Last night was the closing night of Promax, the annual television marketing convention and self-congratulation extravaganza, beloved by its attendees for its potential for both creative inspiration and hookups.

It was held in LA this year, and, because I work for a television network, I was present last night for the closing party, held at the pool of the new J W Marriott hotel downtown. It was a typical Promax party in most respects – lots of randy guys whose heads are whirling around like police sirens, and lots of women trying to avoid those randy guys as everyone loads up on Grey Goose and gossips about the people they work with who are currently in the bathroom.

It’s the “lots of women” part of the equation that, at this particular party, threw me. The attendee makeup is probably 60% men, 40% women, but you’d never have known it from the “playmates” hired for the event. The pool was populated by a group of scantily-swimsuited girls who either the hotel or the Promax promoters had hired to frolic about, wet and soon to be pneumonia-stricken in the 60-degree evening chill, caressing beach balls in a way that would perhaps have been more appropriate at the Playboy Mansion. I saw one mermaid mouth to her friend, “I’m freezing my ASS off!” Ironically, the fully-heated waters of the large Jacuzzi was apparently off limits to them, since that obviously would have implied some sort of come on.

Then there were the scantily-clad females in hooker heels hired to get the party started on the dance floor. I would have just assumed they were just out-of-town attendees looking to memorialize their trip with an assignation they would regret the next morning, but a friend informed me that he had come right out and asked two of them if they were hired help.

All this set me to wondering: why were there no scantily-clad men to get the party started for the two hundred women present? This seems oddly sexist for a conference of liberal television folk. Given the rabid nature of women at a Thunder Down Under performance, I can only surmise that they, too, appreciate a little eye candy.

Obviously the double standard is alive and well. Perhaps in the future, Promax – or the Marriott – should consider throwing in some man whores. Creative women need to blow off a little steam, too.