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Self-Improvement: Buy Back

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"I've tried everything," says Desiré Harrison. "I've done squats, I tried bodybuilding. Nothing works." Harrison, 25, an advertising-sales rep for the adult-entertainment guide Xtreme, is sitting in the mauve Park Avenue South office of plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Nadler in a hospital gown. She has a button nose, a Sports Illustrated-worthy stomach, and enviable thighs, but . . . well, it's her butt. In the age of J.Lo, it's just not big enough.

Which is why she's here to see Dr. Nadler, a champion bodybuilder who once described himself as "The Liposuctionator." His days are filled with everything from calf implants to abdominal etchings, and he does a steady business in Botox. But lately, demand for the $7,500 tush-enhancement procedure has ballooned, thanks to the availability of a new, ergonomic implant with a gel-like feel. The customers are typically women like Harrison, who had Dr. Nadler install her 36C's last year ("It's sequential," he says). Perkiness-seeking gay men get it, too: "Last week I operated on a fellow from Sheffield, England," says Dr. Nadler, his biceps bulging through his black T-shirt. They've come from all over: "Alabama, Ohio, Hong Kong."

"For the last six, seven years, we've only had the old, solid implant," he says. "It looked nice, but it felt like wood. This one" -- he holds up what looks like a Brobdingnagian contact lens -- "you can put a knife right through and nothing will happen."

Harrison wants to know if she'll feel it when she sits. "It's not a whoopie cushion," chides Nadler. "I had a dream last night that it slipped down my leg," she says, giggling. "I guess my subconscious was running wild."

So how does it work? "First, I create a pocket, almost like filleting a steak," he explains. "Then I slide it in." He gets out a black felt-tip and draws a circle on Harrison's left cheek. "This is where we want to increase the fullness. You know," he offers, "I was a sculptor in college." "You are an artist," agrees Harrison, who has another question: "When can I have sex?" "As long as it's comfortable," he says, "within a week." "How soon can I get spanked?" she sort of jokes. Nadler thinks for a moment: "Give it six."


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