Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life: November 2011

Cosmo on how to act French, and Men's Health on "hyenas" as the new "cougars."

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.


This month, I trundled out to my mailbox to find my monthly trove of men’s and women’s magazines awaiting. (I try to do this in the dead of night so as not to lose the respect of my neighbors.) 

From the stack, I grabbed Cosmopolitan and opened it to a random page about a quarter of the way through. I was hoping to find the table of contents, without having to wade through fifty pages of anemic women in expensive clothes and and perfume ads that make my apartment smell like a flirty mango. In a stroke of luck, I hit it on the first try. My eyes fell on the following:

"I Botoxed My Vagina!"

To which I was all, "Oh-no-you-didddn..." and then was like, "Well, actually you probably did." But I don’t much want to know about it. So I didn’t read it. (If someone wants to email me the highlights, go ahead.)

Instead, I skimmed past the monthly cheat-o-meter — If "your guy" is social and makes less money than you, he’s sleeping with your sister; sorry — and got straight to an article on the death of sex in long-term relationships, and how you can prevent it by acting more like a French woman. (You also get to smoke and eat lots of croissants and stay thin forever.)

"Seduction Secrets French Women Know"

"Part of maintaining mystery is holding back a bit during conversation. While it’s hot to occasionally send a salacious text ('I want you inside me'), it’s often more exciting to be coy... Send a text to your guy thinking in a risqué way without being overtly sexual. (Try a photo of the edge of you bare hip with the message 'Just a preview.') That draws out anticipation and makes him crave you intensely."

A couple things: I’d like to point out that Cosmopolitan magazine is entirely responsible for the sexting trend. Betwixt every harrowing first-person tale of vagina-mismanagement, the editors are urging the young women of America to sext. It’s like they’re pushing for a "Drip chocolate syrup on your nipples" for iPhones. (Pro tip: aspiring web entrepreneurs, invent that app.)

And I’m ambivalent. Express yourself sexually, sure. But remember that on lots of phones, text messages just pop up on the screen. And sometimes, people have conversations with their mothers, bosses, and people they don’t want seeing your possibly chocolate-coated horny messages.

Also: if I ever sent a text message to my boyfriend with a picture of my hip (unlikely) and got back a text that said "I crave you intensely," I’d feel super-odd about it, unless I’d coated said hip with chocolate, at which point I’d assume he was replying directly to the chocolate.

"Americans tend to save sexy extras like nice lingerie and perfume for special occasions. French women incorporate these things into their daily lives — they spend an estimated 20 percent of their income on lingerie."

So, true story: in the hours before Hurricane Irene hit NYC, I spent eighty percent of my checking-account balance on cocktail ingredients, Carr’s crackers, and cured meat products. (In my defense, that was an apocalypse-type-scenario, and I still have shit-tons of crackers.) Even still, perhaps I’m throwing stones from my glass house on this one, but twenty percent? I don't know that I can respect that set of priorities. I mean, having some lacy lace to drape around the ol’ gumbo pot is obviously obviously important, but twenty percent?

"The Look: A sexually charged stare... where you lock eyes for a few seconds, give a little half smile, and then glance away.... It conveys longing, teasing, and a desire to be with him and only him.... and it makes him want to drag you to bed, like, this second."

Leaving aside all the stupid portmanteaus and infographics about leopard print, this is what’s really wrong with with Cosmo. There is nothing wrong with sexually charged stares — they’re great to give and to receive — when you mean them. It all comes apart when you start trying to recreate the nuances of an archetypal French floozy. There’s a decent chance he’ll "drag you to bed," but there’s an equally decent chance you’ll go cross-eyed or look like a psychopath. Either way, sex with your long-term beau shouldn’t involve Method acting.

Also, free tip: last I checked, women, you’re also allowed to initiate sex. So there’s that.

Commentarium (36 Comments)

Nov 17 11 - 3:59am
Occupy Ballstreet

Legitimate lol

Nov 17 11 - 5:04am

French austerity measures:
#1. Sports bras
#2. Three-for-one cotton underwear

Nov 17 11 - 6:37am
El Cordobes

If my french wife spend 20% of her salary on lingerie, I would divorce her.

Nov 17 11 - 11:44am

..... so.. a hyena is a 20 year old woman fucking an 18 year old boy? Or rather... teasing the hell out of him and making him give oral rather than get laid?????? or is it even YOUNGER?

Nov 18 11 - 10:41am

Young woman, young man. Not young woman, youngER man.

Nov 17 11 - 12:09pm

I really adore this feature.

Nov 17 11 - 12:25pm

Huh, so my sexual "type" has a name now... couldn't it be something more complimentary than "hyena", though? They're kind of mangy and gross.

I, on the other hand, am neither mangy nor gross.

Nov 24 11 - 2:28pm

Word. Hyenas smell bad. I smell fabulous.

Nov 17 11 - 2:47pm
On Hyenas

I would like to point out that female hyenas have penises, through which they are inseminated and give birth. (Birthing in this way /rips those penises apart./ ) I can only imagine someone trying to come up with a moniker for these young women picking hyena off a list of mammals, reading the first sentence about it's mating system and thinking: "Oh! Perfect! That's just like this!" Only to completely ignore the rest of the paragraph.

