About the thighs of it

Q: I used to be a ringer for Johnny Depp. Not long ago, I injured my back and became sedentary, and now I'm overweight. Size-wise, I'm not John Goodman overweight; I'm more Philip Seymour Hoffman overweight. Even when I was thin I was quite shy, so I never made the first move. Sooner or later, women would come on to me, and if the feeling was mutual, we'd go out. These days, I'm still smart, creative, successful, honest and have cash; but attractive women don't want me because of my extra pounds. Out of necessity, I am asking women out, but I'm getting a series of "thanks, but no thanks." I'm the friend they want, but sex? Nope. Relationship? See ya! Some let me buy them dinner then ditch me afterward. Surveys I've read say that women put men's looks fifth or sixth on the list of qualities that matter. I'm not so sure. Would I date an overweight woman? Possibly. But, then, we guys never pretended that we weren't into looks first. —Can't Weight Any Longer

A: There are some women who will look over your shoulder for Jonah when you enter a room, and ask if they can touch your spout. But for a lot of women, that kind of size doesn't matter. Look around. There are plenty of guys out there whose bodies are a testament to their conviction that exercise is evil and grease is a vegetable, yet they mow through a parade of hot chicks like a beaver through particle board.

This proves something — that you've got the location of your problem flab all wrong. It's in your head. It's always been in your head.

When you are a movie star, a rock star, or bear more than a passing resemblance toward either of the above, it doesn't matter if you have the self-image of a soggy dish rag. Just roll out of bed at four in the afternoon, unwashed and semi-embalmed, and women will flock to you like flies to road kill. Men who look mortal need a sales pitch. The one that you're making doesn't count. Even though you probably don't go so far as to introduce yourself, "Hi, I'm Tubbo, I'm so sorry for breathing your air," your body language blurts it out. If you were a used car lot, all your inventory would sport windshield signs like "Bonus Exploding Engine!" "Makes A Great Planter!"

and "Pray Hard And It Just Might Run!"

Confidence is what's sexy in a man. Do what it takes to get some — go up the mountain, try a self-help book diet (wood pulp has very few calories), paste flab-happy sayings on your mirror (Wide Load/More To Love), or just pretend women want you. You'll know you're cured when you'll let yourself strut like a rooster, even if you jiggle a little while doing it.

While you're busy erasing the "Portrait of a Loser as a Young Man," work on getting rejected ... in volume. Give yourself a weekly rejection quota — say 25 women. Since there's no pressure for you to score, you can safely experiment with a variety of tactics, from coming on as a flabby friend to going for a "me boy, you girl, wanna see my cave drawings?" attitude. See which approach turns you into a sex toy or possible boyfriend and which turns you into a free dinner funding system and approach the future accordingly.

Q: I'm in my first year in college, and there's this guy I like. I think he might like me back. Still, I would feel so stupid if I asked him out and he said no. I've thought about writing him a letter and slipping it into his backpack; something like, "Dear Tony, every night before I go to sleep I toss and turn thinking about what it would be like to run my fingers through your silky blonde hair while looking deep into your gorgeous blue eyes ..." Any better suggestions? —Speechless

A: Of course, it makes perfect sense: You'd much rather put your sexual fantasies in writing than verbalize an embarrassing affinity for caffeine, as in, "Dude, wanna grab a latte?" After all, why feel stupid when you can feel really, really stupid? Then again, why not go all the stupid way: Hire a family of dwarves to march up and down the corridors at school singing, "Hi ho, hi ho, a-dating will you go?" Or strip down, tattoo his name and the words "date wanted" across your butt, and run naked through his first-hour lecture. As you can see, you have a variety of stupid choices available to you. Pick one, lest you find yourself spending four years of Saturday nights stacking instant ramen packages on your shelves in alphabetical order. Now that's stupid. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail [email protected]

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