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by Abigail Van Buren

Wives Find Many Ways to Cool Off Hot Husbands

DEAR ABBY: At the age of 72, having had two spouses over the years, I need to put in my two cents regarding the letter from "Still Hot and Bothered in Georgia" (July 8). I have learned that some women won't say "no!" to a husband's amorous advances, especially in the morning. But they will try to distract him by scrubbing the tub, spotting a spider on the wall, feeding the cat or saying she forgot to fold the laundry and has to do it before it wrinkles. Whether it's conscious or unconscious, they do it to cool their husbands off on a "hot" morning.

"Still Hot and Bothered" may need to give some thought to what turns his wife on or off -- especially the timing. After all, we are from Mars and they are from Venus. -- ALEX IN BLUE BELL, PA.

DEAR ALEX: I agree that timing is important. My office was showered with responses from readers who were steamed over my response to that letter. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: The guys and I enjoy reading your column out loud to see if we agree or not with your advice. We were unanimous in our disagreement with your advice to "Still Hot and Bothered."

We would have been torqued if our wife had stayed in the shower to clean it instead of coming to bed for a good romp. We also would have showered with our wife to start the festivities early and then moved to the bedroom.

Several of the guys said they'd have gotten into the shower and made the cleaning come to a halt. There's a time for cleaning, and it's not when your husband is waiting with his motor running. -- THE GUYS IN THE ELECTRIC LAB, HARRISONBURG, VA.

DEAR ABBY: I'm not against spontaneous cleaning (I do it myself), but the fact that the wife would rather clean than spend time with her husband tells me she's either unable to read his signals or she just doesn't care to be close and intimate with him. It also shows a lack of judgment, compassion and understanding on her part.

If the situation were reversed and he had decided he'd rather watch sports than be with his wife, I'm sure she would have been equally upset. I don't think the rules should be different for men and women in this regard. And yes, I am a woman. -- HEATHER IN KANKAKEE, ILL.

DEAR ABBY: It appears that these days couples never have time for each other. Instead, they have their "individual" priorities before their "married" priorities.

When you compare the life expectancy of women vs. men, that woman will probably have years to clean the shower by herself without worrying about her mate. -- KEN IN SULPHUR, LA.

DEAR ABBY: Men just don't get it! Women don't have on/off switches like men do. Atmosphere is very important for us. My husband enjoys "getting close" in the mornings, too -- but I usually wake up with my to-do list running in my head. It is very difficult for me to get in the mood when there's work to be done.

Obviously, the wife in that letter wasn't ready to play. Instead of getting upset, her husband should have gotten creative and helped to set her mood. -- BRENDA IN FORT WORTH

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)