Please, Daddy, Buy Me A Pageant

Say, “Hello!” to Miss Kentucky Automotive Wholesalers Association of 1960, Miss Frieda Friedli. (Just one ‘N’ away from Frieda Friendli!)

The photo appeared in the February, 1961, issue of Magic Circle, a publication of Perfect Circle Corporation. The photo’s caption explains that Frieda, who would then compete for the 1961 title of Miss Kentucky (she would not win), was — drumroll, please — the “daughter of KAWA director Tom Friedli.” Umm…

There’s a whole lot more to come from this single issue; stay tunned and watch for the pings.

Cosmo Aims To Sweep Her Off Her Feet With Bad Sex Advice

At Motherhood Metamorphosis, Deanna writes, “You Know Sex Ed Is Really Bad When… Cosmo can’t even get it right. In their instructions for Sex Position of the Day: Sensual Shower, their diagram for how to achieve erotic thrills literally misses the mark — the genitals don’t even line up.”

And then she proves the point, by illustrating the error of Cosmo‘s ways.  (If you’re a curious grown-up who won’t be offended, click here to see the line drawings.)

The one thing that Deanna failed to note is that along with impossible penetration, the female form is levitated. Perhaps that’s Cosmo pandering to men again, allowing him to imagine his pen-is a mighty sword, capable of lifting women off of the ground

Make-Up Works: Exaggerated Beauty Gets Noticed

Also in the December issue of Psychology Today, Mina Shaghaghi reports on the findings of a series of studies by Richard Russell of Gettysburg College which explains the “allure of dramatic eye makeup and va-va-voom red lips on women has biological roots.”

It seems that what glamor girls do (whether they know it or not) is increase the contrast of the eyes and lips against the rest of the face — and such contrasts communicate femininity and attractiveness.

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These studies indicate that it’s not so much the colors of your cosmetics, but that they darken the eyes and lips, making the rest of your complexion pale even more by comparison.

For more on this, visit Richard Russell’s Research page (scroll to the bottom for the Artificial Enhancement of Facial Signals studies).

Two Tickets To Erotica Novella-Land, Maxim Style

In a real shocker, Maxim publishes obvious sex information with girl-on-girl photos. (Just ‘cuz hubby got shafted with a Maxim replacement subscription when Stuff folded, does he have to keep re-subscribing? Maxim ain’t no Stuff; Stuff was Stuff. ‘Nuff said?)

Anyway, the article is all about how people have more sex (including kinkier sex) on vacation because they’re relaxed. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the best vacation spots for steamy sex are literally hot spots, like the tropical islands. I think the only stereotypical thing Maxim missed in the trite and trashy Have Condom, Will Travel was a reference to powerful thrusting love swords.

Anyway, if your man’s a subscriber to Maxim and he suggests taking you away for a relaxing vay-cay, well, you know what he’s expecting.

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Can He Last Three Minutes?

In the November issue of O (and that stands for Oprah, not Orgasm or Overstock.com), Dr. Helen Fisher discusses love at first site — or something rather close in her What’s Love Got To Do With It? column, “The First Three Minutes.”

Retro Tina-Turner-tune-title aside, the article itself is rather fascinating as it says that the first three minutes are essential for romance — and yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as love at first sight.

Fisher says — and my decades of dating experience agrees — that it takes less than one second to decide whether you find someone physically attractive. Then, if the dude passes, women listen. But what they are listening for may surprise you…

Women generally regard rapid talkers talkers as more educated and men with full, deep voices as better-looking than they are.

What the men say is also important — but, it seems, that even if we don’t really love the sound of our own voices, we are hoping to hear ourselves:

We like people who use the same words we use.

We are also drawn to those who have a similar degree of intelligence, share our religious and social values, and come from the same economic background — and we quickly determine these attributes from a man’s words (not to mention how he dresses and wears his hair, whether he’s carrying a briefcase of a soccer ball, and if he’s sporting a gold watch or a tattoo).

If all this sounds a bit too easy to be true, Fisher notes a survey by Ben-Gurion University’s Dr. Ayala Malach-Pines which says that maybe it is: Only 11% of her survey respondents said their long-term relationships began with love at first site.

So then Fisher points out that psychologists say that the the more you interact with a person you like (even slightly), the more you will come to find them good-looking, smart — and the all important “similar to you.”

Unless, that is, you discover a real deal-breaker.

But then that’s what dating is for, right? To spot the bad stuff before you have the mortgage, the kids, and a dog you both want.

Click the pic to read the entire scanned article:

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College Co-Ed Dating Humor, 1950

“The relationship of a boy and a girl is like the hands on a clock…”

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The above was said by a student on NBC’s Halls of Ivy, a show which, according to Quick magazine (March 27, 1950), “twits life in a co-educational college.”

I’m not sure what the heck ‘twits’ means… I don’t think it was an lame attempt by the media to sound cool about Twitter — but likely was a lame attempt to sound cool period. *wink*

Why Asking That Trite Astrology Question May Not Be So Dumb

In the December issue of Psychology Today (fast becoming my favorite magazine), Matthew Hutson shares unusual and revealing information about birth months and personality, saying, “Astrology may be bullocks, but your month of birth still guides your fate.”

No one is sure why birth dates affect mental traits, but environmental effects during the third trimester (weather, amount of daylight, seasonal variation in the mother’s diet) are often blamed. Here’s what you birth date might portend.

And if such things as “people born in summer are more outgoing, curious, and imaginative, and less neurotic” are true, knowing the birth date of your mate — or potential mate — might give you some clues too. Click to enlarge and read the scan.

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The First Lady On What To Look For In Your Number One

1026-glamour-cover-michelle-obama This November, history will be be made when — for the first time in Glamour‘s 70-year history — a First Lady will appear on the cover of the magazine. Michelle Obama not only will be on the cover, but she’ll be honored with a Special Recognition award for her commitment to mentoring young women.

Included in the feature, some Q & A with the First Lady — including this bit of dating advice on assessing Mr. Right for the long-haul:

“Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul…When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good,” the First Lady says. “You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.”

You can find out more at Glamour‘s blog.

Divorce: Is It Really Funny ‘Cuz It’s True?

At first glance, these “grounds for divorce” snippets from a 1949 issue of Quick magazine seem funny — but then you read them, and then…

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You realize that it’s not funny when a husband controls and limits his wife.  Sure, painting a car so that it’s too embarrassing to be seen in it sounds funny (and it sure isn’t flattering to Zona, making her look like a shallow materialistic person), but he has no right to limit her life like that.

