Let's talk about bad advice, fashion magazines and sex games. I read Glamour magazine every month. I have done for years; it’s neither as trashy as Cosmo nor as disconcertingly right-wing as Marie Clare seems to be these days. Their relationship articles quite often have same-sex couples in them without any fanfare whatsoever, their fashion pages very occasionally feature a woman over a UK size 6 and I will forever credit them with my ability to knock out a killer smoky eye look in ten minutes flat. The sex articles and relationship advice, though, are beyond terrible.


I think the thing that weirds me out the most about sex advice in women’s magazines is how oddly specific it always is. I mean, even the stuff that isn’t Cosmopolitan levels of flabbergastingly stupid (none of us will ever forget that godawful fork thing) doesn't sound like anything a normal person can imagine doing. Take this, for example, from this month’s issue of Glamour:

 

Lie naked about five steps away from your partner. Ask them a series of sex questions [...] For each correct answer they get to move one step closer to you, but if they’re wrong, they take a step back. [...] Once they reach [you], the action can start.


Is it just me who thinks that sounds awkward as hell from either direction? This is foreplay, guys, not a theory exam.

 

Nobody is doing this stuff anyway


The problem seems to be that they think good, honest, straightforward advice isn't interesting to read. They can’t just tell you how hot it is to maintain an open, honest dialogue about your fantasy life—it has to be wrapped up in a silly sex game where you “put each idea in a bowl, then sit facing each other and take turns to pick one out and read it in silence.”

Am I the only person who would probably just get fidgety and bored doing this?

glamour - let the sex games begin

 

Articles like these aren't actually about helping women to have better sex; nobody is doing this stuff anyway, not really. They aren't even about helping women to give better sex—I have yet to see a single thing in any of these columns that anyone I have ever met would like me to do to their penis. It seems to me that they’re a lot more pernicious than that; they’re a way of sanitising female desire, which is of course a recurring theme in the mass media.

There’s nothing raw about this advice, nothing passionate about it. It’s cleaned-up, cookie-cutter sex, new-school-Hollywood sex, fresh from the pages of absolutely nobody’s masturbatory fantasies. Put differently, it's just really bad advice.

 

The fifty shades effect


Those of you who also follow my posts over at Fetish.com may have noticed that I seem to have become a bit Fifty Shades-obsessed recently. It’s certainly one of my current hobby horses, probably because I feel a bit like nearly everyone on either side of the conversation about it is entirely wrong.

I’m pretty sure Fifty Shades more of a symptom than a problem in and of itself—and these articles in women’s magazines are all part of the same continuum—now that we've remembered female desire exists, how are we going to excuse it?

Women in modern popular culture still cannot experience desire in an uncomplicated way. It always has to be wrapped up in games and uncertainties; in the kind of Mills-and-Boon-ravishment revisited by Fifty Shades; in overly contrived instructions for foreplay that aren't sexy and have nothing of the raw power of lust about them.

 

Kicking against the pricks


One of the things we try to do here is flout the conventions of sanitised, traditional, one-size-fits-all sex and relationship advice. So my Hot Sex Tip for you today isn't a tip, trick or sex game. It's this: throw away the rulebook. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to “spice up your love life” using only a few bits of kitchen equipment and a cheap airplane blindfold. Be honest with yourself and with your partners about the sex you dream of alone in your bed at night. Cut the crap and just fuck now, with passion and with meaning.

 

Abi Brown is a freelance writer and general pen-for-hire devoted to genre fiction, social justice and M.A.C lipstick. Follow her on her website or @see_abi_write.

 

© vladimirfloyd / Dollar Photo Club and maxximmm / Dollar Photo Club

 


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je cherche une femme

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