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September 23, 2013 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Everything I Learnt About Sex, I Learned From Cosmo

Sadly, the title of this week’s column is true, and now I am trying desperately hard to un-learn all the things Cosmopolitan worked so hard to teach me.

Being a woman, unsurprisingly I learnt about sex-shame pretty early on in the game. I was infatuated with my first ‘boyfriend’, so much so that at a friend’s birthday party during which we all camped out in tents on the back lawn, I kissed his face for so long and with so much enthusiasm and vigour that the festivities resulted in pash-rash that hurt when exposed to direct sunlight for weeks. He was beautiful, and 14-year-old me was sure he was ‘the one’. Late one night, I snuck out of home and climbed in his window. Cuddled up in bed, we found ourselves in a state of undress, and I decided it was time to take hold of my very first dick. But what to do? Sex ed doesn’t teach you technique; what was 14-year-old Lux supposed to do? Thank God, Cosmopolitan magazine had obviously prepared me adequately (detailing moves for my hand-job arsenal like the “Knob Polisher” and the “Twist and Shout”—no joke—and it all sounded like harmless fun). Ushered along by roaring teenage hormones, it was over quickly, painlessly, and it felt like a bit of a milestone.

Within 24 hours, I realised I had made a terrible mistake. I started to receive text messages about what a slut I was, and so it transpires, my first crush and subsequently first heartbreaker decided to cut his losses, tell his boys, and talk shit about me for the rest of my time in high school. Unfortunately, my good friend Cosmopolitan had neglected to fill me in on how to deal with sex-negative, women-shaming comments after delivering “Hand Job Techniques He’ll Never Forget”—what bullshit. In Cosmo world, it seems sex is something which women do to men, and if you do it right, you will live happily ever after.

Cosmo had drawn me in, with the promise of scandalous and sexy things hidden away in her ‘sealed section’. I guess, luckily for me, I was one of the girls whose mothers weren’t terrified, threatened, or uncomfortable at the thought of me reading these intimate details and sexy suggestions. Some of my friends’ parents would forbid opening these sections, or tear them out in their entirety. But not mine, and I was always filled with nervous excitement at the thought of ripping along that little perforated line the moment I had some privacy.

Although brimming with recommendations, I vow Cosmopolitan is responsible for providing me with the worst sex advice, ever. In my young and impressionable state, I once decided to put one of Cosmo’s handy tips into action and really surprise my then boyfriend. The humble hand job now seemed lacklustre; Cosmo recommended utilising a string of beads, wrapping my necklace around his shaft and then getting to work, dealing out the best wank he had ever had, failing to mention that results may vary. Unfortunately, I didn’t “blow his mind”; instead, it confused the fuck out of him and tied one god-awful knot in my favourite necklace… but boy did his dick look pretty.

Why did my girlfriend Cosmo never ask me what I wanted? Or tell me that wrapping a man’s junk in a Christmas ornament is just the ticket to make him fall in love with me and my ever-sensuous ways? Instead, women who read this crap are bombarded with suggestions on how to do sex, as a woman, to a man. Some of these suggestions are just fucking hilarious and beyond stupid: for example, “dip your breasts in edible body paint, and use them to ‘sponge paint’ his entire body. Then lick it off”—seriously?! Or, “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.’”… ‘cos that’s not creepy and totally batshit.

Cosmo taught me that sex is a show, when really you should be concerned about what you and your partners are feeling and if it feels good. The most valuable sex lessons I have learnt have been from having sex where you’re able to communicate and are not expected to have a bag of dick-tricks and a routine to act out. Girls, it’s not true that in order to achieve sex-goddess status, you have to truly master his man bits. Have fun, do what feels right and what makes you happy—and if dipping your rack in some Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce does that, then game on. In fact, the only useful thing Cosmo taught me about sex is that a rolled-up magazine wedged down the back of your headboard will stop it banging against the wall and keeping your flatmates up at night.


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