And it sure, Tai-chien’s divorce story lends itself to a visual of his four wives disagreeing with his opinion that multiple marriages are OK — providing a punchline worthy of Leno. But Tai-chien broke the lawand probably four hearts too.  That’s not so funny, is it.

Whatjamacallit Wednesday: Myrtle The Turtle

My mother is the one who started it, this tradition of making up silly songs to sing to your kids. I’ve twisted it onto singing songs about my children, usually silly rhymes sung to melodies from television themes songs — like Hunter’s Boo-Bear, Meet The Boo-Bear based on The Flinstones.The kids used to love it, but then they grew older and not-so-much… I must now wait for them to grow old enough to appreciate them again.

One of Allie’s favorites was grandma’s Myrtle The Turtle who would “swim any hurdle — just to be near her Allie.” So when I found this Myrtle The Turtle, a story by Ernestine Cobern Beyer (illustrations by Mildred Gatlin Weber), inside the July 1964 issue of Wee Wisdom, I instantly thought of Allie and began singing the song. Thank goodness I was home alone flipping through the pages & singing, or… Well, let’s just say that if the kids who know the songs and presumably love me no longer can rise above my crazy singing to enjoy the special memories created by such silly songs, how can I expect the general public to?

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My mom bought me this vintage copy of Wee Wisdom when we were out antiquing together because she know how much I love Great Danes. Now that I’ve found Myrtle in here, I wonder if she’ll want it back? …I myself am tempted to remove the Myrtle pages (ack!) and frame them for Allie for Christmas. Better yet, just make really high quality scans, print two great copies and frame a set for each of them… (If either one of them pop in here, all bets — and gifts — are off.)

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Romancing The Van: Ephemera Proves There’s Someone For Everyone

Two years ago, hubby and went to the junk yard to get replacement doors for our van, Ookla. I was utterly fascinated with the junk yard itself and was almost disappointed when we found the right doors — but the adventure wasn’t quite over yet…

I sat down inside the van, to get out of the hot sun, while Derek went about the business of removing the doors from the junked van; I looked about. Clearly the last owner’s belongings had not been cleared out of the vehicle. Paper and trash were strewn about, but then there it was — a Playboy magazine. Water-damaged and smelling of mildew, but there it was, right next to a bottle of Axe body spray. Does it get any more kitsch than that?!

(Now, before I go any further, you should know a bit more about when we went to purchase Ookla, our old conversion van. When the salesman unlocked the vehicle and showed us the spiffy airline lights which ran along the floor and the ceiling, the first thing I said was, “Hey, was porn made in this van?” Both the salesman and Derek blushed. So I’m neither a prude nor surprised that the previous owner of this van was also marked with smut — it just seemed to be a sign that along with make, model and year, these doors were the right match for dear old Ookla.)

But before I could reach for that Playboy, my eye spotted something else…

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Yup, that there is a used tampon, folks.

I carefully reached for the Playboy. It was only the cover and badly damaged — but where there’s a cover… So I kept looking about, being very careful where I put any part of myself, least I find another tampon. Or worse.

Next, I spotted a notebook with a fancy silver foil cover. Only the first page was written on — a cheap attempt at fantasy fiction, with the main character discovering a magical notebook with a silver cover. (Yeah, I took that home for giggles later.)

I then found a bill for the van’s last oil change, paid for in 2005; been sitting here awhile, I guess.

I eventually found the insides of the Playboy and I put them with the magazine cover pages and the silver notebook just as Derek called for my help to hold the doors while he took out the last bolts.

I got out of the van, headed to the back. Standing there, just holding the doors, I scanned the insides of the van from this new angle. Immediately I note Star Wars light saber boxes — not one, but two of them. If the amateur sci-fi-slash-fantasy-fiction and Axe wasn’t proof enough of an under-sexed goober, the Star Wars weaponry was. This van was owned by a nerd. A nerd who, according to the oil change bill, had the first name of Jim.

Then I spy something else…

“Hey, Derek, what’s that by your foot?”

“Huh?”

“What’s that black thing by your foot?”

“I dunno. Let’s get this door off…”

We set the door down and I go to get a closer look at the black thing which was by his foot. It’s a bit of fabric… After the tampon, you’d think I’d be leery, but I had to know what it was, so I cautiously picked it up.

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In my hand I then held one very small pair of black nylon panties, bikini style — with lots of lace. I should’ve dropped them like they were on fire, but they were very, very clean looking. I started laughing.

Oh my God, it looks like Jimmy had himself a woman. At least once. A light-saber-playing, small-black-panty-wearing, menstruating, Playboy-accepting woman who could tolerate the smell of Axe.

There’s someone for everyone.

Uh, My Eyes Are Up Here, Bud.

Every female who has had to remind a male to look her in the eye (or at least her face) as opposed to looking at her breasts when talking to her — and that’s a whole lot of us! — will find this item annoying.

In the October issue of Cosmo, Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badgley models this “winking” sweater by French Connection:

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Do men really need to be encouraged to look at our boobs? Do they really need to be more confused about where to find out eyes?

The official name of the sweater is “Lush Lashes” — and while they may only charge you $128 to purchase it, the cost to women everywhere is much, much, higher.

About Those Notches On Your Bedposts…

That September/October issue of Psychology Today is chock-full of incredible information on relationships. On page 45, an article by Jay Dixit examines how men & women remember and count their sexual partners.

Conventional wisdom tells us that men inflate their numbers, while women demur their digits — and according to this article, that’s true. But why? Are we both lying to look better, with men trying to project their stud status and women trying to protect their reputations — or their lovers’ feelings?

Norman Brown, a psychologist at the University of Alberta (who finds that American men report an an average of 18 while women report an average of just 5), says it’s not simply a matter of lying. “It has to do with self-presentation, estimation, and memory.”

Women are more likely to “just know,” or to have a tally somewhere, a method psychologists call “notches on the bedpost.” Women are also more likely to use enumeration (“Let’s see, Dave, Tarik, that guy from the gym…”), which produces underestimates, since people forget instances.

Men are more likely to use rough approximation (“Jeeze, I don’t know, like maybe 50?”) or rate-based estimates (“Let’s see, one a month for the past five years…”) — a method that produces overestimates.

But the gender discrepancy isn’t just a matter of poor counting either; the survey method itself matters.

Extremely sexually active women downgrade phone estimates compared to onine. (Men don’t.)

While the article doesn’t expound, I’m guessing vulnerability and anonymity are key here.

Another factor is undersampling prostitutes, who don’t get included in surveys due to “lifestyle issues” — they’re not in the phone book and they aren’t often home during dinner hours.

This is especially important, in my mind, because male clients are included in the surveys — and surely such professional interactions inflate their numbers. (Enlarge scan below to see evidence of this in male celebrities’ self-proclaimed numbers — which, by the way, does not include female celebrities. Arg!)

