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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: When I saw the letter from the angry husband who signed his letter "Just Say No, My Foot," I had to write. Men seem to think that a woman, after working a full day, dealing with the kids, fixing meals, doing housework and rarely receiving a kind word, gesture or kiss from her mate, will somehow be sexually excited the minute they hop into bed and will want to attack her husband with those uncontrollable desires. I'm afraid the opposite is true.

My husband had no idea that foreplay begins in the morning and lasts all day. Of course, we had to talk about the definition of foreplay -- which I described as helping me out around the house, with the kids, the laundry, the housework. I also let him know it would be nice to receive compliments like he used to give when we were courting and first married. Along with that needs to go some kind of physical contact like hugs and kisses, which I know I need to let me know that he still cares. All of these things begin to get us in the mood so that when the opportunity arises, we are as willing as they are.

Some nights I'm just not sexually motivated, but if my husband has made the effort to make me feel wanted and cared for, then I'll do the same for him.

I have a car that's 20 years old and I have to start it 10 minutes before I get ready to leave because the engine needs to warm up. After it's warm, it runs great. If I try to drive it cold, I don't get far. Well, the same goes for me in reference to intimacy and sex.

Men need to be reminded to treat their wives the way they did when they first met them and were convincing them what a great catch they would make. A little tenderness, kindness and helpfulness will get them what they want. Give and you will receive. -- OVER 35 WITH A SATISFIED HUSBAND

DEAR OVER 35: Thank you for your profound observations. The letter from the cynical husband has struck nerves all over the country. Am I ever getting letters! Read on:

DEAR ABBY: "Just Say No, My Foot" could have been writing about me. Like his wife, I was 35, married 10 years, and had found every excuse in the world to say no to sex. I thought I'd never feel passionate or sexual again. Of course, that was before we got some marital counseling together.

It is now seven years later. I have two children under 2 years old and have sex almost every day. Most of the time I initiate it! What has caused this dramatic change? My husband.

My "new" husband tells me how pretty I am, even though I have gained 30 pounds after having the babies. He takes my hand in the car and puts his arm around me while watching television. When I'm cooking or tending to the baby, he comes up behind me, rubs my shoulders, and tells me what a good wife and mother I am. At night, when I'm dead tired, he puts his arms around me, tells me how wonderful I am and strokes my hair as I fall asleep.

My husband also goes out of his way to make time for sex when I am awake and in the mood. Sometimes this means coming home from work in the middle of the day! If "Just Say No, My Foot's" wife had a husband like mine, I'm sure she would love making love to him. -- SAYING YES ALL THE TIME

DEAR JUST SAY NO, MY FOOT, AND OTHER MALE READERS: I don't know how many husbands will find this column on their pillows or breakfast plates, but those who do should regard it as a road map to a happy marriage. Anyone who doubts it should ask his wife. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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