Why ‘Cosmo’ Pulled Victoria F’s Cover

Well, that was a short-lived success. Last night on The Bachelor, one of the group dates involved having the girls model a fashion feature for Cosmo. You know, because what better way to detract from criticism that this show is made up of nothing but aspiring Instagram models than to have all their group dates be modeling challenges? At this point, let’s just change the name of the show to America’s Next Top Revolve Influencer. Anyway, Victoria F impressed the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo so much with her makeout session modeling technique that she won the challenge. Her prize? Her photo with Peter would be on the cover of Cosmo. Which I have to say, would definitely be weird if she doesn’t end up winning. Like, deleting all traces from your ex from Instagram is hard enough—now imagine if those pictures were on the cover of a major magazine? Not to mention, the winner and his final pick usually get a PEOPLE cover, and I don’t know about you, but I would kinda take Cosmo. Bad sex tips and all, they’re less closely related to a tabloid that’s stocked on your average grocery store checkout counter. But it doesn’t really matter, because last night Cosmo announced they would not be publishing Victoria F’s cover in their digital issue or on their social media feeds.

Cosmo wasted literally no time in releasing a statement announcing their decision to pull Victoria F’s cover, releasing it at 9:17pm. That basically means that they waited until the precise minute the group date challenge was over on ABC to publish their announcement, and honestly, I respect the exacting degree of pettiness. They made this choice in response to news that Victoria F had modeled for a “White Lives Matter” clothing line. The company also has garments with the Confederate flag on it.

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Pels explained that when they devised and shot the challenge, they didn’t know who any of the contestants were and didn’t know about any of their pasts. Pels writes, “It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found out that the woman I’d chosen had, in her past, modeled in an ad campaign wearing White Lives Matter attire.” She states, “Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color.”

Surely, there will be people (like the people who responded in the above Twitter thread) who will say sh*t like, “you idiots, this is obviously referring to white and blue Marlins”, which obviously misses the point. The problem, which I feel like I’m on crazy pills for even needing to state it explicitly, is that printing White Lives Matter on apparel only works because it’s a pun. And the reason it could even be a pun is because of the Black Lives Matter movement, and because of subsequent backlash to that movement. In short, the puns only work because of people who don’t believe that black people are killed by police at disproportionate rates and with little accountability, who think that asserting the humanity of a minority somehow diminishes the humanity of the majority. Similarly, even if you were the biggest Marlin lover in the world, you probably wouldn’t buy these shirts unless you also agreed with White Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter as they relate to humans. Coupled with the fact that the company also has apparel with the Confederate flag, and it’s not hard to figure out who their target audience is. In short, this company knew exactly what they were doing when they made these shirts, and so does anyone who buys them. Y’all are not cute or slick for trying to claim it’s not problematic on a technicality.

Victoria F’s cover will still be available in print issues, because it was printed before Cosmo learned about the controversy. And, Cosmo only pulled Victoria F’s cover in the digital issue; she still appears in their online feature entitled “We Spent An Entire Day In Costa Rica With A Shirtless Peter Weber”. Which is kind of a weird choice, in my opinion—they could have easily chosen to not publish the one photo of her if they take such an issue with her past.

Victoria F hasn’t responded to this controversy, or really any controversy about her (and there has been quite a lot), but I have a feeling that the second she gets eliminated she’s going to go on a huge image rehabilitation tour. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for, because it will give me enough content to propel me into 2021.

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‘Cosmo’ Is Back At It Again With Cringey Sexting Tips

Ah, Cosmo. While I’m sure that, at one point in time, it was a radical feminist publication, now it mainly serves as a source of a good laugh—at least, as far as their sex tips are concerned. I feel like their pitch meetings must consist of a bunch of bored twentysomethings sitting at a table playing sexual MadLibs. “I need an O-shaped noun, a synonym for penis, and an adverb!” “Bagel, member, discreetly!” “Yes, that’s it! ‘Place a bagel atop your man’s member and discreetly move it in small circles…” I’m not mad about it, because it’s given us plenty of material to roast. We’ve come for their dating advice, their sex positions, and oh yeah, that one homemade sex toy involving a sock and a plastic bag. I feel like at this point they should put a disclaimer at the top of these articles that reads, “No sexually active persons were involved in the making of this article.” And now they are back at it again, with an article oddly specifically titled, “This Sext Has A 99.2% Success Rate” that ran in the February 2020 print issue of the magazine. *Cracks knuckles gleefully* I can’t wait for this.

