With its glossy pages, beautiful cover girls and the words SEX, HORNY, HOT and PLEASE YOUR MAN plastered in bold face letters all over the front – Cosmopolitan Magazine has the gravitational force strong enough to suck in an entire school bus of curious adolescent girls. When you're thumbing through the Sex Tips article at a sleepover with your girlfriends in ninth grade – don't lie, you know that's the section you turn to first – the advice all seems very advanced and sexy.
Not as much now, not in college. As girls become more sexually active and are sprinting past first base…second base…third base….running straight toward the umpire and sliding home, a few of these “tips and tricks,” Cosmo offers can seem beyond belief.
To many women, this may sound like complete sacrilege. Not to denounce the magazine entirely; it offers a lot of great sex advice, too, as well as well-written sections on beauty, health and fashion, gripping and dramatic stories of real women's experiences and relevant life skills for young girls. But come on, they're actually telling women to color their nipples with different shades of lipstick to turn on their boyfriends? (March issue of Cosmo.) The reaction that's likely to inspire is not a boner – it's a belly-laugh, a breakup, or a 10-day, in-depth psychoanalysis visit to the county asylum. Now, wipe that neon pink shit off your boobs and listen up.
Ridiculous doesn't equal raunchy, experimental doesn't (always) equal erotic and shocking does not equal sexy. You have to read through Cosmo with a critical eye and decide for yourself what advice sounds like it might be a hit with your guy, like the “5 Date Ideas” piece that suggested taking him on a dive-bar tour. Or, a total miss, like the online blurb that suggests laughing during sex (maybe if it's a playful mood, but otherwise that could potentially “deflate” the fun.)
Even YouTube superstar Dom Mazzetti references some Cosmo sex columns in his video “Dom Mazzetti vs. Bad Hookups.” He said: “And then she tries to get creative with some shit she read in Cosmo, and just starts flicking the head [of the penis]. Veto that.”
Here are a few pieces of advice from recent issues that men everywhere would BEG you to ignore:
“Sex Tips from Guys”: “My girl would use marbles to tease me in bed. She'd casually scatter them over the bed sheet and then as we get it on I could feel the cool marbles press against my hot skin.”
“Sex Tips From Guys”: “Have me lie on my stomach, then wet the skin below my butt with your tongue. Blow on it.”
"If a girl actually did that to me I would instantly be turned off, not to mention a little creeped out," said Brian O'Malley, Indiana University of Pennsylvania senior.
“PDA He’s Actually OK With”: “The Ass Grab. Take him by surprise by pinching his butt.”
“To Pick Up Hot Guys”: "Trip," fall against a man's chest, and say "Damn, your pecs are so hard, I felt like I was falling into a wall.
But it's not all bad. Here are some of the helpful highlights from recent issues:
“Sex Tips From Guys”: “More morning sex, please. We don't have to do it right when the alarm goes off, standing up in the shower or over the bathroom sink are pretty hot alternatives.”
“7 Things That Turn Guys Off”: "I used to hook up with this woman who had a great body, but was really self-conscious. I would have much preferred she had a few extra pounds on her or less-than-perfect boobs, but was happy with her body. If you can't get psyched about your own body, how can I?"
Ohio State University junior, Chris Lacolo said " I like a girl who can be confident without being too full of herself. It makes her sexier."
“10 Things You Should Never Say To A Guy”: “According to my friends, your penis size is about average.”
You’ve heard people say don't believe everything you read, see or hear. This advice also applies to reading Cosmo. Do their writers sometimes try to produce shock value and boost magazine sales with extreme, impractical kink? Probably yes. Are readers are smart enough to know the difference? Most likely. Will most women still squeal when they see the new April issue at the grocery store check-out and throw it in their carts? Obviously. As well they should – there's a lot of content in Cosmo that is of enlightening, helpful, valuable substance. The rest, well, there's nothing criminal about a little immature giggle value, right? Rule of thumb for sex-ed and everything else in life: don't completely and blindly live your life by anything – a magazine, a man, a religion, or a rule – without asking yourself a few questions first.