This originally appeared on Alternet.org. Republished here with permission.
Cosmopolitan magazine has long been a bastion of weird, implausible, and downright baffling sex advice. But with that knowledge also comes the question, “Has anyone actually tried their tips?” With a little nerve, a supportive and willing partner, and a high tolerance for humiliation, I aimed to find out whether these sexy tips would, as proffered, “throw his disco stick a party he’d never forget” or if it would simply involve a lot of embarrassment and unnecessary laundry.
But first, a caveat: I’m dating a woman and used a dildo in place of a real penis for two of the tips (donut blow job and earlobe cowgirl). Since I could not accurately assess whether the dildo felt any pain or pleasure, I did not perform any tips involving “biting,” “volleying,” or “slapping” penises or scrotums. Other than that, the tips were fairly genderless or easy to simulate. Without further ado, let’s get this party started.
“Slip a donut around his penis, and slowly eat it off.”
Since I love donuts, I thought this would be the most enjoyable experience to try, out of all the tips. But it turns out that being picky about the donuts you want to put in your face works against you when you want to put donuts on a penis. I first searched for a chocolate old-fashioned—not only because it’s delicious, but also because the hole is often bigger than the ones in yeast donuts. After going to three different donut shops and failing, I settled on a common chocolate glazed donut, whose hole measured three-quarters of an inch (yes, I measured it). I couldn’t blow my girlfriend immediately because she had to go to work, so I decided to put the donut in plastic wrap to preserve its freshness until later that night. This, it turned out, was a bad idea. When I removed it, the chocolate glaze half melted off, creating even more of a mess than I would have otherwise expected from the act of blowing a donut. Nevertheless, after a few sighs, I decided to bob ahead.
“Let’s do this,” I said.
“Because you’re turned on or because you want a donut?” my girlfriend asked.
The dick in question was average-sized and named Obama, because when I procured it, even though I hadn’t had sex in a while, I still had the audacity to hope. My girlfriend looked at the dildo and then at the donut. “Obama’s gonna tear that thing a new one,” she said. And she was right; impaling the donut with Obama caused it to crack in several places and expose its doughy insides, but not enough to rip it off completely.
It was when I got down on my knees that I discovered another problem I did not foresee with my donut choice. Do you know what chocolate glaze looks like when smeared over the head of a penis? I’ll tell you. It looks like shit. Actual, literal shit. The sight of the brown goo oozing over a dick that was wearing the pastry equivalent of a pool floaty nearly made me abort the entire mission. It was beyond comical and gross. To ease the non-sexy tension, we did what any couple would: We took dick pics to Instagram later and then made out.
I got my head back in the game of head by trying a few small licks to confirm that any fecal-looking matter was illusory, and began a slow dough blow, pausing, as Cosmo suggested, to nibble on the donut in between sucks. What the advice doesn’t mention is this: It’s virtually impossible to consume food and blow someone at the same time. This extra work made the dough job last a lot longer than it would have otherwise because I kept having to stop to chew and swallow before I could take anything else in my mouth. There are some, no doubt, who would and could give head with masticated bread in their mouths, but I am bad at multitasking, and given the choice between eating and vomiting, I chose the former.
I ate my way around the donut’s exterior, to prevent it from falling off, and to give it a fun star shape (I was determined to make it fun!), but nothing about the experience was appetizing or erotic. My face was covered in chocolate by the end, and I wondered whether the point of Cosmo’s tip was to ruin donuts for everyone, or to make blow jobs more of a “job” than they already are.
Takeaway: You can’t have your cake donut and eat him too.
“Sprinkle a little pepper under his nose right before he climaxes. Sneezing can feel similar to an orgasm and amplify the feel-good effects.”
This may come as a surprise, but I had never snorted pepper prior to this experiment, for sexual reasons or otherwise. I had, however, heard that the sensation of sneezing feels like an eighth of an orgasm. But since people with allergies aren’t, like, skipping to their lou or whatever, it seemed implausible that attempting to force an involuntary body convulsion would have the effect Cosmo intended. That’s why, before we got down to business, I took a little bump of pepper just to see what would happen. Immediately afterward, I was transported several years back to when I was a bored teenager waiting in a doctor’s office, idly reading the label on the can of pepper spray I had in my purse. What does it feel like to be pepper-sprayed, my stupid teenage self wondered, and before my two remaining brain cells had time to wave their tiny red flag, I had pressed the trigger.
Readers, this was a mistake in many of the same ways snorting pepper to simulate an orgasm was a mistake for the following reasons. One: The burning of my facial region, eyes, and delicate nasal lining. Two: The crying, dear god, the crying. Three: The snot that would not stop running incessantly down my face, even several minutes after the fact.
