10 Tips for Great Sex (That You Won't Find in Cosmo Magazine)
Originally published on Everyday Feminism and cross-posted here with their permission .
Three million Americans read Cosmopolitan, a popular women’s magazine that features articles on fashion, beauty, and—most famously—sex.
It’s become somewhat of a cultural icon—the place where women go to seek information and advice about sexuality and relationships.
And while women feeling empowered to take their sexuality into their own hands is certainly positive, this particular avenue is problematic. Cosmo isn’t exactly known for its factually accurate reporting.
And if you aren’t in a heterosexual relationship with two cisgender partners who take on traditional gender roles, then sorry! Your experiences aren’t going to be included.
Furthermore, the content is problematic in and of itself since most of Cosmo’s articles are focused, not on how to improve your relationship with yourself and your body, but on how to please and satisfy (male) partners.
And almost all of the suggestions revolve around “spicing things up”—as if trying “new” and “exciting” things in bed is going to solve all of your problems.
These “tips” aren’t actually helpful, and they aren’t giving women the factual and comprehensive information about sex that they probably need, considering how few women understand their bodies, let alone their psychology around sexuality.
So, here are 10 helpful tips that can actually lead you to having a satisfying sex life—advice that Cosmo has never told you and probably never will.
1. You and Your Partner Should Be Concerned with Your Pleasure
So many of Cosmo’s sex articles are geared toward pleasing men. Headlines like Sex He Craves, What He Thinks During Sex, Arouse Him Like Crazy, and How to Keep Your Guy Totally Turned on By You give you an idea of just who the articles focus on.
Because of how male-dominated our culture is, women have almost nowhere to go to find accurate information on their own sexual pleasure—not even publications supposedly written for them.
If this isn’t a blatant example of the male gaze, I don’t know what is.
In actuality, all partners should have sexual pleasure, and the focus should not only be on one of you.
Ideally, you all should be experiencing pleasure (and maybe even having orgasms!), and you should be talking about the needs of everyone involved.
Communicate. Tell one another what you want. Not sure? Then experiment! See what feels good, and try that.
And if your partner doesn’t want to do this or doesn’t care about making sure that you’re having fun, then maybe they aren’t the best partner for you.
2. Great Sex = Great Communication
I already touched on this in the last list item, but it’s so important that it merits its own section: Communication is everything when it comes to sex.
Sex isn’t about putting new moves on someone and hoping they appreciate and reciprocate. It’s about talking about and expressing what you need and want, as well as what your partner needs and wants.
It’s about saying “more of this,” or “I really like it when you do that.”
It’s about saying “I don’t enjoy when you do that,” “That doesn’t feel good,” and even just saying “stop.”
And one of the best places to talk about sex is actually outside of the bedroom.
Create a safe space with your partner where you can talk about anything and don’t feel like there is something you can’t say. Find a time when you are both mentally and emotionally available, sit down, and talk about your sex life.