First thoughts: A 99.2% success rate? Wow, that’s specific! How did they arrive at this figure, you ask? Was it through analyzing data received from surveys? A double-blind empirical study? Not quite. Per the article’s dek, the author in question asked nearly 1,000 guys to “share their takes on the hottest sexts they’ve ever seen”. After “some collating, synthesizing, and data analyzing,” Cosmo returns with the “top-ten ranking of the world’s most effective sexts.” Wait, so is this a ranking or a guarantee for success? Because if it’s a ranking, then by definition, some of these sexts will be less effective than others. And if they’re all 99.2% effective, then there is no ranking. So I ask you, Cosmo:

So what is the truth

Ambiguous methodology aside, that’s not why we are really here. We are obviously here to get a load of what cringey messages Cosmo is passing off as fool-proof sexts. And there are some real winners in this list:

Okay, so I guess the first thing I feel the need to point out is that half of these are only a good idea to send if you actually want the recipient of your texts to come over at 2am. In which case, you can skip all the soft-core porn language and just be like “U up? Come over.” I promise you he will get the point. Because if you are just like, feeling yourself and want some assistance while you rub one out (don’t worry, I will be throwing myself in the nearest ravine for that phrasing), the last thing you want is some horned-up dude showing up to your place because you low-key explicitly invited him over to jackhammer your cervix and then ask you if it was good. Now you have to deal with his general existence, ego, and the fact that he’s going to pass out spread eagle style and take up your entire bed…

Anyway. These sexts.

“I’m out with my friends and I’m secretly drenched just thinking about you” — I thought there was no word less sexy than “moist”, but somehow, “drenched” is really coming in a close second for me. Leave your tenth grade literary devices lesson at home, and just say you’re wet.

“Just showered. Wish you were here :(“ — I’m just personally against sending any message that, out of context, could 100% belong on r/niceguys or any Instagram account that exposes f*ckboys’ texts.

“I want you to finger me until I come on your hand” — Okay, are we spelling it “come” now? It’s only “cum” when guys do it? This is not really a point of contention, so much as me genuinely wanting to know. Not going to lie, I think they are on the money with the specificity of this one, I just think that specificity is misplaced. Never have I ever had a guy get excited about the prospect of fingering me until I came on his hand. His hand?! Eat me out until I came on his face? Absolutely. But I feel like if I sent this text about fingering, he’d just be like, “why? Are we in middle school?” I feel like there is a reason that there are no song lyrics about riding someone’s hand.

“NSFW Snap coming your way” —This one is hilarious for two reasons. One, you can just send the Snap without announcing you’re going to send it. It’s like people who ask, “Can I ask you a question?” before they ask you the actual question. But two, and more importantly, is the little author’s note, which reads, “The promise of visuals is key. No actual pics needed—it’s the tease itself that slays him.” I feel like they included this caveat so no one would accuse them of telling their audience to send nudes. If you’re not comfortable sending sexy pics, that is perfectly okay, and don’t do it. But also don’t promise to do it. That’s just weird! He’ll probably get turned on for like, 30 minutes, then get confused and send you a bunch of “?” texts, and then be like:

waka flocka okay

If you don’t send nudes, be upfront and tell whoever you’re texting that. A simple “I don’t do that” works. Don’t half-acquiesce, you’re just setting yourself up for more problems in the future.

And one final glaring hole I noticed in this list (no pun intended, I swear) is that nowhere is it encouraged for women to actually use the word pussy. I can promise you, it will not scare the guy off (the opposite, in fact—if you don’t believe me, just spend like, five minutes scrolling the comments section on Pornhub). And if it does? Good, that’s one guy you should not let near your—yeah, I’m going to say it—PUSSY. I just take an issue with the fact that this is attempting to (sort of) empower women to take control of their own sexuality (even if it is, in this instance, to ultimately please a man), and not even encourage them to even mention their own sex organs!!! If you hate the word on a personal level, that’s fine, but I’m a little shocked it didn’t come up in even one suggestion, when we have two sexts with the word “dick”.

To be fair, a bunch of these are solid sexts. “Can I come over and sit on your face”? classic. “I want your dick so bad”? a banger. “I can’t wait to come over and suck your dick”? Works 60% of the time, every time. Cosmo, I would say that you can do a little better than this, but I’m not really sure that you can, and at this point, I don’t even think I want you to.

Images: Michael Gresset / Unsplash; Cosmo; Giphy (2)

I Tried ‘Cosmo’s Sandwich Bag Sex Tip & Lived To Tell The Tale

I live for a good headline, so it should come as a surprise to no one that I clicked a story titled, “5 Positions to Use With Homemade Sex Toys”. Just to be clear, I didn’t click and read this entire article on, you guessed it, Cosmopolitan, because I am trying to break into the DIY sex toy industry, but rather because I had a rough morning and needed a good LOL. This article definitely worked. 

As the guy I’m seeing continuously reminds me, I’m no sex savant, but after reading a few articles on this ridiculous publication that somehow still exists, I have to say, neither are Cosmo’s writers. I didn’t read the story with the intention of picking apart every little thing because I just don’t have that kind of time, but before I get into it, I would just like to destroy the title real quick. There is never a need to make your own sex toys or vibrators. If you’re traveling and forgot to pack one, an electric toothbrush is not the answer. I read this article with no intention of trying out any of these, but after reading the very persuasive dek (“These sex positions you can—and should—do RTFN.”), I decided they were right: I should do one of these right the f*ck now! 

