Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life: International Cosmo Edition


By Ben Reininga

A few months ago, Edith Zimmerman embedded herself in the annual meeting of the higher-ups at Cosmopolitan. I skimmed her report, and this is what I can tell you:

• If the readership of Cosmopolitan united, they'd be the twelfth biggest country in the world.
• There's something they all call "Big Cosmo"
• There are odd but striking parallels to the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Sounds like a stretch? Hear me out. Are both unhinged devotees of a frightening yet unignorable pop-culture phenomenon? Yes. Intense makeup? A proselytizing doctrine of self-acceptance that outsiders find absurd? Yes and yes. Weird words for "vagina?" Yes ("vajayjay," and "neden," respectively). Oh, and in the history of Nerve, there are two known mentions of having sex with food: one, when we were writing about Cosmo, and two, when we interviewed a bunch of Juggalos.

Let's recap. Edith Zimmerman: quality journalist. Cosmopolitan: a giant international gang that's probably run by ICP. Inspired, I spent a good part of Thanksgiving weekend reading all the international editions available to me. And I learned a great many things. Celebrity culture is a lot more homogenous than you'd hope. People in Kazakhstan like to read interviews with the stars of Glee just as much as we do. (Only there, the show's title translates to "A conquerable amount of sadness.") Editors still insist on proclaiming that one color is "the new other color."

Sex, though. We're here to talk about sex. And in the international Cosmo spectrum, there's a wide range from predictably batshit to (shocking twist) surprisingly reasonable.

Australia

Cosmo Australia is currently featuring "The A-Z to of Orgasms." And... Australia seems great. Next to the sexy-crazy nonsense in U.S. Cosmo ("Lick his eyelids. Blow."), their edition has advice that sounds fun — like something you'd like to try, not something that might injure you.

Pros: An interesting set of tips on how to have a quickie where the woman gets off. Lots of masturbation, sex toys, fight-for-your-right-to-come-like-a-rocket stuff. No down-under jokes, "eh, mates," or dingoes stealing babies.

Cons: No down-under jokes, "eh, mates," or dingoes stealing babies. Seems like a missed opportunity. The most obnoxious bit of this whole piece is that they recommend sex with socks on, but even then, they're cute about it.

Britain

Maybe Cosmo gets more ridiculous in more repressed countries. That's certainly backed up by the gap between the relatively sane Australian edition and the British version, in which there's some serious tomfoolery afoot, guv'nor:

Choose a restaurant that has long tablecloths, unzip him, and deliver a discreet but delicious mini-handjob (minus the happy ending, obviously).

Strange but true: mini things can often be more awesome than their large counterparts. Like cupcakes (a straight frosting-to-cake ratio game) or magical helpers. Not handjobs, though. But more importantly, people work in restaurants (which makes this sexual harassment — the bad kind, not the fun kind). And also, you're reading a magazine that thinks you need to be reminded that it's impolite to ejaculate on the tablecloth.

Snog him sexily in front of his friends: Makes him look and feel like a Rock God, and his friends see how much you want him.

Alternative interpretation: this makes your friends uncomfortable and you and your boyfriend look like eighth graders. Oh, and "snogging sexily" is an oxymoron. Like, "Ask him, sexily, if he'd like to eat the giblet."

Use a Polaroid to take up-close-and-personals. And I mean up close. (To us, it's not pretty; to him, it's an oil painting.) Tape one of the photos to the bathroom mirror as he's having a shower and then wait for him in the most brazen pose you can live with.

There's a particular kind of insanity that Cosmo espouses that's not just crazy, it's premeditated. And craftsy. ("Mrs. Havisham, isn't it true that you not only obtained the gun days before the murder, but also spent nearly twelve hours affixing rhinestones to the barrel?") Which is to say, this might be fun, spontaneously. But when you find yourself obtaining a Polaroid camera, taking some selfies, and then hiding until he showers so you can tape them to the goddamn mirror... you might not need a sex-life. You might need a hobby.

En español

Next stop: Cosmo en español — an umbrella site for the Spanish-speaking U.S. Spanish is the only foreign language I can read enough to do this, so we're stuck. (I do speak a little Chinese, but not enough to tell if Cosmo China actually wants you to fuck a soup dumpling or if I just need a vocab refresher.) I owe Cosmo en español for this useful knowledge: the Spanish-language version of Twilight is called Crepúsculo. That's just one key part of an article about Twilight-inspired sex moves.

Busca una cascada cerca, lleva a tu chico, quítense la ropa y láncense al agua... La pasión pondrá a hervir el agua.

That's "Find a waterfall, get your guy, take of your clothes and jump into the water... The passion will make the water boil." (It's simple! Find a waterfall!) On the other hand, some tips are more managable:

No necesitan estar en una isla paradisiaca para reproducir la luna de miel de los Cullen-Swan. Con un poco de encaje revelador, tu alcoba puede tomar otra dimensión.

"You don't need a paradise island to reproduce the Cullen-Swan honeymoon. With a little lace, your bedroom can take on a new dimension." Wear lace and have sex. Can't argue with that.

NEXT: Sassy tips from Cosmo India.

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