Surprisingly, men base their sexual partner count on the overheard comments of others — lowering their count to match conservative opinions, raising their count to match permissive sentiments. Women who overhear such conversations are unaffected.

I cannot but help to wonder if it this sheep mentality on the behalf of males which dictates a knee-jerk response to the “moral majority” — men clearly are more insecure and willing to submit to conservative cultural conformity (in word, in preaching; not in deed), and this must drive much of our current politics and societal conversation (including the control of women who aren’t affected by such espoused norms).

The article ends with more familiar territory; in which men are more likely to inflate their numbers when the researcher is female, even though the research shows that the more sex partners a man has had, the less attractive he seems.

Wouldn’t it just be simpler if men just resisted the urge to do or say anything to get laid? It doesn’t work anyway.

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Best Magazine Covers Of The Year

Over at Pink Populace Paparazzi Parade Exposé, Alessia (of Relationship Underarm Stick) posted a challenge for all of us to participate in & discuss Amazon’s Best Magazine Covers Contest; these are some of my votes & thoughts.

I might be a lesbian, or at least bi, because I bypassed the obvious beefcake of Matthew Mitcham & Rafael Nadal and voted Angelina’s Vanity Fair Cover as The Sexist Cover.

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Too bad I also couldn’t vote it Most Delicious Cover too.

But that honor had to go to Bon Appetit (August 2008) — mainly because something had to get the bad taste out of my mouth from the October 2008 cover of The New York Times Upfront featuring some kid biting into a (live?) raw fish head; and I can choke down ice cream in most any circumstances.

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Speaking of stuffing your pie-hole…

The Advocate‘s May 2009 issue illustrating the Porn Panic feature is awesome. I want that as a poster. So it got my vote for Best in News & Business.

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For Best in Fashion & Beauty, I simply couldn’t — wouldn’t — vote for the February 23, 2009 issue of New York. While I’d love to support a cover featuring a completely un-retouched photo of a model, I simply will not support Kate Moss. Won’t my future payments for her methadone treatments be enough?

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So it was the May 2009 Elle with the submerged Barrymore which got my vote for Best in Fashion & Beauty; because fashion & beauty are both about unrealistic fantasies, and I’m fine with that. (I am not fine, however, with people who contort, mutilate and harm themselves in pursuit of such fantasy — nor with those who wish to impose fantasy as a reality.)

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However, I must state that the Elle cover beat the October 2008 cover of W, featuring a delicious Anne Hathaway, by a (long-held) breath.

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Another close category was Best in Science, Technology & Nature. I was torn between the beauty of Andrew Zuckerman’s portrait of a blue-and-yellow macaw on the cover of the August 2008 issue of Audubon and the effective use of typography on the May 25, 2009 issue of New York.

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In the end I voted for the macaw; but I now feel bad, like I gave New York “the bird.” But then, once I saw the Audubon cover, I started thinking about Fred, the blue & gold I almost bought years ago, and was distracted… Which is contrary to the “why distraction may actually be good for you” story New York was illustrating, so things may have ended as they ought to have… But my distraction was not good for you, New York.

While I enjoyed Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s Entertainment Weekly cover, when it comes to Best Obama Cover, the clear choice — the only choice — is the May 3, 2009 cover of The New York Times Magazine. This incredible portrait of an intelligent, concerned & pensive man was neither posed nor done in a studio.

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It’s a good thing for Angie & Vanity Fair that this cover wasn’t an option for Sexist cover; bad thing for me though — this photo of Obama makes me hot.

The Colbert & Stewart cover got my vote for Best in Entertainment & Celebrity, though. (And with Colbert’s Nation behind him, there’s no doubt it will win at least one of the categories; let’s hope it’s this one, not Best Obama cover.)

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Real Simple (June 2008) got my vote for Best in House & Home.

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That, my friends, is the dream of all dreams. Forget your fancy artistic homes that you know are no more livable than the fashion fantasy cover of Drew Barrymore underwater, organization like that is something far more compelling… It’s functional beauty. I hope. It’s a nirvana I’ve long imagined… Especially when searching for that mauve pencil — one that’s not too pink, not to lavender, but mauve.

Andy Anderson’s photo is so incredible, that I quickly voted for it as Best in Lifestyle — it wasn’t until I was here, blogging, that I realized I voted for Garden & Gun (December 2008/January 2009). Garden & Gun?! That’s a magazine?! It sounds more like some word association game held by college dorm dwellers passing a joint… But, uh, OK. And pass the Cheetos, please.

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The last category was Best in Sports & Fitness. As a sedentary blogger, the most exercise I get is walking to the mailbox & carrying my magazines back to the house, so what do I know?

In the end, I voted for the Sports Illustrated cover, bypassing more beefcake — Justin Timberlake on the cover of Golf. I could argue that golfers get about as much exercise as I do, or that I the SI cover had two nearly-bare male bods; but honestly, I just wanted to start organizing my desk so that it would look like the cover of Real Simple.

Now it’s your turn; tell me who you voted for in Amazon’s Best Magazine Covers Contest. (Or at least just vote — you could win a $10,000 Amazon.com gift card!)

Health Reader Survey: What’s Sexy Now?

In this month’s issue of Health, reader survey results on the subject of sex.

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Some survey results (and my comments):

75% believe that it is cheating to have a secret e-mail relationship with an old flame

I do believe the “secret” part is a problem, as it connotes an attempt to cover-up. My husband never asks me who I email… If I would be emailing with a former boyfriend or lover, would that mean I would be lying or keeping a secret by omission? Or does his not asking just mean he doesn’t care about my endless emailing? *wink*

34% are friends with an old boyfriend on Facebook or another social networking site

Please note that this apparently includes being friended by one’s 8th grade boyfriend; call me old fashioned, or just plain old, but one’s 8th grade boyfriend is a rather harmless — near forget-able relationship, online or off.)

33% are keeping the social network friending of old boyfriends a secret

If it’s the 8th grade or high school varieties, it isn’t the fear of a “wildly jealous husband” that keeps you mum, it’s the embarrassment, dears.

64% say they “absolutely do not” mention their sex lives via Twitter or other social media site, saying it’s “a perfect example of TMI” — yet 29% “might” read someone else’s “sex tweets”

I suspect this has more to do with people “marketing” aka spamming themselves via Twitter et all and therefore aren’t showing any real aspects of themselves to begin with. But how can your sex live be any more ridiculous than discussing your love or reality television? And perhaps more importantly, how can tweeting about your sex life be any less alienating, personal and off-putting then disclosing your politics or religious preaching? Now that’s too much information.

