A touch of seduction on 'McBeal'


Special from The Kansas City Star

Forget the Venus Butterfly from "L.A. Law." There's another mysterious seduction move that's just hit TV.

Fans of "Ally McBeal" have seen it on several episodes now. It's the little touch that's sending Ling Woo (played by Lucy Liu) into ecstasy.

Attorney Richard Fish (Greg Germann) introduced the technique as a way of intriguing Ling, who is a tad reluctant to become physically involved with him.

But after he reached down and caressed her knee-pit, well ... Ling's not so reluctant anymore.

Fish also taught his pal John Cage (Peter MacNicol), and now Renee Radick (Lisa Nicole Carson) is following Cage around like a hungry puppy.

So just what is this knee-pit thing?

It's not reflexology. So said Peggy Smith, massage therapist and reflexologist in Overland Park, Kan.

Reflexology is a massage of areas of the extremities to heal or relax other parts of the body.

"It's been around a long time," Smith said. "It's a nice way for treating people with chronic pain where it hurts too much to touch the area."

But, alas, the knee pit is not an area a reflexologist would massage to create any kind of reaction, much less a kinky one.

Smith said it sounds more like Tantra yoga.

Alec Evanson, a minister, gives classes in the art of Tantra (pronounced TAWN-tra).

"It's a 4,000-year-old yoga practice that teaches a couple how to work with pleasured sexual energy for the purposes of growing spiritually together," Evanson said. "It increases different aspects of a relationship, such as intimacy and trust."

So do knee pits figure in anywhere?

"Not that I'm aware of," Evanson said.

Our research did turn up one revealing fact: David E. Kelley, who created "Ally McBeal," also wrote for "L.A. Law." That show featured the much-discussed Venus Butterfly, which attorneys Stuart Markowitz (Michael Tucker) and Ann Kelsey (Jill Eikenberry) made famous.

So this knee-pit move?

Let's just call it a plot device.