ADVANCED SEX TIPS FOR GIRLS: This Time It's Personal

Cynthia Heimel, Author . Simon & Schuster $22 (224p) ISBN 978-0-684-84922-5

Twenty years ago, Heimel's Sex Tips for Girls was a hot item for women with bad attitude; her down-and-dirty, irreverent take on male-female relations was a welcome relief, after eons of machismo and years of second-wave feminist struggle. Her sequel, however, is a mixed bag: a little of the old rap on men-to-avoid-like-the-plague (serial killers; "/" guys like plumber/poets and dentist/photographers; "Renaissance" men who think they know more than you do about everything; etc.), a lot about the joys of mindless sex and some ambivalent passages on the joys of singlehood. It's all woven around a loose version of her own personal history, from repressive girdles in the '50s, hippie pleasures of the '60s, feminism in the '70s, dogs in the '90s (it's a DNA thing, as "all cells reach toward dogitude"), culminating in menopause. She doesn't end there, though. With a quick Heimel maneuver, she tacks on three pages of true romance so readers will know she's still into love and men and all that good stuff. While there are some witty moments, especially her menopausal manifesto against wearing "purple drapes," caftans and ponchos, she mainly obsesses about needing sex, needing to flee needy relationships and faking being happy about being alone. It's as if Heimel has turned into a parody of herself: too much "ooh baby" and overexcitement, and readers will begin to think she's just faking it. Still, old fans will buy this sequel, anyway, even if the elastic has lost its snap. Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. (Feb. 13)

Reviewed on: 01/14/2002
Release date: 01/01/2002
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-684-85645-2
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