Friday, December 23, 2011

Cosmocking: January '12!

[I'm heading out of town on Christmas business for a few days.  I hope all the Pervocrats have a merry and, if applicable, sexy holiday season!]

White cover!  Scarlett Johansson!  She's a redhead now so I guess that's exciting if that's the sort of thing that excites you!  "Sexiest. Body. Ever."!  I wonder if the person who write that headline even knew it was a Simpsons reference!  "Your Other G-Spot!" Spoiler: They just mean nipples!  Cosmo is bringing you the breaking new discovery that nipples exist!

I know I complain about this with every issue but I really want to teach the Cosmo cover artists a remedial lesson on How Necks Work!  (Lesson 1: You cannot point your head in a different direction than your neck!)
Q: I have a crush on a taken guy. Should I make a move?
A: It depends--you don't want to lower yourself to home-wrecker status over a rando crush. But if you're convinced he could be the love of your life, tell him "I would never want to break up a great couple, but if things don't work out, let me know."
One of the problems with Cosmo not knowing the difference between "she's a bad girl, she has dirty sex" and "she's a bad girl, she does unethical things" is that when they start trying to encourage bad-girledness, they still don't know the difference.

Also, "rando"?  Really?  "Rando"? I changed my mind; it's totally okay to be a homewrecker if The Amazing Rando is at stake.
If he's stressed... Stroke his earlobe between your thumb and index finger.
Sure, why not.

Because it's not just bizarre, it also avoids the much thornier topic of how to really help someone who's under stress while still respecting your own needs and boundaries?  Actually, that's a pretty good reason why not.

Sometimes my real problem with Cosmo isn't what it is (sometimes sexist, sometimes harmlessly ridiculous) but what it isn't.  They touch on stuff that could be important, could be a real issue and a chance to learn something real, and then leave their readers with nothing but pop-psych nonsense and gender stereotypes.  I know people don't read Cosmo for in-depth life advice (oh God, I hope not), but at the same time it makes me sad to see a magazine with a circulation over 3 million standing as a grandiose monument to missed possibilites.
If you really want a first date to turn into something more, there's an easy way to avoid any confusion: go home alone.
Right, because in Backwards Land, not showing sexual interest in someone is how you say you want a sexual relationship with them. Also in Backwards Land: the apples taste just like sardines. I know you think I was going to say "oranges," but nope, turns out the opposite of apple is sardine. The opposite of orange is brake fluid. Don't eat the oranges there.

I sort of intellectually know that this is, like, a signal that you're not just in this for sex or whatever.  But in Forwards Land, I like to say "I'm not just in this for sex" before and after the sex and that's actually worked pretty well for me.  If he doesn't trust me, or he is just in this for sex? Well, shit, that sucks, but at least I got laid.
Hand him your vibrator, and tell him to use it on himself while you watch.
[icons below indicate:] Freaky!  He never wants to try it!
That's sad.  Not just because every issue of Cosmo asks women to masturbate for men.  But also because Cosmo is encouraging women to not even ask about doing things the other way around, and that's a damn shame.

If you don't even ask you won't have even a chance of getting to do something completely awesome, something that lets you see his body and his pleasure in a way you never did before.  You won't even open the door to watching his muscles tighten and his face contort and then feeling his reaction as you take him in your hands and finish the job yourself.

I'm just saying.  It's worth asking.
Before you start 69, lube up your fingers. When you get started, reach up and alternate running your slippery digits over his perineum and the area around his anus.
[icons below indicate: Totally kinky! He never wants to try it!
That's mighty specific for something not to do. Is there some briar-patch shit going on here?
Spice up missionary by rubbing your lacy undies over [your nipples].
Oh Cosmo.

Someone, somewhere, is super-seriously planning to rub her underpants on her nipples during sex.  She's picking the pair out and finding a good spot to pre-stash them for easy access and everything. Godspeed to you, underpants-nipple-woman, wherever you are.
"I dated this guy who tasted really funky down there, but I didn't want to confront him about it.  So I told him I was going to suck on a strong mint while going downtown to give him a tingly sensation... which he loved."
I think that tingly sensation is my lunch on its way back up.

You know how when there's an awful smell and you spray air freshener it doesn't really help, it just smells like Country Garden and awful smell?  That's sort of what I picture unwashed-crotch-and-mint being like.
We owe nipples an apology.
Yes, Cosmo, yes you do.


