Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life: September 2011

Cosmopolitan analyzes your boyfriend's genetic makeup.

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.

Labor Day has passed, and the summer is coming to an end. And for Cosmopolitan readers, it's time to put away your bathing suits and sober up. Gone are the leisurely afternoons waiting naked in your apartment for your boyfriend to come home. It's time to refocus, stop eating carbs, maybe stop eating entirely, and get your life on track. In Cosmo, that means one thing: marriage. And fierce camel-colored pumps for fall. (Two things.)

"Are Some Guys Just Not Wired To Marry?"

Cosmopolitan is back at it, using research of dubious merit to make ladies nervous. This time, new studies out of Sweden's Karolinska Institute that says that your boyfriend might not want to get married. Ever.

"Scientists have discovered a common gene that's linked to men who just aren't down to get hitched. So are you totally screwed if your guy has it? Not exactly..."

It's a classic self-help formula. First, you establish the problem. (You, empowered twenty-two-year old, might die alone.) Then, you tell the reader it's not her fault. (It's his genes!) And then you offer the solution. (Call your readers "fierce" and suggest they learn how to give better blowjobs.)

"Here's the kicker: two out of five men have the gene."

That's almost half, ladies! On a separate note, more than half of couples will get divorced. I don't know why I'm bringing that up here, though. I'm just bad at staying on point. In a minute, I'm also going to smoke pot and drink a smoothie.

"While it's tempting to sign up your boyfriend for genetic testing ASAP after reading something like that, experts say that there's more to our attitude towards marriage than simple DNA."

I guess I like the offhanded reference to eugenics here. But mostly, I just want to point out that this is stupid. Real talk.

So, are you worried? Then "it's time for a talk." Here, in the fifth paragraph of a six-paragraph article, they broach the idea that you — a woman — might not want to marry your boyfriend. But they also advise you to have the talk anyway, since you're probably going to change your mind soon, when you turn twenty-three. So, ask him if he sees himself marrying you, and if he says no, "reevaluate what you want from your relationship... and maybe get out of it."

In the spirit of rigorous scientific discourse, someone should probably point out that there is another reason your boyfriend might not want to marry you, which is that you've been reading too much Cosmo. You give handjobs like you're chopping down a tree, you always leave orgasmic moaning messages on his voicemail, and you force him to play bizarre and contrived relationship games. Speaking of which:

"Fun Revealing Games to Play With Him"

This feature is made up of tear-out cards featuring the instructions for a series of games to play with your boyfriend. Gain precious insight into his inscrutable lizard brain by asking questions like "Which Body of Water Appeals To You?" Pray he picks the swimming pool, since that means he's "up for anything," or the lake, which means he's "as excited as you are about meaningful things, like your anniversary." It's like a big blue lake of projected meaning.

This section also features "Hot Q&A," or as I like to call it, "Desperation Dice." In this game, you make your boyfriend roll a pair of dice, and then use Cosmo's key to ask him questions laced with a tinge of anxiety:

"Describe your ideal Sunday — starting with waking up next to me."

I imagine that you make this demand in the same tone of voice you use to say, "If you don't marry me I'll kill myself."

"What physical trait of mine did you notice first?"

(Please say my spray tan. Is that a physical trait or a color? Spray tan, spray tan, spray tan.)

"What's the sexiest thing I could do right now?"

Somehow, when I read this, I imagined a girl gazing at her boyfriend with a weird sad gleam in her eyes... then the Scooby-Doo dream noises... and then a fat drug dealer screaming "Ass to Ass!" But that's probably just me.

"Guys Answer Your Sex Questions In 20 Words Or Less"

Maybe they do this because men are brief, to the point, and manly. Maybe it's the Twitter. Or maybe, someone worried that allowing twenty-five words would not be reductive enough.

"Do guys like to have their balls played with during sex? Do chicks like compliments? Of course we do!"

True fact: I once slept with a guy who didn't like that. Weird, huh?

"Do guys prefer our place or theirs? Guys would probably be at your place. It probably smells nice. Our place smells... Soviet."

Two thoughts here: I lived with girls in college. It was lovely... and they left their dishes in the sink and dirty clothes in big piles on the floor, too. Also, my editor brain really wants to point out that "our place" should be "our places," unless of course, all straight men do live in the same giant pad with huge TVs and a wolf-pack hierarchy established through the ancient art of Icing. In the mind of Cosmo, this may well be the case.

"Which do guys like best, us on top or them? You on top, going up and down. Grinding doesn't feel that great, but we know it works for you."

The universally preferred sex position, discovered! The strange thing about all these advice points is that they'd make perfect sense, if they just said "I like girl on top," and didn't pretend to speak for all mankind. But that might inadvertently expose the underlying problem with all of these lists: ninety percent of them could be replaced with "Have an honest conversation with your boyfriend about what he's into / whether he's cheating on you / into you shoving fingers up his ass."

But what fun is that? Better to shove now and see how it goes. If he dumps you, Cosmo will be around next month to help.

Commentarium (55 Comments)

Sep 06 11 - 3:01pm

what is going with the blonde girl's waist?

Sep 06 11 - 3:44pm


Sep 06 11 - 5:38pm

Not just her waist... her entire body is deformed.

Sep 07 11 - 5:42am

It's a shame, too - she's naturally gorgeous but they decided to make her into a Barbie doll. Look at that weird right hand! I don't think wrists bend like that...

Sep 07 11 - 5:11pm

dancer here- nothing's goin on with her waist, she's jst isolated her torso to the right

Sep 21 11 - 8:38pm

Frodoshopped, dude.

Sep 06 11 - 3:37pm

"...using research of dubious merit..."

Does Nerve really have any right to point the finger here? Most of the studies that appear on this site would generously be called 'dubious'.