So I did number one and it was horrible. In other news, the pope is Catholic. I first read this “tip” in our article on terrible sex advice when you’re home for the holidays, and decided I had to try this out for myself to try to figure out what kind of deranged person would think this was a good idea. Here is what Cosmo wanted me and this poor guy who didn’t know what he was getting himself into to do: 

If you are staying at someone’s house over the holidays and need to avoid certain seminal evidence, make the easiest masturbator ever by filling a plastic sandwich bag with lube. Put a sock around it for a better grip and stroke up and down your partner’s penis while they rub you. Afterward, seal it up then hide the living hell out of that baggie.

First of all, I’m starting a petition to have the phrase “seminal evidence” deleted from the English language. Secondly, isn’t the “easiest masturbator ever,” like, your hand? Third, and perhaps most important, this is just jerking someone off with a lot of unnecessary equipment, and it doesn’t seem like I get anything out of it. If all he has to do is touch my clit using what he normally uses (his hand), why do I need a makeshift condom and a f*cking sock to get him off?

Lastly, if he’s finishing in the sandwich bag (which I’m instructed to hide instead of throw away????), are we not having sex after? This weird rubbing is the whole show? Honestly, not that I ever think about this, but if I did, I imagine this is how Pete Buttigieg prefers to be jacked off. It’s so weird and too sterile to be enjoyed by anyone else. 

Anyway, for the sake of journalism, I put my woes aside and spent the money I was planning on using for dinner on $27 lube and plastic baggies. Here we go, folks.

To set the scene, he was laying on his back propped up against all 72 of my pillows and I was sitting on my knees facing him. I know this sounds really awkward, and, don’t worry, it sure was, but this was the only way to do it without getting lube everywhere, which would have been decidedly more uncomfortable. Now, I was off to an awkward start because I haven’t actually given a hand job since high school, I think, and kind of forgot what to do. He was laying there looking like he’d rather claw his own throat out than let me put his dick in a lube-filled baggie, but because he’s an angel, I guess, he let me get a few strokes in before we officially agreed this was f*cking awful.

Honestly, this wouldn’t have been so bad if I could have muted the baggie, which sounded like unwrapping one of those butterscotch candies at your grandma’s house. My guy didn’t seem to mind the crinkly sound, but I did, so I tried to cover it up by rambling complete nonsense. Turns out that kinda kills the mood!

As far as the the sock, we didn’t use one because we didn’t see the point unless we were using a barre sock with grips on the bottom. Wouldn’t a very smooth sock against a very smooth baggie make you lose your grip as opposed to making  it better? 

Anyway, even though I sincerely tried to make this a good experience for him, there was something violently unappealing about stroking someone’s dick that’s both drenched in lube and wrapped in a f*cking ziploc bag that made me want to call the whole thing off. For the record, he didn’t hate it as much as I thought he would, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that there was a plastic bag between my hand and his dick. 

As for the rubbing me part, there were approximately zero angles to even try this without lube getting everywhere. So after what felt like 800 years, we finally called it. Even though he was the only one getting ~pleasure~ out of this, I still wanted to thank him for agreeing to let me ruin sex for him drain our dignity together, so I gave him a blowjob, which, if you can believe it, is even better than a baggie for disposing of “seminal evidence.” Should I become a sex writer?

If I don’t win a Pulitzer for journalism after this, I quit. I did learn one valuable lesson, though, and that is: lube is low-key an important substance to have handy. Just for sh*ts and gigs the next morning, we put some of this on before sex and it was quite possibly the best sex I’ve ever had. He also definitely enjoyed me putting it on beforehand (probably because no baggies were involved), so maybe Cosmo should write about that instead of instructing women to suck on a f*cking ice cube seconds before going down on someone? Just a thought. 

Images: Yifan Zhang / Unsplash; Giphy (2)

No, Zombie-ing Is Not The New Dating Trend

It’s no secret that people, especially millennials, suck at dating. I’m not a Baby Boomer, and while I can certainly acknowledge that people have always done sh*tty things to each other (I’m currently reading a book about women in the 1950s-70s who would get pregnant and abandoned by their boyfriends, so they’d get sent to a home for unwed mothers—it’s called The Girl In The Letterin case you’re interested), I feel like the more into our technology we get, the more inventive and evasive we get with our sh*ttiness. Whereas in previous generations, you would likely run the risk of bumping into the person you went on one date with and never spoke to again, nowadays you can delete an app and fade into obscurity, relying on the relative anonymity of living in a huge city to protect you from ever having to face the consequences of your actions (and by that I mean, the person you abruptly stopped talking to).

