Sex tips from women who don’t want to fuck you

cosmo

Listen up ladies! Cosmo has published a list of helpful tips that will help every woman fake it till she makes it! Since we all know there’s nothing more empowering than fucking men we would only fuck if we had no other choice and depended on it for rent money, the list is called, “Sex tips from sex workers.” Let’s take a look!

Tip number one: Lube. While lube, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, Cosmo’s reasoning behind this tip, which comes from “Andre Shakti, porn performer and producer,” is decidedly, um, disturbing…

“Because porn performers are usually having penetrative sex off-and-on for hours at a time, we’re encouraged to use lots of lube to avoid friction-related injuries and keep things feeling good the whole way through. These days I go through lube bottles in my bedroom like candy.”

Hey ladies, you know how having sex with multiple men for hours at a time isn’t actually enjoyable for women and, in fact, causes injury? A good “solution” to this problem might not be lube… It might be “not having to have sex with multiple men for hours at a time, something likely to cause injury.” I know, I know. It’s very sex-negative to expect sex to be something that women enjoy and that doesn’t cause pain and injury, but hey, try it out!

Tip number two, from “Ingrid Mouth, porn performer and illustrator,” explains that anything that turns you on is “normal.” Presumably, seeing as we’re talking about porn here, and Mouth herself works with companies like Kink.com, a BDSM and fetish site, we’re to understand that violence, humiliation, pain, and torture is a perfectly “normal” thing to be turned on by and that you shouldn’t give the sexualization of common themes in porn — described as “fetishes” — like racism, incest, rape, domination and subordination (Yes! Sex with people of colour counts as “fetish work” in porn) a second thought.

Tip number three I can’t argue with, in theory: “Sex is better when you set firm boundaries.” “Kitty Stryker, adult performer and producer

” explains:

“Sex work taught me that boundaries are not only OK to have but vital for a quality sexual experience. I learned to trust my gut feeling about people and situations, and to be firm about my boundaries. Learning how to say a clear and direct no (and a clear and direct yes) to clients helped me feel more confident doing it in my personal life, and my sex life has been worlds better since I’ve been upfront about my boundaries.”

I suppose what’s most interesting about this response is that it assumes women’s sexual partners to be predatory. Which is, in truth, a fair assumption when you’re dealing with men who don’t see women as human beings but rather on things to be used however a paying customer wishes. Wouldn’t it be swell (and like, totes sex-positive and stuff!) if men actually cared about their sexual partners enough not to try to push their boundaries and to maybe consider that women don’t enjoy being abused so, hey, just don’t try it in the first place? The missing (key) question here is, “Why do men try to pressure women into doing things they don’t want to do or don’t enjoy in the first place?” And why do women have to treat sex with men defensively?

Tip number four suggests “Female ejaculation can help prevent urinary tract infections.” So, orgasms are great if you want ’em/can have ’em/want to have ’em. I assume, though, that in this case what “Zahra Stardust, Feminist Porn Award Heartthrob of the Year 2014

” is talking about is not simply “orgasms” but what’s referred to in the porn industry as “squirting,” i.e. the visible kind of “ejaculation” that is more of a party trick than anything else… Cosmo itself admits, in an article by Anna Breslaw, that “squirting” fulfills a male fantasy — one that men have learned to seek out in women because of what they’ve seen in porn. It’s another way that porn teaches women to feel inadequate as sex performers because they are not, in fact, sex performers. They are women who should not be performing fantasies for their boyfriends but rather should be simply doing what they enjoy doing in bed (or doing not in bed).

Most women don’t “squirt” naturally, but rather have to learn how to do it in order to impress partners. Breslaw writes:

“Female ejaculation is not uncommon in the average woman, says Kerner. A small amount of whitish and milky fluid that’s produced during or just before orgasm, its contents are different than the natural lubrication produced when sexually stimulated. It has a tiny bit of momentum, but it doesn’t shoot out.

On the other hand, ‘squirting’ or ‘gushing’ — copious amounts of fluid that shoot out of the woman at the same time as her supposed orgasm — is actually caused by a deliberate manipulation by the woman of her own body, specifically an intense bearing down on the pelvis, according to Kerner. Basically, a forceful clench and release of the bladder.”

Women do not need to “squirt” in order to have an orgasm and it has little to do with a woman’s enjoyment of sex. In porn, specifically, most of those “female ejaculations” are not, in fact, ejaculations at all. Breslaw references porn actress, Tara Lynn Fox, who confirms “that gushing, in porn — the extreme version of squirting — is often smoke and mirrors. And douches.” Fox explains that, because she couldn’t “squirt” naturally, “the director filled up a bunch of douches with water and had me lay on my back and started filling me up! Then as soon as he thought there was enough he threw the bottle out of sight and hit record — and ferociously started rubbing my clit to make it look believable.”