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(As always, click the pics for larger scans.)

Now this next one (the last one I’ll cover today) is very interesting…

The questions was: Whose affair would be more likely to end your relationship?

The response: 41% said their own affair; 59% said his affair.

Naturally, this discloses that Health has limited it’s questioning to heterosexual couples; uncool. But the question itself, the apparent answer options, and the answers themselves are sort of confusing — not because of the nearly 50-50 split, but because I’m not sure how the respondents interpreted the question… Were they answering that his affair would mean he was ready to move on, so their relationship would end? Or did they mean that they would, selfishly, be (albeit slightly) less tolerant of his affair then they expect him to be of their own?

I’m not sure how I would interpret the Q & A, so I’m completely unclear as to my own answer.

There’s more from this survey, but I’m saving it for later.

He’s Got Wingmen; She’s Got Cock-Blockers

Also in the October issue of Psychology Today, a piece about cooperation in courtship by Matthew Hutson titled I’ve Got Wings. The piece, complete with diagrams for play like a football coach would use, may have been so titled to play upon the old wingman dealio; but that’s only half the story as the brief article, covering research by MIT’s Josh Ackerman and ASU’s Douglas Kenrick, exposes that women and men use their same-sex friends differently:

When a woman is flirting with a desirable guy, her girlfriends will tend to leave her alone, but when she’s interacting with an undesirable, they’ll step in. Conversely, guys will leave a buddy alone if he’s stuck with a dud and provide support if he’s onto something good.

This probably isn’t news to you; but it does concisely explain what’s going on as far as wingmen & cock-blocking.

(Yes, you can click to read/see a larger scan.)

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Also from Hutson’s article:

Three quarters of participants also reported that they’d used a pal as a decoy mate, typically (for men) to demonstrate desirability to other women or (for women) to ward off other guys.

Top reasons people offered for cooperation in courtship were self-satisfaction, help with future access, and friend maintenance. As competitive as the sating world is, humans advance — and defend — in packs.

If I wanted to continue the pun, I’d say something about dating going to the dogs. But I’m too classy to do that.

What Signals Are You Sending? (How & Why To See Yourself As Others See You)

Check out the October issue of Psychology Today; it’s full of great dating information (even if it’s not all listed as such). For example, the cover art & headline “What Signals Are You Sending?” which goes with a feature by Sam Gosling, entitled Mixed Signals.

psychology-today-cover-october-2009In the article, Gosling discusses our personal blind spots to the perceptions that others have of us and how we overestimate not just how we are seen in terms of flattering ourselves, but we overestimate the ability others have to be aware of our internal states & feelings — we overestimate the “extent to which our behavior and and appearance are noticed and evaluated by others — a bias known as the ‘spotlight effect.'”

In many cases, our opinion of ourselves and the perception of others clash — but that’s not even necessarily the worst part; you might not even be aware of it.

You need feedback (direct & indirect) from others to know what they think of you, and sometimes the very things you need to know the most, negative perceptions, are least likely to be communicated.

If you do know how irritating or attractive you are, it’s probably via direct or indirect feedback from others. At work you might find that, despite setting everyone straight on a few issues when you last served on a committee, you haven’t been asked to serve on any since then. If the attributes are positive — such as the fact that everyone likes you or that you’re very attractive — people are more likely to come straight out and tell you about them. If they’re negative, they may forever remain unknown to you.

If you’re tempted to ignore the perceptions of others, don’t! Your body language is outside your own visual field, but others are very aware of them. And your behaviors are, if not similarly unseen by you, understood by you because you (and often only you) know your motivation & reasoning. So others do have clues for their perceptions and attitudes about you.

Even if you think other people are misguided, their perceptions of your character probably do reflect things you do habitually. Once striking set of studies recently showed that a spouse’s ratings of a person’s anxiety, anger, dominance, and solitariness are better than self-ratings at predicting heard disease. The implication: Our spouses are better judges of such traits than we are.

(I think it’s obviously worth noting the traits listed here; that spouses are better better judges of anger & dominance than the person who is angry & dominant. This refers back to the victim’s need to survive and brings up the point that those in an abused person’s support network — from friends & family to doctors, police, social workers & legal professionals — had better trust them when they say his behavior is dominant, threatening, etc.)

When people are asked how long they think their romantic relationship will last, they’re not very good at estimating the right answer. Their friends, it turns out, fare far better. But if you ask people how satisfied they are in a relationship, their ratings accurately predict how long they’ll stay together. In many cases, we have the necessarily information to understand things are they are — but our blind spots don’t allow us to take it into account.

(Yet another reason to really discuss relationships from many angles, including how happy a person is as part of a couple. Doubly important to do so alone when you fear your friend is being abused, so that they can move past the cover story and predictable prediction points of “we’ll be together forever” — which could very well be a taught or fearful response.)

This doesn’t always mean others are right, of course. Sometimes the blind spots are, again, due to the perceptions of others — based on things they observe which do not reflect what’s going on internally with you. This would seem to be especially important at work and when dating, when dealing with people who do not know you very well yet. Since their perceptions will affect how you are treated (no committees, no promotions; no dates or second dates, etc.) it’s important to see what signals you are sending.

Many of us have times when we are misunderstood. People perceive us as cold and unfriendly when we are really just feeling shy, as flirtatious when we’re just trying to be friendly, or as depressed when we’re just tired. Being misunderstood is largely a problem of a lack of information – not communicating effectively with the people around you through your words and body language.

Gosling cites work by Randall Colvin of Northeastern University which indicates that people who are easily judged, those that people just “get,” tend to be extroverted, warm, consistent, and emotionally stable. These traits, called “amplifiers,” tend to increase the expression of other traits as well as the amount of verbal & behavioral information, making them easier to read.

Another trait that makes people easier to “get,” is “blirtatiousness.” Blurters, those who tend to respond to others quickly & effusively, are open books.

Gosling says that if & when you feel misunderstood, you should say & do more. “Even introverts can train themselves to communicate more through their words — telling people directly what they like and how they feel.”

But before you run out there and babble profusely about how you feel, you should know how others perceive you. And the best way to do this is to ask for feedback. And Gosling wants you to ask more than just your mom. *wink* Seek feedback from many others, including at work and, if possible, your enemies. Gosling also recommends using “the cloak of anonymity” that is the internet; suggesting apps like Facebook’s “Honesty Box” or the “YouJustGetMe” app he collaborated in developing.

I suggest you start by considering the obvious. Are you asked to be on committees, invited to parties & events? Are you disappointed that despite all your efforts, you’re still not offered promotions & dates? If you feel you are being passed over or underestimated, then sit down with your friends for some honest talk. Maybe open a bottle of wine first; cuz once that starts flowing, so will the honesty.

