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Somewhere in the hereafter, there sits a bunch of tight-lipped Puritan goodwives, all in a row. Their names are Faith, Prudence and Priscilla. They wear aprons, pristine caps, and wide, wide frowns.

They are Sydney Biddle Barrows' ancestors.

Ms. Barrows' career as the "Mayflower Madam," the head of a high-priced call girl service, couldn't have been what these stout pilgrims had in mind when they arrived here in pursuit of religious freedom. They must have watched from the heavens with grim satisfaction as the cops, in 1984, shut down her service, Cachet, and fined her $5,000.

But they'd be pleased even less with Ms. Barrows' present career -- as author, talk show guest and adviser to America's women.

In "Just Between Us Girls: Secrets About Men From the Madam Who Knows," Ms. Barrows gets chummy. It's like the sisterly stuff Ivana Trump dished out after being dumped by the Donald. Ivana wrote things like, "Women ask me, 'Ivana, will I ever be able to trust men again?' "

Ms. Barrows, though she veers occasionally into bossy madam mode, gets equally familiar. On the subject of underwear, she admonishes, "I hear what you're saying: 'Sydney, I don't want to run around with a bikini giving me a wedgie all day long.' . . . 'Sydney, that stuff is so darn uncomfortable.' "

Underwear is one of a spectrum of subjects explored in "Just Between Us Girls." This book has it all -- what men like in bed, what to wear, what men really like in bed, how to cut your hair, what scents to buy, and, of course, what men really truly like in bed.

A funny thing about the book is how call girls -- at least Ms. Barrows' employees, who, it's stressed, aren't your sleazy everyday hookers -- are held up as role models. In "Rules of the Beauty Game Every Call Girl Knows," Ms. Barrows brags about her standards:

"I went out of my way to hire women whose voices were low and mellifluous."

"I had a strict dress code. My girls should look like the wife or daughter of the richest man in the biggest suite at the Pierre Hotel. This meant conservative but elegant suits or dresses and sleek high heels."

"One of our trademarks at Cachet was the quality and beauty of the undergarments our women wore."

Don't sneer. Appearances matter. Brigitte Nielsen, Ms. Barrows lectures, caught Sly Stallone's eye when she sent him a picture of herself in a LaPerla bikini.

Lest anyone's husband be in danger of succumbing to a LaPerla bikini, there's a section on how to keep your man home where he belongs. There's also a list of "Reasons for Straying You Can Do Nothing About," including Ego Satisfaction, Inability to Curb Sexual Impulses, He's Secretly Bisexual or Homosexual and He Wants Out of the Marriage but Doesn't Want to Leave Until He Has Somebody Else. Such complicated times we live in.

Ms. Barrows offers the world's canniest catalog of ways to tell if your husband is cheating. You are then coached in identifying the culprit: girlfriend, mistress or call girl. (If it's a call girl, cheer up. "Men understand this is fantasy. That's what they want," Barrows advises, broad-mindedly. "They don't feel too badly about it -- and neither should you.")

Finally, there's sex.

Barrows bubbles with advice. Topics include the Art of the Moan, Cybersex, and Wearing No Underwear in Public. There are Recipes for Seduction, including the Voyeur (watching naughty videos), the Distraction ("wait until your husband is on the phone with his boss, mother or rabbi") and the Water Nymph (you lure him into the bath and turn off the lights).

Catch yourself giggling? You may be getting the picture. "Above all, keep your sense of humor," Ms. Barrows urges. "It's sex, for goodness sake, not the cure for cancer!"

Her Mayflower forbears would have only one word for all this.


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