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Extreme meek over

This is gonna sound like a joke, but I swear it's not. I'm an unattractive guy (not hideous, but pretty ugly) who's overweight and really socially awkward. When it comes to talking with women, I just clam up. About the only thing I have going for me is a huge penis. While attractive guys with tiny penises and ugly dudes with suave personalities can land women, I never even get a girl to go home with me, let alone get into a relationship, which is what I want. I know a lot of women don't care about size, but I also know some do. Am I crazy to think some women would look past my faults if only they knew what I was packing? Big Loser

So, you're fat, ugly and socially awkward. Is there an armed guard keeping you out of the gym? Is the path to the salad bar mined with plastic explosive? And, before you enter a nightclub, does the bouncer slap duct tape over your mouth and tie one hand behind your back, so all you can do is use your one free hand to point to your massive rod?

Probably half the successful male comedians look like they fell face-first out of the womb onto the ugly stick. But, for a few exceptions, the other half look like they came out clutching it in their tiny little hands. These guys turned their shortcomings into a living and, in turn, a way to get girls instead of a reason to, say, reduce themselves to a live-action version of the Joey The Giant Genitalia cartoon from junior-high sex-ed films.

Another unlikely chick magnet is the perpetually scrawny, sickly, 91-year-old psychotherapist Dr. Albert Ellis. A few years ago, he told me over lunch that he spent a good part of his childhood hospitalized keeping him from both dying and developing rudimentary social skills. At 19, he was determined to get over his terror of talking to girls. For a month, he went to the Bronx Botanical Garden every day, made himself sit down with any woman he saw alone on a bench, and gave himself a minute to strike up a conversation.

He talked to 100 women and asked one out. She stood him up. But, the experience gave him the courage to approach the next 100, and then some, and actually score some dates. In 2004, he married a tall, blonde Australian bombshell half his age. So, while many refer to him as "the father of cognitive-behavioral therapy," I like to think of him as The Hugh Hefner of Headshrinking.

Luckily for Ellis, he must not have had some huge tool in his pants to use as a crutch. Sure, there are a few size queens, but if they want a big penis without a personality, they'll get the kind that runs on batteries.

Stop reducing yourself to the sum of your one giant part. If you're fat, get some exercise beyond all the calories you're burning, wallowing in self-pity. If you're ugly, make up for it by dressing beautifully. Wear great shoes. Women like that. If you're filled with self-loathing, read up on "unconditional self-acceptance" in Ellis' book A Guide to Rational Living.

Finally, do as Ellis did, and make yourself talk to girls. Maybe even tell them you've been shy all your life and you're working to change it. That shows guts, which go over even better than great shoes.

In other words, whether you want sex or a relationship, your big penis is probably your biggest stumbling block. Convince yourself you're hung like a horsefly, and you might get some girls.

Who'll stop the reign?

I've been on a few dates with a guy, and we did hug and kiss once, but only because I finally made the moves. Also, I do all the asking out. He is shy, but shouldn't he be taking some initiative, or should I continue cutting him some slack? Working Overtime

Take any more initiative and you could cause the guy's limbs to wither and his organs to shrivel from disuse. Maybe you tell yourself you're a strong woman who refuses to sit around waiting for a man to call, but probably what you are is a scared woman who can't bear to chance that he won't.

Back off a little and you might get the answer you really need: Is the guy there because he's into you, or because nodding "uh-huh" is easier than telling you no? This isn't to say there's anything wrong with a woman making the first move. But, what seems to work best is a first move that involves flirting a man into making a second move, not wrestling him into a relationship, then making it unnecessary for him to do more than show up and continue breathing.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com).

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