Monday, February 11, 2013

Cosmocking: March '13!

[Content notes (and how fucked up is it that a fluffy fashion magazine needs them?): fat-hatred, transmisogyny.]



Pink cover!  Miley Cyrus!  ...wait, what?!  That's Miley Cyrus?!  HANNAH MONTANA?!  Whoa.

...You know what, good for her.
Finally Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck
Hey broke ladies, it turns out it's super easy to save money!  All you have to do is limit yourself to spending only $1100 on rent and $900 a month on entertainment, and you'll work your way out of poverty in no time!  Don't you feel silly now?

They also describe paying more than 30% of your income in rent as a "faux pas," as if it's a Fashion Don't to want a roof over your head while being poor.
Have a pizza picnic party in bed.  No TV allowed--put on a sexy playlist, and sit across from each other like you would at a restaurant. Serve the pizza on plates, pour some wine, and don't be afraid to get messy with that margherita. 
I've been accused of just not understanding romance in my Cosmocking.  I dunno.  Maybe there's some truth in that.  Because I see this cute little idea for Manic Pixie Dream Girl antics, and all I can think is "oh jeez, that is never washing out."
Orgasms are tension busters, so after a hard day at work, pull your guy close and whisper, "All I want is for you to make me come."  Hello.  When there's a problem, men like to fix it, so you're making him feel like a total stud while getting yours at the same time.
This would be sexy if they didn't give all these fake-ass "reasons."  Let's edit, shall we?
Orgasms feel awesome, so when you want one, pull your partner close and whisper, "All I want is for you to make me come."  Hello.  A lover who knows what they want is hot as hell.
See, just as fun, but doesn't make my vagina sound like a cracked fan belt he needs to replace.
On nights when you want to let your freak flag fly, assume an alter ego. [...]  It's easier to get into character when you don't look like you, so meet him at the door wearing a wig.  Tell him that "Erin is working late tonight.  I'm her evil twin."  His night just got a lot more interesting.
I kind of want to do this, but not with a wig.


 "GREETINGS.  I AM EVIL CLIFF.  IT IS ONLY LOGICAL THAT WE COMMENCE INTIMATE RELATIONS."

...actually that's kind of how we have sex anyway.
[on where to hide a video of you having sex]  Bury the flick in a folder within a folder within a folder on your computer, with a boring name that would never intrigue anyone, like Thank You Card List.
My porn folder, age 15: C:\ windows \ desktop \ stuff \ boring stuff \ old boring stuff
My porn folder, age 20: C:\  program files \ utility \ xp64 \ config \ temp \ 0334 [encrypted] 
My porn folder, age 25: C:\ porn
The 3 Words He Never Wants to Hear You Say 
Imagine the worst thing a guy could say to your (thought joggers: "I'm in love with your sister," "I killed a man..."), multiply it by 10, add a full weekend of nothing but golf on TV--and you'll start to understand how awful it is for us to hear "I look fat" coming out of a girl's mouth.
Oh God.  This is that awful game where you have to obsess over your weight to be sexy, but if you ever let it be known that you're obsessing over your weight, that's terrible.  Sometimes it goes by "order a steak on dates so he knows you're laid-back" followed by five pages of diet tips.  This time it goes by "hearing your insecurities is so hard for me."
Your guy knows you're not fat.  He can see you're not fat.  But the more you say you're fat, the more he'll start to question the evidence.
But I am fat.  I'm not being self-deprecating or whatever, I'm just being... roundish.  And I don't think any combination of words would cause a person who sees me naked to question the "evidence" that my body is the size and shape that it appears to be.

