A fond look back on years of outrageous, impractical, and just plain bad sex advice from Cosmo.
Throughout my long tenure writing Ridiculous Tips For A Miserable Sex Life, I've taken aim at various targets, but one publication stands out as a bastion of weird and wacky sex advice — always chipper, always in a numbered list, and always ill-advised. Cosmo remains the ne plus ultra of usually implausible, occasionally unfathomable, and invariably hilarious sexy tips for sexy sex, and this month, I've chosen to anthologize them for you. Read on, friends.
At its core, Cosmo is just a girl, standing in front of a boy, trying to figure what to do with his penis. Or, as they put it, trying to figure out how to “throw his disco stick a party he'll never forget."
1. "To achieve sex-goddess status, you have to truly master his man bits."
"Master" in both senses: the complicated way, like a Master's degree, and the mean way. Like Mistress Lavender.
2. "Hold his penis in one hand and lightly slap it with the other… you can tap it back and forth like you're volleying a tennis ball and lightly pinch the skin on his shaft and testicles. Many women make the mistake of being too gentle."
Second opinion: make the mistake of being too gentle. At least until you ask.
3. "Think of his shaft… like the outer curve of your breast. …Take his shaft between your open palms and tap it back and forth, almost like you're volleying a tennis ball. The quick movements are a fun way to wake up his Hooksexups."
First, do women like their breasts to be “volleyed” like tennis balls? Also: stop hitting me.
4."Firmly hold the bottom of his shaft in one hand and slowly push it towards the base. (Imagine you're pushing his penis into his body)."
If — unbelievably — this doesn’t work, you're doing it wrong, you shameful, unable-to-please-a-man woman. The only logical step from here is to initiate something insanely complicated.
5. "Alternate between swiveling both wrists in opposite directions and stroking your hands upward, twisting your wrists when you reach his head as though you are turning a doorknob. Rub your thumb in a tiny figure-eight pattern over his frenelum… Or try the windshield-wiper move; glide your thumb from side to side along the rim where his head begins, then move your thumb up and over the top of the head several times."
If, at any point during this oddly elaborate ritual, he looks confused, toss him a heated stare and say, "I crave you" — you know, to clear things up.
On the Art of Fellatio, or Level II: Occupy Ball Street.
6. "34 percent of guys say they wish a girl would surprise them with oral when they walk in the door."
The other two-thirds might think it's alarmingly precalculated, but that's a risk worth taking. Go on, "ambush him."
7. "Fifty-six percent of unmarried men prefer receiving head while lying down as opposed to standing up, while the numbers are exactly reversed for married men."
I think that means you are one married man and two standard deviations from overthinking foreplay.
8. "Chew a small piece of mango… then take him in your mouth. You can use whatever fruit you have, just don't try anything too acidic, as it can burn him."
Non-acidic fruit won't burn… but it will probably feel just as weird and pulpy as it sounds.
9. “Go hot and cold. During oral, suck in air as you go down and blow it out as you go up.”
And don’t worry if you burp.
10. “As you’re going down on him, shake your head from side to side, letting your tongue follow the same pattern on the extra sensitive underside of his penis.”
11. "As you move your mouth up and down his shaft, rotate your hand in a corkscrew motion while spiraling your tongue in the opposite direction."
And remember ladies, never forget to smile!
On Things to Do with Your Breasts
"We rounded up a bunch of super-sexy tricks just for [your breasts]. If these don't skyrocket your pleasure (and have him drowning in drool), we don't know what will."
I pride myself on keeping up with the international register of erotic terminology, but somehow "drowning in drool" slipped right by me. However, after Googling it, I did learn that it accounts for 23% of nocturnal deaths among St. Bernards.
12. "Tickle his feet with your nipples: climb on top of him in reverse cowgirl position, then bend over until your nipples reach the tops of his feet. …Yowzah."
When this sounds spicy, you have hit new heights of erotic boredom.
13. "Receive a butterfly kiss… of your breasts. To do: he bats his eyelids against the supersensitive underside of your breasts."
