Cosmopolitan Can Totally Suck It

I'm On The Cover Of Cosmopolitan!When I was in my early twenties, I’d often pick up a Cosmo when I was at the grocery store because I always enjoyed their True Confessions section where people would describe farting while their lovers went down on them or similarly humiliating experiences. Come to think of it, this was kind of the theme of my first blog because there’s nothing not awesome about experiencing such mortification. Especially when you can laugh your ass off without having to be all “Bwahahaha! I mean, OH NO!” Like you would have to if it were your friend or something.

I’d read the rest of the magazine, too, because it cost me four well-earned dollars (I was a waitress, and let me tell you, I worked hard for my money) and sometimes I found the articles worthwhile, especially the dating advice and celebrity gossip, but mostly, it irritated me. I wanted to like it, you see, because it was a magazine designed for my age bracket, but it managed to annoy me more than anything else. The magazine seemed to be the same stories repackaged with different covers every month, which made me wonder if they simply switched articles around every 18 or so months.

How To Please Your Man

But the magazine confused me, because while it was supposed to be a magazine written for women, really, it all appeared to be about how to please your man. While I was always always happy to learn new and exciting ways to titillate and thrill my man in the bedroom, I felt like at least SOME of the magazine should have been devoted to how to better please MYSELF in the bedroom as well. You know, how better to have an orgasm, maybe a frank discussion of how some women don’t achieve orgasm from penetration alone, and some tips on how to make the Big O last longer. That’s what I wanted to learn more about.

A Drop Kick To The Weenier

After I started dating my future husband, The Daver, I realized that most of the articles that I’d poured over when I was younger that translated what “he was really thinking” were kind of bullshit. Because most of the guys that I know weren’t that backhanded about how they felt. All of their secret guy decoder articles really didn’t mean much of anything. I mean do I really need an article about what his “kisses really mean?” Or maybe “what he thinks when he walks into a room?” Truthfully, I could care less if he thinks my gigantic bag of cotton balls or my love of pink stuff or Hello Kitty paraphernalia is annoying, because I think his habit of leaving his socks around the house is worthy of a drop kick to the weenier.

I was A Size Six, Not A Size “Zero”

The beauty articles I mostly skimmed over because even while I was the target age for the magazine, I was also (for awhile) a single mother with a special needs kid at home who went to nursing school full time and worked as a waitress 3-5 nights a week. I studied in between dropping off plates of food, so it’s pretty safe to say that I didn’t have a whole lot of time to devote to blowing out my hair into the perfect bob every morning before I blearily made my way to the hospital for clinicals. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it’s that I simply didn’t have it in me. So rather than give me pointers, it just made me feel kind of bad about myself. Plus the models were all a size zero and I was a size 6 with a flabby waistline and stretchmarks and they made me feel ugly. Really, why bother with that?

The beauty articles were also laden with ads for the products they were clearly being paid to promote, which always annoyed me because they usually cost a trillion and a half dollars. I’d bought a couple of them only to find that they didn’t even work the way the magazine promised they would. Which, I mean, let the buyer beware, right?

Maxim. Cosmo For Dudes?

Most of my male friends subscribed to men’s magazines, like Maxim, which, like Cosmo and other women’s magazines, featured hot chicks on the cover. The first time that I picked one of those up, I held out hope that it was kind of like Cosmo for dudes, because that’s how they’d described it to me. Maybe in those pages, it would give some tips to guys about how to please their ladies and be a better boyfriend, because Cosmo was always all about how to be a better girlfriend and not nag lest you get under his skin (assumably by painting your bedroom too bright a pink)(I am not kidding). Eagerly, I opened the pages, and while I enjoyed myself thoroughly, I didn’t see a single article about being a better lover, boyfriend, husband, or man. The articles were far more interesting, and I subscribed immediately, but it didn’t seem to be the male answer to Cosmo. I was a saddened. If women needed to learn to be better lovers, so did men. Lord knows I’ve bedded some men who could have used some pointers.

