what-womens-mags-taught-girls-oct.a2

October is a month for haunted hayrides, sugar comas, and, if your girlfriend and her advice columns have anything to do with it, lots of discount fashion for her and manscaping for you. Uh oh! If you haven’t already been tied down and waxed against your will (or even if you have), prepare to avoid grooming and other unpleasantries this month with our handy guide to the sophisticated female-mind-control-devices known as “women’s magazines”. It bears repeating: knowledge is power.

Marie Claire

Those of you who are longing for a write-up of what Elle had to say this month might be disappointed to learn that Elle and Marie Claire are pretty much the same (a fetching collection of fashion advice + “real” journalism + sex tips disguised as feminist rallying cries), so we’re just going to stick with M.C. since it had a brighter cover. Those of you who have no idea what any of this means, just keep reading and stop asking questions.

• Why she bought it:

She was blinded by the cover, or she’s upset because the economic downturn has compromised the trendiness of her closet.

• What she learned from it:

…that “sexual activity serves as the vagina’s maid service.” {Expect a little more play than usual, unless she fails to heed MC’s advice, in which case you should feel free to quote directly to persuade her to get in the mood.}

…that she shouldn’t watch Very Bad Things or Bachelor Party if she’s about to get married. {Netflix one or both of these fine films in advance of any pending nuptials. The townie stripper your fantasy football buddies hire for your bachelor party will seem tame in comparison.}

…that all women don’t have a maternal instinct, parenting doesn’t make people more mature, and babies don’t make relationships stronger. {Probably safe to assume she’ll be off the babymaking bandwagon for a month or so, especially if you season pass “Kate Plus Eight” on the Tivo when she isn’t looking.}

…that Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page are BFFs now. OMG. {She might force you to go see Whip It, which – be warned – is rumored to contain some sort of female empowerment message. Also, there’s a picture of Barrymore and Page kissing in the article, but it’s not as hot as you’d think it would be.)

Glamour

The art department really upped the pink ante this month, making the October issue of “Glamour” almost completely irresistible to any girl who is actually a girl. If your GF claims to never read magazines like this, (1) she’s probably lying and/or (2) she definitely broke her rule this month.

• Why she bought it:

The aforementioned female affinity for all things pink, or she’s wondering if some other guy is secretly into her.

• What she learned from it:

… that 70% of women think having a stripper pole in the bedroom is a “don’t”. {Math tells us that 30% of women think it’s a “do,” however, so you still have a case; just call upon the fact that she’s ‘never been a follower of the majority’ and Fergie has one, so it can’t be all bad.}

… that girlfriends make the best stylists, illustrated by ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of Joshua Jackson, Nick Cannon, Justin Long, and Tom Brady, who have undergone remarkable transformations thanks to Diane Kruger, Mariah Carey, Drew Barrymore, and Gisele Bundchen, respectively. {Beware: she might try to shop for you. If you’ve been looking for a sugar mama to buy you some new duds, then rejoice, but if you’re perfectly happy with your daily uniform of Tenacious-D t-shirts and baggy jeans, then remind her that she’s no Gisele Bundchen, so you shouldn’t have to act like Tom Brady. Except you’ll need to find a much nicer way to say that.}

…that she should re-vamp her entire closet and get rid of everything that doesn’t flatter her. {If she proposes that you come over to “hang out” for the afternoon, then you’re probably in for a few hours of questions about how every item in her closet makes her ass look. Bring a flask and check your honesty at the door.}

…that your exes aren’t a problem unless you’re still in touch with them. {Delete those texts you sent to ex #3 last night, even if they were totally innocent, and password-protect your Blackberry.}

…that some men (namely “Jake” the Glamour relationship guru) will fly halfway around the world to declare their love for someone they’re no longer dating. {Hedge your bets by buying her flowers or doing something otherwise unexpectedly romantic; she might be questioning your great boyfriend status if you haven’t made a grand gesture in a few months.}

…that biting and talking dirty in Spanish turns men on. {Just hope she doesn’t take the biting thing too seriously. The Spanish dirty talk can only be a good thing.}

Cosmopolitan

Well, here we are again; as wise elders have said for centuries, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Cosmo’s still the magazine equivalent of the girl you used to “hang out” with under the bleachers in high school, and we’re still dog-earing every other page because there’s just so damn much to talk about. Also, it’s extremely pink this month, perhaps in homage to the feminine allure of its prudish second-cousin, Glamour. And the word “sex” appears on the cover approximately three times, which equates to that girl under the bleachers wearing a very short skirt and not even pretending to play hard to get.

• Why she bought it:

She’s been desperately searching for a reliable source of “bad girl sex” advice, or she thinks the article about Megan Fox will provide her with some motivation to go to the gym.

• What she learned from it:

…that if she wants to wear lingerie as clothing (a la 1980’s Madonna), then she should stick to black, pink and white and keep the rest of her outfit tasteful. {One wonders how the outfit can be tasteful if it involves lingerie as outerwear, but that is neither here nor there, because the point is: lingerie in public. You might like it, or you might hate it, but it’s happening, so you’re going to have to go with it.}

…that she should set limits with you before you head off to a bachelor party lest you get too crazy in the champagne room, and that she might regret pretending to be the ‘cool’ girlfriend who allows you to “lick whipped cream off a naked stripper”. {See above for movies she should watch pre-your-or-anyone-else’s-bachelor-party to make your exploits more palatable. Don’t believe her when she says it’s okay for you to lick anything off of anyone. She doesn’t mean it.}

…that YouTube is “sexy”, while XTube is “skanky”. {How is this news to anyone?}

…that you might call her a ‘nag’ if she asks you to do something repeatedly, so instead of repeating herself, she should either “leave the room in a huff” to get you to pay attention or let you see her trying to do something herself {a home improvement project of some description, it would seem} in hopes that you’ll jump in and take over. {This exhausting advice actually comes from a dude, so she’s going to take it seriously. If you happen to notice that she’s asked you to do something more than once, then you should probably just do it to avoid a festival of passive-aggressive terrible.}

…that she can “get naughty tonight” by trying out bondage, giving you a “peep show,” pretending she’s someone else or jumping you when you get out of the shower. {More power to you both, but proceed with caution should she ambush you in the bathroom. Head injuries resulting from slippery tile are nothing to joke about.}

…that there is a “sexy-ass workout” and she should be doing it RIGHT NOW. {Be sure to compliment her ass every chance you get, even if you haven’t noticed a change, and ask her what she’s been doing differently in her workouts. Either it will persuade her to keep up the good work or guilt her into doing the sexy-ass workout Cosmo has helpfully provided this month.}

… that the two of you should invite other couples over for a night of “vino and a sexy game.” {No game is sexy when you’re forced to play it with your lame couple friends, so either turn this into a power hour or lure her away from couples’ night by promising to make all of her wildest fantasies come true. Then figure out how to be the guy that can make her wildest fantasies come true, maybe by borrowing her Cosmo.}