Nov 17 11 - 11:19pm
You're an idiot

Wow... ok... if you actually paid any attention to those documentaries about female hyenas, you would have learned that female hyenas do NOT have a penis and they can NOT be inseminated that way. It is in fact, an oversized clitoris that they use to homosexually screw each other. That's all, no "female penis" here ROFL wow people are really stupid.

Nov 18 11 - 1:22pm

One of the weirdest things about 21st century America is how much we all know about animals we've never seen. Who, in a million years, would have thought that 1/4 of this piece's readers have something (weird and gross) to say about hyena penises?

Nov 17 11 - 3:05pm

this is BS, ive had french girlfriends and not all of them had lingerie, some of them did but it was not like they spent 20% of their income in lingerie.

Nov 17 11 - 3:22pm

the article about the botoxed vagina- she had a yeast infection go crazy, that made her vaginal muscles tight she couldn't relax them. She tried every..the botoxed helped it numbed it and know she can relax.

Nov 17 11 - 3:23pm


Nov 17 11 - 4:16pm

I didn't think fluff like Maxim could ever offend me, but that fucking "hyena" thing did it. So now ANY women who is a pursuant or aggressive is subject to your demeaning labels? Stay classy, boys. And when you whine about how girls never approach you, and never initiate sex, and never make the first move, don't come crying to me.

Nov 17 11 - 8:17pm

Hyena was Men's Health.

"that seems big, confident, and authoritative, just like the dude on the cover"
What's funny is their cover dude this month is Ashton Kutcher. And what's even funnier is he is referred to living the life in the social fishbowl. Sure the editors were red faced when Ashton had his Paterno-gaffe.

Nov 18 11 - 9:48pm

What nope said. What the fuck. Fuck that shit.

Nov 24 11 - 2:30pm


Nov 17 11 - 8:58pm

My favorite additional facts:

French women were notorious for not shaving their privates or armpits for a good length of time in the past 50 years.
Also female Hyenas have an vaginal canal that appears similar to a penis and a clitoris that can be up to 5 or 6 inches long. So given that they are aggressive and appear to have a sexual organ that would generally be considered masculine the knowledgeable guys reading Men's Health must be at home having horrific images run though their heads.

Nov 17 11 - 9:23pm

"I mean, having some lacy lace to drape around the ol’ gumbo pot is obviously obviously important..."

Nov 18 11 - 12:53pm

I now have a new favorite euphemism for my vagina.

Nov 23 11 - 10:54am

"gumbo pot' is not exactly an euphemism...

Nov 17 11 - 11:25pm

LMAO - Thank you so much for this much needed levity! -I wonder... has anyone ever met the people who write this drivel for Cosmo or Maxim?! I am having all kinds of wild and callous thoughts about what they might actually be like in person.

Nov 18 11 - 7:15am

Women magazines need to get smarter or collapse.

Nov 18 11 - 10:35am

I live in France. These "facts" about French women cited in cosmo have no correlation to real French women! Americans just use "French" as a signifier for anything sophisticated or desirable.

Nov 18 11 - 2:48pm
Tammy the Big


Nov 18 11 - 6:32pm

The French should be flattered, really.

Nov 18 11 - 7:06pm

we also use it as signifier for unbearably self-important, unshaven, and smelly.

Nov 20 11 - 7:08am

The trouble with American women is that they find it interesting to even read sex columns in Cosmo, Men's Health, Maxim or wherever. Then, they go online and rant about it. The trouble with American men is that they cheer them on when they do so. You're poking a dead dog with a stick, dammit. What's wrong with sending a sexy pic/text to your partner? Nothing, but you don't HAVE to take a photo of your hip. I'm assuming you do have some sort of imagination of your own? Or at least have some idea of what would turn your boyfriend on? The botoxing of your vagina is clearly PR and product placement (as is the case with most of the material in these magazines) - and it's not too cleverly disguised either. You're just helping the word spread. One - gigantic - facepalm.

Nov 23 11 - 7:34am

@ they often retaliate to blogs/articles they disagree with -By a chorus of blogs engaging in penis size bashing,men are pigs or playing the :patriarchy" card.Its sad what alot of women have become.

Nov 22 11 - 7:16pm

I'm french. I apparently missed the memo that I am supposed to be a huge tease and spend a large portion of my money on lingerie. I, like most women my age in Canada, just go crazy when LaSenza has a 30 undies for 10 dollars sale. I must re-evaluate my life.

Nov 26 11 - 1:06am


Dec 05 11 - 6:08am

I normally can't stand Cosmo, but I give them props on the "I Botoxed My Vagina" article. (Aside from the ridiculous title). It gives a lot of insight to a very real sex problem many women face (myself included) called vulvodynia. I'm glad Cosmo is raising awareness for it, because many women go misdiagnosed for years, there's not a whole lot of information about what causes it or how to treat it, and not to mention it's embarrassing as hell. And Botox is usually the most extreme method of treating it, by the way- yet again Cosmo capitalizing on extreme and ridiculous headlines, but for once it was very informative.

Jan 11 12 - 5:42am
susan parker

Hmm... There are many who wish for all these reference as they do not have many sources to depend on. You can also ask an expert who seem to answer your personal sex problems. However, you can’t apply all those techniques. You understand with experience.

Feb 14 12 - 7:26am
Julia alrn

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Mar 15 12 - 1:04am

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