Some Of The Best Sex I’ve Ever Had has Been With Myself

Cosmo clearly needs to get with the times and become more balanced in it’s reporting. It could use a bit more focus on how we women can please ourselves and a little less focus on how we need to please our man. Because you know what? Some of the best sex I’ve ever had has been with myself. Not every woman wants a man and not every women DATES men. And any magazine that suggests that you need to change who you are or what you like in order to date someone else is clearly sending the wrong kind of message. Until they get their act together, I’ll skim the True Confessions and get my giggles at the expense of others. Because who doesn’t love a good story about being busted while having sex in a church? (answer: people with taste)

How do you feel about beauty magazines?

Toy With Me About Toy With Me

Comments

  1. Cosmo taught me 1 really useful thing that I've kept with me for the last 20 years, and thought of just the other day: 'If he tells you you're too good for him, or he doesn't deserve you, he knows what he's talking about, and you should listen! And leave.' That, and that hunger pangs only last for 20 minutes.
    All the rest is crap, as has been stated previously.

  2. I quit buying Cosmo about 20 years ago, when one fateful day in the supermarket checkout line, I was reading 10 tips to lose 10 lbs… and one of them was to eat dog biscuits for a few days. ummm yeah…

  3. Congratulations FrankieNichell!!

    You won this week’s contest – an awesome basket full of luscious lube compliments of Astroglide.

    You summed up the feelings of most with your Beauty Magazine Fire Logs. The perfect idea!

  4. Say “Ahh!”

    Yes, laughing and cuddling is good too.

  5. For years I avoided Cosmo. Having no boyfriend or sexual relations for most of my twenties, all the magazine did was make me feel guilty for being single and fat. When I finally did get into a relationship, I bought the magazine regularly. It was like, “I finally can use all this fabulous sex advice!” After about a year, I had enough of it. I finally got enough self esteem to realize that Cosmo was a waste of money, and the key to a healthy relationship was talking to each other, and being willing to have fun experimenting sexually, laughing off the occasional failures. All those “understand what he thinks of you by the color of his sheets!” articles did was confuse things. Want to know what he thinks? ASK HIM. (And touch his penis. I second that as the best and only sex advice you really need.)

  6. *applauds* Jason, you have it down pat. Well said, my friend. Well said.

  7. I think that “women’s magazines” are by far the cruellest thing that women have done to other women in recent times.

    Pleasing a man is pretty easy. Feed him, lay him, don’t talk too much. We’re not particularly complicated.

    You don’t have to be a size zero, or a perfect 10. Just be interested, smile a bit, laugh at his feeble jokes.

  8. I totally agree with the recycled articles thing! I thought the same thing after a few years of reading Teen and Seventeen, “sort of a been there, done that” type of thing. Cosmo, to me, was always the grown up version of Seventeen, the two seemed very similar. I quit reading cosmo for the same reason: i began to feel bad about myself.

  9. I’ve never been much of a fan of Cosmo, or any of the other ‘beauty’ magazines. Although I must admit that in high school, I would buy them and regularly take them with me on the team bus to events to share. Not with other girls, mind you. I was a photographer and kept stats for the (boys) wrestling team and the (boys) baseball team. And high school guys LOVE Cosmo. I mean, where else do they get a free pass to look at nearly naked women? Well, OK, high school guys now might not get the same thrill, what with internet porn and all, but at least back then, Cosmo worked well. (And oddly enough, seems to still attract the attention of men my own age – maybe it’s that early imprinting.)

    Like so many others have mentioned, I did succumb to the temptation to ask a male friend once the “what is it that women can do that really make a man want them?” His take on it is that there are two things – breathe in and out, and say ‘yes.’ In his estimation, if all the guy is interested in is getting his rocks off, it really doesn’t matter what she looks like or what she does, all she has to do is be willing – anything else is just gravy. Hence the success of such song classics as “The Women All Get Prettier At Closing Time.”