When I spoke to Dr. Jenny Taitz, clinical psychologist and author of How To Be Single And Happy, about ghosting, she said, “I think it’s just we’re less accountable.” With online dating, “you’re not gonna have to report back to your cousin or best friend like ‘Oh, this guy I went out with never called me back.’” So even if dating apps are not making people into worse people, they can enable bad dating behavior. And we have all sorts of terms for the punk-ass maneuvers people tend to pull when they just can’t muster up the courage to be straightforward and direct: ghosting, which has firmly lodged its way into the lexicon; breadcrumbing, where you leave little hints of vague interest so you can keep someone on the back burner; cushioning, being in a relationship but keeping a few people around to cushion the fall if your relationship ends, the list goes on and on. It seems like every few months, some magazine comes forward with a new term to describe some “new” dating phenomenon. This month’s edition comes straight from Cosmo, and it’s a term that’s probably not unfamiliar to you: it’s called zombie-ing, and it’s when someone “ghosts you, and then, after some time has passed, ‘rises from the dead’ and hits you up again”.

If you’re thinking, “what?” just know I had that thought too. I actually did a double-take on the publish date of this article. Nope, September 24, 2019, just as I thought it said. And here’s the thing: I don’t disagree with zombie-ing as a concept. I have both been the zombie-er and the zombied, if we’re going to use the term. From mine and my friends’ experiences, it’s a very common tactic. I’m not here to defend the behavior, or really offer any kind of character judgment at all about it. I’m just here to pose the question: Haven’t we been here before? Is any of this new?

A May 2016 Urban Dictionary definition for “haunting” describes the practice as, “When someone tries to hit you up after ghosting you.” The practice of ignoring someone’s attempts at communication is hardly new, even if the ubiquitous term for it is relatively recent, so it stands to reason that trying to get back into contact with someone you previously cut off is not a novel behavior.

It’s not new to the media, either. You might not remember much of the spring of 2017 (it was a simpler time), but that’s when the concept of “haunting” hit the mainstream media. There were explainers and opinion pieces. In fact, Cosmo even wrote about it! Their article was titled, Haunting’ Is the Horrific New Dating Trend That’s Even Worse Than Ghosting”. Ooo, scary! “Horrific new dating trend”—they’re making it sound like millennials are out here murdering each other for sport. When in reality, Cosmo themselves defines haunting as, “haunting is when someone from your romantic past lingers in your digital present by occasionally watching your Instagram or Snapchat story, or sporadically liking your posts.” Okay, so this is not the exact definition of “haunting” that Urban Dictionary put forth, but still, it’s the same concept: someone ghosted you, but then is still attempting to keep into contact with you. Whether that be by liking your IG posts or DMing you, or just sending you a “hey stranger” text, the end result is the same: the person who was previously ghosted is left confused, questioning WTF is going on.

Ghosting. Benching. Subwaying. Zombieing. Breadcrumbing. Orbiting. Stashing. Cushioning. They all = that other human isn’t fuckin interested in you.

— Jody Whitesides (@jodywhitesides) September 18, 2019

“Zombie-ing” or “haunting” (the more accurate term, in my opinion) is not the first or last iteration of this concept. Remember “benching”? To stay consistent with the Urban Dictionary definition, it’s when “you start dating someone you think is nice and who has potential, but you’re not crazy about them. You don’t know whether to keep dating them, or dump them and move on to the next one. This is where benching happens; instead of going for either of the above polarized options, you put your date in your mental ‘maybe’ folder and ‘bench them’ so you date around to see what else is out there.” It’s a bit more involved of a concept, but the gist is that you’ve kind of stopped seeing someone (like ghosting, but not as harsh), who you then maintain contact with (by keeping them on the bench and not booting them from the roster altogether).

Benching is a little more recent of a phenomenon, with (you guessed it) Cosmo covering it in January 2019. They basically just expanded on the Urban Dictionary definition over the course of a few hundred words. So I turned to another millennial-speaking outlet, Elite Daily, who explained benching as, “essentially, someone doesn’t commit to you, but instead, ignores you until it’s convenient for them.” Ignores you! Interesting word choice. The article then goes on to explain why benching is even worse than ghosting. I can get behind the idea that firmly and decisively cutting off contact gives someone a way better chance at closure and moving on than popping up on their radar every so often just because you’re feeling lonely/needy/attention-seeking/whatever. But how is this really any different than any of the other so-called “new dating trends” above? You may be tweaking the exact particulars, but the effect of the behavior is still the same.

But the best part about all of this is that even if you think haunting is different than benching which is different than zombie-ing, zombie-ing itself is not even a new phrase. Guess the f*ck what? It’s been around since 2017 or earlier.

Is he ghosting you (or setting you up for zombie-ing) or is he actually busy? Here’s how to tell. https://t.co/R4xiNCjLt6 pic.twitter.com/jL2MpSv3Qg

— Betches (@betchesluvthis) May 24, 2017

How you gonna declare a new trend that’s already two years old?

