Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cosmocking: September '08.

Pink background! Blake Lively dressed weirdly like a blackjack dealer on the cover! The word "sex" appears four times on the cover!

I'd just started a new job at a reputable marketing firm. It was a stuffy working environment, but I'd befriended a few of the young female associates who worked there. On the Thursday of my first week, I sent an email to the Associates Listserv that read 'Hey, do you girls want to meet up with some of my guy friends at happy hour tonight? Hopefully, they'll bring other attractive, employed men. I'm actually in love with one named Tom, so he's off-limits. Anyone want to go? I'm still going even though my makeup is smudged, I got pen on my boob, and my pants keep falling down."

A minute later, I got a reply from one of the girls. She gently informed me that the listserv I'd used sent emails out to the entire company, including the partners.

This story illustrates two features common on Cosmo's "true embarrassing stories" pages:
1) I think someone just made this shit up.
2) If it is true, the writer is such a colossal airhead (like it would've been okay to babble about your schoolgirl boy-crazies and "my pants keep falling down" on your first week at a job, so long as it was just the associates?) that I have trouble feeling sympathy.

Will He Turn Out to Be a Cheapskate?
...He announces what he's ordering at dinner before asking you what you're getting.

Huh? How the heck is this cheap? I thought the purpose of this was to make conversation and avoid ordering the same thing, but clearly I'm a naive sucker not getting the full monetary value from my men. I guess the idea is that if he says "I'm having the green salad" you'll feel dissuaded from ordering the steak, but that's really stretching it. Call me a clod, but I think my answer would be, in all innocence, "oh, if you're still hungry then, want to share some of my steak?"

Of course, I usually split the check, which I'm sure is unthinkable to Cosmo, because then it's like I'm having sex with him for free or something, jeez.

Q: My guy always slips out when we change positions. Are we doing something wrong?
A: Nope, but he can try tightening his butt during transitions to help him stay in.

Um, you expect him to stay in when you change positions? I guess maybe if you're changing from "missionary" to "missionary... with legs up!", but seriously now. Also, I don't see how tightening his butt would help, unless your idea of a position is... OH. I see. Good times. Carry on.

Q: I am self-conscious about my tummy but don't want to keep my shirt on. How do I hide it during sex?
A: Lie on your back and let gravity do its work, lie on your stomach, or do it doggystyle.

Or you could just accept that the point of sex is to be naked. You're trusting your partner--even a casual one--with your body, so trust them or don't do it. Anyway, it's not like you're going to fool him into thinking your body's a different shape if you arrange yourself very carefully; all you're going to do is put your insecurity on display. Trying to have sex without showing your tummy is like trying to go on a date without showing your face.

Q: I want to be spanked! How do I tell him without sounding weird?
A: Spank him first.

Um, no. Sometimes the spanky thing just doesn't work like that. For example, if I ever tried to signal Tommy in this way, I would draw back a stump. (Also, I note that the answer isn't "ask him if he wants to be spanked," and the concept of using your words like a grownup is right out, so I guess she's supposed to just bust it out and go WHAP outta nowhere? Great plan!)

Q: I don't swallow, so is there a way to get rid of "it" gracefully?
A: Keep a box of tissues handy, pretend to wipe your face, and nonchalantly spit it into one of them.

"It"? You mean his SPERM COME SPOOGE SEMEN EJACULATE? If you can talk about it, you can use a freakin' word for it, sheesh. But more to the point, why pretend? If you're a spitter, spit! He's already come, he's happy, you don't have to put on a ridiculous little charade.

Q: How do you tell him you don't want him to finish inside you, even with a condom?
You put a condom on him and then you man up and take it, little lady. I'm sorry, but this is just not a reasonable request. For a magazine that talks about how men should do as much oral sex and foreplay as it takes to get a woman to her happy place, it's goddamn inconsiderate to just toss a man's orgasm aside like that. This isn't a health concern and it isn't a reasonable limit; it's just a show of cold, prissy contempt for your partner's body.

Self-Discovery Tip
Strengthening your willpower helps you achieve goals. One exercise to amp up determination: brush your teeth with your nondominant hand for two weeks.

Welp. I'm glad I don't have to exercise or study or anything like that. Just the toothbrush thing. That'll do it.

FInally, there's The Reprehensible Article Of The Month:
Scope a Guy's Size... Without Getting Busted
Yep. A full page on how to "discreetly" try and figure out how big a guy's cock is. Of course you're only looking at the flaccid size, which doesn't really mean diddly, but more importantly, all the tips in this article are creepy as hell.

Look up absentmindedly, pretending to try to remember something you've forgotten. Next, cross your arms, and put your head in your hand (it gives the illusion of deep thought) as you turn to spy on his package. Then glance away again, looking perplexed.
If you're doing this shit, I'm pretty sure you're not giving anyone the illusion of deep thought.

While within 6 inches of him, slide your hand down as if you're about to put it in your bag but accidentally graze his groin. Offer a casual "Oops, sorry!" if he seems taken aback.
Cosmopolitan Magazine: advising you to commit sexual assault since 1886!