  10. Cosmo has very little to offer any woman with two brain cells to rub together. It’s been shown that 2 minutes reading Cosmo can lower a woman’s self esteem. 2 minutes. That’s less time than it takes to make a TV dinner. Why would I subject myself to that on a regular basis? I’ll admit to having bought an issue or two, usually for an interview with a star I like. For their level of sex advice, you might as well get one of the position a day books and have at. It’ll probably be more useful and is often pretty funny.

  11. I used to collect Cosmo (buy and keep it by the month until I needed plastic crates) and it’s interesting to notice the article patterns. They just recycle the same articles (like How to Please Your Man) each year.
    All these magazines are about is advertising. The articles aren’t well written (as they used to be a decade or so ago).
    Beauty magazines are a misnomer – when all they do is touch up images using Photoshop.

  12. Beauty Magazines ….

    [shudder]

    Especially Cosmo. Isn’t Cosmo the one with all of the quizzes? Take this test to Find Out if He’s Cheating On You, or How To Get Your Man To Propose, or When Does Yes Mean No and No Mean Maybe and Maybe Mean Always.

    I really can’t stand beauty magazines and the useless advise offered up as bandages to women. I’ll save you the $5 cover price and let you in on a not-so-secret secret: Men love food, men love blow jobs, men love women who love themselves.

  13. MamasRockin says:

    What I learned from Cosmo and other “women’s” magazines like were that as a 5′ 7″ size 12-14 teenager that I would never be the perfect sized woman and would never be considered beautiful or desirable by the male population. Of course I devoured every issue eager to gain the knowledge that I simply had to have on how to please a man, especially since I was seriously handicapped in the size department. HA! I quickly learned that my curvaceous, long legged body was easily used as a siren call if I desired! Cosmo had been full of CRAP!

    Now as a 32 year old I am much more secure in my skin and am no longer doubtful when my round curves and soft spots are praised and desired. Perhaps if I had kept my nose out of all the beauty magazines that I read as a kid I could have avoided many a self-conscious hang up or moment that probably prevented the chance at ultimate ecstasy at the time! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have long since learned that a man’s scope of beauty is much much broad than society (fed by other women it seems) leads us to believe. Men love WOMEN…..well a lot of men do (Sorry Freddie…*wink*)

    As for teaching men to be better lovers, and better teaching us how to love ourselves. You are spot on girl! Hee hee no pun intended! I think I can personally take credit for a handful of my girlfriends warming up to the idea that loving yourself just might be the BEST way to stay warm on a cold lonely Saturday night. I will say that perhaps my obsession with all the sex articles in beauty magazines might not have allowed me to be so comfortable with my own sexuality to discuss such a taboo topic with my friends. I was certainly the first to bring it up! And in some cases I was the only one who had been ‘loving’ myself at all. I suppose I can thank Cosmo for that…sort of. And so can my friends!

  14. Oh the famous or now infamous Cosmo Magazine. I first got introduce to the Magazine when my now Ex Sister in law would get them. I was a freshmen in high school when I first starting reading it and I loved it. I was like so this is how a single, independent girl living in the city leads her life, cool. I couldn’t wait till the day that I was a college graduate and living in my very own apartment living the life that the magazine described. Yeap I grew up and got smack with reality.

    I know find the magazine to be anti woman. Most of the articles was about doing things to please the man and the few that were about pleasing oneself always ended with the man also being pleased if your were happy.

    But I must admit it was the first place I learned a bit about sex since I never had that mother and daughter talk. And I do pick it up to read when I get my nails done. *sighs, looks at my hands* Boy do I miss getting manicures, pedi’s, even miss getting wax *shaking head* So it is a guilty pleasure of mine but I am all grown up {well kind off ;) } and as I read it I think oh yeah what a nice life that would be, a life where a woman is the perfect size, has time to make wonderful gourmet meals, work out, do beauty regimes, have get togethers with friends, time to spend with the family, work, raise the kids, keep her man happy, have a great long orgasm from doing sexual things that cater to him, and be nothing but happy and zen. Oh what a great life, a fantasy life.