Of course, this sentence makes perfect sense if you understand "fat" to be a word with absolutely no relation to a person's weight or size, but simply an insult of their worth and sexual appeal.  Which seems to be the thing these days.  Kind of painful if you also happen to be roundish, but I don't think "not being painful" was a priority in this process.
[Q: My boyfriend's roommate ogles me and puppydogs me and it's weird.] 
A: Although the roommate should be more subtle about it, checking you out doesn't mean anything.  Men ogle attractive women all the time, even when those women are dating their buddies.  Other than that, it sounds like the roommate's only crime is being exceedingly polite.  If you say something to your guy, it'll create at best an awkward situation and at worst a volatile one.
Yeah, I should have warned you.  This is the point where Cosmo goes completely off the rails.  Where it crosses from "mostly goofy, kinda problematic" to "oh FUCK this was printed THIS YEAR?"  Beyond here I can't even be funny.
"He Didn't Want to Date Me -- He Wanted to Be Me!"
Cosmo's new "Worst Date Ever" column (which is 100% fictional) seems to be a continual fountain of bigotry--it was biphobia last time--but this is a new low.  I don't even want to quote this one.  Basically, the author meets up with an OkCupid date who turns out to be a trans woman.  And her (the date's) behavior is of course hilariously weird and flaky and she reverses in ten seconds from advertising herself as a sexy man to demanding the author do her makeup and go shopping with her.  It's all just the sloppiest, meanest caricature of trans women imaginable. And it plays right into the disgusting "trans people aren't people, they're plot devices to comically/terrifyingly trick you into being gay!" narrative.  It's illustrated with a picture of a big hairy leg in a high-heel shoe.  Once again, I don't think I can be funny about this.

Dammit, Cosmo.  You're supposed to be silly-terrible.  This is no fun when you're straight-up-hatred terrible.



P.S.: In case you missed it last time, I'm talking in Chicago this Saturday!  It's gonna be awesome!

103 comments:

  1. I used to keep my private-case materials in the music section in a folder called "Chinese Democracy", but that obviously no longer works. But it was never really necessary, since there's no point when I was interested in porn that I was sharing a computer.

    Also, the idea that getting my girlfriend off is fixing a problem is actually kinda bleak.

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    1. All I can think of is that it would be how a boyfriendbot would have sex.

      > Scanning: [person: girlfriend]
      > [person: girlfriend] is horny
      > Initiate: offer of [category: sex] to [person: girlfriend]
      > [person: girlfriend] requests [category: sex] [action: oral]
      > Initiate: [action: oral]
      > Is [person: girlfriend] satisfied? _ Y
      > Initiate: offer of [beverage: apple juice] to [person: girlfriend]
      > Initiate: [action: cuddle]

      Delete
    2. The thing that cracks me up about the porn thing if I never kept porn on any computer anyone else was using, but one time I was sorting photos on the family desktop and accidentally found photos my parents took of themselves. It was, like, wow I am glad you still have a... kinky sex life at 50+ but plz learn to hide your porn guys.

      Delete
  2. Evil Cliff is sexy.

    Well, hell. Regular Cliff is sexy too.

    You know what I learned about myself today? That laughing so hard I nearly snort tea out of my nose is actually a turn-on.

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    1. Think of it as a form of ejaculation.

      Delete
  3. Hi Cliff,

    I recently read through the entirety of your archives (hooray, OCD) and greatly enjoyed them. But the Cosmocking ones, amusing as they are, always left me with a question niggling at the back of my mind. So I figured I'd ask it.

    (Just so we know where I'm coming from, the only things I know about Cosmo's contents are what I've gleaned from the Cosmockings.)

    Namely, how would you go about creating a non-terrible magazine for the same crowd Cosmo's aimed at? If you wanted to get them reading so that you can give them good advice?

    Let's say you suddenly had an unlimited budget to create this new magazine. So you can have pastel covers, but put together by someone who understands something about how colors work together. Non-photoshopped photos of celebrities. It's mostly aimed at the vanilla crowd, even if they want to feel risky, and you don't want to frighten them off, so when it comes to the grittier details of BDSM I guess you just make sure there's a hint to google pervocracy or something if you want to know more. From the sound of things, you can't make it too content-heavy if you want it to actually be read... So what would Anti-Cosmo look like?

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    1. In a URL, http://www.scarleteen.com/

      -L

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    2. Jane Magazine. Sadly it went under a few years ago, but Jane was almost as fashion-fluffy as Cosmo but with a lot more respect for its audience's intelligence and a lot less sexism. I miss Jane.

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    3. What do you think of the website version, xojane? (I have a love/hate with the web version but never read the print mag.)

      flightless

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    4. +1 on Scarleteen. With a bit of http://rookiemag.com/ thrown in.

      Delete
  4. ... There are students paying 100+% of their income on rent. There are others who would be if Housing Benefit weren't a thing. If food takes up another 20%, what are people spending 50% of their income on? Shoes? Beer?

    I would also like to see Anti-Cosmo^. I think there was something called Filament a while back that tried to be, but they had an erection in one of their magazines so they couldn't be sold in stores and died soon thereafter.

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    1. Ideally, you should be spending 50% of your income on shoes, beer, and savings.