Now, if women are “ejaculating” naturally and that’s helping them to avoid UTIs, good for them. Peeing right after penetrative sex also helps to avoid UTIs and so it makes sense that female “ejaculate” of the “squirting” variety might help prevent UTIs because that “ejaculate” comes from the urethra and is mostly pee. Also, considering that sex-related UTIs, for women, often come from having “frequent sex,” (UTIs in women are typically caused because the man’s thrusting irritates the back wall of the bladder and “massages” bacteria into the urethra) consider that tons of penetrative sex isn’t all that great for all women? There are, after all, other kinds of sex… There’s even no sex at all! (Gasp.) Though it’s unlikely the male-centered porn industry cares much about that, seeing as what they’re truly concerned with is not women’s health and pleasure, but men’s orgasms. If you want to hear a critique of penetrative sex with men from the sex industry, you’ll be waiting a lifetime.

Number five sounded innocuous and kind of refreshing upon first glance: “Sometimes intimacy can be sexier than sex.” “Kelly Lynn Prime, sensual healing practitioner

,” goes on to say:

“I perform sensual massage, and it’s taught me the power that simple forms of attention hold. Making direct eye contact, for example, or engaging in heartfelt embraces. I have had men cry like babies because I created a soft and receptive space for them to feel like they were heard and that their existence mattered. Sometimes just being acknowledged and creating that bridge of connection through physical contact is more powerful than any orgasm.”

I don’t know… How “intimate” is it to pay someone to pretend to care about you? Why can’t these men find people to hug them for free? Why must all human interactions be commoditized? Why don’t pushers of the so-called “sex-positive” sex industry ever question the commodification of love, sex, and intimacy? Call me old-fashioned (and oh I know you will!), but wouldn’t connecting with another human being who actually is connecting with you and who wants to connect with you, as opposed to faking connection, be far more satisfying?

Tip number six tells us thatrole-play can reignite your sex life completely.” “Cinnamon Maxine, adult entertainer,” explains that “performative” sex need not be limited to “work,” but that you can perform for your partner at home, too! How fun! Porn for everyone, all the time! I mean really, women should never stop performing for the male gaze. Being female is work!

Shakti tells us, under tip number seven that, “there’s nothing sexier than knowing your own body.” This is, undoubtedly, useful advice. Problem is that most porn directors are not “ethical” and do not give any shits about women’s bodies or boundaries. The way that the porn industry works is by pushing women’s boundaries. They push them to do more extreme acts and push them into fetish work when they can’t be sold as “fresh meat,” “innocent,” or “virginal” any longer — this is how women get used up and thrown out so quickly in porn. Cosmo does women a great injustice by pretending as though what women learn from porn is how to feel comfortable with their own bodies and to center their own pleasure. “By trade,” Shakti writes, “porn performers know their bodies as intimately as professional athletes, and that’s super sexy.” Um, ok. Like, in the way that they’re often being treated for “work-related” injuries and can’t work past 25? Sexy!

Women should know about their own bodies, but not so they can please men or be “sexy.”

The eighth and final tip, by “Selina Kyle, webcam model” states, “Dirty talk is good for you.” “People aren’t mind readers,” she says, “and even experienced sex workers can have trouble sussing out a client’s wants or kinks via trial and error.”

Look, communication is great and all, but are we really going to pretend that a man who is paying you to do what he wants and telling you what he wants because he’s paying you is the same thing as communicating openly and honestly with an intimate partner who is (hopefully) your friend and someone who cares about your happiness and well-being? I suppose, based on this entire list, the answer to that question is “yes.” Due to being inundated by neoliberal, everything-must-be-commodified, mainstream faux-feminist discourse, we can no longer separate the one-sided, male-centric sex industry from our actual, personal intimate relationships. The mere notion that women should be taking “sex tips” from women who are paid to have sex and to perform sexuality for men who they don’t desire should tell you how “sex-positive” and pro-woman these tips really are. If there’s anything women in porn and prostitution know, it’s how not to enjoy themselves. That’s not their job, after all. Their job is to get men off, to perform his fantasies, to boost his ego, and to pretend they are enjoying themselves all the while. Conflating the intimacy we share with our partners with the faked “intimacy” performed by women who are in the sex industry because they need to survive — not because they desire the men they service — is, quite simply, a dangerous, misogynist, lie.

Cosmo is a women’s magazine; they shouldn’t be teaching women how to fake it.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • owleyes27

    This is the most depressing thing ever. I love how porn culture & sexual performance has become “empowering” while authentic sexual experience is seen as secondary. It’s all about appearing to be sexual instead of being genuinely sexual. Fuck, so depressing.

