Forget The Raunchy Headlines, Here’s What Cosmo Really Does For Women’s Sex Lives

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Anyone who’s ever trashed Cosmo may owe the steamy ladymag an apology.

Cosmo‘s readers viewed premarital sex as less risky and prioritized their own sexual pleasure, according to a study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Over 150 Midwestern college students were split into two groups: The control group was told to read the Catholic-school-friendly Entertainment Weekly, while the experimental group read racy Cosmo articles like ‘‘How to Make Fast Sex Fab’’ and “10 Sizzling Secrets of Women Who Love Sex.”

As anyone would’ve guessed, the ladies reading about “fab” sex had less reservations about its risks and were more likely to demand their share of the loving. This, we might add, despite the magazine’s long tradition of running Insert-Crazy-Number-Here Ways For Exciting His Insert-Random-Male-Body-Part-Here.

The researchers concluded that the overall message was empowering (score one for third-wave feminists who always found Helen Gurley Brown’s sex-positive message encouraging). Yet they concluded that it could be alienating to women who don’t necessarily have multiple orgasms on command (our words, not theirs).

Another interesting finding? Turns out the message applies more to white girls: women of color didn’t share the same assertiveness and carefree attitude toward premarital sex.

Does this mean that from now on, you can just casually leave an issue of Cosmo spread-eagled on the bed as foreplay? Maybe. Either way, tips for tickling his pickle and ways to steam up his sheets are here to stay, for better or for worse.

[Eureka Alert]

Full disclosure: Yelena Shuster has written for, so consider her someone to beg your forgiveness from.

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