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Q: Is it normal (or acceptable) for my current boyfriend to keep pictures of naked ex-girlfriends? They're in his dresser drawer. He has been pressuring me to let him take pictures of me, but now I definitely don't want to be added to his collection. —Camera Shy

A: Reality is probably all that stands between your boyfriend having pictures of a half-dozen naked ex-girlfriends in his drawer and having a half-dozen horny lingerie models following him everywhere. He's not alone. There's a little Porky's in even the most evolved man — the pimply inner adolescent peering through the hole in the wall into the girls locker room. Women often have a hard time understanding men's proclivity for naked chicks and half-naked chicks and lots of them. That's because women generally don't desire men in volume and don't give half a damn about seeing men naked or half-naked; not unless they're involved with them. If you dispute this, just follow the money: There's a four-color, 72-page Victoria's Secret catalog on my desk. Victor's Secret remains unpublished. There are gazillions of skin mags for men, but only a couple (supposedly) for women. (I say "supposedly," because if you scroll down Playgirl's subscriber list, you'll probably find that the Roberts far outnumber the Robertas.) Strip clubs cater to men most of the week, with only the token Tuesday slotted for girls' night — a night which is more about girls laughing it up with other girls than it is about getting off while watching Tony Tarzan's big swinging vine. To a man, the ultimate naked woman is one who isn't anonymous. That's why Playboy pays millions to get celebrities to strip down to the mustache. That's why your boyfriend collects nude Kodak moments of his exes. Your boyfriend's photos probably make up what my friend Gregory calls a "psychological harem"; essentially, an insurance plan for your boyfriend's ego that allows him to fantasize that he has had or can have numerous women. That your boyfriend has this collection is less noteworthy than where he has it — top drawer central. Unless you found the photos by accident or while snooping, they were probably meant to send you a message: "Back off" or "I'm not so committed" or "be jealous." Then again, the photos might just be bait to goad you into posing. Should you? Personally, I think people in this culture are a little nutty about nudity. If you aren't running for public office or spewing "morality" on the radio, stripping down to give your boyfriend a surface to drool on doesn't seem such a big deal. But only you can decide what's acceptable. A word of warning: If you do let your boyfriend photograph you nude, be prepared for your photo to end up stashed in a book returned to the library, pasted onto his Christmas card or posted on some porno site on the Internet. Getting back to the ex-girlfriend collection; while you shouldn't ask him to destroy it, you should let him know that its prominent placement makes you uncomfortable. If he cares about your feelings, he'll stash them someplace where they'll gather more lint and fewer eyeballs — especially those which are attached to you.

Q: Two weeks ago, I met a girl on a chat line. She is younger than I am ... and married. She is unhappy with her husband and wants to move in with me. I have never had a girlfriend or been with a girl, and I am very lonely. But, I am nervous that her husband will find out about us. Can you help me? —Chat Man

A: Giving a guy like you a woman is like giving a Kalahari bushman a Cuisinart. He has no idea how it works or what to do with it; all he knows is that it's shiny and cool and he'd like to keep it. This girl wants you all right. She wants you to be her Motel 6 and the man behind her daily Denny's Grand Slam. Don't do it. Instead, repeat after me: I am a loser. Say it three times, click your heels together ... sorry, wrong movie. Am I being cruel? A little. But, I'm also doing you a favor. Being a loser needn't be a permanent condition. But, only when you admit your loserness are you ready for reform.

Invite, beg and bribe male and female friends, acquaintances, even strangers sitting next to you in bars to educate you in the ways of women. Buy them dinner, drinks — whatever it takes. Your re-education plan should also involve therapy. Getting on the couch will help you understand and resolve the mommy or daddy issues that made you everything you aren't today — a guy with a girlfriend who wants him because she wants him, not because she needs breakfast and a roof over her head. c2000, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail [email protected]

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