Ridiculous Tips For a Miserable Sex Life: April 2011

Cosmopolitan and Men's Health mix up a flavored-lube cocktail.

By Ben Reininga

Each month, like clockwork, men's and women's magazines hit the newsstands, bursting with terrible sex and dating advice. And each month, we pick out the worst tips and mock them for your edification.


"Slippery Tricks You'll Both Be Into"

So, flavored lube is gross. To wit: once, I was flying back from China just after the TSA had imposed the "no liquid" ban. The scanner found a "sample pack" of flavored lube in my backpack — given to me by a free clinic ages ago and long forgotten about. I'd been chatting — showing off my newly polished Chinese — with one of the agents. She pulled a handful of lube packs out of my bag, and asked amicably "What's this?" As I tried to remember the word for "Piña Colada-flavored sample lube packets," she squeezed, a bit too hard, and a fruit salad of lube poured out all over her hands. I'll never forget the look in her eyes.

Anyway, there are only two explanations for this feature: Cosmo got a boatload of money from the lube lobby, or... yeah, I don't know. Probably the first. Here's what they suggest you do: 

  • "Get a soft-haired paintbrush and 'paint' him with lube. He'll be dying by the time you're done."

There is nothing metaphorical about the use of the word paint here. I'm pretty sure they literally mean "rub it all over his body with a paintbrush." Unless they don't, which would explain the quotation marks and be a lot less gross.

  • "Mix a few flavors to create new combos, like strawberry-banana."

This is a really important advance in the sexual sciences. For years, men and women have been been inexplicably interested in basting their loins with tropical fruit, and yet disappointed that it did not taste disgusting enough. So-luuuuu-tion.

  • "One thing silicone types are perfect for: shower sex (they don't rinse off the way natural lubricants and water-based varieties do). So keep a bottle next to your shampoo for spur-of-the-moment ideas."

This is a first. A professional sex educator actually wrote to me this month to make sure I included this warning: having sex in the shower is not a good idea, unless you're looking for ways to risk penis breakage while wasting a natural resource. (In which case, leave your car idling in the driveway and then go inside and have sex on rollerskates.) Also, keeping lube next to the shampoo might be a little unwise for those of us who hop into the shower first thing without our contacts in.

  • "Use silicone-based lube to give each other pre-nooky rubdowns."

Then, presumably, hop into the shower for some pre-nooky rinsing? Just be careful which bottle you grab.

"Go Ahead, Check Yourself Out"

Now, I'm all for ego-boosting. Ladies of the world, feel good about yourselves. But this is just kooky: a handful of super specific times when you should drop everything and go look in the mirror, just to enjoy your hotness. Running off to find mirrors at odd moments might pump your self-esteem, sure. It might also help you lose friends and alienate people.

  • "At Happy Hour With Your Girls"

No, they don't mean your breasts, they mean your friends. After having a drink, they suggest you run to the bathroom and check yourself out. Which may finally explain why the line to the women's bathroom is always so long.

  • "When Tackling A Crossword Puzzle"

I'd just like to say, if you can look at yourself in the mirror while you're solving a crossword puzzle, your ego should need no help. You are a super-genius.

  • "After Eating Your Veggies"

That's right: "Munch on an extra handful or two of carrots and tomatoes, and then pose naked in front of your full-length mirror." Pro tip: if you eat a handful of tomatoes while you're looking in the mirror, you can look hot and pretend you're a vampire.

Commentarium (52 Comments)

Apr 29 11 - 12:33am

I like how MHM assumes that women are the ones who wash dishes ... because of course they do.

Apr 29 11 - 1:13am

Don't be sexist, Betty. Women are capable of far more than just washing dishes, you chauvinistic monster.

Apr 29 11 - 1:44am

Betty, it's 2011.

Apr 29 11 - 11:16am

yes, the article does say "some nothing-special **Tuesday** night," so maybe they assume that tuesdays are the only day that women do dishes now...

Apr 29 11 - 11:21am

Ehm, Betty was being sarcastic...

Apr 29 11 - 3:54pm

So were they moron

Apr 29 11 - 4:15pm

MHM - that advice sucks...

Apr 29 11 - 7:01pm

Remember to do this!

Apr 30 11 - 6:51am

No, I was being sexist. Bitches belong in the kitchen.

Jun 24 11 - 2:32am

That's why they don't own umbrellas (doesn't rain between there and the bedroom).

Apr 29 11 - 1:14am

Maybe she's blinking lots because she has Tourette's or allergies and MAYBE SHE"S REALLY SENSITIVE ABOUT IT OK!

Apr 29 11 - 5:36am
Appears To Be

Cosmopolitan has been misinforming people for 60 years

Apr 29 11 - 9:23am

My mouse thanks you for going back to the old format!

That tomato vampire thing actually sounds pretty hot! If I could keep from bursting into laughter, anyway.

Apr 29 11 - 10:05am

Can I just point out here that a tomato is a fruit?