He might have to insert his head into your chest cavity, forehead up, but give it a shot.
14. "It's time to introduce your breasts to your favorite vibrator… (how rude of your vadge to have hogged it all these years)."
Your vadge is a hog, women. A hoggy, hoggy vadge. God, that's sexy.
15. "Dip your breasts in edible body paint, and use them to 'sponge paint' his entire body. Then lick it off."
How big a bucket of edible body paint would you need to dip your breasts in it? And what sort of weirdly dexterous breasts allow for painting? Doesn't this just involve lunging at him like a brightly-colored walrus?
16. "Draw an attention-grabbing circle around your nipples using rhinestones and body glue for a special night in."
Definitely wait for a special night. Nothing’s sadder than body-gluing rhinestones around your nipples on a Tuesday. What is this, the Midwest?
17. "Cook dinner topless, apply a little tomato sauce to your nipple," and ask your man to lick it off."
Just don’t attempt #16 and #17 on the same night — your man might choke on a rhinestone.
When Things Get Boring
Now that we’ve entered fully into the sexual universe, we need a contingency plan. This is the "potpourri" section — a grab bag of ludicrous suggestions that range from the gustatory to the cinematic.
18. “Take a few of your favorite erotically appealing flavor combinations, like peanut butter and honey or whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and mix up yummy treats all over his body."
There's a variation on this mainstay of the Cosmo canon in almost every issue. Successfully incorporating food into sex — based on my life experiences and casual surveys — is not a real thing. It’s sticky, wrecks the sheets, and, if done frequently, will give you Type II diabetes. Here, it’s made more grotesque than usual by context: on the previous page, they advocate turning off the AC because a made-up-sounding chemical in your sweat boosts arousal.
19. "Keep a spray bottle filled with ice water next to the bed, and give each other a strategic spritz to extend the encounter… Aim for the Hooksexup-packed, thin-skinned areas on each other's body, such as the nipples."
On an unrelated note, this is also a great way to train your cat not to pee on the rug.
20. "Mix a few flavors [of lube] to create new combos, like strawberry-banana."
The paucity of flavors of personal lubricants is the most pressing crisis facing America right now. Obamaaaaaaaa!
21. "Use silicone-based lube to give each other pre-nooky rubdowns."
Bonus: it’s water-resistant, so it’ll never come off!
22. "Mix one tablespoon of saliva (the kind deep in your throat works best — its viscosity makes it a good substitute for lube) with one tablespoon of water to stretch the spit."
They don't really explain if you're supposed to whisk it together in a bowl in the kitchen, or if you should just hock a loogie onto his pre-moistened junk, but I trust your judgment.
23. "Feed each other ice cream [in the dark]. Not being able to see means more spilling, which means more licking up the mess."
This is proof positive that no one ever tries these things.
24. “Dab some peppermint oil on your neck and between your breasts. Studies found that the smell of mint has a revitalizing effect. Bonus: your boobs will smell extra fresh."
This also works if your breasts have just eaten something garlicky.
25. "Wear a cinnamony lotion or perfume. The smell of cinnamon buns increases men's blood flow 'down there.'"
Good hard science from Cosmo's resident M.D./Cinnabon lobbyist.
26. Use "your electric toothbrush" or "your iPhone [when your vibrator is out of batteries]."
To which I’ll just say, have you ever tried to lie to the Genius at the Apple Store who’s fixing your phone? It never works.
27. [When you’ve got an annoying roommate] "Rent a horror movie and play it while you have sex. If they hear any screams, they'll assume it's the movie."
This will also create a relaxed ambiance.
28. [On film selection] "Avoid anything that'll cause hearty belly laughs, like Superbad — a jiggly tummy won't make you feel good."
That just makes me sad.
