This month: Maxim and Cosmo on cheating.
Little known fact: March is infidelity month. The holidays have come and gone, and that little boost of Valentine's Day romance faded sometime last week. But it's still cold, dark, and miserable, with weeks to go until spring. Even the movies suck this time of year. Which means there's no better time to give in to your cheating urges. According to extramarital dating site AshleyMadison.com, the year's biggest boost in membership comes in the last weeks of February — hard proof that in these dreary times, if there's sunshine to be found, it's in the pants of a coworker.
In such dark days, where else would we turn for guidance but to those bastions of common sense, the men's and women's print magazines? If you assume that the men who read Maxim and Men's Health date the women who read Cosmo and Glamour (and we do!), it's going to be a pretty tumultuous month, jam-packed with sex, lies and totally inane advice:
Sleep with one eye open:
This month, magazines on both sides of the Y-chromosome have come up with ways to deduce whether or not your lover is a two-timing cad. Surprisingly, none of them involve "asking," a personal fave. But then again, what fun is that, when you can rustle through his dirty clothes looking for clues every time he steps out of the house? Fortunately, these tips are practically foolproof. Unfortunately, about 90% of them could also be called "Things a Good Lover Does:"
— Watch out for "sudden changes in behavior or appearance (for the better)." (MHM)
The only way to know that your partner is being faithful is if he or she's moody and out-of-shape.
— "If your guy is suddenly going around all happy and whistling, then you need to find out why." (Cosmopolitan)
— "When a man's girlfriend is cheating, she'll start to make obvious attempts to increase his satisfaction in the relationship." (MHM)
— And be especially careful if he is neat, well-groomed or "spending more time at the gym." (Cosmopolitan)
In other words, the only way to know that your partner is being faithful is if he or she's moody and out-of-shape, a dickhead with poor personal hygiene. If your girlfriend cooks you dinner or tells you you're looking nice, she is having steamy sex with every single one of her office-mates. If your boyfriend cooks you dinner AND tells you you're looking nice, he is literally Tiger Woods. But then again, it's March and you're in a relationship with the opposite sex — what did you expect?
For the gentlemen:
According to the mags, March is easier for dudes, and not just because it's International Mustache Month. The message is "Cheat, just don't get caught." Sandwiched between an article on the best frozen foods and an expose on the World Beer Pong Championships, Maxim, the king of all dude rags, is running a piece called "How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too." And by cake, they mean ladies:
The reason he's cheating is that you're not complimenting him enough.
— "Every woman looks at her man's phone log when the opportunity arises." Every. Single. One. What to do? Save your mistress's number under a man's name, but be sure to password-protect your phone.
— "If she sees a message from 'Steve,' that reads, 'I want you deep inside of me.' you could have some 'splainin' to do." Agreed, except that that text reads less like a message from a real woman and more like a make-believe missive from the blond-haired porn-bot of the Maxim staff's dreams.
— "If she calls and it's a bad time, text her back ASAP and tell her you'll call her when you can hear better — even if you're mid-coitus." I guess that's good advice… except that it's followed by a steamy anecdote about a woman struggling not to moan during a mid-sex phone call.
The article's presumed authority stems from the claim that it's written by a real, live woman — a claim I treat with some skepticism. Not just because so much of it sounds like Letters To Penthouse, but because this is a mag whose editors put "Type 5318008 in your calculator and turn it upside down!" on the cover. (It spells "boobies.")
For the ladies:
Ladies, on the other hand, don't get to have their cakes, eat their cakes, or eat cake at all. (Stick to "chickpeas, lentils and whole-grain bread," girl.) Instead, if your boyfriend is being nice (read: sleeping with your sister) don't despair. But don't bring it up, criticize him or dump him either. Win the bastard back, with these great, anxiety-riddled advice points:
In "Four Words to Cheat-proof Your Love," we learn that the reason he's cheating is that you're not complimenting him enough. The titular four words ("You are so hot") not only reduce infidelity, they are scientifically proven to "increase blood flow to his penis." Score! But wait, there's more: by whispering "You are so hot" at the start of a long meal, you'll make him "love you more" and you'll seem like the red-dress-wearing temptress in a '90s rom-com. "So step off, Hunters [sic] of the world."
To sum up:
If you're a woman dating in March, your boyfriend is going to either cheat on you, or prove his fidelity by being a dickhead. Whenever he picks up the phone, he is not just going to be with another woman, he's going to be in the process of having sex with her. In response, you have be extra-fawning and complimentary to win him back. But the really bad news is it just might work, and then you'll have to make it through another month with the cheating frat-boy you call your man. Good thing April's just around the corner, and your favorite mags will soon be back, chock-full of totally ludicrous advice. n°