Advice

Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life: January Edition

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

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.

Cosmopolitan

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.