Here’s the annoying part. Each time some outlet tries to coin a new re-brand of the same sh*tty behavior people have been doing probably since dating became a convention, it follows the same predictable pattern. Introduce the new dating trend plaguing millennials. Relate it to ghosting. Affirm that it’s terrible. Dredge up a few first-person anecdotes to make it seem relatable, like this is happening to everyone. Cue spin-off articles and think pieces (hi). The thing is, each time an outlet does this, it makes it seem like they are introducing a totally new behavior that’s never been done before. They position it like, “ahhh, dating is so terrible because millennials are thinking up all these crazy new ways to treat everyone poorly!” In the zombie-ing article, Gabi Conti writes, “Donna Sozio, author of 

So can we stop doing this? The making up terms. The panic and outrage. The implicit assertion that millennials are ruining dating. It’s neither accurate nor useful. At the end of the day, as Dr. Taitz said, these behaviors boil down to one question: “what kind of person do I want to be in this world, and am I willing to feel a little uncomfortable to be more considerate?” Instead of ascribing every avoidance tactic with a new undead-related name, the emphasis should be on 1) figuring out what the f*ck you want in a relationship, 2) not accepting anything that isn’t what you want, including and especially wishy-washy behavior, and 3) recognizing when you yourself exhibit those wishy-washy behaviors and nip that sh*t in the bud. Yeah, it’s a lot less cute and catchy, but I think it will get us further (read: closer to healthy, fulfilling, committed relationships) in the long run.

Images: Unsplash; jodywhitesides, betchesluvthis / Twitter

5 Sex Positions That Require Way Too Much Coordination & Effort

My frustration with women’s magazines is well-documented. However innocent the intention, their constant suggestions of how we can improve ourselves are at best, irritating and at worst, emotionally damaging. Some of the most egregious examples of this are the sex positions offered up by these publications, many of which seem to require the endurance of a marathon runner and the core strength of a yoga master. Because I live to troll am a very serious journalist, I’ve compiled a list of sex positions that need to be canceled yesterday.

1. Doorway Play

This wouldn’t be a proper article on sex positions if I didn’t start with a gem from our friends at Cosmo. They suggest that we simplify standing-up sex by, you guessed it, squatting in a doorway. As one does. To be more specific, “For this pose, have your guy squat with his back against one side of a doorway. His thighs should be parallel to the floor, and he can put his hands behind his lower back for cushioning. Stand facing away from him, spread your legs so they’re on either side of his, and then back up onto his member.” First of all, the word “squat” has no business being a part of any sex position, ever. I only squat in two instances: ehen I have to pee over a questionable toilet, when I am torturing myself working out. Secondly, if I can’t get through the thighs portion of a barre class without resembling a human vibrator, what bro is going to be able to remain in a perennial squat for three minutes an entire sex session? Sex is supposed to be fun, not a gym session masquerading as an earthquake drill. Hard pass.

2. Butter Churner

In case the name wasn’t enticing enough, allow me to paraphrase a position suggested by Women’s Health, of all places. The woman lies on her back with her legs in the air and pointing toward either side of the head. The man then SQUATS (*shudder*) and enters. You can tell that not even the writer of the article suggesting this farce is convinced, because the section telling the reader why it’s great warns that “our neck may get a cramp” and advises you to have your partner “go easy on the thrusts to avoid too much pressure on your upper body.” Hot! Not only will your partner look like a colonial woman on the wing an angry Amish man, if you’re both not super careful you’ll be just one neck spasm away from kickstarting the reboot of Sex Sent Me to the ER!

3. Standing 69

This suggestion by Glamour is the sex position equivalent of two people I despise having a baby. Standing-up sex has never been my thing because I’m extremely lazy busy, and I’m not convinced that people actively choose to 69 anymore (if they ever did). So, the Standing 69 sounds about as necessary as Ivanka Trump’s presence at a meeting of world leaders. If that’s not enough of a deterrent, it requires a level of athleticism that I simply do not possess: “One person stands upright, and the other goes into a handstand while the other holds them. This should allow you both to reach each other’s naughty bits, but you may have to cut it short before all the blood rushes to your head.” I love the casual “goes into a handstand” that they’ve thrown in there, as if it’s as easy as a quick flick of the wrist. For those who don’t have a crippling fear of being upside down, you just have to achieve orgasm before inducing a brain hemorrhage. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

4. The Condom Trick

Okay, so this isn’t technically a sex position, but this one is so absurd that it deserves inclusion on this list. According to the experts at Redbook, you should do the following if the guy you’re with does not want to wear a condom: “Try saying this: ‘But, baby, I need to practice putting them on with my mouth.’ Men love this. Let him know it’s an old hookers’ trick.” There is so much to unpack here. One, the term we are using nowadays is “sex worker”. More importantly, if you need to use a condom and your partner gives you a hard time, rather than using some weird seduction technique involving the term “old hookers”, you should just make sure you never give him a hard time ever again. Also, I have no earthly idea as to why anyone needs to spend time learning how to put a condom on sans hands. Personally, I’d rather use that time learning another language or, like, how to code, but call me crazy. Finally, this is simply something men can and should do on their own. It’s not enough that we live in a society where we are encouraged to remove every errant hair, wear underwear that rides up our asses, lose weight, and edit our photos to cover up any semblance of an imperfection with makeup; now we have to put the condoms on too? GTFO.