The next morning, evaluate what was said and put it in context of who said it and how you perceive them… What can you learn from all of that? And how can you counteract any misperceptions with better communication?

Oprah: At Least 6 Years Late On Domestic Violence

The August 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, has a feature story (beginning on page 154, after the book reviews?!) on how the laws against domestic violence aren’t enforced. The piece, titled “Why Didn’t They Stop Him?” (by Phoebe Zerwick, photographs by Mary Ellen Mark) is an excellent one — and long overdue.

Not only did I pitch this story roughly 6 years ago to Oprah, but the horrible especially because it’s true story of the ordeal of Vernetta Cockerham which resulted in her daughter’s murder is really only half the story.

Every time I start to blog about Oprah and her ignorant stance on domestic violence (she thinks it’s as simple as leaving), I get so infuriated I have to quit; I have 7 posts in draft to prove it. And this one will be short so that I can finally get to posting something without getting so outraged or ill that I cannot continue.

For the past 6 years I’ve contacted Oprah by every means I could find: via her website’s online form, via email, via phone messages at Harpo, and even spoke directly to producers of the show — who told me the half-dozen books and another half-dozen studies on the subject weren’t enough; call back when I published my own book.

Grrr — I’m in the middle of a battle for my own safety & that of my children; the book, and 1 million other things, will have to wait.

Wait for the day someone wants to open their minds to the realities — before another woman &/or her child(ren) dies.

Yes, Oprah, I told you about the Massachusetts study in 2000 which said that as many as 60-80% of restraining orders are not enforced; and I have the personal experiences to prove it. Running from my abuser kinda kept me a bit too busy to write that book.

Yes, I told your staff about the U.S. Department of Justice study that same year which said that arrests were only made in:

47% of the cases in which the victim reported being raped

36% of the cases in which the victim reported being assaulted

29% of the cases in which the victim reported being stalked.

I especially went into great detail about what happens when children are involved in domestic violence cases.

And I emphatically stated how all of this not only results in victims having a loss of faith in the system, how it not only results in keeping victims with their abusers, but how it is further abuse of victims by the system & how it impacts the children involved.

I even offered to put myself at further risk by going on-air to discuss this.

So, while I applaud you for finally getting to the truth of some of the matters involved in domestic violence, Oprah, I wonder why it took you so long? Especially when you had 6 years of my nagging.

I wonder how much longer it will take for you to heed my voice and take up the other issues I have brought to your attention?

And I wonder how many more women & children will suffer & die during that time.

But I guess death just sells more that saving lives, doesn’t it; don’t worry, continue to ignore us, and you’ll have more deaths to put on the cover of your publications.

Oprah, and staff, be prepared for more calls & emails from me.

Might As Well Just Hit Myself With A Rolled-Up Cosmo

cosmopolitan-mag-june-2009The June issue of Cosmo has a cover screaming the usual predatory scare tactics about love, lust, sex and how not to be a fatty. But buried on page 44, the pickle-sized beef patty on an obnoxiously condiment loaded burger, is the meet of the issue.

Is It Ever Okay To Stay If He’s Hit You? is an article prompted by the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation (another topic I should sink my teeth into, eventually), and it discusses how even a shove is dating violence.

While the one page (large font & image laden) article isn’t bad, it barely covers the subject of dating & domestic violence past the surface stuff. However, given Cosmo‘s poor & even dangerous presentation of such serious issues, I suppose I should count my lucky stars that the topic even made it into the glossy — even if it, as it usually does these days, took a celeb situation to warrant any coverage at all.

cosmo-abuse-in-relationshipsBut I’m not thrilled.

Not just because it’s skimpy coverage, designed to provide assistance in gossiping about Rihanna and her “shocking” decision to “take Chris back.” But because it’s buried on page 44 — and the issue isn’t even put on the cover.

Yeah, I know that the domestic violence issue, like rape, is a downer and that it won’t make copies fly off the news stands like Best. Sex. Ever. (I know this from writing Relationship Underarm Stick.) But is it too much to ask that Cosmo give attention where attention is due and at least try to look like it gives a damn about the safety of women? More in-depth — and accurate — articles, please; and load the cover with ’em when you run ’em.

Because while the chicks who read this stuff are probably the least likely to be drawn to important personal safety information, they are probably the most in need of it.

From “The Cosmo Creeps Me Out Files”…

In the June 2009 issue of Cosmo (you know, that magazine I neither subscribe to, nor like), the perplexing page that is number 98, titled “Fun Fearless Female,” a Q & A about T & A with Anna Paquin:

Now, if this page were in Maxim, I could kind of get it… And if Cosmo actually addressed lesbians, I could kind of get it — up until the last bit of Q & A anyway.

Is there anything you wish guys understood about women?

No, because then they’d be girls. It would take away half of what women talk about.

First of all, Cosmo, why does a (supposed) women’s magazine care about offering advice to men about women?

And second of all, Anna, I don’t know anything about you & your friends… But speaking for myself and my friends, we’d rather talk about — and listen to — pretty much anything else other than “my man doesn’t understand me.”

But that’s not the really creepy part.

As captioned by Anna’s photo, a quote from Ms. Paquin:

What’s so endearing about boys is that they’re so different from us — we’re not all wired the same.

Um, Anna, it’s really & truly creepy when a grown woman (and your age is listed as 26, so if anything, you’ve shaved a few years off that number) refers to possible male relationship candidates as “boys.”

Survey Indicates Single Women Aren’t Sleep-Around-Sluts

Continuing my look at the Maxim 2009 Ultimate Sex Survey, I’m struck by results which may indicate that there are less young 20-something so-called “third wave feminists” projecting an image of sexuality which moves past “available” to “equality means living up to male stereotypes” than I thought. I meet a lot of those young women… *sigh* But either they are fewer in number than I had calculated (feared) — or fewer participated in this survey. In any case, I am heartened to read most of the following survey results. (You can click the pic to see/read a larger image.)

maxim-march-2009-page-70

A whopping 67% prefer “rough and dirty” sex — which may sound promiscuous, but not only were the other two options (“over in time for The Hills“, 2% and “slow and gentle”, 31%) lame or limiting (where are the options to mix it up — some sort of combination answer?), but the replies to “How many one-night stands have you had?” were surprisingly low (38.8% said zero, 40.2% said 1-3). And 48% claim the number of sexual partners they’ve had is 1-5. When it comes to cheating, 50.8% say they’ve done it once. (Lived and quickly learned the hard way, I’m guessing.) And just over 61% deny having made any sex tapes.

