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Men and women start out perhaps as romantic idealists

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Unformatted text preview: tage of the widespread tendency to flirt and haunt the places where the young girls tend to parade up and down (certain streets in every large city), the public dance halls, the skating resorts, the crowded public beaches, etc. They regard themselves as connoisseurs in women and think they know when a girl is "ripe"; they are ready to spend money and utilize flattery, gifts and bold wooing, according to their nature and the way they size up their prey. 2. The female sex adventurer is not so common, except in the higher criminal classes where the effort to ensnare rich men calls forth the abilities of certain women. In a limited way the prostitute, professed or clandestine, is a sex adventurer, but ordinarily she is merely supplying a demand and has only to exert herself physically, rarely needing to conquer men's inhibitions. We omit here the schemes of conquest of girls and women seeking marriage as too complex for any one but a novelist, and also because the moral code regards them as legitimate. Women who are ready to accept sexual advances are common enough in the uninhibited girl, the dissatisfied married woman, the young widow, the drug habitue; but aside from the woman who has capitalized her sex, the sex adventurer is largely male. What attracts him? For he rarely pesters the good woman, and ordinarily the average woman is not solicited. The girl usually "picked up" dresses immodestly or in the extreme of style, even though she is essentially shabby and poorly clad. To-day business sees to it that fripperies are within the reach of every purse. She usually corresponds to a type of prettiness favored in the community, often what is nowadays called the chicken type. Plump legs and fairly prominent bosom and hips are symbols of those desired among all grades of men, together with a pretty face. The homely girl finds it much easier to walk unmolested. If she appears intelligent and firm, the above qualities will only entitle her to glances, respectful and CHAPTER XIV. 121 otherwise. The sex adven...
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