Sep 07 11 - 12:47am

you must be new here

Sep 07 11 - 2:31am

Because I haven't accepted the generally poor quality of research the writers here shove at us in order to make some dubious political or cultural point? Naw, I've been a long-time reader.

Sep 08 11 - 1:34am

It's called Nerve for a reason =p

Sep 21 11 - 8:38pm


Sep 06 11 - 8:05pm

Again, the tips section wins highlight of Nerve. If only teen magazines came out weekly...

Sep 06 11 - 9:11pm
Tite Genes

How much does the genetic test cost? Is health insurance likely to cover it? How long does it take to get the results? How accurate is it? One wonders.

Sep 07 11 - 12:48am

Again, one of my favorite features.

Sep 07 11 - 10:10am

Why no men's magazine this month? Were they all perfect? Or just 100% football coverage?

Sep 07 11 - 1:38pm

Strangest thing! There were no ridiculous tips in the men's magazines this month. Which meant that not only did I read Maxim cover-to-cover, but I did it all for naught...

If you want to know the "18 sickest things to put on nachos" though, just ask...

Sep 07 11 - 3:20pm

i wanna know that!

Sep 07 11 - 5:17pm

Is one of them semen? Because I think it qualifies if it is.

Sep 08 11 - 4:32pm

That spunk doesn't belong to you, it's nacho semen!

Sep 08 11 - 11:33pm

I laughed.

Sep 21 11 - 8:39pm

I cried.

Sep 07 11 - 4:22pm

She looks gorgeous, what's wrong with her waist?

Sep 07 11 - 11:07pm

horrible looking!

Sep 21 11 - 8:39pm

Frodoshopped dammit! We already disgust this.

Jun 19 12 - 8:16pm
Ann Ominous

well, for starters, it's where her rib cage should be....

Sep 07 11 - 6:12pm

I especially like the little ass they made with her weirdly twisted right hand, and they way she's about to slide her index finger into it. Subtle.

Sep 07 11 - 7:56pm

It must be because I can't see it.

Sep 08 11 - 9:33am

To see the subliminal ass, imagine her right thumb and little finger are the backs of legs, and look up.

Sep 08 11 - 10:52am

Wow, you spent some time looking at that.

Sep 12 11 - 12:38pm

no, no.. power of suggestion- saw it right away after i read jamie

Sep 07 11 - 10:01pm

Nice, if somewhat misplaced, 'IT Crowd' reference there.

Sep 07 11 - 11:23pm

How does she breathe, with that dress so tight?
Is there ever a cosmo that doesn't automatically elicit guffaws for its timely advice? That is, from those who don't take it as the gospel truth, along with other paragons of truthiness.

Sep 08 11 - 2:49pm

And Ben, did you see this (real, I swear to various deities!) question on the "Hot Q&A"?:
"What's the number one thing you'd like to have accomplished within the next few years?"
This is "hot"?

Sep 08 11 - 4:29pm

Guys prefer the woman's place because it is easier to leave a place than it is to get someone to leave.

Sep 21 11 - 8:42pm


Sep 08 11 - 5:36pm

Top comments , loved the fingers arse reference, wish I had enough time to spot things like that. Abu magazines, you'd buy medical journal if you wanted the blood and Guts truth about it all. Pe

Sep 08 11 - 5:38pm

Opps, spell checker cock ups, anyway those types of magazines while away the time at the dentists don't they.

Sep 08 11 - 11:36pm

Nice Requiem for a Dream reference!

Sep 09 11 - 8:10am
Grand Klagon

Here's how to completely make up a "study"--just follow the formula and replace words where needed: "A recent study may suggest a possible link between eating dairy and some forms of cancer." And why do women's magazines love numbers?

Sep 09 11 - 12:59pm

How does figuring out if your lizard-brained bf wants to marry you count as SEX advice?

Sep 09 11 - 2:53pm

Ben, Did you also see the other question under the "Hot Q & A" that was--and I swear to various deities that this is true--"What's the number one thing you'd like to have accomplished within the next few years?"
THIS is supposed to be "hot"?

Sep 16 11 - 10:53pm

oops, didn't mean to post that twice.

Sep 09 11 - 11:43pm

"Our place smells... Soviet" What is Soviet smelling like?

Sep 12 11 - 3:49pm
Armpit hair

It smells like ass.

Sep 13 11 - 12:38am
unsexy ferret

cabbage and despair, obviously

Sep 14 11 - 12:25pm

Obviously I'm doing something right if the author of this and I are doing the same thing. Smoking pot and drinking a smoothie.

Cosmopolitan is insulting to women. It essentially tells women they are unlovable on a monthly basis. I've read more sexist bullshit in Cosmo than I have in some men's magazines.

Sep 21 11 - 8:41pm

Hmmm. I thought that Cosmo told women that they were *loveable* on a montly basis?

Oct 03 11 - 12:01pm

Cosmo tells women they're supposed to be loveable at least 3 times a week. Otherwise they might never get married! Assuming a guy isn't already born without the "marriage gene".

Sep 22 11 - 6:17am

Holy pump up bra batman......playboy was never that fake

Sep 28 11 - 6:18am
Buy cheap software o

8bcc60 Yeah, it is clear now !... Just can not figure out how often do you update your blog?!...

Sep 29 11 - 6:23am
OEM software downloa

xpyoQ8 Hooray! the one who wrote is a cool guy..!

Sep 29 11 - 11:56pm

Guys do u need more fun in sex jus cal me am eagerly waiting for your cock, +918056116537

Oct 03 11 - 12:02pm

Like people are gonna call long-distance for that.

Nov 21 11 - 2:45am

If you wrote an article about life we'd all reach enlightmenent.

Nov 21 11 - 2:18pm

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