    • Tera

      Yes, very much so and it’s constantly being crammed down your throat, I’m hoping more people will become wary and tired of it, as a result. I hope I’m not being too optimistic. Cosmo is for morons; it’s no different than the shit being peddled in Maxim or some other douche men’s mag. Sad that any woman or girl buys into it 🙁 Great article, well said Meghan.

  • Hannah

    Cosmo is terrible.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Even as a young teenager I’ve always known there was something “off” about Cosmo. Amy Schumer has a hilarious skit about Cosmo coming up with their top sex tips column.

    Was discussing squirting with my boyfriend recently as I felt like it almost happened, and realized it was nothing (for me at least) to seek out. He INSISTS it is the pinnacle of female orgasm. He used to be really into porn and claims he’s had a partner who squirted. I said I don’t think it really has much to do with orgasm, seemed more like a biological reaction to being touched in the right spot, shall we say. Like if someone pressed on your full bladder hard enough you might pee yourself. Whoop di do! I’ve found conflicting accounts from women online as to whether they enjoy it and whether it coincides with orgasm. It’s definitely been fetishized by porn culture as a tangible achievement a man should be proud of.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Full disclosure, it’s happened to me once, when I was like 19, totally by accident. It was quite surprising and amusing and has never happened again since. I could care less. I didn’t have orgasms back then and do now, regularly, ‘gush’-free. I’m sure if I wanted to I could train myself to do it, but why on earth would I bother? It doesn’t make sex more pleasurable. I honestly don’t get the point of performing for men in this way and am annoyed that Cosmo/’sex-positive’ feminism seems to think performing for the male gaze in this way is somehow empowering or whatever.

      • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

        Yep that was pretty much my thought – “why bother?” It supposedly makes sex more enjoyable, but I think it would actually detract from the experience for me.

        • Meghan Murphy

          I mean, it felt kind of weird and different, but in like a “that was kind of weird and different!” way, not in a “wow that was crazy pleasurable” way. I think I just happened to be super relaxed that day, honestly, due to, uh, beer and mushrooms… (I am not recommending this combo, by the way — I hate mushrooms… I was 19 though and this is what we did on camping trips in those days…) I also think it’s kind of just a basic ‘angle’ thing… Again, little to do with orgasms, more to do with boring/basic physical stuff.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Ah, youth! I remember those days (I think)!

          • Meghan Murphy

            🙂

  • haaseblume

    Immediately following that article was “What It’s Really Like to be a Woman Who Loves Rough Sex.” Get a load of this GEM: “I’ve thrown up on a guy all over his stomach and lower body as I was performing oral and he told me to keep going even though there was vomit everywhere. I was covered in vomit and felt the opposite of sexy, but he was about to finish so I kept going.”

    That is NOT sex. That is psychotic behavior!!! That is loathing, abusive and the opposite of empathy. That was the most disturbing thing I have ever read.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Well, that’s truly disgusting.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      Hmmm, methinks you’re not “enjoying” the rough sex if you’re covered in puke and disgusted about it!

      • therealcie

        Oddly enough, I think you may have something there. Who’d have thunk it? Being covered in puke might not be sexy!

        • Sally

          But didn’t you know? It’s a fetish and therefore totally okay!

          But seriously, that made me want to vomit.. I have officially reached a new level of “disgusted with men” today.

  • Absolutely wonderful analysis Meghan, thank you!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks purple sage!

  • tinfoil hattie

    I had to stop reading. I felt ill. I’m just so sick and tired of male entitlement and patriarchy and gross sex and just EVERYTHING.

    • Sally

      My thoughts exactly. I don’t read magazines anymore for this reason.

  • Laura

    both this cosmo article and biblicalgenderroles (Don’t let marital rape kill your boner! guy) recommend for women to “get to know their own bodies”…to the end of pleasing their male partner. it seems like the logic is, you have to have sex with him anyway, you might as well make the best of it.

  • Virginia Howard

    The ‘squirting’ is required because it’s like ejaculate. That way men know for sure women orgasm, otherwise they’re just weird non-men.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Exactly. A completely male-centric vision of sex and ‘female pleasure’.

  • Tera

    In next month’s issue: “Can You Bleach Your Bumhole And Still Be A Feminist?”

  • GenXFeminist

    RE: “Women do not need to “squirt” in order to have an orgasm and it has little to do with a woman’s enjoyment of sex.”

    I have multiple sclerosis and one of my symptoms that led to diagnosis was the sudden inability to orgasm. This was dismissed as a real concern by a neurologist and led me, a trained scientist, to research this. And surprise! There is very little research on the female orgasm :/

    Whilst I no longer orgasm the same way as I did before (which used to involve a pleasurable full body/head sensation, including uterine contractions) I do now experience an orgasm that involves ejaculation. I do not and have never watched porn so when this started happening I was a little dumbfounded/embarrassed. I now accept that this is my new normal and wish there was more scientific understanding about it rather than dismissive statements such as the one you wrote above.

