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Now is the time for nice guys to finish first

In the 1970s there was Robert Redford. In the 1980s there was Rambo, and in the 1990s, there is "Mr. Nice Guy." Every decade needs a sex symbol, and in an era that has given celebrity to foul-mouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay and rap group 2 Live Crew, a growing number of men and women are pushing for recognition of the old-fashioned "Mr. Nice Guy" as a new sex symbol.

Some even claim that "Mr. Nice Guy" is sweeping the nation.

"The Nice Guy is the new sex symbol of the 1990s," insists sex therapist and clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky, author of the book How To Love a Nice Guy.

"Women are fed up with men who make them miserable and nice guys are tired of being overlooked, so both are discovering a new sex appeal and possibilities for love."

Hollywood images of suave, sexy, handsome machismo kings have for too long been seducing women, Kuriansky says.

Kuriansky calls actor Warren Beatty and his type "dream lovers" _ the kind of guy guaranteed to give grief.

"They may look good . . . but they leave a woman feeling emotionally bankrupt," she says.

While Kuriansky coaches women to dump their heartbreakers, Craig Sutton, a 28-year-old publicist from Boston, is standing by to accommodate the rush.

He's founder of Nice Guys Ltd., an organization devoted to enhancing the image of Nice Guys.

"This is not a dating service," Sutton said. "Right now, it's set up like a campaign."

And like any good promotion, it has T-shirts. They say, "Get A Close Look, This Is What A Nice Guy Looks Like."