By People Staff
April 22, 1996 12:00 PM

by Sydney Biddle Barrows

Remember Sydney Barrows, whose Colonial heritage and proprietorship of a fancy Manhattan escort service earned her the tabloid title the Mayflower Madam? Now she has tried her hand at what is possibly the world’s second-oldest profession: writing an advice book on how to get and keep a man. The depressing thing is, everything she writes is probably true.

Barrows argues that most women who discover that their mate has strayed have done nothing to keep him from doing so. Men feel betrayed when the woman they married gains weight, stops listening or starts nagging. Barrow believes men are big babies who need to be told how terrific they are. They also like black lingerie, home-cooked meals and sexual acts that must go unspecified in a family magazine.

Before you throw up, note too that Barrows thinks women must be competent at their chosen work (even if it’s motherhood) to duly attract a man. A woman who has no life of her own won’t snare the man of her dreams. And don’t rule out adult education classes. Barrows writes, “Any guy with more than two brain cells is thrilled to be with a woman who is interesting and who challenges him (at least a little bit) intellectually.” This book is (at least a little bit) insulting. (St Martin’s, $21.95)