Smoky Mirrors Sex and the Single Object THE SENSUOUS WOMAN,

Lyle Stuart, Inc. 192 pp.; $6.

IMAGINE: you are a man in your mid 30's with an attractive wife to whom you have been married eight years. Your sex life is okay but nothing incredible. You have been away on a business trip in Pittsburgh for a week. When you get home, a note from your wife on the door tells you to go to the refrigerator, where you find a chilled martini and another note, directing you to the guest bathroom, where a hot bath awaits you. A note on the towel reads: "You have the most exciting body I have ever seen. If you want to see for yourself why you are the most sensual man in the world, come to the bedroom." When you left home a week ago, the bedroom was a regular old room with a pink chenille bedspread. You open the door to find it lined with smoked mirrors which reflect a woman in a black bikini who looks like your wife, except that her hair is no longer brown but blonde-streaked, lying on a fur throw that covers leopard-spotted sheets on the bed. If you are a real man, which Joan Garrity, author of The Sensuous Woman, assumes you are, you will hop into bed and screw for the next three days, letting your wife up only "long enough to get food and drink occasionally."

If I were he. I'd probably crack up laughing or take her away to a loony bin.

THE SENSUOUS WOMAN, which has already hit the top of the best-seller list and is second this week, combines many sexist, self-deprecatory attitudes with a few good techniques and ideas. The main reason to be a Sensuous Woman (i.e., good in bed) is to be able to catch and keep men. Garrity also points out that a woman can have a lot of fun herself, but the main thrust of the book is pleasing men so they won't leave you for that cute little secretary at the office.

In the introduction, she says:

... through intelligence and hard work, I have become a Sensuous Woman.

And that's what almost every man wants.

More than beauty

More than brilliance

More than great housekeeping abilities

More than a model mother to his children

He wants a Sensuous Woman

Because she makes him KNOW that he is the most remarkable man that ever lived.

Underneath a uniformly irritating style, which lets up only during technical explanations, Garrity lurches from basically sound attitudes to ones that appall. The first chapter ("Sex- Why It's Even Ahead of Horse' Racing as the Nation's Number One Sport"), she gives arguments for accepting sex as a positive good and not a necessary duty. Sounds fine, right? "You're not going to able to skip out on sex, so accept it and look toward the good," one paragraph starts. Okay, but what's the good?

... Those of us who have been labeled female owe it to ourselves to reap the considerable benefits, such as- well, how about these for openers? -the right to be soft and fragile; the luxury of having doors opened, packages carried, cigarettes lighted, chairs pulled out for us; the pleasure of being able to cry openly when we feel like it; the joy of giving everything of ourselves to the men we love; and (sometimes) the delight of receiving great loot like diamond necklaces, ruby bracelets and mink coats.

A chapter entitled, "Orgasm- Yours, Not His," extols the virtues of making love when you don't feel like it and faking orgasm because "you make him happy" and keep him coming back for more. The next chapter, "Orgasm- His, Not Yours," is all about the pleasure of non-simultaneous orgasm. Feeling a man coming to a climax,. Garrity argues, is a reward for being a sensuous woman. "He will never be more yours than at that moment."