Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life: January Edition

Cosmopolitan and Men's Health offer a wintry mix of terrible ideas.

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.

February is disappointing and over very quickly. (Yes, that's what she said.) Everything seems a little lackluster this time of year. It's a season during which conversation is dominated by the weather and talk of award shows that are too boring for anyone to actually watch them.

In keeping, the sex advice proffered by this month's, uh, monthlies is a little lackluster and disappointingly slight. But, that doesn't let us off the hook, now does it? Onward.


In the sizzling September issues, it would have been "109 ways to make him come like a rocket using only your feet." But, what can you do? In keeping with the ho-hum nature of the month, this is what we get from Cosmo: "25 Fun Things To Do With Your Guy." Most of the tips range from the reasonable-if-terribly-banal:

• "High-five like pros." Apparently, the key is to look at his elbow. Do a lot of your relationships end when — in a fit of misdirected enthusiasm — one partner breaks the other's nose with an open-faced slap to the face? Well, no more!

• "Snag side-by-side seats on a crowded plane." Flying remains miserable.

...to the very familiar:

• "Whip up an aphrodisiac." Pumpkin pudding, since "the smell of pumpkin can increase circulation to your guy's penis by up to forty percent." Who doesn't know that? Why, if I had a nickel for each foxy lady who'd tried to seduce me with the ol' penis-pumping-pumpkin-pudding trick... oh, wait.

...to the frankly wrongheaded:

• "Pretend you're not in a fight when you are." This magazine has at least 900 sexologists on retainer, all of whom have Ph. D.s and names like Dr. Sally Sexerson — and none of them told Cosmo that was a bad idea?

...and then, out of the blue, the list concludes with the potentially revolutionary:

• "Spoon without any limbs falling asleep." For a moment, I held my breath — "When you're both on your sides facing the same direction, he should put his lower arm behind his back, instead of in front of his chest" — before the disappointment set in. That tip solves it for the outer spoon (here they're assuming that's the guy) but the inner spoon still has the inside arm to contend with. That cursed inner arm! It's a shame; they could have changed sex forever.

Men's Health Magazine

Speaking of curses, let's move on to MHM. After all, Cosmo does a pretty good job of making sex seem like work, but the real, gut-wrenching anxiety-induced misery of it all is a man's game. Take, for instance, this piece from their website, posted with the title and the following headlines. 

8 Secrets She's Keeping From You: 
She's slept with more men than you think.
She's cheating on you.
She fakes her orgasms.
She contacts her exes without telling you.
She lusts after other guys.
She gets off without you.
She isn't turned on by you.
She wants you to earn more money.
She's waiting in your bedroom right now. To murder you.

Okay, so I made the last one up. But, the bottom line is that she's probably doing all of these things. And that even if she's not, she very well could be. And that heterosexuality is a dreary fucking enterprise. But don't despair. There's still the power of science to make it easier.

• "Sweeten the deal. Eat a strawberry before making out. The sugar activates the sweetness receptors in your mouth." Now that's an eye-opener, for you. Once those "sweetness receptors" have been activated, your brain's neuro-sexual module can't be far behind!

• "Try facial intercourse. This smooch mimics sex from foreplay to penetration, beginning with a tongue exploration inside the mouth. Rub your tongues together in small and large circles, then dart them in and out of your mouths as if you were having intercourse." I'm actually going to intervene here. Don't do that. Just don't.

Back to Cosmopolitan

Earlier in the issue, Cosmo's running a couple of photo spreads to keep us updated on the world of gender norms. To start, we've got "Guy Watch: Busted Being Girly." This is a collection of a few photos of famous men acting feminine — at least in the editors' estimations. Kanye is wearing a shiny gold chain, Jeremy Piven is riding a bicycle in a straw hat, Lenny Kravitz is looking like Lenny Kravitz — all terrible lady-like things for which they should be shamed. Or, as they put it, "Seriously, dudes — we can see your hoo-has!" To be clear, that's figurative language: you cannot actually see any of these men's vaginas.

The other is "Guy Watch: Signs He'd Cheat." This one mostly relies on pictures of a couple and says things like this: "She rests her hand on his abdomen in an attempt to make contact; his is tensely cupped, revealing his irritation with her." So, among the other things you do, keep an eye on his hands. And then, I guess if you notice tense cupping, give him a high-five? You can always pretend you haven't read the whole issue yet and "miss," giving him an upward palm to the kisser.

Commentarium (24 Comments)

Jan 19 11 - 11:16am

the directions for "facial intercourse" are the same ones for "how to kiss as a 12 year old."

Jan 19 11 - 12:14pm

Sitting beside each other on flight is considered a fun thing to do with your partner? Wow I have been missing out on such an excitement for years! I must have been doing it wrong! Gag.

Jan 19 11 - 1:58pm

Something's been bothering me about the whole pumkpin-penis thing: what if you don't like pumpkin? I mean, is it a purely physical reaction which occurs regardless of whether or not you like pumpkin or does the psychological interfere when the scent of pumpkin is considered an unpleasant one?

Jan 19 11 - 2:37pm

WTF on the putting the lower arm behind your back? You've got about three minutes, tops, before that arm starts to fall asleep big time.

Jan 19 11 - 4:32pm

So men's magazines are just a stupid as women's. I feel a comforting sense of equality from this.

Jan 19 11 - 5:31pm

hilariously written.

Jan 19 11 - 7:06pm

Loved this piece, hilarious!

Jan 19 11 - 11:01pm

If you've eaten enough pumpkin pudding, the increased circulation helps keep your arm from falling asleep. Duh.

Jan 19 11 - 11:15pm
Punk Kin Pi

The only time all last year that I had pumpkin pie was at Thanksgiving, and the only female present was my mom. FML.

Jan 20 11 - 12:12am

'the directions for "facial intercourse" are the same ones for "how to kiss as a 12 year old." '

Haha! Brilliant.
This edition was hilarious, well done.

Jan 20 11 - 10:59pm

My friends and I bought last months cosmo and were laughing hysterically at some things considered "sexy". One said to lick the other person's eyelid, then blow on it. Another said to have him stick his penis in your armpit. The one that was strangest, we refer to now as the "tuck and suck". Apparently it's sexy when a guy tucks his penis between his legs so the girl can suck from behind. Thanks cosmo!

Jan 21 11 - 1:04pm

"Don't do that. Just don't. "

Jan 21 11 - 2:09pm

I am all ABOUT high-fives!

Jan 24 11 - 12:56am
Cosmo theory

I think Cosmo really just has this contest between their writers to see who can get readers to do the most fucked-up shit. They keep trying to one-up each other on who comes up with the most outrageous "tips." Almost makes me want to work there! Except, not.

Jan 24 11 - 12:57am
Cosmo theory screwup

Its writers. Between its writers, not their writers...

Jan 25 11 - 6:11pm

Step by step for spooning? Thank god, think of all the hideous spooning mishaps they've prevented.

Jan 28 11 - 11:50pm

Wait - by extension, if your lady doesn't sit next to you on the plane - SHE'S CHEATING ON YOU WHILE CONTACTING HER EXES BECAUSE YOU DON'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY!

Feb 03 11 - 2:07pm

Actually, this stuff explains some bizarre dates I have been on. I was talking to a guy at a bar once, who I thought was a real human being, and things were going well until he took out a twenty dollar bill and smirked at me and said "admit it. This gets you wet." I put my beer down on the floor in front of him and just walked out of the bar. My friend saw from afar and we high fived and even finagled seats next to each other on the car ride home.

Feb 05 11 - 1:04pm

I laughed out loud at this article. My bf knows I get off without him. The rest is untrue.

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