Floor Women Only

© Netris | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Netris | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Have you ever wished there was such a thing as a bar for women only, where you could order a cosmopolitan with “an extra shot of vodka and hold the testosterone?” Guys are great and all, but every once in a while I have those days where I’ve had more than enough of their gaseous noises, dirty socks, smelly armpits and male answer syndrome.

OK, “every once in a while” might be a bit of an understatement.

Every time I wipe the shaving cream off the sink, I dream of sleeping on a bed of rose petals, and waking up to the quiet gurgling of a chocolate fountain, instead of my husband’s snoring.

That’s my version of a mental man-vacation.

My actual man is on a manly vacation somewhere on a river north of nowhere right now, which means it should be my turn next. If I ever actually got to go on a girls’ weekend away, I might choose a resort in Mexico, a spa in Palm Springs or maybe wine tasting in Napa Valley or even sunning myself on the French Riviera, as long as I’m dreaming.

But until last week I never really thought about Michigan as a girls’ getaway hotspot.

Then I heard that J.W. Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids announced that it would be devoting its entire 19th floor–bar included–to female guests. Their spokeswoman, Andrea Groom, told the Associated Press that with women comprising over half of all business travelers, the all-female floor will allow women to “relax over a drink without getting hit on by guys.” The rooms will feature female-friendly amenities like “jewelry holders” (How did I ever live without one of those?) and “special hair dryers” (Are they pink? Do they color your hair while they dry it?), chenille throw blankets, “special bath products,” a stool in the shower for leg shaving, and copies of Oprah and Cosmopolitan Magazines beside the bed instead of the Gideon’s Bible.

OK, I made that last part up, but the rest is actually true. And so is this: staying in the Marriot’s man-free zone will cost you an extra $30 a night. It costs extra to be surrounded by women? I lived in a sorority house with 80 other girls, and well; let’s just say we could used a shot of testosterone with our morning coffee.

Will women really go for the Club Femme? Let’s just say I’ve got my reservations about the idea. They’ve certainly gone for the all-women gym concept with Curves, which has become the world’s largest fitness franchise in large part because of their “no men, no mirrors” gimmick.

I’ve never really gotten the appeal of the women-only gym. I’ve joined a lot of workout places over the years–and gained and lost the same 20 pounds–and the most fun I had was at an almost all-male (unless you count the transvestites) gym in West Hollywood. There was man candy everywhere I looked. But it was calorie-free, since this particular group of guys only had eyes for each other.

Despite the political incorrectness of it all, businesses with gender specific target marketing are popping up all over the place. There is Knockouts Haircuts for Men, a chain dubbed “the Hooters of haircutting,” which features scantily clad, well-endowed stylists and free beer. Before you laugh, get this: last year Knockouts ranked among the top 30 per cent of America’s fastest-growing franchises.

Would the female equivalent be Mani-Pedi-Eddie’s with Chippendales-trained technicians to chip away your old polish? That sounds fun and all, but I’d trade it in a second for a nice, hot, uninterrupted bath on a 19th floor that I had all to myself.

OK, maybe I’d be willing to share my floor with a box full of chocolate men–as long as they only had eyes for me.

Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on June 1, 2007