Once I regained feeling in my face, I told my girlfriend I was ready for her to bring me to orgasm so I could pepper-spray myself yet again, this time in the interest of sexy science. She was somewhat concerned that I couldn’t stop crying while she was going down on me, but carried on, nonetheless. Each time I began to relax and be in my body, one glance at the pepper shaker brought all pleasure to a, well, grinding halt. It took a long time to get anywhere near close to climax.
Turns out, trying to time the moment of orgasm with the seasoning of my own face proved to be more difficult than I’d suspected. Plus, my nose was still running and I felt like I had to sneeze throughout. I did actually sneeze about two minutes before I came, due to my accidental pre-party marinade, which I’ll admit was somewhat relieving, but mostly it was a distraction. Once I finally made it to the brink of orgasm, I took a much smaller pinch of pepper and rubbed it under and on the edge of my nose. And, nothing. Perhaps in my initial Dita von Sneeze experiment, I accidentally burned off the membranes that would register sensation. I don’t know. But not only did I feel nothing pleasurable up above, I was so concentrated on pepper placement I couldn’t even enjoy coming when it happened.
Takeaway: You sneeze, you lose. Also, my college degree should probably be revoked.
“Feed each other ice cream [in the dark]. Not being able to see means more spilling, which means more licking up the mess.”
We did this one a few times. Because, ice cream. The first night, we kind of cheated because we left one lamp on, so we could see where the spoon-to-face trajectory was generally headed. Despite the help, my girlfriend still spilled ice cream on the sheets, causing me to glare at her, but remain otherwise unaroused.
The second night, we turned all the lights off and laid a sheet down over our usual sheets. Because, ice cream. There were no casualties: no one took a spoon to the eye; the mess was minimal; and feeding each other was intimate and pleasant, though mild. Ice cream, it turns out, is something not even Cosmo can ruin. I would probably do this as foreplay in the kitchen, or basically any surface you don’t have to sleep on afterward.
Takeaway: Ice cream, you didn’t scream, but still we all scream for ice cream.
“Press a fork (firmly, but don’t break the skin or anything) into different parts of his body—his butt cheeks, his pecs, his thighs.”
It was around this time I began to suspect that many of Cosmo’s sex tips were in fact fueled by hunger. When Cosmo’s not advising us on how to incorporate the contents of our pantries into our sex lives, it is advising us on how to lose weight, so how else to explain this questionable use of eating utensils? Since I would never turn down the chance to stab my girlfriend in the name of journalism, I made my way into the kitchen and grabbed a medium-sized, four-pronged IKEA fork.
Her eyes widened as I made my way to the bed, and she said, “We’re really just going straight into this—no foreplay?”
“No foreplay,” I said. “Only forkplay.”
She protested for the first time throughout this bad sex experiment, so I relented and we fooled around for a while before proceeding. When she felt warmed up I picked up the fork and lightly dragged it across her stomach. “Fuck, that’s cold,” she said. And it was. Because it’s a fork. It doesn’t really adapt to your body temperature. I breathed hotly on it and then stuck it between my thighs to make it warmer. If making out while clenching a fork between your thighs isn’t the height of eroticism, I don’t know what is.
Foregoing the warmth factor, I took to pressing the fork into various fleshy parts of her body—her tits, thighs, butt, and so on. My girlfriend is usually quite responsive to touch of all kinds, but forking her was getting no reaction.
“How does that feel?” I asked.
“It feels like I’m being stabbed with a fork,” she said.
Just to be sure, we switched positions and I let her fork me for a while. The sensations were either ticklish or painful, and not in a sexy way (think more “stubbing a toe”). We tried the prongs, the handle, and even some fork spanking (sporking?), but nothing came close to eliciting a pleasurable feeling.
Takeaway: Here’s a helpful rhyme: If it’s got four prongs, you’re doin’ it wrong.
“As you’re riding him, clamp down on his earlobes with your fingers, and pull on them to rock yourself forward and backward.”
Here we learned that, of all the potential extremities to grab onto during girl-on-top sex, clutching onto your lover’s earlobes is the second least ergonomically feasible (the first being the toes). There’s nothing particularly gripping about the earlobe—it’s a quarter-inch of cartilage, after all, not a climbing wall. And, though it’s possible this tip would work better if your arms were longer or you were into ear masochism generally, I found my girlfriend’s earlobes to be just out of reach, causing me to have to hunch forward in a sad parenthesis while riding her. Also, rocking at anything more than a gentle grind caused my fingers to slip off and her to complain of mild, yet annoying pain.
Since I was in the general vicinity, I also tried hanging onto her cheeks, neck, and nose—all with better degrees of success than the lobes. (I quite liked pinching the cheeks. Though her resulting smile may have been forced, it felt rewarding.) Frankly, at this stage in the game, I was relieved to try a tip that didn’t hinge on Cosmo’s insistence that I have sex with as many household items as possible.
Takeaway: Enjoy the sex you have, however you see fit, for it could be ear today, but gone tomorrow.
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