      But that's in the ideal world where you have 50% of your income to just play around with. I don't know a lot of people like that.

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    2. Savings, car payments, insurance, home repairs, kids (eg. daycare)... those figures make a lot of assumptions about the kind of lifestyle people have.

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    3. Yeah, the Cosmo budget does account for student loans, but has a whopping $0 allocated for kids, pets, insurance, healthcare, or credit card payments. No wonder they have $900 to play with.

      They do allocate $100 a month to transportation (that might just cover your gas if you have a short commute, but definitely not any car payments) and $100 to an "emergency fund," which I guess covers healthcare and home repairs, but wow, you better not need very much of either.

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    4. To be fairish, 30% of your gross income on rent isn't some ridiculous pie-in-the-sky Cosmo idea of how normal people live, it's HUD guidelines (which I suppose means it's a ridiculous pie-in-the-sky Federal government idea of how normal people live, but that's not Cosmo's fault).

      Like, any landlord who expects your yearly income to be the equivalent of at least 40 months rent ... well, you know how to multiply.

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    5. I know about the 30% thing, but I also did the math, and the average rent in Boston is about $400 more than 30% of the average household income. So.

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    6. Plus, if you aren't making much as income, rent is going to take up a much larger piece of the pie. The 30% statistic pretty much assumes you are middle class with enough take home pay that you have some leftover after bills. (And also assumes that you don't live in Boston.)

      So if that article is aimed at people in debt, it seems likely that they bring in less income, which means it's likely that they pay more than 30% on rent monthly.

      Delete
    7. Boston isn't that unusual. It varies widely based on things a lot of people don't -- or aren't able to -- consider. I was surprised to say the least that the rents in Cambridge, which I'd been warned about, were no worse than they were in Flagstaff, and on nicer apartments. The difference is that Boston has a transit system and something that passes for suburbs, and Flagstaff didn't. You wanted to go to NAU, you were stuck paying whatever they asked.

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    8. Argh, that income percentage just makes me want to cry.

      I have been called 'The Cheapest Ass I Know,' by some folks. My thriftiness is a source of many jokes with my friends and roommates.

      And the best I ever pulled was my rent being... just under 40% of my income. And that was with me having the cheapest rent of anyone I knew (except for an anarchist who shared a one-bedroom apartment with a tattoo studio AND a roommate). Because that's what happens when you work $10/hr, 30 hours a week.

      Aaaaaand then my health collapsed and I got the delightful euphemism of "unstable housing." (i.e., "congratulations, you live in a crawl space in someone's attic. Mind the nails!")

      God, I wish I lived on Cosmo's planet where I COULD afford a $1100 rent. That was a month of my pay, at the highest income bracket of my life.

      Delete
    9. I rent a one bedroom apartment in CA for $975 a month, but it's going up to $1050 a month in May (booooo!). My situation? Family of four (two kidlings under 5) and a spousy type person. People keep telling me I need to "save up" for a down payment on a house, but I'm like, WITH WHAT MONEY? Food prices are going up like crazy (and by "food," I mean actual, real food that isn't made of sodium and is premade in a box with the outside picture looking waaaay better than the product inside), and if we didn't own our car outright and my work didn't pay for most of my family's insurance needs, we'd be screwed.

      I reeeeeally don't like being in debt, either, so I'm the kind of person who refuses to buy "extras" unless I absolutely need them or have the funds saved up (or the option for a zero percent payment plan that I can reasonably pay before the big interest kicks in). Luckily my spouse and I work opposite schedules, so we don't have to pay for child care, but Oldest Daughter is going to preschool and that costs about 200 bucks a month plus fundraising.

      Being alive is expensive. I take solace in the fact that once I die, I won't have to worry about money ever again.

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  5. Like.....a pop-up erection? ;) That's all kindsa cool, and probably a big surprise half way through.

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  6. There are some people I play with where if their "evil twin" showed up at the door, I'd be like, "Wait... you mean the other guy is the NICE one?" and then run like hell.

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    1. Have you seen the South Park episode where there's a mirror universe with evil twins with beards just like in Star Trek - only Cartman has a GOOD twin instead?

      Delete
  7. I'm really looking forward to when I'm confident enough to just stick my porn in a plain old porn folder. Soon, I can sense the time is near. (I own two computers and they are both mine exclusively. No one be touching them but me. I just have a LOT of hangups.)

    Cosmo...why. Why Cosmo. Why.

    At least they gave us that smokin' hot cover of Miley Cyrus. Like, wow. Geez.

