Cosmo Ain't What It Used To Be

But then, nothing is, right?

How many of you read Cosmopolitan? If you do, do you read the American edition, The British, or perchance the Israeli one? There are plenty other editions, of course, in other languages and countries, but I assume they have much in common: What to wear [the skinny jeans or the ones you can actually breathe and sit in? The dark grey or the dark-dark grey burqa?]; which hair-mousse/lipstick/eyeshadow is fashionable [not the ones you already have and paid a pretty penny for, that's for sure;] how to ask your boss for a raise [refer to the Body Language book first;] and – most important of all, the perennial best-seller – sex, sex, sex.

See, I feel that I owe you a follow-up to my post of October 14th, where I went on and on about what-book-to-take-on-vacation. The upshot was, I didn't take any book. I bought a Cosmo at the airport. I do that occasionally, mostly on trips, to while away the time in airport lounges and the like. I wouldn't read it while sitting in a waiting room here in Israel: someone might think I'm a shallow person who doesn't appreciate Literature, god forbid! But everything goes in the anonymity of a large international airport. ["Hey, see that silvery-haired woman in blue over there? Isn't she the one who hands out the tickets to the Ptashka jazz concerts?.. Quick, I'll hide the Cosmo!"]

Don't remember when I first discovered Cosmo. Possibly on my first trip to the States in 1972. Sure, it had articles on sex in those bygone days, too. I Googled and found a pic of the October 1972 cover. Let's see now, how many articles about sex does that issue contain, and how are they worded?

  • The Bugaboo of Male Impotence [Great, I just learnt a new word. How come baby stroller manufacturers decided on a word meaning "irrational fear" for their product name?... Are new moms terrified of strollers?...]
  • The Undiscovered Joys of Having a Chinese Lover [is that even politically correct?]
  • Analyst's Couch: The Unfaithful Husband [that qualifies as being about sex, right?]
  • How to Get Your Husband to Love You Like a Mistress (and Keep you Sexy and Satisfied) [Sounds a rather indirect approach…]

Other topics mentioned on the cover are low blood sugar, yoga, weight reduction, an excerpt from a novel, a short story, and more. Out of the 11 front-cover topics, four deal with sex, in one way or another, in fairly tame, polite language.

Now let's consider the November 2010 issue (American edition):
Look at the slightly shy cleavage of Tuesday Weld (on the 1972 cover), half covered by the huge pendant, as opposed to the in-your-face cleavage of Katy Perry with the tiny, strategically placed pendant. Notice the coy placement of Weld's left hand, compared to Perry's forceful gesture. Then Look at the modest font used for the list of topics on the 1972 cover, as opposed to the screamingly huge titles on the 2010 cover. Then consider the wording of some of the topics:

  • First, Take Off His Pants. Next, Treat Him to the Sexy Strokes He's Been Craving All Along… but Won't Ask For [well, at least they used capitalization rules correctly…]
  • Wicked Things Other Women Do in Bed (Our Naughtiest Sex Poll)
  • What Your Turn-Ons Reveal
  • Uh, well… the other topics are more loosely related to sex…

But the articles inside more than make up for it, with absolute must-know, hot information, such as Should You Have a Sex Code, Keep Your Long-Distance Love Hot, Feel Closer After a Fight, Your Top Sex Fantasies Analyzed, Sex Q+A, etc.

And of course, an all-time favorite that has absolutely nothing to do with sex, we women do it for sheer fun and enjoyment – Get Killer Abs in 6 Minutes a Day.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm no prude. And though the magazine has been on our coffee table for three weeks now, I've read only a fraction of its glossy, enticing 240 pages. I'm a working woman, you know; can't sit around reading Cosmo all day, even if it means I am still ignorant of the Sexy New Finds for My Lips. (Page 80, if you're interested.)

As for what I read during my 2 weeks in the UK – the blog-post is in the making. Hint: We'd ordered 13 books from Amazon UK, and they were waiting for us in Heath Charnock when we got there. [Never heard of H. Charnock? See How to get lost on the West Pennine Moors.]


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