The SEX issue

I laughed audibly at the sex-infested headlines on every woman’s magazine in the checkout line. Cosmo claimed that this was “The Sex Issue”. Bah! The sex issue. As if this issue is different from any other. Every month, they’re either talking about sex, talking about men and how to have sex with them, or talking about how a woman needs to behave or what a woman needs to wear in order to get sex.

I learned how to dress like a cheap hooker but still afford Chanel makeup and a curious overabundance of manicures

I started reading Cosmo when I was about eighteen (I’m 30 now). Religiously, I bought it from the local grocery store, never bothering to get a subscription. I couldn’t wait to get home and devour all of that valuable information about men and sex and dieting. And how could I forget the Cosmo Quiz? “Are you too selfish?” “Does he love you?” “Are your toenails too long?” “Are you high maintenance?”

I discovered that I was not too terribly selfish, he didn’t love me, my toe nails are too long, and was I any lower maintenance people would begin to think I was a man. I also learned how to seduce a guy inside four minutes, why sex twice-per-day is still not enough, and how to dress like a cheap hooker but still afford Chanel makeup and a curious overabundance of manicures.

And where did this newfound information get me? Well, I bought a lot of clothing that was too short, too skimpy, and too whorish for a woman of my age and intelligence. I dated a lot of men who pawed at me like my cat tends to do when he thinks he’s starving to death. And, I learned all about the Slim Fast plan, male and female erogenous zones, and the importance of thin.

I finally stopped reading Cosmo a few years ago. I’d gained a few pounds okay, so maybe it was more like thirty) and got weary from seeing these large-breasted, waistless aliens every day as they sat on my end table, beckoning my eyes to keep coming back for more torture. I began to think that something was wrong with me since I’ve never gotten a breast augmentation and men weren’t sending me flowers every Monday and Thursday. I got sick of reading about my improper sex life. Particularly, my inability to have one-night-stands and make every orgasm last a minimum of seven minutes. And no diet that involves a grotesque overabundance of bagels and fruit juice can possibly be good for anyone.

I think I’m better off living my relatively bland life when compared to that of the Cosmo Seductress… I just don’t have the energy.

So one month, I looked at a cover that was smothered with words of men and sex and dieting and thought, “This is absurd! Reading this magazine won’t make me pretty, it won’t improve my sex life, and what difference does it make if my toenails are too long?” I had stopped living in the real world where women do have thighs and sex doesn’t consume 20 hours of an ordinary day. Where men are football-watching, beer-drinking, manly men, not jobless poets driving Rolls Royce’s and filling our apartments with flowers. Where it’s cool to work for a living instead of persuading desperate, wealthy gigolos to buy you dinners, and cars, and houses just because you personify their fantasies.

Maybe I’ve just gotten older, or maybe eliminating Cosmo from my literary diet has made me more comfortable in my own skin, my own sex life, and my own caloric intake. Either way, I think I’m better off living my relatively bland life when compared to that of the Cosmo Seductress. I just don’t have the energy, the legs, or the time, to scamper from obsequious men while wearing a skirt so short and tight that anyone within a mile radius knows when I had my last bikini wax.

Jennifer Osmon See all posts by this author
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