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    1. Life became much easier when the only other people who had physical access to my computer were people I'd be recommending porn to anyway.

      Also, for written porn: Kindle. You can read smutty stories on the train and no one will ever know. Password protection will keep people from snooping.

      Delete
    2. I think the Kindle helped make 50 Shades the success it has been. You can read it in a public place and no one can tell you're not reading Pound (your mileage may vary if you have a penis).

      Delete
  8. ...
    THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH THE EQUIVALENT OF £500 TO SPEND ON 'ENTERTAINMENT'?! BLOODY HELL. I'm a student with <£50 a week for ALL expenses. *sobs*

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  9. Please tell me the $900 a month on entertainment was a joke. I just... wow.

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    1. Well, they did include clothes, cable, and cellphone bills under "entertainment."

      (Which is a little iffy right there, since most people need Internet service, a phone, and/or specific clothes to stay employed.)

      They still budget like $700 for shopping and bars and hairstyling, though.

      Delete
    2. Did the budget outline include anything for charity? I wonder what's Cosmo's view on that :)

      Now I'm off to figure out whether a new Android tablet would be "shopping" or "entertainment".

      Delete
  10. If Zach Quinto Spock approached me like that, yeah, my clothes would be off in a second with the reply, "Completely logical. Let's proceed."

    So glad to know that a "budget" can be real and I still get to spend wastefully. Yay good advice!

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  11. Cliff you are so awesome, I snorted a beverage out of my nose while reading this. Thank you.

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  12. (Re: Cosmo saying, "Your guy knows you're not fat. He can see you're not fat.")

    Because Cosmo knows that if you have a boyfriend you must not be fat! A fat person could not have a boyfriend. That would be unheard-of!

    And if the reader does happen to be fat, obviously they will just file away Cosmo's advice for the future and use the helpfully provided dieting tips to stop being fat so they can get a boyfriend. On the off-chance that any fat people can read.

    (Note: The comment you have just read was sarcasm. It is not intended to be taken as sincere in any way, shape, or form.)

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    1. It's probably exactly what Cosmo writers were thinking, though :(
      A.

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    2. The double-standard of "you should diet all the time but pretend to be completely unconcerned about your body" is really terrible.

      It's obviously no fun though to have a partner who obsesses about weight all the time (although that "no fun" should come from a place of empathy, like, you feel sorry that your partner feel that way about zirself). But on level with finding out that your partner has KILLED someone? Uh... what? WHAT?

      Delete
    3. Btw, I read the following advice once in a Cosmo-like magazine (although not the actual Cosmo): On the first date on a restaurant you should say "I think I'm gonna take the ribs, they seem yummy!" even if you're actually a vegetarian - in that case, you'll just continue your musings over the menu and eventually pick a vegetarian dish. The point of talking about yummy ribs is of course to establish yourself as an unconcerned-about-weight-happy-go-lucky-person, the kind of girl guys like. But... if you're ACTUALLY a vegetarian, when are you supposed to come out of the (apparently shameful) vego-closet? And won't the coming-out-process involve massive awkwardness?

      Delete
    4. It seems like you could say "I'm gonna take the deep-fried vegetables" or the jumbo pasta platter or whatever, and still maintain the "so laid back and cool that I eat heartily but of course not really" illusion without having to hide the vegetarian bit.

      'Cause that's going to end badly if the next date is him asking you over to try his home cooking and he made it extra meaty just for you.

      (Alternatively, you could talk about the menu item you actually want to eat, and then eat it.)

      Delete
    5. Cliff, what a wild crazy suggestion! Actually saying what you think on a date!

      Delete
    6. It seems to imply that saying anything negative to one's Boyfriend is terrible, because he won't want to hear it. All he wants to hear is 1) Do you want another beer? or 2) I want to suck your dick or 3) nothing at all, because he's watching the [insert sport here] game and you should just be invisible and inaudible.

      Is Cosmo written to create the perfect property for MRAs?

      - The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

      Delete
  13. > "When there's a problem, men like to fix it, so you're making him feel like a total stud while getting yours at the same time."
    See, I think this reasoning almost works for me... except it has more to do with the fact that I'm an engineer than that I'm a man. Then again, I'm sure other professions enjoy applying a combination of scientific knowledge, artistic intuition, and communication to meet stakeholder needs.

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    1. I'm an urban planner and I think you just put me off sex for a week by making it sound like a damn community participation meeting. Ugh!