  1. COSMO!

    I squeed when I saw this. XDDDD

    Also a few weeks ago an acquaintance of mine was like "have you read Holly Pervocracy, she is very good, her Cosmockings are hilarious" and it took all of my strength to not say "yes, I know her, and we mock Internet trolls together!"

  2. ...I'm happily surprised to see Cosmo take such a moral stance on whether to get involved with someone in a relationship. I actually think what they said is the best way to handle it - breaking someone up for a fling is wrong, but if they're in a crappy relationship that they're getting out of anyway and you think you have a genuine connection, don't count them out. Just, you know, actually wait until they're single. That way, not only are you not getting involved in cheating, but you know that the person is actually committed to you (if that's what you're looking for.)

  3. Also - Ozy! Yay! I'm one of those readers who misses you dearly. Glad to be reading things you say again, even if it's not your blog.

  4. I dunno, I think going "if you'll ever change your mind, I'll be here for you, baby" is somewhere between crass and just plain wedge-driving. This may be a fuzzier issue than I thought, but I think that's too close to just encouraging them to break up for you.

  5. About the awesome stuff to ask your man to do: I think the icons are supposed to be a poll?

    "Freaky!" vs. "He never wants to try it!"

    The alternative just doesn't make sense. It sounds like Suspiciously Specific Denial to be all "And girls, definitely DON'T try to spice things up by dressing as a naughty nurse and offering to take his temperature!!"

  6. @Holly - I actually do agree with you on that, at least partially, and part of me wants to say "just back off completely." That's usually the stance I take on the issue. But as I was typing the reply, I just wondered about the scenario where one person's in a horrible or abusive relationship that they're already meaning to get out of. What would you say the people involved should do then? It's an interesting ethical question, and I'm not sure what I think.

  7. I think if someone's in an abusive relationship the right thing to say is "I'll support you if you leave them," but not to bring the possibility of sexytimes into it.

  8. I dunno--I actually thought that Cosmo's response to that question was surprisingly reasonable. I mean, at least if it's read in a "I'm just trying to be honest about my feelings" sort of way and not a "I'm trying to manipulate you into breaking up with your girlfriend" sort of way. I guess it could be read either way but it's much better than what I would have expected, something like: Cosmo: " You should "accidentally" show him your bra strap while bending over. This will stimulate his manly-glands and subconsciously communicate that you're an option for him, without making you seem too slutty!"

  9. Okay, so the thing on the cover says of the "other G-spot" that it's above your waist, and every woman has one -- er, so, if they actually mean nipples, does that mean they can't count, either? Because, um, I do know a woman who has only one nipple, but I also know one with none, and ... well, you know, MOST women have two. Just sayin'.

  10. Your Cosmocking is a great gift to the world. You should be charging us, or at least soliciting donations to cover your subscription.

    Back when I was a Nice Mormon Girl, another Nice Mormon Girl announced to our Mormon Peers that since she was getting married soon, she'd started reading Cosmopolitan to learn about sex. Not being totally naive, I thought, "Hoo boy, lady, good luck with that." She may be rubbing lacy underwear across her nipples right now.

  11. There is nothing hotter than watching a guy masturbate for you. Just watching his face, his body and his cock can get me off alone and I'm very dissapointed that Cosmo doesn't even recognizes that it's fucking awesome.

    Also, "rando"? Did the M on the keyboard not work? Is this a new name for a child? Kinda like Randy, but not at all?

    xx Jill Boyd

  12. "I think if someone's in an abusive relationship the right thing to say is "I'll support you if you leave them," but not to bring the possibility of sexytimes into it."

    Completely agree with you Holly. Being in a similar situation myself right now, it's something I've thought about a lot. I currently have feelings for one of my best friends, he's in a monogamous relationship and I think his relationship is emotionally abusive. I think telling someone how you feel in a situation like this would feel manipulative and like you were trying to get them to break up with their partner even if it were not intended to be. I'm choosing to be a good friend and be supportive and not tell him how I feel. If they break up I wouldn't say anything for a bit because usually people want some time out after ending a difficult relationship.

    Although, as the other anon pointed out, better advice than Cosmo usually offers.

    On an entirely unrelated note, watching someone masturbate is HOT.