    Your article was otherwise excellent.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m glad this is the ‘new normal’ for you! Honestly.

    • Lorde Fark

      the clitoris is actually shaped much more like a bird (with the beak being what you tend to think of as your clit) and extends both downward into about a dime-to-nickel sized spot on the naval-side of your vagina – AND into your labia

      ‘squirting’ happens when the small ‘urethral sponge’ that swells to cut off urine during sex, and excretes lubrication through ‘Skene’ glands -rapidly compresses

      occasionally, TYPICALLY during exceptionally powerful orgasms – a process occurs wherein the sponge attempts to flood the vagina to provide ‘compensatory’ lubrication

      both the influx of extra love juice, and the sudden un-kink in the urethra – CAN lead to urine mixing in with the fluid, particularly if one were to ‘pull out’ and void the contracting space immediately following the initiation of such a climax

      but everyone cumms differently, so there you go

  • This Cosmo piece is most dishonest, imo, in taking a paradigm from other areas of life, and overlaying it on sex and sex work. The paradigm is one I’ve seen that involves professional (male) chefs giving tips to domestic cooks (female). While there are problems with that paradigm, there is some logic to a trained, educated professional who has studied the cuisine of the world offering advice to a woman who has to cook six or seven meals a week for her family. Cosmo is painting a thoroughly duplicitous image of “happy hooker” culture in which the sex workers are professionals with education, training and thus status. They are depicted as having the knowledge of the elite, that can be dispensed in small doses to ordinary people who make do with domestic sex. Sex workers are not trained, they can’t get university degrees in their field, and they definitely have no status. Most importantly the sex they have and give bears only a superficial, physical resemblance to the sex ordinary people have. They are not engaged in mutual pleasure or in intimacy or even in fun. They’re engaged in something that is profoundly immoral, in that it separates the body and the mind/spirit. We can’t do things to and with our bodies without impacting our psychic/emotional/spiritual self. The prostitute provides a meal that doesn’t nourish: it doesn’t nourish the client, and it most certainly doesn’t nourish her.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No this is just about men expecting women to ‘nurture’ them like their mommies. And we’re all supposed to be so impressed that these men managed to have an emotion. It makes me want to barf.

  • regina

    Right, it’s typical john apologism. Like the poor, lonely widower, who has been unable to be with a woman since the death of his beloved wife, finds healing and sex through the compassionate understanding of the hooker with a heart of gold.

  • GenXFeminist

    By keeping the details to themselves (or relegating the details to the porn industry) women do a disservice to ourselves. It is part of why I value women’s only spaces…places where we can talk about menstruation, childbirth, menopause and yes, female orgasms.

    I created this hopefully anonymous account to talk about my own experience vis-à-vis a neurological condition that directly affected my own sexuality. I am certain that I am not the only one out there with this type of impairment and/or normal sexual response. Yet there is literally next to no research about it. I feel too insecure to talk about it with my public online persona. I know on an intellectual level that it shouldn’t matter but yet I felt it necessary to be extremely private when making this particular comment since it is so very personal and could be regarded as me ‘bragging’.

    So when Meghan Murphy states that women do not need to ejaculate to have an orgasm is quite objectionable to me without looking at the larger picture of understanding women’s sexual response. Which, as a science is nearly non-existent. Some women do ejaculate as part of their sexual response. IT IS NORMAL. It is not something to achieve. It merely exists as part of a cohort.

    I do not bring this up to make women feel ‘bad’ about their own sexual response…women have a hard enough time even having any orgasm ffs.. I just know that there are many women who do ejaculate and this is not seen as normal and is painted as ‘pornified’ when in fact it is just one of a myriad of sexual orgasmic responses that women can have.

  • Lucia Lola

    I still haven’t wrapped my head around this really being a thing. This article is almost a perfect example of just how fucked up everything is getting. This isn’t sex positive at all. It’s horrifying. A how two guide to convincing whomever you have sex with that what matters is them.

    It’s too sad to be ridiculous. Too infuriating to be cast off as misguided satire. Do they want to talk about promoting violence through words? This has it all. Continuous promoting of women as a sexual commodity to please men.

  • will

    ” Imagine having so much power and still not being able to handle life without leaning on the people you oppress. Pathetic.” Great point.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Exactly. Very regressive.

  • Lucia Lola

    Copy and pasted this because it’s just too awesome.

  • LuckPushedMeFirst

    Exactly! Why in this day and age are “enlightened” and “empowered” women still treating the male libido like a magical, superior entity that cannot be understood by mere women and must be catered to at all costs??