      Delete
    2. That would make such excellent orgy porn. Everyone's at the community participation meeting... yawns all 'round... eyes meet... music fades in and and everyone gives up on the meeting because sex... but the presenter or whatever is still trying to have the meeting, and people gasp random community participation buzzwords to sound like they're still focused while they fuck. A Titanic-style orgasm hand slides down the whiteboard.

      Delete
    3. "Hey, how about you and me make this planning process a lot more participatory?"

      "Really? I never knew you felt that way."

      "Baby, when I look at you, my urban growth boundary expands."

      Delete
    4. I used to have to transcribe council meetings for my job - ahhhhhh, what an amazing afternoon of typing that would have been!

      Delete
    5. "Stakeholder" ... snicker, snicker

      /fourteen-year-old


      - The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

      Delete
  14. Oh my Gods. Fuck this. Just fuck this so hard.

    That budget thing is a joke. I guess this harks back to "all Cosmo Girls have middle class, highly paid, paper-pushing jobs, and nothing more pressing to spend their money on than expensive shoes." Fuck that shit. I work practically every hour the Universe sends for an evil giant corporation, and they pay me barely enough to keep the roof over my head. £500 a month for "entertainment"? What fucking planet are these people living on?

    *and breathe.*

    And that stuff about the roommate ogling her? "He's being NICE! You should be FLATTERED!" As if she should be grateful he's being POLITE and only objectifying her and violating her boundaries. She'd better not dare say anything. because then his little man-brain won't be able to cope and he might get "volatile" (and even if he doesn't, it's her job to keep quiet and be accepting and docile because woman, right?) Can anyone say misogyny, victim-blaming and rape culture in one fell swoop? *rages at Cosmo.*

    Oh, and the stuff about "give him a problem to solve to make him want sex" thing? I can do without all these goofy "reasons." I find "hey honey, I'm horny" works pretty well.

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    1. £500 a month for "entertainment"? What fucking planet are these people living on?

      I feel kinda bad for whoever at Cosmo had to write that, because something tells me that zie does not have that kind of cash to hand.

      But it's still ridiculous bullshit. Does Cosmo really have a lot of readers in middle/upper corporate management?

      Delete
    2. I think it's part of the grand American tradition of "aspirational" discourse about wealth, where "maybe if you work real hard you'll have that much money next year, better start thinking already how you're going to spend it" distracts us from concerns of whether lower-income people might also deserve livable conditions.

      Delete
  15. What's a "sexy playlist?" I feel like with that whole pizza picnic idea they had to try to make "just have a nice night in with your beloved" sexier and just decided location: bed would somehow achieve that. Ironically when making sex sexier seems to involve taking it away from the bed...

    The rest of it *sadness for the hate Cosmo has for the world this month*.

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    1. I know, that bit got weird in a hurry. Because have a pizza picnic party in bed with my boy? Our some wine, eat off plates, put down a picnic blanekt? Adorable. Have that pizza picnic in bed after building a giant blanket fort around it? Adorakable. But then "get messy with the margherita"? What happened there?

      Delete
    2. If I had a list of "not at all sexy food" pizza would definitely be on it. Screwing around in bed with bits of pizza getting ground underneath is about as far from sexy as I can imagine (YMMV).

      - The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

      Delete
  16. The "don't let him hear you say you're fat" reminds me of a running gag in Lollipop Chainsaw that nobody but me seemed to find uncomfortable- namely that the main character's turn on was listed as "being told she's not fat". Maybe I've just known too many women with eating disorders who genuinely never believe they look good, but I'm pretty sure 90% of the women who say things like "god I'm so fat" are not fishing for compliments, but saying it because, you know, they mean it?

    "Men ogle attractive women all the time, even when those women are dating their buddies." Yeah, only some men do that, and those men are the kind I hate putting up with. Just because you're a heterosexual dude doesn't mean a woman is in the room purely for your approval.

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    1. My boyfriend ogled me for months and I never noticed. He told me after we'd been dating for six months and were already talking about how we'd noticed each other. Gentlemen, take notes. If she knows you're doing it, you're doing it wrong*.


      *because not making us uncomfortable with unwanted attention is part of respecting women, but that doesn't mean you have to avert your eyes. That would be weird too. Just... be subtle! Appreciate us in the privacy of your own mind, with no expectations! For fuck's sake! It's not even hard! If he's ogling her like that, it means he doesn't just want to look at her, he wants her to know he's looking at her, which is an entirely different animal. Maybe even a different family. More of a fungus than an animal, really.

