Do you ever wonder where your girlfriend gets those ‘relationship building’ exercises that she forces you to take part in every once in a while? Or why, without warning, she sometimes demands that you name your top five fears and analyze them with her? Oh, friends. You might not be aware, but there is an entire world devoted to teaching women “tricks” such as these, not to mention thousands of other things – from how to dress for their body types to what kinds of guys go best with which seasons – and that world is called the magazine industry. Compelled by some combination of cosmic forces and their ovaries, females flock to these glossy two-dimensional oracles each month in hopes of learning how to land the perfect guy or find eternal happiness. Women, it seems, are powerless against giant pink fonts and articles about accessories.
You don’t care about any of this. However, consider for a moment how it feels to be blindsided by couples’ bingo or an impromptu 1,000-question love survey. Tingly and awkward in an unpleasant way, right? But short of secretly subscribing to Glamour or Elle, how are you supposed to prepare for such an onslaught of coupledom? I feel your pain. So! Ever the humanitarian, I’ve compiled a little taste of what surprises are in store for you during the rest of August. If you forget to compliment your gf’s life-changing hair color after reading this, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Glamour exemplifies what draws women in and keeps them reading cover to cover. Pink font + exclamatory headlines + promises of health, wealth and happiness = femmag slam-dunk.
Why she bought it: She’s powerless against Taylor Swift’s alluring, vacant stare; she yearns for better ‘fat day’ jeans than the ones she currently has.
What she learned from reading it:
• That Justin Timberlake thinks guys need to “save their bravado for the golf course.”
FYI: everything JT says – even things that don’t make a whole lot of sense because, come on, how many people play golf all the time besides dandies like him? – is gospel. Accept it. And don’t be surprised if she rags on you about how your friends are always trying to one-up each other at the bar; instead, win points by agreeing that some guys are just too competitive for their own good, then pensively practicing your golf swing.
• That she’s allowed to wear denim leggings as long as she covers her butt.
FYI: denim leggings are an assault on the senses, not to mention all that is natural and good in the world. If you don’t make a point to tell her how much you love her in a sexy pair of jeans, then you might be stuck dating Molly Ringwald circa 1985, complete with chunky, mid-thigh sweaters and synthetic legwear. Safeguard your right to stare at her ass in a proper pair of pants while you still can.
• That sex toys are totally hot right now (and that they even come in fun shapes and sizes)
FYI: get her a little drunk and take her on a shopping spree at the adult toy store. A double-duty ducky is truly the gift that keeps on giving. She’ll certainly want to return the favor.
• That ordering a shot of whisky is sexier than going commando.
FYI: cut the night short after shot #3; whiskey might be sexy, but puking in your Camero definitely isn’t. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.
• That once in her lifetime she should have sex in a public place.
FYI: there’s no time like the present – help her cross this one off her bucket list right away.
Don’t be fooled by the muted colors and reference to Miley Cyrus’s newfound maturity: Elle is like the thinking-girl’s Vogue, and when it stops gaping at haute couture long enough to offer up some advice about guys and life, it has a strangely potent power over the women who read it.
Why she bought it: She possesses an interest in the life-altering possibilities of hair color.
What she learned from it:
• That she should wear a neon and nine-inch heels this fall.
FYI: you won’t have to worry about losing her in a crowd, but you might want to consider investing in some platforms if you aren’t a fan of looking like an oompa-loompa.
• That Channing Tatum ate a cheese slice, an apple, some grapes, and four peanuts for lunch while training for G.I. Joe.
FYI: she might be on your case for a while about your Whopper-a-day habit; Channing is a ripped, tasty hunk of dreamcheese. If you’re looking to start a fitness regimen and/or eating disorder, then now’s the time.
• That men aren’t attracted to women with short hair.
FYI: probably best to stay far away from this argument, even if you agree, lest you be seen as the misogynistic oppressor looking for his submissive Rapunzel. The freedom to pull a Sinead O’Connor is something most women cherish, even if they’d never act on it.