Bottom Line: These girls aren’t the sleep-around-sluts Cosmo makes ’em out to be. (Or is it that Cosmo tries to make sleep-around-sluts?)

These women are realistic about penis size. The majority (49.5%) say their ideal size is 7-9 inches; runner-up is 4-6 inches with 48.9%.

However, 35.8% say they make their kitty-cats completely whisker-free — and only 3.2% admit to a full fluffy kitty. While nearly 81% prefer a man to trim his pubic hair (good luck with that dream, sister!), 10.2% (the second highest survey result) prefer men au natural — which means women are still more accepting of men as human animals then they are of themselves. (I hope future surveys see some more realistic self-acceptance.)

Maxim Readers In Relationships Met Where?

Continuing my look at Maxim‘s 2009 Sex Survey

An interesting point to note is that of the 45.8% of women who claim to be in a relationship at the time of this survey, 57.3% of them met their current partner via friends. That’s greater than all the other options (18.9% at work, 10.8% at bar or club, 13% online *) combined.

Granted, that list isn’t every possible way for singles to meet, but I think the heavy dip towards introduction by friends proves my point that meeting people through people you know (aka having friends and a social life) works. And that the fact that your friends know & approve of these guys makes dating more likely to turn into relationships; this pre-screening makes these matches more acceptable to your support network and that increases your success as a couple.

This is not to say that there is no other way, but the old traditional methods still apply to dating today.

Meeting through friends means those in the group will have a greater number of things in common. Not just social activities and interests either. Compatibility has as much to do with similar religious, economic, social or class backgrounds, and other cultural issues (the roots of “values,” if you will), which means that your “at home” feeling with one another is more than just the bond of the familiarity of the faces in your social circle.

So hook up through your friends already.

* Click the scan to read the bit titled, Internet Hating; it’s as much a warning as it is a hoot to read. (Unlike my nemesis publication, Cosmo, Maxim‘s humor is spot-on, not kitsch.)

Of Sex Surveys Run By Maxim

OK, I like Maxim — unlike Cosmo, it’s a magazine that’s pretty clear who and what they are all about. But I have a little bone to pick regarding the 2009 Sex Survey in their March issue (yeah, the one with dreamy Dushku on the cover — I’ve got a girl crush on her, and I don’t care who knows it).

“More than 2,000 female readers of Maxim.com, TheFrisky.com, Lemondrop.com, and PopSugar.com, aged 18 to 48 and from all over the country, took our in-depth survey…” Now I’m no statistician, but 2,000 speaking for an entire gender on the globe — or even the nation — seems pretty small. What’s worse, is that I would have expected a greater number than that just from Maxim‘s site; yes, even just female readers of Maxim should be more than 2,000. Then again, a recent survey says that only seven percent of a magazine’s subscribers seek/read the magazine’s website. But that survey only had 316 participants?!

Then you add in the other websites — all of which I’m sure boast more than 2,000 unique visitors a day to their advertisers — and you have what I’d call a diminutive survey participation rate. (Word to my bloggin’ pals: don’t feel badly about poor blog participation/comment ratios; the Big Sites don’t do any better.)

And that’s before we even get to the readership bias issues of pre-selected groups of women…

It’s pretty clear from the canned “In an effort to help the male readers of Maxim magazine understand us women a little better, they’ve asked…” line used in all the posts of the female-centric sites which partnered with Maxim for this survey that the publication sent out a form letter to the sites they selected — and that they selected/defined women based in large part upon the stereotypical female interests of celebrity gossip, shopping and relationship sites. Not all women are defined by such activities and websites. And the latter, women interested in reading about relationships, pretty much precludes women who are happy in their relationships — which would pretty much seem to be the best ones to offer men (and women) insights into what works. But whatever.

While this all sounds like I’m gonna spank some behinds rosy red (and you know I love to wear my leather domminatix gear when dishing media madness and relationship mythology), I don’t entirely disagree with the Maxim survey results.

So stick around for more; I’m breaking it up into more easily digestible points/posts.

I Rant About eBay

Ambiguous Policies: Many of eBay policies are not very clear. In fact, if you keep hitting reply and asking the same question about a policy, each reply will have a different section pasted in the document for you to read. It seems that the interpretation is open… This is especially confusing when it comes to one area of selling on eBay: Nudity on eBay.

I personally collect, and therefore sell, vintage men’s magazines. All of these magazines are 1940s through mid 1960s. Some of these magazines have nudity, some are pin ups. When I buy these items as estates etc, I often wind up with vintage nudist magazines mixed in these lots or stacks. Some of these are airbrushed, some are not. Now the difference between the two magazines is the original intent of the publishers —

Men’s magazines were sold to men, for the primary purpose of titillation. The nudist magazines were published to promote & educate on the lifestyle choice of nudists. As such, the photos are not designed to be sexual. Of course, there are some pretty nude women in there, but there are also families sitting around the pool, and some less than beautiful people as well…

The men’s magazines are (usually) deemed OK to sell in the Collectibles areas of eBay, just at pre-1980s Playboys are – they are not graphic. But the nudist publications? Oh no, those must go into Mature Audiences. (Which I personally find offensive as there are photos of families & children in them, and they were not – nor are they now – designed to excite sexually. By putting them in Mature I feel that I am doing something wrong, — especially when that category prohibits the sale of child pornography. So much so, it bans the use of the words “children,” “child,” “Lolita,” etc.)

But to place nudist magazines on eBay in the Collectibles category (where true collectors are looking &/or bidding on them), you risk being booted. I know. I have been suspended for a 30 days for doing so.

The only place you can sell them on eBay, inappropriate as it seems, is the Mature Audience category.

Mature Audiences: This category on eBay is a complete mess. In order to keep out minors, who according to eBay policy are not allowed to bid or buy anyway (they cannot enter legal binding contracts which bidding & buying actions are), eBay has a lock on the Mature Audience category.

Sure, it seems benign enough, smart even. But how the process works is that you have to hunt to find the category, then when you click to enter it, you get a warning, and you must agree that you are legal, not offended by adult materials, and not going to hold eBay responsible if you pass out while viewing the items for sale. Once you agree, you have to find your way back to the Mature Audience category, and start again.

It is now, for the first time, that the subcategories will show up. And you must be in that category to do searches – a search for “all of eBay” does not include Mature Audiences even when you are signed in – at least not consistently.

Again, this may not seem like a royal pain, but it is for 2 reasons:

#1 Your agreement is temporary. It wears off, and you don’t know it until you see the restricted warnings again.

