Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life

Maxim tells you how to have Internet Sex, Men's Health tells you what women are thinking, and Cosmo tells you to shut up.

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.

"Most people think of Valentine's Day as a celebration of the burning of a Catholic loudmouth, but it's also about love." — Kenneth Parcell

How was your Valentine's Day, friends? It doesn't matter. Everything sucks in the world of sex: we're having a national conversation about contraception, a man named after anal leakage is the GOP frontrunner, and the blond barista at my coffee shop with the soccer legs and the pretty mouth introduced me to his stupid girlfriend.

Our friends at the print magazines are with me this month: love and sex are hard.

Let's get to work:


Maxim's monthly sex feature is cynical, sneaky, and love-free, just in time for Valentine's Day. It's about how to use online dating to find women who only want sex — and then how to trick them into having it with you. I was hoping at least for something related to real adult relationships — like, five gifts to buy your sweetheart this V-Day, each ranked for efficacy on a scale of one to "Blowjob City." But alas:

"When 27-year-old Lisa signed into her OKCupid account, a message appeared from a guy who was visiting Boston for the night and wanted to meet up. A few hours later... they ended up screwing in the private bathroom of the Harvard bookstore... Lisa, like a growing number of women, didn't join a dating Web site to find the man of her dreams... They wanted one thing only: casual sex. Read on to learn how to decode their profiles..."

Three things: 1. Her real name isn't Lisa. It's Harold. 2. If you really want to meet the woman of your dreams, go to Nerve Dating (they do pay me, but seriously, it's really nice).

Anyway, here are the three steps to having Internet Sex, according to Maxim:

"The Profile"

"Just because some women are strictly seeking sex doesn't mean that they're always up front about it. They want you to use your brain. Lisa's profile reveals that she just wants 'lighthearted fun.' Sneaky, right? … Rose, on the other hand, only answers questions ‘about my sexual preferences...'"

Now, some girls who say things like "lighthearted fun" really do just want to have filthy sex in the filthy bathrooms of the future upper-middle-99%. But some of them are just trying to convey that they're actually easygoing.

The stupid part is imagining that there are two classes of women — the normal chat-chat-chat ones who want to marry you and the secret dirty sexy kind — and that you need a decoder to figure out which is which. Women like having sex, and some will on the first date and some won't — there's no way to figure out except by going out with them. (Except for "Rose." She probably is kind of a floozy.)

"The Message"

"… Start by referencing something you read on her profile, then get a little flirty."

Their example is a guy who responds to a girl's profile with a funny message, asking specifically about her interests. The result? "Sex loud enough to wake his roommate."

That's not bad advice. In fact, it's good advice — be funny, go with specifics, etc. It's just stupid to make that seem like some sort of carpool lane on the superhighway to Pussy Town. (It's just three exits from Blowjob City.) It's actually just a good first step to getting a date. Plus, if you think you've cracked the sex code with a clever opening message, you're probably going to act like it, and that's off-putting.

"The Jackpot"

"Once you nail your message, you're well on your way to getting it on."

And then they jump to stories about people having sex in London, in fishnets, and in a threesome. Because here's the thing: Maxim actually didn't figure out the actual sex part. That part still depends on your ability to meet someone who you connect with, or who you don't connect with, but who's DTF regardless. This article is actually just three decent rules for online dating interspersed with porn-y stories. And that, my friends, is why I named this column "Ridiculous Tips." [I actually named this column Ed.] [Don't embarrass me in front of my friends, Pete Ben]

Commentarium (25 Comments)

Feb 15 12 - 4:09am

The MHM is one of the worst things I've ever read. I have to believe it was a parody of the stupidest, most most insulting stereotypes people believe about women.When I'm getting laid the LAST thing I'm doing is staring at my stomach thinking about how skinny I look. Sex isn't something we do so we can trick dudes into marrying us, or because we need attention, or because we want someone to see how skinny we have starved ourselves into being. Women like sex, we have sex because is feels awesome, and we aren't thinking about the fucking guestbook or flower arrangements while there's a dick inside us. Stepping off internet soapbox now.

Feb 15 12 - 3:22pm

Well said.

Feb 15 12 - 7:21am

I imagine it's the men who read MHM who are obsessed with bread and flat stomachs and would like to believe that their lady friends are right there with them in their particular obsessions...maybe some lucky readers do eventually find their shallow, ab-crunching, carb-optimizing soul mates.

Feb 15 12 - 10:50am

It must be a parody. Seriously?! I don't know any woman who thinks like that. Ever. Especially that gay hair comment and all the bits about being fat and desperate to marry. What the hell? Fuck you, MHM. Way to keep men acting like ignorant assholes.

Feb 22 12 - 12:55am

What pisses me off is the line of comments on the MH page--from both men and women, apparently--who think this parody is spot on, even railing on the few who criticize the piece as feminist hijackers.

And what REALLY pisses me off is that I have encountered women friends who actually do think like this. Yes, the MH bit is supposed to be a parody, but in a it's-funny-because-it's-true way. Screw you, Carrie Bradshaw.

Jul 22 12 - 1:32am
Good Girl

Did anyone else picture that girl like a high-school movie typical dummy named Lindsey?
Women don't think like that, unless they're retarded. But I must compliment these guys for going out with the mentally-challenged, everyone deserves love

Feb 15 12 - 1:14pm

Between this and Shakira vs the Sea Lion, this is the greatest afternoon of Nerve reading ever! Just spectacular.

Feb 15 12 - 2:25pm

Oh, Men's Health. I like how they even slip in the girly joke ("I remember when I was younger and I thought I was going to be a virgin when I got married. Now that was funny.") Yeah, we're all Carrie Bradshaw. I guess its hard to blame the writers who come up with this crap - they've probably just watched a lot of rom coms in their attempt to understand the thought process of that elusive entity known as "women".

Oh, and I'm guessing the number of North American women who currently think they will be virgins when they marry is pretty close to the number of men who think the same thing (aka those whose strong religious beliefs prevent them from engaging in premarital sex).

Feb 15 12 - 2:28pm

P.S. Did anyone else notice the headline "How to turn this magazine into a weapon" on the cover of Maxim? Are they talking about some kind of McGuyver thing? Awesome.

Feb 15 12 - 3:28pm

Um, Cosmo, I've never once talked to my vagina. While it does a lot of awesome things, it's not exactly a good conversationalist.

On a more serious note, can we wait until Dakota Fanning is a bit older to read about "the side of her you've never seen"? She looks like a teenager going to the prom here, and it just feels icky and wrong.

Feb 15 12 - 10:31pm

It'll never become a good conversationalist if you don't read to it!

Feb 16 12 - 8:44pm

Ah, so that's the trick!

Feb 15 12 - 5:22pm
in Bed With Married

I too am upset by the idea of talking to my vagina. Especially addressing it formally by name.

Feb 15 12 - 7:30pm

I feel awful. I was hoping to have Dakota a bit longer before Hollywood airbrushed her talent away.

Feb 16 12 - 12:27am

This was a particularly good installment. Hilarious.

Mar 06 12 - 2:18am

i want go out from this island.. help me... i better with and ok wif westside

Mar 31 12 - 2:37am

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Jun 06 12 - 10:33pm

That's really disturbing that whoever wrote that MHM article thinks women are thinking about what to do with their legs and food and marriage when they're having sex. When the sex is half decent, you're not really thinking about anything are you? Just blissing out on the way your body feels.

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