Sex & Relationships

How sex advice may be ruining your sex life

Outlandish magazine advice may be ruining the sex lives of the young women reading them.


According to The Vagenda editors, Rhiannon and Holly, on the New Statesman website “sex tips for girls are ruining sex.” The writing duo accuses mostly women’s magazines — we’re talking about you Cosmopolitan — of attempting to turn every boudoir into a room, not with a view, but a peephole and a stripper’s pole.

Traditionally, giving advice was a tenuous affair and those who engaged in its indiscriminate infliction were universally avoided and despised. Now, of course, things are different and many of those self-same busybodies are routinely given talk shows or book contracts. Some of them even write for certain sex-obsessed women’s magazines.

While we may not have asked, it sometimes seems as if we’re being inundated with unhelpful advice about how to do what comes naturally — for the most part, anyway — and that’s have sex. Do girls still practice kissing their pillows at night alone or is that some quaint artifact from the past?

Are they more likely now to take trapeze lessons?

The Vagenda argues that spontaneity and playfulness have given way to outlandishness and a kind of porno aesthetic, where every move is planned, choreographed, premeditated and mandated creating, ironically, less enjoyment not more. Welcome to the pleasure-less dome!

Sex isn’t fun when it’s premeditated to the point of becoming just, “another form of labour,” they argue and pretty persuasively, too.

What’s also odd is that, for a magazine dedicated to the interests of women, most of the advice is focused on men — what they want, what they need, what flavour of jam you should spread where to get their interest — and how to satisfy their every fantasy, even if most of those fantasies exist only in the overheated imaginations of story-starved editorial staff.