Sexual Health Advice From Women's Mags Can Be Deadly

There have been a number of controversial postings from women's lifestyle magazines claiming to be the sexual health and intimacy sound board that all women should follow. However, some of their 'advice' could lead to disastrous, perhaps even deadly, consequences. 

Photo credits: Cosmopolitan. Image Composition: Burn the Night.

Photo credits: Cosmopolitan. Image Composition: Burn the Night.

Of course you can't discuss a topic such as this without mentioning the notoriously inaccurate sex advice mouthpieces that provide controversial editorials for the US originated Women's lifestyle magazine franchise, Cosmopolitan. While sex tips and sexual health topics aren't new for Cosmopolitan, over recent years it's been taking much bolder steps into the open discussion of sexuality in both it's print and digital formats. While some criticised the companies decision to be more 'sex inclusive' as it's styled almost like a teen magazine (i.e. slang words, teen idols as cover models, bright and colourful design that was appealing to children etc.), others found it to be a small triumph towards putting female sexuality on the mainstream map.

While in essence, the idea of discussing female sexuality is not in anyway a bad thing, it's the content that frequently gets offered up and the way it is presented that makes their 'sex and relationships' section somewhat socially irresponsible and in some instances, also medically inaccurate.

A prime example of horrendous misinformation being publicised in their print issues was the instance back in 1988 where Cosmo's US publication printed an editorial by a doctor that stated that women need not worry about contracting HIV (at a time where the HIV incidence rate was on the increase, particularly in the US, and was starting to cause widespread concern if not panic) if they have sex with HIV-positive men. The article stated that if women had 'normal, hetero sex' that was unprotected with a HIV-positive man, there was little to no chance of contracting HIV. In a nutshell, it was reserved to only those engaging in homosexual sex. Naturally, the piece caused outrage particularly amongst female activists, those who had already contracted HIV and of course LGBT communities. What's even more alarming about this report is that it was already in the public domain that this was not the case. Health professionals already knew how HIV was communicable and how it developed in later stages into AIDs. You can learn more about the scandal in the documentary 'Doctors, Liars and Women: AIDS Activists Say No to Cosmo.'  

Admittedly, this instance was almost 30 years ago, but nevertheless, the impact this piece had on the magazine's readership was evident. It was a huge blow to what was previously was seen as fun and informative reading material for the modern woman. 

Nowadays, we are seeing pieces on how to give 'the best blowjob' on a frequent basis and 'sex tips from men' but not so many on female sexual stimulation, even less on female masturbation. If all of that wasn't bad enough, we then had the ridiculous article from Cosmo recently published online about how female orgasms triggered by men is a bad thing, simply because they realised that men also get off on making women orgasm. So essentially, what they are saying is 'no don't climax, you'll get him aroused and that'll just make sex even more about men.' Another example of 'ultra-feminism' taking a wrong turn. Whenever you come across a garbage editorial such as this, always take a look at the writer's backlog and draw your own conclusion on whether or are not they seem like they even in a position to be offering you sex advice. If it comes across as angry, demeaning or bitter, the chances are they do not have a broad enough understanding of sexuality in all it's forms to be telling you how to go about sex. 

There are PLENTY of sexual health experts and professionals that have now taken to social media to give more accurate advice and to help smash common misconceptions about sex. Need to know something? Why not just send them a tweet or a DM, but for the love of everything sexual, do NOT use magazines such as COSMO as a 'go to guide' for safe sex practises or to improve your sex life. 


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