In my experience, when girls aren’t satisfied in the bedroom they turn to the sex gospel, Cosmopolitan, to tell them everything there is to know about spicing up their sex lives and finding that holy grail of sex: the ever sought after, mind-blowing orgasm. But should we really be taking advice from a bunch of sex-driven journos, or should we just work out what feels good for ourselves? I decided to delve deep into the glossy pages and spend a week living by the rules of Cosmo.
Luckily, my boyfriend, let’s call him ‘S’, was very obliging when I asked to use him as my guinea pig for this assignment, with one proviso – that I would write under a pseudonym. I spent the weekend flicking through the Cosmo archives and folded down the corners of some experimental and explicit sex articles that I was determined to try – all in the name of Cherwell research. With my resources in tow, I was ready to test out Cosmo’s guide to “kinky fuckery”.
Now there is no denying it: all girls love foreplay, myself included. But over the years, I have noticed that Cosmopolitan has some interesting suggestions that venture outside the realm of the four-base high school spectrum, and into the I-am-a-sex-god-bow-down-to-me-now kingdom.
One of the highlights from an article back in 2012 recommended repairing a dull sex life by tying one’s boyfriend to the floor and then strutting around the room wearing nothing but a pair of stilettos. It all sounded very good in principle, but the real obstacle here was finding an instrument with which to tie my boyfriend to the floor. Cosmo seemed to conveniently skim over the finer logistical details, and I quickly realised I should really have practiced my sailor knots; an unsuccessful binding resulted in me getting S to pretend he was tied up, whilst I slipped into the bathroom for the big strip off. I think to really do this properly, you need to imagine that you are Sex and The City’s Samantha and put on a really empowering Beyoncé track. I did neither, and after the first 30 seconds of pulling some shapes started to feel rather self-conscious and wanted to move on from this awkward dance. S, on the other hand was unsurprisingly loving the whole experience, his eyes alight with desire. It was fun being in control but I think S got a lot more out of it than I did.
Another one of Cosmo’s favourites is couple masturbation. I guess in principle, it is a great way of educating your partner on what feels good for you; and when it comes to sex, demonstrating is a lot more effective than verbalising. But I think there was probably a reason why neither of us had ever suggested simultaneous masturbation at any point during our relationship. We got to work whilst sitting at either end of my bed. The newness of the experience made the two of us giggle and it ended up getting rather competitive as to who would come first. It isn’t something that I’d be desperate to implement into my regular sex life as –after all – it is a lot more arousing having someone else do all the work. But it was definitely worth trying, and if nothing else, it resulted in a lot of laughter.
Cosmopolitan has an enormous array of sex positions and tips; you only have to look on their website to witness the sheer magnitude of it. Bored stiff of missionary? Doggy not doing it for you? Cosmo is guaranteed to fill you with ideas of new positions at which to try your hand.
One position I was keen to test out, for it’s sheer difficulty, is called the ‘XXX Wallbanger.’ To get into position, the woman faces the wall with her buttocks to her partner. The man then has to do a headstand and “slowly bends his penis upward as far as is comfortable” whilst the woman straddles his penis and starts grinding. Now, from my experience, no man enjoys having his erect penis bent backwards, and no woman looks for a sexual position in which the penetration is almost nonexistent. Not to mention the overwhelming draining of blood to the man’s head (surely you want it to flow to the opposite end?) Despite its cool name, whoever invented this sex position must either have been an ex-gymnast or had a 13-inch penis. S and I swiftly moved on from this position and will probably never try it again.
‘Rock-a-bye Booty’ was the next position on the agenda. The woman straddles the man and then the man sits up so that the two of you are face to face; bodies entwined. Thrusting is impossible in this position, leaving the two of you to rock back and forth to generate movement. This requires rather a lot of balance and core muscle strength as one overpowering move could topple you both over, leaving you a tangled mess on the floor. There is lots of opportunity for kissing and intimacy, which is nice; but if you’re not careful, you may end up feeling like you are playing the trampoline game ‘crack the egg’.
This Cosmo project would not be complete without sex toys. S and I definitely used this as an excuse to make a few investments. If you aren’t comfortable with buying a fully blown ‘Rampant Rabbit’, cock rings and vibrators are a lot more discreet and you can even buy them from Boots.
S and I decided to go for a mix of the two; a vibrating cock ring, with a clitoris-stimulating arm. We both got a lot out of it, my only complaint being that you only get a 30-minute battery life before you have to chuck it away, so don’t bank on multiple uses! Nonetheless, I felt like my faith in Cosmo had been somewhat restored after the disaster of the over-ambitious acrobatic sex positions.
Never has being a Cherwell contributor been so fun. A hell of a lot of sex later, I feel I am pretty knowledgeable when it comes to Cosmopolitan’s tricks of the trade. Have I gained anything from the experience? I wouldn’t exactly say that I have come away from this week with the ability to orgasm-on-demand, or that I have discovered a brand new sex position that blows my socks off, but it was worth doing the research just to discard some possibilities if nothing else.
Ultimately, Cosmopolitan has to fill its pages each month, and considering that humans have been having sex since the beginning of time, there isn’t really anything a magazine can tell you that you can’t work out for yourself. Not to mention the fact that how good the sex is, and what positions feel good is completely down to the pairing of two people. Yes, maybe Cosmo can give you a push in the right direction – but quite honestly, some of its suggestions are quite simply ludicrous and unrealistic (I mean who has ever had a 60-minute orgasm?) if not high in turn-off potential. All in all, I have had a lot of fun and laughs, and would recommend that all women (and men) do a little research project of their own.