5. The Wanton Wheelbarrow

For a cute take on the classic wheelbarrow position, Cosmo suggests you do a forearm plank while simultaneously lifting one leg in the air as your partner enters you from behind, adding, “because this one requires a degree of balance and stretching ability, you’ll first want to be really careful that nothing hurts or feels off when you do it.” Why these sadists feel the need to make every sex position a thinly veiled bootcamp class is beyond me. I’m all for the idea of sex as a little light cardio, but I’ll save my stretching and balance practice for my ClassPass membership, TYVM. The gym and sex are my church and state, Cosmo, so you can go shave your back now take your suggestions elsewhere. And it’s 2019: everything hurts and feels off.

When it comes to sex, enjoying yourself is paramount. If any of the above sex positions sound appealing, you clearly have several Iron Mans under your belt go for it. If not, there is nothing wrong with sticking to what feels right for you and your partner. Sound off in the comments with any other sex positions you think are extra AF.

Images: Ruslan Zh / Unsplash; Giphy (5)

What’s With Mainstream Outlets Spoiling ‘The Bachelorette’ This Season?

If you couldn’t guess from the headline of this article, today we’re going to be discussing spoilers for this season of The Bachelorette! So uh, if you’re one of the 10 people who doesn’t know about the ending of this season yet, feel free to stop reading now.

*moment of silence so hopefully I don’t get yelled at in the comments for spoilers*

Okay, we back. So at this point, it’s not really even a spoiler to say that Jed had a girlfriend when he went on The Bachelorette. I feel like I practically know the woman at this point, and there’s no doubt that Jed is a lying piece of sh*t who only wants to promote his equally sh*tty music. The thing that is still a spoiler is that Jed ends up winning this season, outlasting douchelord Luke and man of my dreams, Tyler.

Diving further into the spoilers, last week Reality Steve broke the news that Hannah ended her engagement with Jed after finding out about the girlfriend stuff, and now their relationship is apparently 100% over. I’m happy for her, and I’m also happy that the breakup was reportedly filmed and will be shown on After The Final Rose. Thank God for Mike Fleiss being a messy bitch who lives for drama.

While all of this drama with Jed is interesting, it’s not truly surprising, because literally all men are trash. What actually surprises me is how widely this season’s spoilers have spread. Last night, I was casually scrolling down Twitter when I happened upon this tweet from Cosmo:Okay Cosmo, feeling reckless?? If you’ll notice, up at the top of this article, I put a nice little warning that I was going to talk about spoilers for the rest of The Bachelorette. It took me 10 seconds to write! I’ve never cared that much about spoilers, but there are some people who would be seriously disappointed to see this from a mainstream account like Cosmo. 

This specific tweet might have been a faux pas, but it’s representative of a larger trend that’s happening with The Bachelorette this year. While spoilers for this show have always been pretty easily accessible, usually you have to go looking for them at least a little bit. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t follow Reality Steve if you don’t want spoilers, but usually major entertainment accounts aren’t just spoiling the show right on their feed. At least, not without warning people first.

Is this just a natural progression of everyone living their lives on social media? Or has the ongoing saga of Hannah B and Jed unlocked something specific in Bachelor nation? I have a feeling that it’s a bit of both. Obviously, it can be tough to avoid spoilers for any show on social media. I didn’t even watch Game of Thrones, but I still knew exactly what happened in each episode from spending two minutes on Twitter.

But also, people have really been loving Hannah as the Bachelorette this season, and to hear that Jed so thoroughly f*cked her over is just…ugh. Usually I don’t really care about these people, but I think everyone really just wants the best for Hannah B. I’m glad that she’s kicked Jed to the curb, because she definitely deserves better.

Even if we already pretty much know exactly what’s going to happen, I’m fascinated to watch the end of this season play out, especially with the drama that’s going to happen on After The Final Rose. It’s going to be a wild ride, and obviously we’ll keep you updated with any new spoilers. That is, if you don’t see them on Twitter first.

Images: ABC, cosmopolitan / Twitter

I Tried Cosmo’s 5 ‘Extra-Romantic Sex Positions’ And Lived To Talk About It

We all know Cosmo is THE Bible when it comes to anything sex-related, or at least they like to act like it. So who better to turn to when your love life is in need of a jumpstart, or if you want to try some new tricks in the bedroom? They give good advice sometimes, but a lot of the tips they give are more fit for an Olympic gymnast than your average betch. There’s nothing I like more than a challenge, so I persuaded kindly asked my boyfriend to try out these Cosmo sex tips that they’ve deemed “extra-romantic.” Aaaand I also made him agree to let me write about it on the internet. Why is he still with me? I will never know. But here we go.

We originally were going to try these positions over a few days, because sex is a legit workout (as we already know). But we were feeling ambitious, and slightly competitive, so we challenged ourselves to see if we could do them all in one night. And we did. Honestly, it’s been a couple weeks, and I’m still tired. So did the so-called “extra-romantic” sex positions live up to what was promised? Here are all of my thoughts.

Position 1: Lovers Entwined…Who Can’t Unwind

The Position: You and your partner lay on your sides facing each other. Lift one leg over his hips for easier access.