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    2. "More of a fungus than an animal, really."

      I finished my coffee just in time not to snort it all over my desk, then.

      - The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

      Delete
  17. So what they're saying is that being fat is worse that dating a murderer who's in love with your sister? I know it's supposed to be about "thinking you look fat", but in this universe saying it will make it true.
    A.

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  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I'm using Chrome on mine, but need to scroll to the bottom of the screen to "View page directly" to prevent it from being too "helpful"

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    2. I love how people try to help the spambot rather than reading their link.

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    3. So Many 'bots :(

      "We don't serve their kind here"

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  19. All you have to do is limit yourself to spending only $1100 on rent and $900 a month on entertainment, and you'll work your way out of poverty in no time!

    Oh, for fuck's sake. What planet do these people live on?

    Husband and I actually could spend less than 30% of our annual income on mortgage costs, if we weren't paying extra on the principal, but that's because we live in a decaying factory town where the housing market hit rock bottom about twenty years ahead of schedule. Also makes it hard to find a job that pays more than subsistence wages, you know?

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    1. Haha 900 dollars a month on entertainment is what cracks my shit up. That is over half my income! I spend, like, 90 dollar a month on entertainment and only if you count the internet as entertainment.

      Delete
  20. Orgasms are tension busters, so after a hard day at work, pull your guy close and whisper, "All I want is for you to make me come."

    I read this and all I can think is "OMG what a huge amount of pressure to put on someone." Although in fairness I have a FWB who doesn't reliably have orgasms and I'm still trying to figure out what works.

    Still. I don't like seeing sex as a bunch of achievement points to unlock. I don't generally ask a guy to make me come. I might be like "Let's play!" or "would you go down on me?" but I try not to be all goal oriented n shit.

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    1. Yeah... and this view of orgasm as tension buster reminds me of a trend Petra Boynton sometimes blogs about: the "medicalization" of sex. It's usually about how every form of sexuality is identified as a problem to be cured, but viewing orgasm as a treatment for stress fits into the same worldview. It takes sex and subtracts the sexy.

      In fact I've had a girlfriend who demanded an orgasm almost every night for about half a year, because she was so anxious and couldn't sleep. After a while it did feel like applying a medical treatment, and not sexy at all. It also turned me off oral sex and our sex life never recovered. I wish I had told her no from the start.

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    2. I do think of orgasm as being a stress-buster, but that's one of the many things masturbation is good for. To me the problem is framing orgasm, even in partnered sex, as always being something "given" to you by someone else.

      I can, however, totally see saying "If you did so-and-so I think it would be easier for me to orgasm."

      Delete
    3. I used to be with a guy who viewed any time I didn't come, or took a long time to come, or (heaven forbid!) didn't get wet, to be indicative of a problem - either with me or with him - and therefore something to be "fixed". It was a huge amount of pressure, especially with the sulking if I said, "Let's just use some lube" or "Really, I'm fine with not having an orgasm tonight". So glad that's over...

      Delete
    4. Yeah, I sort of side-eye the idea of asking someone else to give you an orgasm as a sort of aspirin or sleeping pill or something. Orgasm for me is something that is part of making love - and it's the intimacy and love that make the experience special, not just the physical side of it. It's the who, not the what, and the idea of using my beloved as a sex toy is really off-putting. I dont' masturbate (it doesnt' do anything for me), but if I did, and wanted orgasmic release and nothing else, that's how I'd achieve it.

      - The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

      Delete
  21. Damn, new low for Cosmo.

    You know, I started reading "17" when I was 11, and Cosmo when I was 15. Around the time one of my best friends came out as bi, I started wondering when Cosmo would get around to printing dating tips for the 21st century. Apparently the answer is "never." Is there a magazine like that? A cool, non-trans-phobic, non-bigoted version of Cosmo that has make-up and fashion and GLBTQ dating advice?

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    1. You can't fit GLBTQ into pseudoscientific relationship models, so they'd lose about 99% of their advice if they moved outside of heteronormativity.

      Delete
  22. Thank you so much for not actually quoting from that article, Cliff.

    Just the title ("[She] wanted to be me!") was so painful for me, as a trans man partnered to a trans woman. Yes, she probably does want to be you, author. She wants to have a body that fits her self, a life that looks like hers, and the daily security every human being deserves. I get the same kind of pain all the time, both on my behalf and my partner's.

