but anything's better than crazy crotch itch.

Love,

Funny Pants

Dear Pants:

Did you know that "it's pants" is a very British way of saying "stupid" or "lame" but much funnier? I want to call things "pants!" But meanwhile, I am happy not to be in yours.

Not that we women don't get our own mortifying crotch complaints — have you never noticed that we get an entire aisle at the big chain drugstores?

One thing I can say for men and their jockular issues is that they rarely go on about them in public. The thing is, women are universally instructed to avoid anything tight and plasticy, so if I were you (so glad I'm not!) I'd want to be very sure what is causing that itch and follow a doctor's sartorial recommendations. Maybe you'll hit it lucky and she'll let you wear boxers, as a man was intended to.

Love,

Andrea

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