There are few situations more awkward than having Barbara Walters and Joy Behar chat about your private parts on national television. But Robert Pattinson accepting his hazing by the women of "The View" with quiet grace and a tight smile on Tuesday.
Because that's what male guests of the morning talk show are expected to do when they enter the estrogen-heavy territory of hosts Walters, Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Whoopi Goldberg.
The women on the show, by virtue of their age and status into the media world are able to say and do pretty much what they please, including invading the personal space of male guests and talking to them about subjects that would be taboo if the genders were reversed.
"It's not one on one, it's five against one, and that makes the difference, so if the man is feeling uncomfortable, what is he going to do about it?" Cooper Lawrence, author of "Cult of Celebrity," told FOX411. "It definitely puts the male guest in a submissive role."
Pattinson, 23, allowed the ladies to spend an inordinate amount of time talking about how he covered what they referred to as his "unit" during his sex scenes in the upcoming movie "Remember Me," and endured Barbara Walters, 80, asking him about his unfortunate "vagina allergy" comments in Details magazine. This was before they asked him (via a "fan email") if he would ever date an older woman.
The average age of the talk show hosts is 55, in case they were hinting at anything.
"It promotes the sort of behavior you can't get away with in the real world. It perpetuates behavior that has no place on a talk show, especially when it is endorsed by somebody like Barbara Walters," says Salvatore G. Gangemi, an attorney specializing in sexual harassment suits. "[But] it's not illegal."
A representative for The View did not return emails or calls for comment.
Pattinson's visit wasn't the first time the hosts got flirty with a male guest. "You're considered a big sex symbol in Hollywood, the whole package, it's quite stunning I have to tell you," an over-excited Joy Behar, 67, told actor Benicio Del Toro when he graced the women's couch to talk about his upcoming film "Wolfman" last month.
When the cast of "The Jersey Shore" stopped by a couple of weeks ago Behar candidly asked the men from the MTV reality show, "When you have sex on the show do you use condoms?" When Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino answered that he did indeed engage in protected sex, Behar pushed the envelope even further asking him if he even made sure to use one "in the hot tub."
Men in the media need to be careful about the things they say to and about women. ESPN suspended "Pardon the Interruption" host Tony Kornheiser last month for two weeks following his critique of fellow on-air personality Hannah Storm's fashion sense. Behar can ask about prophylactics, but musician John Mayer has been nationally lambasted for talking about his time in the bedroom with Jessica Simpson and is now pursuing what should just be called his "I'm Sorry For Being a Jerk Tour: 2010."
A male talk show host like Jay Leno or David Letterman would never be able to get away with blatantly flirting with a 22-year old starlet the way Walters did last November as she giggled and asked Zac Ephron about his bare-chested photographs in People magazine. "If you went door to door showing everyone your chest how did you miss my house?" Walters asked with a coy smile. Behar stepped in and exclaimed, "Mrs. Robinson, calm down!"
Getting friendly (sometimes a little too friendly) is part of "The View's" shtick. It's what the audience, comprised mainly of middle-aged housewives eats up and one o fthe reasons they tune in on a daily basis, to live vicariously through these five women, wishing they could ogle Robert Pattinson and tell Benicio DelToro, 43, he is sexy.
"That would simply never ever work for a man," says etiquette expert and author of "Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work" Jacqueline Whitmore. "Their viewers accept that but it doesn't make it acceptable and it does make men uncomfortable. Some guests are ok with it and some aren't but they would never say anything because their publicists would be angry and they want to be invited back. But it's what the audience likes so they will probably keep delivering."