Apr 29 11 - 8:54pm

Actually, no

May 02 11 - 12:08am

In Nix v. Hedden the US supreme court declared tomatoes vegetables.

Apr 12 12 - 2:53pm

Actually, they declared them vegetables only for tax purposes. Botanically, the court recognized that they were fruits

Apr 29 11 - 10:46am

Like the format change!

Apr 30 11 - 12:27pm


May 03 11 - 6:16pm

I really appreciate your listening to feedback, much better format now.

This was a hilarious read as ever, thank you.

Apr 29 11 - 1:16pm

But shower sex is so much fun! Maybe suggest to use a chair to reduce the risk of slipping?

Apr 29 11 - 1:29pm

I also object to an article that objects to shower sex

Apr 29 11 - 1:31pm

The vagina/sandwich toaster comparison isn't that bad. Hot, tight and should be cleaned regularly to avoid caked on cheese

Apr 29 11 - 1:51pm


Apr 29 11 - 3:55pm

I think im going to make a grilled cheese tonight now...

Apr 29 11 - 7:03pm
cd ripper

nice! you got me too!

Apr 29 11 - 7:17pm

I actually think the last piece of Men's Health advice is solid, but watch out dudes, I will be timing and will get supremely angry if you don't kiss my head for exactly 1.4 seconds! Seriously though, non-overtly sexual touch is underrated. Do it when you ARE getting sexy too - so many times, guys just go for the obvious erotic zones, but being aroused heightens sensation all over the body so that even a hand gliding over the back or kiss on the shoulder feels great (and helps get the blood flowing during foreplay).

And as several others have mentioned, thank you for the format improvement - much better!

Apr 30 11 - 10:09am

Besides the sports analogies from MHM, their advice is actually about sex/real relationships. Not the idea of sex.

Cosmo has the most laughable sex advice. Oh yah, what dude is gonna go bonkers for flavored body lube on himself...? Guys are super easy to please. Perform some oral sex. Act like you like doing it. Swallowing is usually preferred, but not for the reasons you think. A lot of it is psychological... As well.

Apr 30 11 - 6:17pm

I know! I don't mind swallowing but for a guy is not only about his pleasure but something else, as you mention, psychological. Is it about power or what?

May 02 11 - 5:10pm

i think it's more about not having to clean up.

May 05 11 - 2:33am

If you keep him in the back of your throat while he comes, you can pretty much avoid getting it on your tongue. Not completely, but it's better than swishing that shit around in your mouth trying to spit it out.

Apr 30 11 - 10:44pm

Oral sex isn't about power, it isn't about some "issues". It IS about the fact that if done right it is about the easiest, and pleasurable way for a guy to get off. I'm not knocking the intense pleasure that comes with a good fucking. But let's face it, that involves labor. I said EASIEST, remember.

That said, I personally like nothing more than rousing sweat dripping workout with a female, especially one that I have deep feelings for. Not much of a one night stand guy.

Jul 02 11 - 4:35pm

Giving a blowjob takes about as much effort as sex does, so I don't see how it's any easier?

Jun 22 12 - 5:55pm

I think he means it's easier for guys - as in, men don't like blow jobs because of power, they like it because it gives them immense pleasure without them having to exert energy. They get to be lazy and take a break for once. (I would also argue: a tongue is a lot more versatile than a vagina..)

Apr 30 11 - 11:19pm

Working in a sex shop, I'm never entirely sure what to tell people about lube and shower sex. I mean, yes, silicone lube is great for shower sex, because it's waterproof and won't rinse off. Also, silicone lube is terrible for shower sex, because it's waterproof and won't rinse off. So you'll stay lubricated, and so will anything you try to hold onto.

Apr 30 11 - 11:37pm

MHM's first piece of advice is not only creepy, but also completely wrong. Women who are on birth control are NOT more attracted to rugged men, evolutionarily speaking.

If a woman were not on the pill, and is ovulating, THEN she would be more attracted to macho men. This is because the "strong jaw-ed" type evolutionarily indicates good, strong genes and a high chance of virile sperm.

When a woman becomes pregnant, her hormones change and she becomes more attracted to effeminate men. This is because men who are slightly effeminate have a higher likelihood of sticking around to help raise the kid. Which is of the good, also evolutionarily.

Therefore, since the pill tricks a woman's body and hormones into thinking she's pregnant, a woman on the pill is more attracted to effeminate, sensitive types of men.

The prevalence of birth control is a good reason why prettier men like the Orlando Bloom's or Zac Efron's of the world are the overreaching sex symbols lately, instead of the Paul Newman's and Marlon Brando's of earlier years.

May 05 11 - 4:17pm

Hmmm. Very Interesting.

May 03 11 - 12:57am

The 'professional sex educator' is wrong.

May 05 11 - 2:34am

Thanks for going back to a reasonable format!

Jun 11 11 - 8:27am

You've hit the ball out the park! Increidble!

Jun 24 11 - 2:37am

They also failed to mention that many women who are on the pill have severely decreased libidos.

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