#2 This second login often locks you out as a seller. For some reason, their system of Adult Cookies is not compatible with the cookies used for members or sellers. Which means you cannot search for similar items when selling to get comparisons for items you are selling, while you are listing. (Oh, and you cannot do a search for past sales on Mature Audience Items.) All of which makes for a difficult time selling in the category.

Other restrictions on selling adult materials are no “Buy It Now” & no PayPal.

All this for a category which is policed enough for illegal items, such as child pornography, bestiality etc.

The bottom line is, all these restrictions hamper buyers from finding items, as well as deter actual sales.

You might say that eBay has a right to be “a family friendly business.” And yes, it is their right. But frankly, they are happy to take the listing fees & get no sales, aren’t they? That money is as “unclean” as a sales transaction – only more evil as they know what the odds are; it’s akin to stealing.

I personally think they ought to just end the “offensive” categories, and stop the confusion.

For more on eBay’s treatment of sellers of adult items, read here.

Cosmo On Being Well-Hung

I kid-you-freakin’-not, in their section titled “The Single Girl’s Bible” Cosmo offers three-step instructions on how to hang a picture. With illustrations. Because it’s just that difficult.

Jeebus.

What the hell, Cosmo, are you actually under the impression that women don’t know how to hang pictures — that we’re on the dating scene because we need to marry a hammer-wielding man or our framed posters of hang-in-there kitties will never be hung on the wall?

While the column is by Molly Triffin and the “how to hang a picture” credits go to Thom Filicia, Cosmo has editors, right? Someone who makes the decisions on what to publish & how to publish it.

And I’ll accept any loose definitions of “editor”…

Like there’s a retarded horny monkey who randomly flings his or her own poo at the things that “need” to be published on the slick pages — a monkey who does this in exchange for food (to make the poo to fling), something for sexual release (a blow-up monkey doll, or a helping hand of some sort), and shelter (some place to eat, screw and fling poo — the office will do).

But then I’m not sure a retarded horny monkey would even suggest that single women wouldn’t know how to hang a picture — at the same time implying that married women have no need for this masculine knowledge.

Women hanging pictures? Using tools?! That’s not just wacky, that’s dangerous!

Thank Gawn I’m married so I’ll never have to learn how to do this. Not.

Cosmo Is For Those With Relationship Autism (And Living 60 Years Ago)

I know that you’re thinking I’m an insensitive bitch for saying “Relationship Autism” — but I have members of my family & friends on the Autism Spectrum (as well as others with similar challenges) and so I know what the hell (and what hell) I am talking about.

I know, I know, I know, that me mocking relationship advice &/or those who need it seems pretty freakin’ hypocrytical — but dude, there’s a difference between honestly trying to help people and doing what Cosmo does. And just what is it that Cosmo does? Oh, thanks for asking — because I’m dying to tell you.

Cosmo tells us things we all should know — like if he strokes your thigh, “sexy one-on-one time” is on his mind. (February 2009 issue.)

A-doy.

Something we all know — unless, of course, you seriously are on the Autism Spectrum or otherwise have a note from your doctor regarding an emotional &/or cognitive deficit. (But if you or someone you know does have such issues, they should not — repeat, NOT — be reading Cosmopolitan magazine. In fact, I don’t know just who should be reading Cosmo…  There’s danger in that-there publication.)

But just in case we aren’t grasping this subtlety of human behavior or have some memory problems, Cosmo wants us to know that he likes it if we grab his thigh too. (March 2009 issue)

This sort of turn-about is about as close to liberated as issues of Cosmo get.

(And no, I am not done with pointing out Cosmo‘s flaws — until they clean-up their act, I’ll keep up my activities alerting you to their irrelevance.)

Neither A Poser Nor A Cosmo Reader Be

If you trust Cosmoand by now you shouldn’t — let me tell you to utterly ignore their “fun & fearless” advice to meet a new guy at a Super Bowl party.

Not only will you be hated for being a football-wanna-be (the reason most real football fans watch the game at home) but you’re dooming yourself to either A) a relationship life in which you must continue to watch football and other sports you don’t like or B) be found out for the poser you are; neither of which is a good thing.

If you really do give a hoot about the Super Bowl, you’d be going already and wouldn’t need Cosmo to tell you it’s a good idea to put on a team-logoed shirt and stand near a similarly dressed male.

Dear Cosmo, I Hate You; And I’m Pretty Sure You Hate Me Too

Cosmo, you claim to be a magazine for women, but with your featured headlines screaming “What Sex Feels Like For Guys: Once You Know the Key Arousal Triggers, You Can Double His Satisfaction” I know who it is you really serve. And it isn’t me.

Honestly, do you really think women need pressure to perform for men — or any partner? Make no mistake: That’s what you are saying when you want us to focus on the satisfaction of others. It’s not like women have a long rich history of selfishness; on the contrary, ours is a history of selflessness. So when your cover also screams “Get More Pleasure: The Secret to Savoring Every Moment” I know it isn’t going to include my sexual pleasure. (It doesn’t. And, as I wrote before, Cosmo doesn’t exactly want us to find pleasure in our naughty dreams either.) It’s clear that you, Cosmo, believe my sexual satisfaction is unimportant, a distant third to pleasing him and capturing him (which is really about pleasing him anyway).

No, I’m so not over this Cosmo issue; and you can’t make me stop ranting about it. Cosmo, with its pandering to men under the guise of female liberation, is actually so misogynistic that it is dangerous. And people need to know.

13 Reasons To Hate Cosmo – In Just One Issue

Gawd I hate Cosmo. It’s like they simply cannot fathom that we see they’ve been running the same articles over & over again since Helen Gurley Brown became editor-in-chief in 1965, and began using the mag as an extension of 1962’s Sex and the Single Girl.

Don’t get me wrong, Sex & the Single Girl was wildly wonderful for the time (and holds up much better than you might think); but it was one book in 1962 and if we’re supposed to have come a long way, baby, then why the hell are we operating off a 1962 manual?

Plus, you can only recycle so much.

Even if you think, “There’s new chicks aging into woman’s mags every year,” you have to accept the fact that they know — or should frickin’ know — that old news is not only old news but hurtful and dangerously inaccurate.

Thirteen Examples Why I Hate Cosmo
(All from the February, 2009, issue.)

1 On page 50, In The Best Times To Impress Him, under “When his buddy gets dumped,” the advice reads as follows:

If your female friend suffers a breakup, you bring over Sex and the City DVDs and talk about how she “feels.” If your guy’s male friend gets the ax, however, he has only one job: to help the dude get laid. So give your man the green light to spend more time than usual acting as a wingman when out with the boys.

