We wrote the book to be almost like a tuneup on your car--you'd do it, and a year later, it'd be like, that was great, let's do it again.
The "we" is Janet Lever, a.k.a. "Dr. J," who's speaking, and her partner Pepper Schwartz, both Ph.D.'s, and the sex and health columnists for Glamour magazine. The book is The Great Sex Weekend (Putnam, $19.95), which outlines a flexible 48-hour program for jump-starting the stalled sex lives of longtime significant O's. The exercises start at the remedial level: "Kissing," "Moving Toward Orgasm" and "Theme for the Day: Sadie Hawkins Day" (to answer the male complaint of too little woman-initiated sex). But the central mission of the book is simply to offer couples a fast way to "recapture some of the magic" of a vigorous sex life.
"You spend 48 hours, and just the fact that you're willing to do it gets you halfway there," Lever explains. "I mean, putting whipped cream on somebody's penis is great, but it's not going to make you fall back in love the way the commitment to spending two days having a sex weekend can."
Although the program can be conducted in the home, Lever and Schwartz include a state-by-state appendix of good spots for a romantic weekend getaway. The Valley sites they list include Arizona Biltmore ("A masterpiece of architecture . . . a mixture of desert and Mayan atmosphere"), the Boulders in Carefree ("Very pricey, very wonderful"), and, most intriguing, Maricopa Manor, 15 West Pasadena, which The Great Sex Weekend describes thus: ". . . enticing Spanish Mission-style architecture, stucco, arched doorways, and red tile. The place is on the fancy and formal side--lovely beds (some four-posters)."
Sounds sexy, at that. Paul Kelley, who runs the place with his wife, was amused to learn that their '20s-era residence turned hotel--which he calls "one of Phoenix's best-kept secrets"--was listed as a great spot for amorous rejuvenation. Yet that same motivation may have played a part in the Kelleys' decision to found the place: "We raised our kids here. When the last one graduated from Brophy, we turned the place into a bed and breakfast to keep the kids from moving home. It's been pretty effective."
Maricopa Manor's separate, private suites, with breakfast baskets delivered to the door each morning, qualify it for inclusion in The Great Sex Weekend. In general, however, Dr. J cautions against bed and breakfasts for the program: "The last thing you want to do is face people at breakfast who heard you the night before."
--M. V. Moorhead