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Lesbian Sex Positions in Cosmopolitan Magazine? You Read That Right

Lesbian Sex Positions in Cosmopolitan Magazine? You Read That Right

Lesbian Sex Positions in Cosmopolitan Magazine? You Read That Right

Even straight girl mags are jumping onboard the lez train. Progress!

I'll never forget the first time I read a sex piece in Cosmo.  I was 15 and it was titled something along the lines of "50 Ways to Make Him Hot."  At this point in my life, I was already vaguely aware that there was something different about me; I certainly didn't have much interest in hooking up with guys (though I desperately wanted their attention as that is the mark of teenage girl coolness).  I started the piece and read the word "scrotum" about six times before I gave up, too grossed out to go on.  I flipped to another article about how to dress to impress a guy, and then another about weight loss, and finally a fawning article about whoever was the hunk of the moment (pretty sure it was Brad Pitt).  

I put the magazine down and picked up Seventeen only to find more articles about getting that cute guy's attention, makeup tips to make your eyes pop, and finally, a fawning article about whoever was the hunk of the moment (pretty sure it was Justin Timberlake).  

It was when I got to the advice column that stopped me cold: a girl had written in saying she thought she might be having attractions towards women and didn't know what to do about it.  The editor (who I can only assume was straight and likely not a psychologist or LGBT counselor) wrote back not to worry and that with all the hormones in puberty, these feelings can come and go.  "But," she continued,"if this goes on for more than six months, you may need to look into it further."  I stared at the advice column, paralyzed to my chair.  More than six months? At this point, I had been feeling attracted to girls for at least two years, and it certainly wasn't going away.   

Flash forward to age twenty-five: I'm interning at a literary management company and reading articles in magazines to come up with story ideas for the writer clients.  They had subscriptions to every imaginable publication, so during this time I read a lot of Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, and Details.  The articles were a mixed bag of workout tips, "how to be a cool-guy/gentleman" advice, spreads of hot, half-naked models and actresses, funny stories, travel tips, new tech gadgets, and---zero stories on how to please a woman. 

I flipped through dozens, if not a hundred of these magazines, searching for anything even remotely in this category of satisfying women and came up blank. In all honesty, back when I was 15, I was not heavily focused on the stark binary that exists between men and women's magazines--I had too much to worry about with physics homework and wondering if my weird lesbian feelings would ever go away--but it had become crystal clear to me by my mid-twenties that something was definitely skewed in the way the world seemed to expect men and women to behave or what they should care about.  

Luckily I wasn't the only one who noticed.  The satirical website The Onion posted a joke video a couple years back that was savagely on-point titled "Cosmopolitan Institute Completes Decades-Long Study on How To Please Your Man."  In it, the newscasters act astounded and impressed as a woman from the "Man-Pleasing Institute" proudly explains that their scientists had finally mapped out every single possible way in existence that a man can be pleasured.  "What a breakthrough for women and science!" they marvel. 

It was hilarious, of course, but also got me thinking.  What would Cosmo do if their number one story angle had somehow been thoroughly exhausted?  Well, I'm pretty sure that the writers over there are still coming up with new adjectives to describe the same exact male erogenous zones, but one new startling element has entered the picture: lesbians.

Yes, you read that right: Cosmopolitan, the most man-pleasing magazine of them all, has actually published a guide entitled "28 Mind-Blowing Lesbian Sex Positions."  Once I got over my initial shock, I immediately blazed through the slideshow with a fine-toothed comb looking for any signs of bullshit in the form of 1) moves that no self-respecting lesbian would ever do, 2) moves that are impossible according to the laws of physics, and 3) moves that are clearly meant to be watched and are highly ineffective.  Basically, I was looking for anything that resembled mainstream lesbian porn. And ladies, I can say with certainty that I was pleasantly surprised.  Though the list was a bit long-winded on the soft clit-and-nipple-rubbing positions, it did include manual penetration (something I have yet to see in mainstream lesbian porn), strap-ons, and even gave a shout out to the combo finger-penetration-slash-going-down-on-her move that is sure to produce spectacular results.  In short: it showed actual lesbian sex--not some straight man's bizarre fantasy of what we do in bed; and not watered down like a bad perfume in order to protect the touchier, conservative readers.   

For all my beef with Cosmo and other women's magazines over the past few decades, I have to admit that they have come a long way from misguided advice columns about transitory lesbian phases.  Now we are actually being featured in the articles, and therefore acknowledged as a portion of the readership--something I literally (clitorally?) never thought I would see.  They have even published articles condemning the bullshit mainstream lesbian porn (more on that later) and debunking lesbian sex myths.  These are two topics I've been ranting about to anyone who will listen for years.  To see it in print is a sign of a massive cultural shift and a huge step forward for lesbian visibility--possibly also a reflection of the recent explosion of out femme women (because they would be more likely to read the mags for style and beauty tips than their more masculine-of-center counterparts)--and just overall a highly important topic to put into the hands of thousands of straight women.  Lesbian sex, for all its inherent gayness, can teach women of any sexuality a lot about their bodies, how they work, and how to get the pleasure they deserve from themeselves or a partner.  

In conclusion, Cosmo is still writing about sex and how to please your partner--that is their flagship topic after all.  But at least now lady-loving-ladies are in the mix.  Maybe this new lesbian thrust (pun fully intended) over at Cosmo, will get the attention of the men's mags and they'll finally realize that if they don't start publishing articles on how to please women, they'll be endangered of getting left in the dust.  And this is me offering to write those articles to men on how to please women, by the way.  I'm talking to you, GQ



30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Katie Boyden