Why It’s Romantic: Cosmo suggests this one as a lazy morning position. It’s uber-romantic because of all the “deep kisses, hugging, and stroking each other’s bodies.”

The Verdict: The name does not lie. While they aren’t wrong about this romantic position being a lazy alternative, morning breath was definitely an issue. I love my boyfriend and feel 100% comfortable with him, but my breath in the morning is neither cute nor romantic, and I don’t need to make him suffer through that. Although Cosmo suggests freshening up in the bathroom before, I’m not down to falsely advertise that I woke up like that. But regardless, the real reason I didn’t love this position is because of all the twisting in ways my body just isn’t supposed to move. I have to say, this isn’t going to be a frequent position in our repertoire. Thank u, next.

Position 2: Cupid’s (Too Big) Arrow

The Position: Start in Girl-On-Top (a fan fav) but keep your legs together in between your Bae’s to create a tighter feel.

Why It’s Romantic: Cosmo claims that having a girl who knows what she is doing is hella sexy. Plus your boobs are in his face.

The Verdict: So if your SO isn’t especially well-endowed, then this is one Cosmo sex tip you won’t want to forget. I’m not gonna brag but…my boyfriend didn’t fit. So we moved on to the next position v quick.

Position 3: *Defs Not* Lazy Cowgirl

The Position: Start in Reverse Cowgirl and lean forward so your back is flat and your chest is resting on his legs.

Why It’s Romantic: Men are visual creatures–letting him feel AND see you is going to go over real well.

The Verdict: I don’t know what is supposedly lazy about this cowgirl, because I was doing alll the work. But I have to say, this position was a winner. Not only did my boyfriend get to watch my ass the entire time, but I got to watch Friends while this all went down. Win-win. Since testing this out, we’ve incorporated this particular sex tip into the bedroom routine.

Position 4: The Star-Crossed Awkward Lovers

The Position: Your SO sits up with his legs straight in front of him and leans back with his arms supporting him. You climb on top, with your legs bent on either side of him and leaning back on your arms as well.

Why It’s Romantic: According to Cosmo, this position allows for deep eye contact, which is v romantic.

The Verdict: Cosmo admits that this one “is tricky to get situated” and boy, they were not wrong. My problem with this position is that you kinda start squishing his legs after a while (unless you are a size 00). But besides that, you get to lean back and your boobs are on display for him to see. If you’re fine with eye contact, this one is perfect for you, but we found it awkward to just stare at each other but be too far away to make out.

Position 5: Two Of Hearts (AKA Lotus)

The Position: Better known as the Lotus position. He sits with his legs crossed and you sit on top of him with your legs wrapped around his back.

Why It’s Romantic: Basically every inch of your bodies are touching, which is fab. According to Cosmo, you should “Take your time and kiss him deeply, suck his earlobes, and whisper dirty/lovey things in his ears.”

The Verdict: If you thought the position above was difficult to get into, you are in for a rude awakening here. Having my entire bodyweight on my boyfriend is not an ideal position for me, but we tried it anyway. What I did like about this position was the ability to make out and the lack of awkward, distant eye contact. Cosmo suggests that for “extra decadence” you have champagne and chocolate strawberries on hand to feed each other. But this girl is on a budget and has white sheets, so we passed on that.

The Verdict

Even if my boyfriend and I don’t have a dead bedroom, it was still fun to try all these different positions. Although most of them will not be repeated anytime soon, we did have fun and some good laughs. I wouldn’t whip these moves out on a first date, but they’re fun to try if you feel really comfortable with your partner. Of course, sex should always feel good for all parties involved, so don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Just one final note: if you and bae are thinking of trying any (or all) of these, I’d suggest not trying them all in the same night…just trust me.

Images: Becca Tapert / Unsplash; Giphy (3)

This Is The Best Order For Your Skincare Routine

Judging from all the “gifts to give yourself” guides out there this season, I gather I’m not alone in treating December as “spend yourself blind” month. (Also: go get the Skin Laundry facial that list recommends; it’s amazing.) And what better way to spend a sh*t ton of money invest in yourself than by amping up your skincare routine? In the past two weeks, I’ve added a serum, a facial oil, and an “elixir” to my fairly basic four-step routine. But within twelve hours of my exciting new purchases, I realized I had no idea how to use them correctly. Skincare products all tend to list “apply daily to clean, dry skin,” but that’s about it. So, in an attempt to not waste my new goodies, I actually sat down and researched. Here’s what I’ve learned about the best order for your skincare routine.

Step 1: Cleanser

All authorities I consulted concurred on this. The first step in any skincare routine should be cleaning your face. If this strikes you as surprising, then I have the perfect gift for you. Enjoy!

Step 2: Toner

Byrdie offers a little dissent here, suggesting that Step 2 should be exfoliator, not toner. However, my skincare-savvy readers will know well that not all skin types require and/or take well to regular use of an exfoliant. And very few exfoliants are suitable for anyone for daily use. (You can go shave your back now Byrdie!) Anyway, exfoliate if you need to, but consider it part of the cleansing step of your routine. Toner then clears away any remaining makeup/product, as well as doing whatever else the bottle promises (tightening pores, evening skin tone, giving you eternal life, etc.).

