Comso Magazine Online – NSFW

I was doing some research for a TNA (The New Agenda) article on sexual violence on college campuses when I ran across a couple of articles at Cosmo on the same subject. I was stunned, however, at what I saw all over the page. Surrounding articles telling young women what their rights are and discussing the intricacies of “acquaintance” rape were pictures and links to articles detailing sex positions, how to have better “hookups”, how to be sexier, how to be hot hot hot in bed, and what guys really like and want.

I initially thought I’d clicked on a triple x website set up to look like a legitimate mainstream business, then realized there was no “You must be 18 to enter” warning. The screen shots I took from Cosmo show articles that will help you look good enough to get your hottie, with titles like Ways to Add Sizzle to Your Love Life, What Men Really Think About Your Bikini, How Much Should You Really Weigh, and The Hottest Hair Color of the Moment. Once you’ve learned 75 Crazy-Hot Sex Moves (do we really need that many?) and Women on Top Sex Positions, you’ll know when to use them by reading Hookup Horror Stories – What Not to Do During a Hookup. There is an ad you can click that will teach you how to Drive Him Wild! The featured video for the day is called Guess That Sex Position!

Magazines like this one are targeted at college-aged women and women in their early- to mid-twenties, an age where most of us are trying to figure out what it means to be an adult. Many young women look to those magazines – and other forms of mainstream media – for guidance. What they’re seeing is that they absolutely must have a man to be fulfilled as a woman, and they absolutely must achieve unattainable standards of perfection – both physically and in bed –  in order to do so. These are the same standards that many (not all) young men also come to expect, with these same types of articles and pictures so readily available in men’s magazines and all over the internet.

Young women are being fed this horseshit as if being sexy and willing to do absolutely anything in bed were the highest priorities of womanhood, and anything less makes them failures. There are young women all over the country reading this crap and trying to convince themselves that this is what taking charge and being in control means.

The truth is, taking charge and being in control means (among many other things) deciding for yourself what is sexy, and what you are – or are not – willing to do in bed, rather than letting some idiotic, hypersexual, licentious magazine dictate it to you. If you aren’t comfortable in a leopard print thong and matching bra, for God’s sake don’t wear them because it’s the latest thing on the runway! If bright pink lipstick is all the rage and you’re more comfortable in dark red, then wear the dark red. As for the bedroom, if you enjoy being on top, then climb on up. But please realize that when it comes to sex the sky is not the limit. If one of you isn’t comfortable doing something, then you don’t do it. Period. That goes for both of you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a hookup or a married couple, it’s a matter of respect.

Whether it’s clothes, makeup, or sex, comfort is queen. Besides, the higher your comfort level, the more confident you’ll feel. Ask any real man and he will tell you that a woman with self-confidence is ohhhh soooo sexy!!

By the way, where are the articles on how a young woman can figure out what she likes? Why not an article on what to tell your partner to do to enhance your own experience? What about an article explaining that women are all different, and it’s okay to like some things and not others? Just asking…

The juxtaposition of the articles and the surrounding content were bizarre. Cosmo took a very serious issue and wrapped it up in pink blocks, a picture of a woman pleasuring a man, and a video thumbnail of a woman in a submissive position, along with information on how to have better sex. That’s the last thing a woman who has ever suffered sexual violence needs to see, and it diminishes the importance and severity of her experience.

What the hell kind of an insensitive, mixed message is that?

One response to “Comso Magazine Online – NSFW

  1. Oh, I whole-heartedly agree with you! It's just a darn shame that modern relationships seem to be defined like sports.. conquests, winning, being "the best" …at things that should be sweet and dear and fulfilling. No wonder the world often feels adversarial.

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