    That must have really been a slap in the face for you, and for Rowdy as well.

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  23. Yeah, that's exactly what my porn folder is like. It is also on the desktop. Somebody wants to go through my porn folder, I am not responsible for their mental issues. It's all on them. :P

    Thorn

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, my adult stuff is on the household network, in folders clearly marked "Adult". Since we sometimes have houseguests who'd be all, "Aaagh why do you have boy-pix in with your girl-pix?", I've announced many times that people are free to look, but they don't get to complain if something's not to their taste.

      Delete
  24. I'm just really sickened by the thinking behind the fabricated transmisogynistic article. Cosmo is homophobic, so they wouldn't post something sympathizing with a woman who went on a date with a cis-woman. But since trans-women are apparently not real women, then it's perfectly heterosexual to go on a date with her as long as you make sure to use the wrong pronouns. Why do people suck D<

    -Eva

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    Replies
    1. Also if someone that transphobic did go on a date with a genderqueer person, it'd probably be more of a traumatizing date for hir than for that intolerant bastard. Hir story would probably be better, and I'd rather sympathize with hir than that hate-filled monster.

      -Eva

      Delete
    2. Also, I've never in my life met a trans woman who advertises herself as a man on dating sites. It reads like this woman SUDDENLY had a trans awakening upon setting eyes on her date. Which... is not how it works?

      Now, if the date actually WAS a man, and wasn't becoming A woman but rather THIS woman, like, showing up at her job and calling her sister and seducing her other dates, then the title would be appropriate. It would still be terrible. There is no way to make that title good.

      Delete
    3. CheckeredFoxglove - It also seems to imply that a person's sexual orientation automatically reverses when they come out as trans. The date makes a 180 from "I'm a sexy man here to meet the sexy women" to "let's go look at boys together!" the very instant she comes out.

      (I realize that in real life nothing about the interaction between orientation and gender is simple, and people certainly can change how they experience/express their orientation when they transition, but... I don't think that's what Cosmo was trying to depict here.)

      Delete
    4. The article sounds like it's describing someone who's desperately trying to be a woman; the trans women I've known just...are women. They don't flounce around being all "Shopping and glitter and ponies and boys! Tee hee hee!"

      It's pretty pathetically obvious that the writer has never knowingly met a trans woman in her entire life.

      Delete
    5. This reminds me of the time I went out for lunch with my straight best friend, but over the salad she transformed into a lesbian (it was kind of like the sequence in Sailor Moon but with more flannel) and by dessert we had adopted five cats and got matching Rachel Maddow tattoos on our biceps.

      Delete
    6. I remember when I came out as genderqueer, and that very day I went from being mostly oriented towards nerdy men and butch women, to being attracted exclusively to glitter.

      Delete
    7. When I came out as genderqueer, I got erased from existence altogether :(

      Delete
    8. We're watching Twin Peaks now, and in season two, our hero agent Cooper meets his old colleague Dennis Bryson again. Only it turns out that Dennis came out as a transwoman some time ago and is now called Denise! And... to my big surprise (not the least considering how old this series is) it's not handled half as bad as I expected. Denise is styled in a normal way, with like normal women's clothing and normal makeup, rather than being completely over-the-top. She's a competent policewoman and a good friend to Cooper. Plus at one point she makes a comment about some hot girl, Cooper goes "I thought you didn't like girls any longer?" and Denise is like "uh, yeas I do".

      I think we're still supposed to think it's a bit "tihi, a trans woman!" but still... apparently WAY better than this Cosmo story, and this TV show was made in 1990.

      Delete
  25. I can confirm that the worst three words for a man to hear are in fact "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice".

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  26. You store your porn in the root of your drive instead of your user account's content directory?

    You dirty girl ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who're you calling girl :p

      Actually, the boring reality is I have a Mac, but I'm not sure how to type out Mac file structures in a comedic fashion.

      Delete
    2. I don't know how exactly the mac filesystem works, but if the same environment variables still work in it as in the BSD system which it is derivative of, you could type out:

      $HOME/porn/

      Which as an added bonus works for all linux systems as well.

      Sorry, I'm just geeking out...

      Delete
    3. My porn is in ~/Documents/yikes, and my not-quite-porn is in ~/Pictures/cute. Those names were made when I was kinda hiding the stuff, but I keep them now, because they're sort of fun.