Ugh. So A), couples only have same-sex friends, they are B) stereotypes. (My friends and I — male and female — have a strict code that should any of us own &/or view Sex & the City, we are to drive them to the closest impatient care facility & destroy the DVDs.) And C) pimping is good for your relationship, so to hell with the scars on either “your guy’s male friend” or his sexual conquests.

2 Page 54, “How I got him to…” is an ode to man-ipulation. It starts with the “men are easily distracted like babies” — so change his cell phone ring to his favorite tune to keep him from answering it (hey, he’ll like listening to the small clip repeated so much that he’ll totally ignore a call from work, his mom… maybe even you). And then ends with stuff you already should know how to do, like if he says it’s natural to flirt with other women so you’re free to do the same, feel free to do it. (We know it may not make him get jealous and stop like “Chloe” wanted; but hell, neither of you are dead; so why the hell not flirt? Flirting is not picking-up or cheating.)

3 page 67: Beauty News. It’s not “ads” but the usual editorial serving as ads; and even worse, it’s stupid.

When you pull off your tights, a cloud of dust pops up. Cold temps plus indoor heat zap moisture. Switch to a hydrating body wash, like Caress Glowing Touch, $3.50.

4 Page 74: Beauty Q & A:

Q: When I wear heavy fabrics, I sweat a lot. What can I do to prevent it?

A: “Layer a cotton tee under a sweater — the natural fibers absorb moisture,” says NYC derm Doris Day. Also try a stronger sweat blocker, like Secret Clinical Strength Anti-Perspirant, $7.99.

‘Cuz A) believing the “derm” wouldn’t sell Secret ad space and B) asking why she wears sweaters in the first place is out of the question… Because “Q” is a made-up question from struggling editors.

5 Fun Fearless Males 2009, page 83. Heavens, if they are so fun & fearless — and celebrities — why don’t I already know about them? And why would I care? It’s not like I’m so deluded to think that my discovery of them (should I even agree with their sales pitch selections) makes me frickin’ eligible to date them.

6 Page 98: What Sex Feels Like for Him. Yeah, we can count on Cosmo to tell us how our man feels about us & with us; so there’s no need, should we A) actually be curious or B) not already have him telling us what he wants and why, to actually ask our real, not pseudo-Cosmo-guy, ourselves.

7 Page 103 starts 50 Guy Phrases Translated, in which Cosmo rapes other written works, distilling them to hysterical uselessness. Cracking the male “cryptic code” includes translating, “Can we talk about this later,” to, “I never want to talk about this again.”

Gee, really?

I suppose next you’ll tell me that when he says “We should go out sometime,” that he’s just afraid to really ask me out… And “You look hot” means he wants to have sex. Oh wait, that’s #2 & # 29.

8 We are not to be “alarmed” by our “freaky sex dreams, we are soothed (starting on page106).” Sex with the ex, girl-on-girl action, and dreams of sex without condom use aren’t what we fear think they are — nope, they aren’t even hot dreams we should just enjoy.

Cosmo, you’re worse than a wet blanket; at least then I’d have a wet spot & be damn happy for it.

9 In Love & Lust (apparently a regular feature) the Cosmo skinny is that playing hard to get (but not too hard to get) is phat. Yes, it’s 2009 and we believe women don’t know that the thrill of the chase is thrilling to both chaser and chasee. I mean, come on; this is the stuff we all miss when we ‘settle down’ and, if we take each other for granted, end up in divorce court for.

But thanks, Cosmo, for telling the women of today who paid $4.50 for your rag that “texting him your location at all times” is “not hard enough”, that waiting to reply to his text a day later with “Who r u?” is “too hard” but that “sending short texts and resisting the urge to engage in volleys” is “just hard enough.”

10 On page 112, more of Love & Lust, has the classic, “he lost his class ring in my pussy” story. If you don’t know it, ask your dad to tell you a sex joke.

And then work on your freakin’ Kegles for gawd’s sake.

11 Page 192, in Cosmo Weekend Living, we are advised not to make our rooms too girlie &/or paint our rooms pink because “guys don’t feel comfortable in estrogen-heavy rooms.”

Yeah, unless our estrogen-heavy bods are naked; then, like they notice — let alone care.

12 Page 52: Cosmo for your guy — “show this to your man!” Two problems here: A) the whole mag is an ode pandering to negative male stereotypes, so if you’re going to encourage him, why stop at one page? and B) if your guy needs help to know that whispering “Remember that time on the kitchen floor?” is sexier than whispering “I’m so drunk!” to you, I doubt reading it in print in Cosmo will be of any help — to either of you.

(And then he might just flip through it and start thinking about your pink duvet and why you programmed the ringtone on his phone.)

13 Oh, are we at thirteen already? But there’s so much more… OK, I’ll give you just one more & then I’ll stop. For now. The perfumed ads reek. As if I didn’t have a headache already.

PS I didn’t buy this copy of Cosmo; I liberated it my sister-in-law from it. And yes, she heard all of this as an oral presentation as I took it.

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Shut-Up Cosmo: Date Rape Is Not The Victim’s Fault

In the latest issue of Bitch magazine (Fall ’08, Issue #41), a scathing article by Jennifer McDaniel, “Don’t Take Advice From Cosmopolitan, Part 877″, blasts Cosmo’s recent (June 2088) article — and related sidebars — on date rape.

The article, featured on the cover with the line “5 Signs a Guy Is Capable of Rape”, is called “How a Date Rapist Works”; the related sidebar pieces are “Reading a Rapist’s Body Language” and “Personality Traits That Make You Vulnerable”.

On the surface you might think this helpful advice — but only if you believe the imperative premise that women are the ones responsible for men’s behavior. As McDaniel writes:

The article, like its gray-rape predecessor, ends up being both insulting to women and victim-blaming to boot. If a rapist could be identified with such easy-to-spot criteria, what woman wouldn’t readily discern a potential assailant and haul ass out of that bar? Rape victims are traumatized enough without being made to feel that their rapists were giving off clear signals that they were too stupid or oblivious to read.

(For the record, the “grey rape” article referred to was published in Cosmo back in September, 2007; you can find that pile of steaming crap here.)

It’s dreck like this that has had me avoiding Cosmopolitan magazine for a long time now. I hope you’ll avoid it too because the only help you’ll find in those slick pages are how to perpetuate the abdication of male accountability.

Does anyone really need that?

While I want women to be safe (and I hope Cosmo does too), it’s absurd, irresponsible, and down-right hurtful to put the blame for male violence on female victims.

As McDaniel said, “It’s not so surprising that Cosmo still seems to think so little of men that it refuses to hold them accountable for their behavior, but couldn’t they try to expect more from women?”

Instead, grab a copy of Bitch — better yet, subscribe. Because Bitch does expect more from both men and women.