  15. Magazines in general annoy me, especially ‘beauty’ magazines, because there are TONS of advertisements. There are so many advertisements in any magazine I’m surprised they are not paying ME to take the thing off the shelf.

  16. Catherine says:

    It always amazes me that these magazines are still around. When I was 13 they were my bible but after actually subscribing (I know, terrible) one year I realized they said the same thing over and over and over. Not bad for a cheap read once a year or so but beyond that they are pretty useless.

  17. So yeah, Cosmo makes me stabby. I got a free subscription to it last year, and I though… cool! Another mag to read! Yeah… except it makes me annoyed to even open it. Every month is the same 20 articles and blah blah blah. The last 6 months I gave them to my single 18 year old niece… lol.

  18. Beauty magazines annoy me because they make the superficial aspects of beauty seem so important and they make value judgments about size. I think they contribute to body image issues and things like anorexia and bulima.

  19. Lady Lover says:

    I love the embarrassing story parts, too. Though those were in middle school-jr versions. Which looking back could still be really raunchy…

    Anyway, I think my favorite part of growed-up beauty magazines is the “Please your Man!1!” part. My first year of university, two of my floormates were addicted, and we wound up with nearly sixty of these things sitting on the table in our lounge. I picked one up, one day, and started flipping through it, just to see what had all the straight girls’ sexy little panties in a twist. Lyke, oh-em-GEE! It was hysterical!

    From then on, we had read-aloud sessions once every couple weeks of the newest ‘zine that got dragged in (and we had our choice of four noobs at a time). Mostly about sexy spots to suck on his body or why he can’t stop staring at your orgasm face (and what you should do to make it even *more* attractive!). Good times, good times.

    I’ll stick to my Horse and Rider, complete with tack comparisons, thankyouverymuch.

  20. Yeah, Cosmo is pretty sucky. I’ll read Elle at the hairdresser, because they have some real articles & interviews, and the “Ask E. Jean” advice column is always pretty awesome with the real-sense tough love smackdown.
    I tend to not read “chick” mags, for several years now. Just don’t care, and don’t have the time.

    I subscribe to GOOD magazine, and we have a Wired sub. Those keep us more than busy. :P

  21. Oh Mel, there is NOTHING wrong with that. NOTHING. I don’t care at all! Playboy is a better read, but Cosmo can be fun too. Providing you don’t take it too seriously.

  22. *Taps the mic, softly*

    My name is Mel, and I occasionally…gulp…read Cosmo. Mostly on business trips when I have nothing better to do for a few hours in a plane.

    Please don’t judge me.

    It’s only because the two magazines we subscribe to at home aren’t able to travel with me. (1. Entertainment Weekly – since my husband doesn’t even let me see it until he has read it cover to cover, and 2. Playboy – despite the fact that my husband thinks that would be hot. I just can’t get over the random strangers who sit next to me “reading” over my shoulder…

  23. I actually really miss Cosmo! I live in Hungary – English mags are available but they are VERY expensive and come out really late. My Hungarian reading skills aren’t the best but I sometimes buy Hungarian Glamour because their articles are about quite superficial things (that = mostly readable for me) and it is always nice to look at the pics of new fashion.

    I have found that for advice about what men think about women it is best to ask my guy friends. I’m learning to trust that they know what they are talking about (very hard after years of Cosmo articles which say basically the opposite stuff).

    There is just something I love about beauty/fashion magazines… the glossy covers, the smell, the perfume thingys. Sometimes I just have a need to buy one.

  24. blech!!! they suck!

  25. SkyddsDrake says:

    I was a… late bloomer, shall we say? I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 23. I lost it to a 33 year old man with considerably more experience than I had (by way much… really). Anyway, I went about things the dumb way. Rather than just asking him what he wanted, or how he wanted it, I scoured magazines like Cosmo. I was terrified that I just wasn’t good enough, or kinky enough. I did that throughout our year long relationship, even though I’m not sure I ever used a single suggestion the magazine made.

