Get Yourself a Sissy Man, Mate! Then Buy Some Retro-Sneakers

Biological clock ticking? Scrambling to snag a bloke–any bloke–before Labor Day? How about a sissy?

Don’t laugh. After all, you know what they say: “The limper the wrist, the stiffer the …. ” Or at least that’s what actress Coral Browne is alleged to have said. The witty and sulfurously dispositioned Ms. Browne (whom you doubtless remember as the elegant lesbian convert in the 1968 Robert Aldrich movie The Killing of Sister George ) birthed this little saying as a way of neutralizing cocktail-party banter re the legendary effeminacy of her husband, Vincent Price. I, for one, think Coral’s contention might have some merit: maybe a femmy hetero male = a confident hetero male = a virile hetero male.

Before you dismiss the idea, think of the ancillary benefits of such a union: e.g., if your nelly-man gets passionate and musses your hair, he could give you a post-shag shampoo and set. Yes, girls, there’s definitely something to be said for dating a guy who’s in touch with his girly side–providing, of course, that he doesn’t pull a total Renee Richards on you.

Take the case of David Beckham, the captain of the Manchester United, a British football team, who is also known semi-affectionately as “The Perfumed Ponce.” (“Ponce” = Brit slang for “pimp,” i.e., smarmy cologne-and-foulard-wearing male.) Mr. Beckham’s poofy ways are perennial tabloid fodder: the latest hoo-ha concerns his penchant for scented candles. Yes … a working-class footballer who loves scented candles! As reported in the July issue of The Face magazine, the foofy Manchester United great, and obsessive tidy-queen, rearranges the furniture in hotel rooms, offsets pre-game nerves with a calming manicure and always travels with his own scented candles !

Before you mock, bear in mind that his wife, the reed-thin Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice of the Spice Girls, attributes her slender figure to the fact that her candle-totin’ husband is “an animal in bed.” He’s romantic, too: In a gesture reeking of old-fashioned working-class chivalry, Becks sends Posh a yellow rose every day. Aaahh! They’re a devoted media couple. When opposing-team supporters chant “Posh Spice takes it up the arse … nal” (“Arsenal” is the name of another football club)–which they apparently do regularly whenever he is in earshot–Becks gallantly turns the other cheek.

Now, about those scented candles: Repeated calls to the Beckham camp to ascertain the brands thereof were not returned. In the absence of his suggestions, you’ve got mine. Consider stuffing the following in your bloke’s attaché case the next time he’s off for one of his ultra-butch business summits: Tocca’s new four-candle set. You get Cleopatra, Havana, Grace and Kyoto, plus a matchbook ($34 at Tocca on Mercer Street and Barneys). If he’s more the Chinese marigold-Egyptian chamomile type, try Red Flower’s six mini-candles plus match book ($12 each, or $60 per six-pack at Bigelow Pharmacy, 414 Sixth Avenue).

Real sneakers are totally back–I’m talking Puma and Adidas. I, for one, could not be happier. I never understood those over-designed, Spider-Manish, gooey, cartoony numbers. But the imminent deluge of hiply basic styles is going to sell out before they deliver. Rush into Barneys and put your name (and size) on the waiting list for a pair of the new Adidas Italia sneakers, coming this fall. They come in running-white, glade and gold.

The Italia style dates from the early 1960’s and has been lovingly reproduced, down to the soft kangaroo-leather upper. Puma is re-issuing the classic Walt Frazier-ish number called Puma Suede in zillions of colors ($60 at Dr. Jay’s and all Urban Outfitters).

Re perfuming your ponce: Paris may be reeling from the pseudo-orgiastic launch of Tom Ford’s new Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, Nu, but I’m fondly remembering the halycon days of Hi-Karate and Brut, when no self-respecting 70’s hetero, nelly or otherwise, left the house without pouring half a gallon of butchly marketed cologne over his head. During the 1980’s, an annoying pseudo-sophisticated olfactory sensitivity pervaded the land, and heavy cologne use was considered naff and sleazy. Fellas! It’s time to smell like an Algerian brothel again–you know it and I know it. The good news is, you can still buy all those butch fragrances your dad’s sleazy friends used to wear–and, whoopee, they are really cheap. I’m talking Old Spice original ($6.39 for 4.25 ounces at Duane Reade); Aqua Velva Musk ($3.99 for 3.5 ounces at Duane Reade) and, my personal fave, Pierre Cardin in the phallic bottle ($17.99 for 2.8 ounces at Perfumania, 755 Broadway).

Warning: Reckless sloshing of alcoholly colognes near scented candles can result in a burnt chest wig.

If you are happy with the bloke you have, but wouldn’t mind getting a bit more hanky-panky in the bedroom, try nellying him up a bit. If the Coral Browne hypothesis is correct, then it would follow that effeminate pastimes might have a positive impact on the shag schedule. At the very least, it will increase your bloke’s notoriety. The only reason people remember Joe Namath is because of his panty/man-tyhose commercials, and Hall of Famer Rosey Grier is only remembered because he took up needlepoint. Sign yours up at Erica Wilson Needle Works, 717 Madison Avenue, where a one-on-one hourlong class costs $45. (Call 832-7290 and ask for Hella.)

If your bloke is less than enthusiastic, log onto Alibris.com and snag him a copy of Celebrity Needlepoint (1972) by Joan Scobey (average price, $20). Rosey’s handiwork is immortalized inside, along with the handiwork of Princess Grace, Clare Boothe Luce, Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White.

If, when you get your future sissy husband in the sites of your love gun, you find out that he’s dumb, don’t retreat. David Beckham, who apparently thought a pas de deux meant “father of two,” is a fantastic father and husband who, despite his simpleton-ish ways, has earned Posh’s undying loyalty. In last year’s documentary The Real David Beckham , when David laments, “Everyone thinks I’m stupid,” Posh snaps back like a protective lioness: “Well, they’re all ugly.”

Talk to the hand … with the limp wrist.