  13. I can KIND OF see where they are coming from with the if your partner is stressed rub their earlobes. However, do some research on where exactly to do it. As a massage therapist you do have spots on your ears that help relieve tension and knowing people sexually, people generally do have turn on spots on their ears. That's one of those you kind of need to know where you are rubbing to know what reaction you are going to get. And know if they have aversions(like I do) to their ears being touched(long as you are piercing them, you can touch my ears all you like/moving them out of the way when dying my hair or brushing my hair I will tolerate too but anything after that don't touch em. And rarely massages. I sometimes let my therapist do that). However, if you are going the massage route to try and help someone stressed I'd go for hands personally. You can look someone in the eyes still and not be really close and help work out some of their tension. But I can think of a lot of better things to do to help stressed people. It is all how people deal with their stress really.

  14. I intended to comment about the awesomeness of stroking anuses and women watching men masturbate with vibrators, but noticed there's a conversation about abusive relationships which is... surprisingly relevant:

    A few months ago a friend told me her boyfriend was verbally abusive and that she needed help getting him out of her life. I let her know that I would enjoy having a relationship and sexy times with her if she left her abusive boyfriend. She said she really likes me too, and that I was a nice motivator for her to break up with her abuser.

    As in everything, good communication is important. I remember early on asking something along the lines of "I enjoy being flirtatious, but I do not know how comfortable you are with me being flirtatious while you are still dating him." I also made it clear that my emotional support is not contingent on her being romantically interested in me.

    Most of my conversations with her have been of the "I'll support you emotionally as you try to separate yourself from your abuser" but I do have the occasional "Hey, won't it be nice when you leave *wink wink, nudge nudge*" The abuse has damaged her self-esteem, so reminding her she's cute is a nice way of both flirting with her and improving her self-image :)

    Anyways I thought I would share my experience. I think that in my case telling her I am interested was good because the feelings are mutual, it's good motivation to help her leave an abusive situation, and it helps undo the damage to her self-esteem.

  15. Eastman! He came out of the east to do battle with The Amazing Rando!

    1. Oh, you are all full of win. :D

  16. When I saw that Cosmo was about to address "what if I like a taken guy?" my first thought was, "just claiming there's an objective fits-all-circumstances answer makes them wrong already." In general, no, leave monogamous relationships alone. That said, once in a while the relationship seems to be unhappy, in which case all kinds of variables come into play. Is it an abusive relationship, or merely an imperfect one? Is it possible your lack of objectivity is making a rough patch look like "ohmigod, they're totally wrong for each other"? Is the person getting ready to leave but working up the courage, or are they still deeply invested in the relationship? Are they showing signs of interest in you, or do they seem to see you as more of a friend? There are probably more I haven't thought of.

    Aside from missing how nuanced the question is, Cosmo's big problem is that they specifically DON'T bring up how important it is to focus on whether the taken person seems happy. Their only criteria is how convinced you are that this is The One True Love. 'Cause you know, people with crushes are never totally wrong about that, and because True Love is this thing that only comes along for one person and if they happen to be taken it means you're destined to go through wacky hijinks leading up to them breaking up with their current lover and kissing you dramatically on top of the Empire State Building. There are plenty of people in the world who are awesome and exactly the kind of person you would love to be with. Some of them happen to be taken already.

  17. @barenakedlady: I prefer to pretend that they meant to type Brando, and missed the B key. Like, the guy you're crushing on looks like Marlon Brando in his heyday.

  18. I'm going to be unpopular opinion holder here and say that if you're really into someone, you should tell them, even if they're in a relationship.

    I think it would be wrong to try and sabotage them by trash talking their actual partner, or however else people think they can sabotage things (seriously, does this happen?). But your crush is a person, you know? If they don't like you that way, they can so! And if they would prefer to be dating you, then they should do that! As long as you are honest and not stalkerish, you can't be responsible for what someone else does to their relationship after you tell them about your feelings. Being respectful of people's boundaries doesn't mean never trying to get what you want within those boundaries.

    It could make things awkward, but how awkward is carrying a torch for someone you see regularly? SO AWKWARD, for everyone.

  19. As a guy, I can't say that a vibrator does that much. I mean, it's nice, but unless you turn it way up then it's not going to even get me close.

    Being told "Take this vibrator and use it on me any way you want", however, is an excellent way to have fun with a trusted partner.

    1. "As a guy, I can't say that a vibrator does that much. I mean, it's nice, but unless you turn it way up then it's not going to even get me close."