      (In case anyone is wondering, ~, like $HOME, is the user's home directory on Linux. Ubuntu, in my case.)

      TRiG.

      Delete
  27. Gyah, I just had a friend get out of a relationship with an abusive transperson, so this article made me rage in a lot of ways. Thanks Cosmo, you're both insulting all transpeople and making it worst for people who've really had a bad relationship with one.

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  28. I don't have a porn folder on my hard drive, firstly because I kind of sort of fail to see the point in downloading porn, because let's face it - it's the internet, it's never going to run out of porn, and secondly because what sexy pics I do have are pretty much just sprinkled among all the other pics. But I do have a bookmarks folder on my browser which is nonchalantly titled "xxx".

    ReplyDelete
  29. When I saw the article in Cosmo about the date with the Transwoman, I didn't even bother to read it because I had a feeling it was going to be offensive.

    I've been reading Cosmo, but reading your Cosmocking makes me enjoy it more. Like I see something and I'll be like, "oooo I can't wait to see Cliff's response."

    You know what doesn't sit well with me? The "Bitch It Out" section. Either this month or last month's (I think it was this month's) had a picture of a guy *clearly showing his face* sleeping in 2 chairs with a comment like, "the library is for studying, not sleeping." I feel like it's violating his boundaries because not only do I think that the guy didn't know someone took a picture of him and posted it in a magazine, but it clearly shows his face. Honestly, a part of me is paranoid that some bitch is going to take a picture of ME when I don't know it and send it to Cosmo. What if my face is in the picture? That would be so humiliating! Now I have to make sure I don't do something bitchy or weird in public, which is hard because I'm a weird, socially awkward person.

    It depends on the picture, of course. I doubt the guy is going to cry himself to sleep because of the picture, but some of those pictures are humiliating. Then again, it also depends on the person - maybe he's very insecure and emotional and could commit suicide over the picture? What if it were a picture of a high schooler? All her friends would tease her for it.

    Also, I'm 90% positive that picture was taken at my college. I've been keeping an eye out for the guy (I would love to hear his response about being in that magazine), but I haven't seen him yet. Technically, the picture is bringing him unwanted attention and putting his safety at risk (though I'm not going to harm him, I'm just curious to see if it WAS my school and what his opinion is.)

    Bitch It Out is like the Burn Book from Mean Girls.

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    Replies
    1. I used to nap in the library all the time in college. If you're in the back and there are lots of empty chairs, who cares? Sleeping is not a very disruptive thing to do to other people.

      Delete
    2. Usually true, but I've had a couple relatives whose snoring makes them exceptions.

      Delete
  30. Of all the things that people do in libraries, "getting a little rest" is so far down the list of potential problems that a lot of staff wouldn't even notice.

    Some people just like to think they're both the lawmakers and enforcers for the Court of Normal. Fuck 'em.

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  31. I've just remembered that I actually read a really good article called "I'm a boy, but I have boobs!" that turned out to be about a trans guy in Sugar's Lad Mag, of all things, a few years ago. It wasn't judgemental at all, just told his story. So there are antidotes to Cosmo out there.

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  32. This is where pronouns suck.

    Was it an MTF or a FTM transsexual in the article? Your comments make it seem like MTF, but it's tough to be sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was a trans woman (so, MTF), but actually she was a nonexistent person who exists only as a very poorly sketched caricature of a trans woman in some cis writer's mind, so that complicates the situation a bit.

      Delete
  33. Uh, Cliff, you seem to have an infestation of Spambot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went out of town for two days! Google won't auto-filter so I have to remove them manually, and damn those things are persistent.

      Delete
  34. I just reviewed a romance novel with an almost identical scenario -- is it contagious? And if so, could we have a vaccine, please? The word "she male" is used and we never even learn whether the person is trans or cross-dressing -- what difference does it make for a comic prop, right? And even sadder, only one other reviewer criticized the book for that, or even mentioned it. URL: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/431717652

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  35. Cosmo, Cosmo, Cosmo... tsk tsk tsk. Seriously, I knew you were a bad magazine filled with ridiculous relationship advice, but now you've crossed the line by implying that security through obscurity (renaming your porn folder to something innocuous) is any form of security at all.

    /cryptoanarchistgeek

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  36. I really enjoy the Cosmocking feature, you have a keen wit. I have to admit that it appeases my dark sense of humour.

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  37. I LOL'd so hard at the Spock picture/quote that I think I peed a little.

    ReplyDelete