Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life: March 2012


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.


So, there’s something I’ve never shared with you guys: once, in the early '90s, I went undercover as part of a mob-busting sting with NYPD. I assumed the identity of a virginal high-school girl with big journalistic ambitions. I used my drag name, Sharon Needles, and, to make the ruse that much more credible, I enrolled in a local private school and got an internship at Cosmopolitan. At the time, Ridiculous Tips was nothing but a gleam in young Sharon’s eyes, but my subterfuge did offer me a chance to see firsthand how Cosmo’s newsroom works.

Cosmopolitan is a front ― a pink, perfumed cover for a cabal of powerful women who run a sinister and influential online conglomerate, controlling brands like Amazon, Obama’s Twitter feed, the FuckYeah! Tumblrs, and Babble.com. They all dress like Trinity in The Matrix and spend their time stretching, practicing nunchaku, and coding. 

Which leaves little time for the actual writing of articles, a task they outsource to the interns. And that’s how I learned the formula for writing a Cosmo feature: toss some darts at the naked man hanging on the wall to select a body part, pick a female insecurity out of the Bag of Loathing, root around for some household objects, and type the damn thing up. If you were lucky, you’d have it done by lunch and could spend the rest of the afternoon sparring

Why, you might ask, do I bring this up now? Well, let’s take a look at Cosmo’s marquee sex column this month:


“The Thing He’s Dying to See in the Sack: It’s a little raw and wild, but give him this irresistible eyeful and you’ll rule the bedroom... not to mention his entire universe.” 


Sexy adjectives! “Girls Rule” metaphors! Hyperbole! What could it be?


“Experts are learning that there’s something else guys really want to see in the sack.” 


Brace yourself: it’s a penis going into a vagina. No, I’m not joking.


“Dudes find this image so hot, clips featuring close-up shots of penetration are getting millions of hits on the web lately.” 


Lately? As in, “Human history is just a blink of Mother Gaia’s eyes” sense of “lately?” Because I’m pretty sure that as soon as prehistoric man was able to fashion rudimentary tools, he used them to carve dirty pictures. 

[I looked that up ― it’s true: the first example of erotic art is from the Paleolithic Age, which was the first period when early humans had tools, 35,000 years ago. Need further proof? In that very same cave, they also found a bone flute. Which is either an early musical instrument made of tusk, or civilization’s first euphemism.] 


“At first it might seem a bit shocking that he actually wants to fixate on his own package during sex. But when the experts explain, the idea makes sense. “It taps into a guys craving for sexual power.... Seeing his penis inside you affirms that he’s giving you immense pleasure.” 


Now, I might not be an expert on pleasing the ladies, but I did a straw poll, and it seems that just putting the ol’ p’s in the v does not actually make “immense pleasure” for the woman. In fact, the part of the male sexuality that’s into watching close-up penetration in porn is the part that’s least focused on “immense” lady pleasure. 

Instead, we get some tips from a lady named Jamye Waxman. (An aside: if you give your kid the first name “Jamye,” she can pretty much has to be a rollerderby coach or write sexy books.) Tips like “Get on all fours and put your head down on the bed,“ which will help him realize his jack-hammery sexual power, and, they guess, could be fun for you too. And if you start feeling lonely or rug-burned down there, try to grab a peek yourself. Using, I dunno, a periscope or something. 

In addition, we’ve got a sex survey, which, obviously, is generated by robots, and a little info box, which takes a couple of crass and recycled ideas about stuff ladies love (shopping, eating, backrubs, and bitchiness) and suggests that they’re “better than sex.” 

4 Ways to Release Your Rage That Are Almost as Good as Sex: 


- Retail Therapy: Those pink jeans aren’t going to buy themselves, are they? 
- Indulging in a very tasty, very caloric adult beverage 
- A massage, preferably from the hunkiest therapist the spa employs
- Finally defriending your most obnoxiously opinionated FB friend 


Pro tip: if you really enjoy shopping more than sex, there’s something wrong with your ideas of sex (see above). Or there’s something really wrong ― and potentially illegal ― about the way you shop. 

And that’s it. Finito. P-in-v, a survey, and a shopping-beats-sex listicle.

