A recent thread I inserted myself in lamented the pressure women are under to conform to standards of beauty as defined by the “male gaze.” Which, of course, is hardly new. It has been so ever since the beginning of advertising, if not Time. I pointed out that men are increasingly under the same pressure. I don’t know if it’s because the income gender gap is narrowing, taking away a male advantage, or because aggression, brute force, and rape are getting such a bad rap now; but men have had to step up their game. Seems like across the board the minimum requirements for social acceptability are more onerous all the time. You gotta work on yourself for hours before you’re sexy enough to be seen in public. That’s a lot of gardens going untended, poems going unwritten, clouds going unwatched.

So what does it take to prepare for a date these days?

Ladies, may I introduce Frank’s Booty Drops! Try not to think of it as a verb. Frank’s Booty Drops are a noun you smear onto your fanny. They contain mainly caffeine, which, they say, is “a forklift for your butt.” Follow it up with a little crystal meth rub, and you can get them mudflaps to stand up and salute.

That’s just solid science. The coffee is absorbed into the squishy bits and osmoted straight through to the Fallacian Tubes. The same principle is at work if you rub whiskey on your chest. Brings your blood pressure right down to the floor and in some cases halfway under the table. And if you have any excess Booty Drops on your fingers, smear it on your financial statements to give your portfolio a boost.

Frank’s precious booty tincture also contains Guarano to provide Butt Nutrients previously unknown to science, and oils to put an end to your dry patches. I always thought Dry was the desired condition inside my underpants, but I was mistaken. In any case, the stuff must work or they wouldn’t have to charge so much for it.

Hey. While you’re down there, you might also want to sign up for a Vagifacial. This seems like something, finally, I can endorse, but in fact it does not refer to applying a face to a vagina. So the benefits are unclear.

Or you could rub cash on your nethers for about the same effect. But at least none of this is as labor-intensive as shaving. Which, sorry guys, you all are going to have to do a whole hell of a lot more of.

Modern beauty standards require men to have luxuriant growth up top and be clearcut below. You’re mammals, but we’re going for dolphin fur here. For most of us women, there’s quite a bit of acreage that isn’t going to require a razor. Not so for the mens.

No, you mens are to be scrubbed and polished and slicked and plated up with dressing on the side. I know men who, if they had to remove all their hair, would have to begin before dawn and by the time they finished off the last leg they’d have to start over at the top. By the end of their date they have a five-o’clock total eclipse and a 60-grit patina. I don’t know why they’d do it unless they’re particularly susceptible to ticks.

Myself, I think there’s such a thing as being too naked. Then again, I’m old-fashioned. We didn’t know we had so many shortcomings to correct when I was coming up. We (clearly) didn’t care what we smelled like. We didn’t consider the topiary possibilities of our pubic portions. Most of us didn’t shave anything at all. The only thing we rubbed on ourselves was each other. Our only beauty treatment was a bottle of Annie’s Green Spring or Quaaludes, taken internally.

Women probably still have the worst of it in terms of being siphoned for cash in order to be attractive to men, which—I’m speaking for myself and approximately a million years of my predecessors—really amounts to just showing up, or not hiding well enough.

But we are finally beginning to approach some sort of equality among the sexes, in that men are also being sacrificed to the capitalist crusade to part with good money in order to correct flaws that they are only now being instructed they have. It’s the eternal quest to stay young. Unfortunately, that means age thirteen, when we’re most susceptible to the tyranny of opinion.

But guys. If you’re going to do it, be creative. If a man shaved his fur into concentric rings around a nipple like a Zen sand garden, I’d have a look.