    Then, I met my second lover. Again, I delved into magazines that claimed to know all the necessary secrets to get a man off… Only in this relationship I didn’t use a bit of it because it was in this dynamic that I was introduced to bondage and domination, and Cosmo and the like didn’t really seem to have the who-ha’s to tackle that particular topic. (At least not in any kind of depth. Fluffy, much?)

    Anyway. Then I met my third lover, who I’ve since married. He pointed out a Cosmo while we were waiting to check out at the store. He kind of laughed at it. I mentioned (blushing) that I used to get those because I was nervous about my skills (or incredible lack thereof), and he just looked at me for a minute. Then he said, “You want to know how to get me excited and get me off?”

    Expecting some oddball answer aimed to make me laugh, I smiled and asked him, “What?”

    “Touch my penis.”

    That was it. Touch his penis.

    Works for me. ;)

  26. I think all magazines are repackaged over and over. I have completely given up on them since I got my laptop. Okay, well, I occasionally pick up Prevention or one of those cheap women’s mags at the counter of Walmart if I know I’m in for a long car ride where I don’t have to drive or something like that, but that’s it! Also, my husband makes fun of those magazines and I’d much rather ask HIM what he likes or wants or thinks (if I care) than a magazine. Sometimes being an old, married woman has its perks. ;)

  27. Look, I’m an empowered sort of chick who, trust me, already knows how to please a man in bed. (Let him into it.)

    But sometimes it would never occur to me to braid my hair when it’s wet and then sleep on it to get loose, beach-worthy waves. Or to use an eyeshadow primer under my shadow to keep it from glopping up in the eyelid creases. (That urban decay shit actually works!)

    So sometimes I read a damn beauty magazine, for chrissakes. I refuse to be ashamed of it.

    (Unless I’m in public, in which case it’s camoflaged by a copy of my city’s free weekly.)

  28. mumma boo says:

    I pretty much hate all magazines that are supposedly written to “help” their readers. I haven’t paid for a magazine in years; my sister keeps getting me subscriptions to Reader’s Digest and a random woman’s magazine like Good Housekeeping or Woman’s Day every year for Christmas. Thank goodness she does or my kids wouldn’t have anything to cut up for schoolwork collages.

  29. I have to say that I somewhat enjoy reading them. They’re mostly full of crap, but some hints on eyeliner application never hurt anyone. I ignore more of their fashion suggestions, though – they’re usually expensive and ugly. Their tips of “pleasing lovers” are always just so silly. I like to flip through and giggle at them. My boyfriend and I get subscriptions to Cosmo, Glamour, Seventeen, and Redbook, so there’s always lots of giggling to be done.

  30. Don’t even get me started. Beauty magazines are responsible for most of my neurosis. Parenting magazines created the rest.

    Therefore, I only read People and Us Weekly and Cooking Light. They make me feel like a better woman.

  31. I have a love-hate relationship with Cosmo and other women’s magazines. I love reading trash in the bathtub, and I LOVE reading “100 NEW ways to satisfy your man”.

    -Try stroking his penis!
    -Pay special attention to his man-mates
    -Tickle his knee caps
    -Gently run your teeth over the tip of his penis [!]
    -Tickle his butt cheeks while he’s entering you

    I laugh my ass off every time. And while I hate that I end up paying $4 for them, seeing the same 100 different sexual maneuvers being listed as new every other month makes me giggle every time.

    But I still remember seeing women’s magazines when I was just a teenager and thinking that they were REALLY naughty!

  32. I think all magazines offering advice in the grocery store are full of shit. Cosmo is just the worst. I would definately rather read Maxim where they write about stuff that is acutally interesting and the chicks are hotter.

    I’d really rather read the tabloids where I know its a load of crap, but it’s entertaining crap.

  33. totally brilliant! i feel exactly the same way about Cosmo, in fact in college we used to refer to it as “pornopolitan”

  34. PottyMouthMommy –
    *hands in the air, swaying back and forth* AMEN SISTA!

    FrankieNichelle – Throw one on the fire for me :)

    Dawn Tulman – Nice summation.