And that’s what brings me here. I know we don’t exactly expect groundbreaking rigor from Cosmopolitan, but this is surprisingly thin. Almost like a joke, except those ladies don’t joke. Which leads me to one of two conclusions: either the long arm of the recession has finally taken its toll and there have been some serious cutbacks... or they’re up to something so huge it’ll make Pinterest look like a big dumb online bulletin-board.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Commentarium (20 Comments)

Mar 26 12 - 1:24pm

Never fails to make me chuckle!

I (male) was with one of my friends (female) in early february, when she got a text off her boyfriend asking for a "cheeky pre-valentines day picture" after he had learn't she had bought some sexy underwear. She was horrified, and could not think of anything more ridiculous or embarressing. However, I persuaded her that we should take a pic to send to him.
Half an hour later we had (to an extent) shoehorned me into the outfit.
The boyfriend was not so amused.

Jun 26 12 - 12:12am


Mar 26 12 - 6:15pm

Wow... I actually agree with the points in a Maxim article! HOWEVER, that's because I'm in a long-distance relationship. Sexy texts and photos are a lot more meaningful when the real thing isn't an immediate (or even short-term) option.

Apr 14 12 - 11:10pm

I was confused why this article was so skeptical of sexy texting. it is totally a thing!

May 11 12 - 2:53pm

LDR, sexting involved. And sexy pics. And the gf actually does like it when I give her unexpected assignments. (BUT that is because we play wiht the whole D/s thing a little; I have no idea if that would be true for most other women.)

Mar 26 12 - 8:11pm

Confucius say: Man who go to bed with woman troubles wake up with solution in hand...

Mar 26 12 - 8:31pm

On the subject of wiener pics, anyone contemplating them might want to read this: http://thebloggess.com/2012/03/excerpt-of-lets-pretend-this-never-happen...

I hope it's OK to post that. I have no financial interest in the book whatsoever--just thought the excerpt was hilarious.

Mar 26 12 - 10:35pm

So hilarious I accidentally snorted red wine out of my nose!

Mar 27 12 - 12:35am

I love this column!

Mar 27 12 - 3:03pm

Roller derby coach is unfortunately, an unpaid position.

Mar 27 12 - 3:52pm

also on the subject of nudie shots, sexting and other thing people don't seem to know how to do well:


Mar 28 12 - 4:01pm

Jill's is one of my favorite blogs. Love you, Hamilton!

Apr 27 12 - 12:28pm

Thanks! You just made my day

Mar 29 12 - 12:36am

Did no one else notice those ridiuclous typos in the Maxim exerpts?!? "high-profilfe wieners" and "--woman want it!" Who edits this magazine?? I am so disappointed.

Mar 31 12 - 5:11pm

I would LOVE for someone to get a Cosmo internship and report from behind enemy lines. I'm so curious about the voodoo that goes into pretending to produce a new magazine every month while actually just changing the vagina-euphemism-of-the-month. What kind of people write this stuff?? Do they realize how ridiculous it is, or are they sincere?

There must be a willing New York-based undergrad out there somewhere... http://www.cosmopolitan.com/about/internships

Apr 02 12 - 12:12am

I actually really like sexting now.. it was an aquired taste but in fact I do actually get turned on by sending and receiving pics.. and it's great a great way to have safe sex, it's convenient and good for your confidence, libido and photography and writing skills.. and I have quite a few friends who are the same way.. !

Apr 02 12 - 12:09pm

Yep, it's all good...and we (friends) really enjoy pointing and laughing at those pics you're sending so for the love of all things holy please keep 'em coming!

Apr 02 12 - 10:38pm
Kimberlee a. McKane

"Brace yourself: it’s a penis going into a vagina. No, I’m not joking." LMFAO ps...I TOTALLY AGREE!

Apr 19 12 - 11:34am

Once sent a picture of my neighbour's cat...with these message - you want to see Pussy ?

Apr 29 12 - 11:36pm

I like sexting, with certain people. Not many, but the ex and I go through phases where we do it a lot. I guess he's the ex-boyfriend-but-current-FWB. Or something. He likes to get pictures from me, too, and I occasionally send them. I just pray to God that they don't end up getting copied and plastered on lampposts all over London; some of the girls he dates are a bit unbalanced. Fingers crossed he's smart enough to delete them regularly.

I guess it's that little bit of danger that makes it fun, though.

Somehow I have never thought to ask him for a dirty picture. I'm not sure if I'm a disappointment to feminists everywhere, or just sensible.