• How to make “beet and kumquat salad.”
FYI: it’s really a most delightfully-named salad, but don’t eat it if she makes it, because it sounds pretty terrible.
• That she should measure the distance between her pleasure points to find out if she’ll be able to get off properly during missionary.
FYI: assist her in this important endeavor, if only for the sake of science; whatever the result, you’ll figure out how to be even more awesome in the sack. Information is power.
I was perplexed to discover that Marie Claire still exists, but, as it turns out, it’s chock-full of fun, useless facts. Awesome. There’s also a possibility that your girlfriend might have run out of other things to read, so despite my initial apprehension, we press on.
Why she bought it: She loves Fergie Exclamation Point!, or she wants to know which U.S. city holds the best odds for snagging a ‘seriously great guy’ (watch out: it might not be the one you live in).
What she learned from it:
• That a woman in Nevada is selling her virginity for a reported $3.2 million.
FYI: prostitution is legal in the NV, but that doesn’t make this okay… except if your girlfriend thinks it does, in which case, there will still be no reason to care. Probably best to let her air her grievances about this if she feels the need… otherwise, just use it to spark conversation at your next dinner party.
• That there’s a giant boob statue in Qingyuan, China.
FYI: the magazine was a little late in ‘breaking’ this story, but the picture is so fun! Let’s get that statue a residency stateside.
• That some cities are better than others for meeting guys.
FYI: if you aren’t living in one of the cities with the ‘seriously great guys’ – which are, apparently, New York, LA, Chicago, Seattle, and… Columbus? – then you might want to watch out for any resumes she leaves lying around or Google searches for apartments on one of the coasts. Man-finding is serious business, so if you aren’t on your game, she could very well head for greener pastures.
This one is. a. GOLDMINE. If your girlfriend is reading Cosmo, then you can rest assured that her primary interests rank as follows:
1. Pleasing you sexually
2. Not scaring you away with her emotions
3. Acting like a porn star as often as possible
So you’re pretty much free and clear this (and all) months. Nonetheless. This one is too amazing not to discuss.
Why she bought it: She glanced too quickly at “5 Things That Can Blow a Job Interview” and thought she was getting something different; she can’t wait to read the wisdom of the ‘Orgasm Whisperer’.
What she learned from it:
• That the phrase “you are so hot” makes your love ‘cheat-proof’
FYI: okay, so apparently that’s what Rielle Hunter said to John Edwards to make him cheat on his wife (… according to his wife), so if she “whisper[s] ‘you are so hot’ at the beginning of a long meal” (thanks, Cosmo), then just smile and enjoy the compliment. Whether she thinks you’re cheating or has a little insecurity thing happening, lay off the shameless flirting for a little while (unless you’re in the market for a new GF).
• That she should send you more dirty texts.
FYI: bonus for you! Enjoy it. Other bonuses from this month’s issue: using lube will give her goof-proof orgasms (they’re just wrapping it up and handing it to you, aren’t they?), and that she shouldn’t ask you to ‘check in’ when you’re out with the boys, because it isn’t cool. If she’s still nagging you during poker night, then she probably isn’t reading the ‘Cos.
• That the hottest thing she can say when she sees you naked is “I want you inside me.”
FYI: wait. Seriously? Come onnnnnn. I think I legitimately guffawed when I read this, which alarmed my coworkers, as it was during my daily five-hour lunch break. I don’t know what to tell you about this one. Just try not to laugh if she goes for it; it’s the thought that counts.
• That she should get you a bar of soap and tell you that the smell turns her on in order to get you to smell less like a barn animal.
FYI: if your girlfriend buying you a bar of soap wouldn’t normally make you think you really needed to bathe , then this is your wakeup call. Why not save her the trouble and just take a shower? Once a week doesn’t count.
• A “naughty sex-dare game” – with tear-out cards!
FYI: the game is kind of amateur, but it’s bound to be interesting for an hour or so. Let this be a gateway activity to more fruitful pursuits.