    Personally, I have never bought a Cosmo. I have however skimmed one a few times. Never one to mince words my opinion was – Trash!

  35. I have always maintained that those magazines are secretly run by an organiation of fat, dateless men who just want to get back at the women who wouldn’t date them in high school or college. They serve to show us what is truly UNATAINABLE…for shit sakes, I don’t have an airbrush machine in my home to thin my thighs nor do I have a photoshop program to trim my waist or lenghten my neck.
    If my hubby doesn’t want to get busy with the body that has birthed him 2 daughters and a son…I know a wonderful little toy called “Jack Rabbit” or Jack for short that is ready, willing and able to get it on any time of the day or night…and I always get to cum first!

  36. I agree completely. After 11 years bartending/waitressing I so appreciate BlowJoys way of accounting! That was so me.

    I can honestly say the only two magazines I read regularly are Reader’s Digest (it’s funny and reminds me of my Grandma) and National Geographic, well – cuz I’m a nerd. I have a bumper sticker on my fridge that says “Normal people worry me” and I’ve always delighted in not giving a shit about what’s “in fashion.”

    As to the sex KeepingYouAwake has it nailed – try, try and try again. After 13 years and 3 kids my husband and I still experiment (successfully most of the time).

    Great article – hopefully it will reach to some 20 somethings like we used to be and help them to understand that if they want to have a good healthy self esteem to skip Cosmo and the like :)

    Nicely done!

  37. I totally love you. I hate hate hate Cosmo and other similar magazines. I wish they took more time to empower women and be more inclusive instead of telling you you’re too fat, your hair is too frizzy, and you probably aren’t a good lover. ~Susan

  38. Bwahahaha! I am totally making a Fireplace Log out of the next Cosmo I get.

  39. How to Make Beauty Magazine Fireplace Logs

    Step 1 -Open magazine flat.
    Step 2-Start at one end with about five sheets of paper and roll into a log. Roll tightly for a longer burning log.
    Step 3- Continue adding magazine pages to the log until it is about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
    Step 4-Melt down old candle pieces by microwaving them on low power in a glass jar or by putting them in a coffee can in a pan of boiling water.
    Step 5-Dip strands of yarn into wax.
    Step 6-Wrap magazine log with yarn dipped in candle wax.

    (I’ve never tried this and I’m sure it’s totally NOT safe, but that’s how I feel about beauty magazines)

  40. I loooooathe Cosmo. Just the flashy headlines on the cover make me want to stab someone. “How to make him want you more in bed!” quite frankly, if he doesn’t want me know, he can feel free to find someone who does it for him better. I know from experience that most men don’t give a flying fart if you can put your legs behind your head. Do you have a vagina? check- He wants you as much as he’s ever GOING to if all he wants is someone to have sex with.

    I DO however enjoy a pass through of some other “fashion” magazines. Of course, I’m Canadian and I find the content of some of our magazines to be much more tasteful. I used to read Flare magazine, and found that while a lot of the fashion info was crap-it’s nice to see what’s in style, but telling me that $200 shoes are a “steal”?? wtf? But the articles were usually more info-based related to current world issues affecting women and less “let’s make sex better for MEN!!”

  41. They’re dumb.

    I think I finally figured out that they exist to keep themselves and those in their industry (“beauty,” “fashion”) employed. They tell us what to like, what’s “in!”, they make it, we buy it, they go on vacations, we then have to buy more stuff that’s “in” in three months so they can go on more vacations. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Also, when I waitressed, it changed the way I spent my money. I saw everything in terms of tables (assuming $5 tip/table). “Hm… that shirt’s cute, but it’s like 5-6 tables. Do I like it enough to do 5-6 tables? No. Move on.”

  42. This is completely true. If you get tips from anything, it would be from pornos and those people are *acting* so who knows if that’s really working or not. The truest way to get this information is just to be playful and try new things. All sorts of new things. Besides – why pay for pictures of sexy ladies when they’re EVERYWHERE nowadays? Read it in the checkout and put it back.