Women With Colds and the Men Who Love Them

by Con Chapman

BOSTON.  This city's adult entertainment district is a place where the sexual impulse in all its variety seeks and finds satisfaction, but even long-time denizens of the “Combat Zone” as it is known say they're disgusted by a manifestation of the male libido they've seen on the streets recently.

Combat Zone, Boston

“It's repulsive is what it is,” says Jack Cleary, who runs the First Amendment, a porn and sex toy shop.  “I don't like them creeps coming in my place.”

Cleary is referring to fans of “stuffy nose smut,” erotica aimed at men who are turned on by women with hacking coughs and noses red from blowing, victims of the common cold.

Oh, yeah!

“This is when things start to pick up with the ‘stuffies,'” says Sergeant Jim Hampy of the Boston Police Department's Vice Squad.  “They lie low during the summer once hay fever dies down in the spring, then come back when cold and flu season starts.”

“You have to use a Kleenex, okay?”

The attraction of red-eyed, sneezing women, according to Milton Ornstein, a professor of psychology at Brandeis University, lies in their unattainability.  “The red nose is a sign that the woman is unavailable for sex to any man,” he notes.  “That makes her all the more alluring” to those who suffer from PNDiasis, a perverse desire for women with post-nasal drip.

“I got a hot babe for you—temperature of a hunnert and two!”

There is even a Playboy for sniffles and sneezes perverts—”PND”—which Cleary wouldn't stock at first.  “Them guys, they come in here with their disgusting tissues and handkerchiefs and mess up everything they touch.  I finally put that rag in a plastic bag behind the counter.”

“What I wouldn't do in the backseat of a car for some Nyquil!”

For his part, Hampy tries to ensure that the ladies of the evening practice “safe sneezes” and aren't abused by pimps or “johns,” customers for whom snot is hot.  Midnight finds him in plainclothes in the tissue aisle of drugstore on lower Washington Street, looking to stop trouble before it starts.  A slim bleached blonde barely into her twenties picks up a six-pack of pocket-size tissues from the shelf, and Hampy notices a furtive man emerge from the shadows of the Shaving Needs aisle. 

“Hold it right there, you maggot” Hampy barks as the man puts his hands in his coat pocket.

“I wasn't soliciting, honest,” the man says.

“Like hell you wasn't,” Hampy says gruffly.  “Luden's Wild Cherry cough drops are like crack cocaine to these girls.”