      I've talked to a few men who love using vibrators so I guess it's just a matter of who the individual is.

      "Being told "Take this vibrator and use it on me any way you want", however, is an excellent way to have fun with a trusted partner."

      Side-eying this a little...just 'cuz it's excellent for YOU doesn't mean everyone likes it (I'm mostly uneasy 'cuz I'm automatically assuming you're referring to a man using a vibrator on a woman, I'm so goddamn tired of subbing.[/LOL projection])

  20. Emma's comment made me think of another nuance; the personality of the crush-haver. I think this is an area where different people can and should come up with different answers (within certain boundaries, of course. Nobody gets to pick "spread malicious rumors" or "go all stalkery" as their answer.) I think if I told someone who was taken that I liked them, and they didn't reciprocate, I would feel really crappy and awkward around them, and in most situations I would honestly feel more comfortable just hiding my feelings/trying to get over them. But I can easily imagine someone of a different temperament than myself being able to state their feelings and then gracefully handle whatever response they got.

  21. Emma: I agree. I don't really see why someone elses monogamous relationship means you're not allowed to even tell them that you have romantic feelings for them. Of course you should respect a no from them, but that applies for people who aren't in romantic relationships too.

  22. I think that it's not an inherently terrible thing to tell someone in a relationship that you have feelings for them, if you are the sort of person who needs to unburden yourself and if you're capable of having that discussion in a calm and abstract way, without seeming like you're actually hitting on the object of your affection.

    I hate Cosmo's advice of telling someone "If your current relationship doesn't work out, let me know" though. I don't feel it's particularly amoral to say it, but it does make it seem as though the person can show up at your door all "I dumped my partner fifteen minutes ago, so that means you and I can date now, right?" And a person fresh out of a relationship is not ready to get into a new one.

    Although if you especially like having a bunch of angsty sex and then holding the other person while zie cries on your shoulder and babbles endlessly about the ex, have at it. :)

  23. There needs to be a HUMP! video called "Cosmo Sex". It would be based on all the weirdest advice Cosmo has ever given in sex, with things like putting orange juice on his cock and rubbing your underwear on your nipples. You know it would win. Please somebody make it.

  24. On the "what if taken?" question, I actually think that it's one of the more reasonable options.

    If you don't want to take the option of backing away entirely and never have any contact with the person again (and you might not, since it's probably an awesome person you want to remain friends with, if not more), telling them that you like them romantically, but respects their relationship, is a way better option than staying silent.

    By staying silent the friendship becomes dishonest and fairly creepy in a "I'm totally just here for the friendship, never mind that I really want more, just ignore my somewhat stalkerish deception".

    IMO, far better to be honest and say "I do like you, but I respect your relationship and wont do anything, I would however like to remain friends".

    Which admittedly is different from cosmo's advice, but at least their advice involves communication!

  25. I don't know,
    between telling your crush
    (and I believe to do so in a way she/he does not take as inappropriate is hard
    and getting all secret-stalkerish,

    is there not the option of making a serious effort to try and suck it up and get over it?

  26. @Rowan: As long as they use a realistic strap-on for the Shoelace Trick. Or animation. No real phallus deserves to be subjected to that.

    @Comments section in general:

    "Before you start 69, lube up your fingers. When you get started, reach up and alternate running your slippery digits over his perineum and the area around his anus.
    [icons below indicate: Totally kinky! He never wants to try it!"

    I have final proof that I am not, nor ever will be, a Cosmo girl. When I read 'totally kinky!' I thought the next line would be 'Try it, it's fun!' (Personally, I'd prefer 'suggest trying it', but Cosmo + communication [that is not interpretive dance] = Error: Reboot magazine in safe mode)

  27. To be perfectly fair, there was one idea I read that I really liked. They recommended each playing a game and trying to get as far as possible in it while the other partner goes down on you. Maybe it's just me, but that sounded fun.

    It would be nice to see if there were any reasonable/fun suggestions. I realize that this makes the resulting post not technically a Cosmocking, but it would be cool.

  28. "Your Other G-Spot!" Spoiler: They just mean nipples! Cosmo is bringing you the breaking new discovery that nipples exist!

    But that's not the G-spot. The G-spot is, like, an actual thing, isn't it? It's not just a word that means "somewhere that feels good when someone touches it."


