End Run

How a few black publishers are making a play for the Maxim man

To barber Lenny Hansen, the butt is simply the ultimate Pavlovian sexual trigger.

"If a girl walks by, you really get a good idea from her back of what it would be like to have sex with them," he says. "Not from the front. If she has a fat ass, there's just a lot more to work with."

Whatever it is, the derriere hysteria has prompted women to put on padded underwear and submit to butt augmentation surgery. (Buffie swears that she hasn't gone under the knife.) Doctors credit Jennifer Lopez with inspiring the relatively recent trends of silicone implants and fat injections.

Vasceannie says that Smooth's models—not to mention many of her white female friends—routinely pony up for the implants. "Whether it's a healthy choice or not, that's for the scientists to decide," she says.

But BlackMen's Blassingame says his models aren't cheating with surgery, and adds that he prefers what their mamas gave them. In fact, he's helping develop a fitness-training program for women to attain killer curves naturally.

"It's going to teach you how to thin your waist and raise your butt through protein diets and exercises," he says, adding that the program is coming to NYC-area gyms this fall.

It could well catch on, says Blassingame's assistant Mercedes Gomes, herself well-endowed in the caboose.

"I would like a little extra back there," she confesses. "We all would. Women don't really mean it when they say, 'My butt's too big.' They want to slim down overall, but I bet my life on it that they would prefer to put on a few extra pounds on their ass. A girl with a pancake butt is not that attractive."

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