I’ve written more about toner types here, but Cosmo offers a key tip I’ll include. If your toner contains an AHA (like glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (like salicylic acid), you’ll want to wait a “full five minutes” before moving on to your next step. Otherwise, you’ll neutralize the acids, rendering the active ingredient useless. (Moment of silence for all the toner I’ve wasted on my face please.)

Me @ my toner:

Step 3: Serums/Eye Cream

Once again, all my sources voted to use a serum as step 3. Cosmo describes serums as “shots of extremely concentrated nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants.” Like with toner, you’ll want to pick the specific one based on your skin’s needs. The one I’ve recently invested in contains Vitamin C, a common dermatologist recommendation. But you can also use different serums in the morning and at night, in which case you could swap in a hydrating serum at night. Again, all depends on your skin.

Eye cream, which I’ve realized over the course of my research is still lacking in my skincare routine, is a slightly more conflicted issue. Cosmo says to apply after serum and before moisturizer, since eye cream “tends to be lighter and thinner,” and can’t “penetrate thicker products,” AKA your moisturizer. Dermstore suggests using it before serums in the morning, but after serums at night. (And it stresses the importance of applying twice daily from a young age—good thing I have endless money and time, am I right??) For Dermstore, the key thing is to apply eye cream before your “treatments” (more on that in a minute), to “protect your eye area against potent ingredients.” Both of these rules make logical sense to me, so if your serums has potentially irritating ingredients, do eye cream first. And def do it before moisturizer.

Side note: this research has also convinced me that I’ve been applying my new serums at the wrong time, in addition to neutralizing my toner.

Step 4: Treatment

If you’re thinking “treatment? what’s that?” you either have perfect skin and I hate you, or you need to get to a dermatologist ASAP. “Treatment” can refer to a spot treatment (active ingredients will vary depending on whether you’re treating acne scars or regular old pimples), or prescription treatments for acne or rosacea. (For example, I use my Finacea foam for rosacea during this step—though for the past two weeks I’ve been using it before my serum. Ugh.)

Dermstore again recommends different things for your night routine here. At night, they suggest you add any “mists, essences, beauty waters, or hydrating (hyaluronic acid) serums” to your toner step—applying “from thinnest to thickest.” (I can’t really begin to wrap my head around what those products are, but Dermstore sums them up as “skin care boosters” whose purpose is “mainly to hydrate.” Cool.) Then, Dermstore recommends chasing your nightly eye cream with whatever treatment serum your skin needs that night. So, not just blindly slathering on every product you own (strike three for me).

Specifically, they advise against using an exfoliating treatment (AHA/BHA pads, peels) the same night as any prescription meds or retinol creams, since the potency can quickly become irritating. And they recommend using an exfoliating treatment no more than three times a week. In simpler terms, it sounds like alternating a prescription treatment or retinol with an exfoliating treatment is the best way to go.

Step 5: Moisturizer/Face Oil

Once you’ve gotten to moisturizer, you know you’re nearly there. (Good job! Now you just have a 16-step makeup routine to get through). For your nighttime routine, Dermstore recommends adding face oil before your moisturizer, with the warning note that “if you are using the right moisturizer…nothing is going to get through it.” Cosmo, however, vehemently disagrees, stating “no products can penetrate an oil, which means they need to be applied last.” Cosmo also recommends putting a retinol-based product between moisturizer and face oil, while Dermstore lumps in retinols with your pre-moisturizer treatments. One of my new products is a face oil that contains retinol, so no matter what I do I’ll be f*cking up one of these rules.

My best advice here is to try it both ways (the order of your oil/moisturizer/retinol), and see what feels best to you. Since oils and moisturizers vary in thickness and active ingredients (and everyone’s skin is different!), do whatever feels best for your face. In my case, I’ve found that mixing the face oil with moisturizer is most effective for absorbing both products.

Step 6: Sunscreen

This is a morning-only rule, obvs, but it’s also one you need to follow every single day. Is it annoying? Yes. Does it feel like it will solve all your problems, like serums and essences do? It does not. But just do it, because otherwise you’ll get dark spots and sun damage that only a laser can fix. And that’s way more expensive than even the fanciest sunscreen option.

Hilary Duff may not be able to name babies, but she can still give good skincare advice!

What have I learned from this article? Well, I’ve wasted at least $50 of skincare products in the past week, that’s for sure. And my vague inkling that I was loading on too many products every day was validated. My final note here is that if any of this advice goes against what a dermatologist has told you—go with the dermatologist. My dermatologist gave me the simple outline of “cleanse, treat, moisturize, sunscreen,” and actively warned me against incorporating anything else. It’s only because I’ve followed her advice faithfully for six months that I feel comfortable building back in other products. So, listen to your doctor, listen to what your skin tells you, and if you have an eye cream you like, hit me up in the comments—I’ll be spending the rest of my afternoon shopping.

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4)