    3:58 PM Christmas Anon: It's Holly's blog and Holly's project, but pointing out the rare occasions when they get it right does highlight the wrongness of the rest of it. The trouble is that even when they make specific suggestions that are fine, those suggestions are coming from assumptions that make for deeply unhealthy relationships. I didn't read the piece, but gaming while getting oral because it's different and creative: hot. Gaming while getting oral because your bits are gross: um....

  29. Hey there! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, congrats! Check this entry for details:

    Hope you are having a happy holiday!

  30. Newest follower. Found you via LoveAshley.

  31. "By staying silent the friendship becomes dishonest and fairly creepy in a "I'm totally just here for the friendship, never mind that I really want more, just ignore my somewhat stalkerish deception"."

    Can become. It very much depends on your personality.

    I have a little experience in this sort of situation, and in my case, "OK, they're in a (monogamous, not that it matters 'cause I'm monogamous and I couldn't handle anything else) relationship and we're really good friends, let's just stick with the friendship 'cause it's awesome." Admittedly, I think I have friendship as more of a priority than some people, but for me, that was fine. I was aware that it was unlikely anything romantic would happen, I didn't expect that anything of that sort would or should happen, I accepted that and I got on with things including having lots of awesome talkery and general friendcoolness.

  32. Same anon as above, just a minor addition: I was occasionally a little dishonest, but the friendship as a whole really wasn't. The other thing that's worth mentioning is that this was an extremely close friendship, and it might not have been the same with something less so.

  33. @Rowan Oh Dear God! What a wonderful idea! Maybe I will.

  34. Anon 7:18: Most people are okay with a little harmless flirting, even when there's zero chance of followthrough. It's mostly that the message sent with "no, seriously, consider me your backup plan" is a many-layered cake of unhealthy.

  35. I don't think Cosmo really believes in male/female friendships anyway. A true Cosmo gal would always have ulterior motives for "supporting a guy."

  36. Oh, yeah, I forgot that there was absolutely no possibility I could ever befriend a girl. I must've been hallucinating for months.

  37. >>As a guy, I can't say that a vibrator does that much. I mean, it's nice, but unless you turn it way up then it's not going to even get me close.

    It's really awesome if you know what you're doing. My Hitachi Magic Wand gets to see a lot of play both with my women lovers and my own solo self. Of course, one could say it fulfills the 'turn it way up' criteria. That thing is a beast! Point that vibrating head right at the underside of the gland and touch it lightly in a rythmic manner, and the issue becomes how NOT to come rather than getting an orgasm.

    Right now I wish to find a new sub guy to tie up so I can play orgasm denial games with that Wand. Unfortunately I appear to be a lot pickier with men than women.

  38. Is it just me, or is Cosmo getting progressively worse? It used to be around one aggravating thing per cover, but this month we've got "kinky sex",
    "your nipples exist", and "you can use sex as a weapon more efficiently"!
    The only thing I can think of is that the writers of Cosmo read your Cosmockings, and write only to give you more material.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I find the telling a person whose relationship you think is problematic that you're interested has serious ethical problems. One of my friends (who is ridiculously attractive to women) had a problem with said women showing up on his doorstep and offering themselves when his relationship broke up - and all he wanted was to lick his wounds in peace and quiet. If the relationship is rocky, hopeful people with crushes can be the complication you really don't need to deal with right then.

    Also, I've had men tell me they're interested if I were to break up with my partner, and I tend to go 'how much of your friendship is horniness?' and 'thanks for wanting this relationship, which makes me very happy, to fail.'

  41. And you get a whole other set of problems if the person in the relationship finds out you're interested at the point where it becomes apparent to both parties that the interest's mutual.

  42. Do bananas taste like penis in Backwardsland?

  43. @P: reminding her she's cute and "when you dump him I totally want to do you" are not really the same thing. I get that you mean well, but there is a huge difference between telling her she's attractive and telling her that you're waiting to have sex with her after she dumps the abusive boyfriend. The latter is just pressure she doesn't need.

  44. Do bananas taste like penis in Backwardsland?

    Well, that would certainly be an improvement.

  45. OK - driving me crazy - don't get the Simpsons reference ?

  46. "Superlative. Noun. Ever." is a meme coming from the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons--"Worst. Episode. Ever."

  47. "If he's stressed... Stroke his earlobe between your thumb and index finger."

    That could totally work... if he's a Ferengi. :P