"I'm peeing. I literally have my dick in my hands," says Steve Santagati to me over his cell phone. "You must have ESPN."
I was following up with Santagati, who was commenting on my supposed clairvoyance as he stood in front of a urinal an hour after I'd met him at KATU, where we both appeared on the morning show AM Northwest. I was on it to talk up WW. He was on it to talk about his book, The Manual: A True Bad Boy Explains How Men Think, Date, and Mate—and What Women Can Do to Come Out on Top (Crown, 289 pages, $21.95).
And now, here I was talking (gay) man to (straight) man again, as Steve held his life in his hands. It all made sense. That's because this "bad boy" is a big dick. And I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way.
We know the type: self-absorbed, hot, het. Truth be told, he looks like one of those walking erections that have invaded the Pearl District lately, much to the delight of our females. But this self-confessed serial dater is more than just his hard-on. A print star (he's appeared in campaigns for Gap and Armani), TV host and lifelong bachelor (he spent last summer kite boarding in the Columbia Gorge), Santagati, 43, lives in the model mecca of Miami, where he's dubbed himself a "relationship expert" of sorts.
His "manual," which hit the New York Times bestseller list the day he hit town, talks about his unflinching love of females, and even features his frame on its cover with an arrow pointing to his penis and the phrase, "More than two million served."
I think he might be exaggerating.
Or is he?
Santagati is on to something. That is, for those straight guys with good grooming habits who actually like to listen to what women have to say—and who aren't trying to act like gay BFFs just so they can get laid. These are the new post-metrosexual dudes who get all the chicks, according to Santagati and his handbook.
"So I've come out as an aware male," says Steve-O. "What's wrong with that?"
And aware is the operative word with Santagati. He refuses to be considered a "sensitive" man, because he says too many people associate the word with being a "dork" or, even worse, a "pussy." I guess you could throw the "gay" word in there, too. But he wouldn't. That's due in large part to Santagati's appreciation of the gay men in his own life: "Gays just need to figure out the whole monogamy part." Which is a strange statement coming from a guy who has serviced so many women.
Yes, some guys are in fact too good to be true. And when I shared that with Santagati, he said: "And you know how that ends, don't you? They usually aren't."
The Manual may not be much more than one more self-help book marketed for women who still have hope for the male species, but this "man" wants to be more than just the sum of his parts.
Now, if he could just get his hand off his penis, he might get more attention.