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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.