29. "When he's least expecting it, tell your man you need some change. Then stick your hand in his pocket and touch his penis through the fabric, pretending that you're really digging around for that coinage you need. When he's good and hard, whisper something in his ear like, "Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"
Not to be cliché, but if you’re going to commit this very tacky and not-nearly-as-subtle-as-Cosmo-thinks-it-is maneuver, pick a more flattering metaphor. A roll of Sacagaweas, perhaps?
30. "Slide your hands down the front of his pants and graze his goods when you can tell he's had a hellish day… He really doesn't want to answer questions like, 'Are you okay?'… but your caress still sends the message that you're picking up his vibe."
Translation: for those of you too shy for the stealth rub 'n tug, you can still just mutely paw his junk. It's a guaranteed way to feel like a sexbot without having to whisper anything about coins.
31. “Slip your hand into his back pocket and lightly stroke his ass… since it’s totally private and hidden from everyone else, it conveys that you’re feeling especially attracted to him.”
Totally hidden. Yup.
33. "When he's on his way home from work, start giving yourself some solo pleasure and 'accidentally' dial him up. All those breathy ooohs and aaahs will be motivation for him to get to you in time to join in on the action.”
This sounds like something that would happen in American Pie 7: Stifler's Revenge, only it wouldn't lead to steamy intercourse — it would lead to a YouTube video.
34. "Record your voice on your cell the next time you have a solo session. Then, send him the audio file in the middle of the day, with just the text, 'Wanna hear me do this tonight?'"
In the middle of the day. Best time. Right when he’s at work. No way that could go wrong.
35. "As you're eating dinner together, say something X-rated like, 'See how I'm devouring this piece of meat? That's how I'm going to devour you.'"
Then, later, during oral sex, pause and say, “OM NOM NOM NOM.”
36. "Hide your turned-on vibrator in his sock drawer. When he figures out where the buzzing is coming from, tell him he gets to experience its pleasure power."
This makes me think of two really cute nerds who like to role-play. One of them is a handsome space cowboy and the other is a rapey space robot who says “Now you will experience the pleasure power.” But that game’s not for everyone.
37. "Give him a beer facial — the combination of the egg white and the yeast in the hops hydrates and improves skin elasticity… but you can just tell him that your lips can't resist his delicious, beer-flavored face."
In fact, please say exactly that: "My lips can't resist your delicious beer-flavored face." Just so I can know that somewhere, someone actually said it.
On Cheating, or Sleeping With One Eye Open
Another classic, basic premise. If your boyfriend is doing anything remotely different — often in a good way — he’s cheating. So don’t relax!
38. "If your guy is suddenly going around all happy and whistling, then you need to find out why."
39. "Be especially careful if he is neat, well-groomed or spending more time at the gym."
40. "If his wardrobe is constantly changing, watch out!"
41. "Not ecofriendly? It could be a sign that he'll trash your relationship too."
42. "Keep your eye on a guy who loves to social network — he may need constant attention."
If any of these things happen (or, you know, you have actual legitimate, non-Facebook related reasons to doubt his fidelity), you could sit him down for a serious talk. Or, just skip straight to dousing yourself in chocolate syrup.
43. "Reach over and grab his knee while you're both sitting."
Details really are key here, lest you confuse a simple knee-grab with "sweep the leg." The secret success of the move stems from the fact that, by reaching down, you are "bowing" slightly, to show you're "contrite." Also, the knee is "neutral territory." (Which is to say, it's unlike Palestine, the Falklands, or his penis.)
44. "Grasp his hands and coax them into a prayer position, then position hands over his… Your words [will] become more persuasive to him, though he won't know why."
Aside from the fact that it requires standing like a pair of coupling monks, the great thing about this suggestion is that it's utterly impossible to tell who it makes look dumber: you, or your now-bewildered mate.
Well. There you have it — forty-four tips that represent the screaming nadir of Cosmo's sex advice. Be sure to tune in next month, when I'll be covering things from the other side of the aisle and collecting the best of the worst of men's magazine's sex tips. And always remember the sage words of Cosmo: "Lick his eyelids, and then blow on your saliva."
As true today as when it was written.