  1. I do the 'what are you having' thing if someone else is paying, but that's usually because I'll feel like a gigantic ass if I order a $20 steak when everyone else is having salad. Especially since most of the people who would buy me dinner are not on the wealthy end of the spectrum.

    If I'm paying myself, I order whatever the hell I want. And I don't conflate 'broke' with 'cheap'.

  2. I do the "what are you having" thing, but a)I'm married to him, and b)it's because I expect to have a bite of it if it sounds interesting.

    Then again, I didn't wind up with a marriageable partner by trying to play Jedi Mind Tricks with my date.

  3. "Q: How do you tell him you don't want him to finish inside you, even with a condom?"

    To be fair, the writer did tell that person to get the fuck over it, didn't they?

  4. I'm kind of thinking that the nut job that doesn't want a guy to finish in her, even with a condom, is probably one of those people who's paranoid the condom will break or something.

  5. Probably true. On the other hand, the "finish" isn't necessarily the part that gets you pregnant (or clapped) so it would still be a good idea for her to get over it.

    If there's a penis in her vagina, she's taking a risk. It's a much smaller risk with a condom, but life isn't safe.

  6. You put a condom on him and then you man up and take it, little lady. I'm sorry, but this is just not a reasonable request. For a magazine that talks about how men should do as much oral sex and foreplay as it takes to get a woman to her happy place, it's goddamn inconsiderate to just toss a man's orgasm aside like that. This isn't a health concern and it isn't a reasonable limit; it's just a show of cold, prissy contempt for your partner's body.

    Nope, can't agree with this one. There's no such thing as a reasonable or unreasonable request in these things. Expectations, sure; it's not reasonable to expect that a partner will be pleased by such a limitation. Demands? Well, in a sense this *is* a demand, and he can choose to go with it or he can choose to go find another partner (or they can, y'know, actually talk about what the actual problem is, how to fix it, &c.).

    But the flip side of it being okay to request all kinds of non-normative acts in the bedroom is that it's got to be okay to say "no, I don't want to do this" even when "this" is something that most people don't have a problem with.

    Also, since when does "not orgasm in her" mean "not orgasm"?

  7. Aebhel - I don't order fancy booze or expensive food if someone else is paying, but I don't consider them a cheapskate, I consider myself... considerate.

    I really prefer to just pay for myself. Avoids the whole issue and several other attached ones.

    LabRat - Oh sure, if you consider that marriageable, he barely cringes and cowers at all!

    Drew - Nope!
    A: Tell him your preference before you engage in sex--not as he approaches climax.
    So otherwise she would have... oh dear Lord. That would be harsh.

    Anon, DG - The odds of pregnancy with a condom are about 14% over a year of "typical" use. (Or 2% with "perfect" use, which involves such difficult perfection as actually using it every time, but I'm assuming this is way beyond the Cosmo girl.) The odds of Plan B failing are 11%. Whock 'em together and you have an 1.5% yearly chance of pregnancy, and if you can't accept that kind of risk, you shouldn't cross the street.

  8. JFP - I know what you're saying, but all requests are not made equal, and the request to have unusual sex is a lot less demanding than the request to never have usual sex. Ultimately of course it's her right to ask for whatever she wants, she can ask for him to do it with poison ivy on his balls if that's what makes her comfortable. But I wish Cosmo would at least acknowledge that such a request will not make most men happy.

    No, it doesn't mean "not orgasm," but... it's the equivalent of telling a woman that if she wants foreplay, she can masturbate for a few minutes and then call you in the room when she's ready. It doesn't make orgasm impossible, but still, damn it's cold.

  9. I think the fact that he has multiple hobbies I'm only peripherally involved in or *gasp* not involved in at all makes him completely unsuitable for a savvy Cosmo girl. That and the fact that his stuff takes up a lot more space than my shoes do.

  10. Yeah, how many men have lost their jobs in the last 20 years "accidentally" brushing up against a woman at the office? On the other hand if men are forbidden to be sexually aggressive then someone has to be or nobody's getting any.

  11. Tom - I think there are more subtle ways to be sexually aggressive than grabbing straight for the junk. "Would you like to grab dinner sometime?" is just a bit more diplomatic, don't you think?

  12. I know this is very, very late, but 'perfect' condom use over the course of a year means 'using condoms every time'. The 14% who get pregnant during a year of 'typical use' usually got pregnant that one time they were too drunk/lazy/horny to bother with a condom at all.

  13. Way late to the party, but do want to add that if you discuss it beforehand, your partner can have a fantastic time making love with a condom, pulling out, and coming on your face/breasts/wherever. We had a break scare recently and we decided we did not want to put ourselves at any more risk so we negotiated this deal. He hasn't mentioned that it makes things less pleasureable for him, and usually we time it so that he pulls out, I start rubbing my clit, and I cum just as he jizzes on me, so we experience everything together. I also would understand it with a non-regular partner, though too, because it is ultimately the woman who ends up pregnant, and it is her body, but it's definitely something you say beforehand and give the other person ample time to consider.