When in doubt, grab a Cosmopolitan. No, I'm not talking about the sickeningly sweet pink drink. I'm talking about the magazine that will tell you "How to Make Your Sex Longer and Hotter" or "He Got His—Here's How You Get Yours." It's the mother of all sex manuals for many people desperate to figure out sex and love.
Whether you just started having sex—or even if you've been having sex for years—it's natural to want to know as much as you can. It's super handy for those of us who learn best through reading and research. Some people may call us control freaks—I like to think of it as being prepared.
It can also be super embarrassing picking up a magazine with headlines screaming out to the world that yes, you are getting it for the articles and the quizzes that will tell you which position will give you the greatest chance of orgasm. While I am more of a tactile book person, in this case, I prefer internet browsing, which admittedly comes with its own perils.
The important thing is to search smart by using very specific queries—avoid the porn sites and the shocking medical photos and get right to the articles that are supposed to tell us exactly how to please ourselves and our partners.
I remember the first time I researched how to be better at sex. I was 17, and had just started really getting into physical relationships. I was progressing from my caterpillar phase of making out and having my boobs touched to... well, everything else.
So for my chrysalis stage, I snuggled up one fall evening in bed, and googled what was, and is, my biggest sexual insecurity.
"How to give a good blow job"
I am not one of those girls who has ever been comfortable with blow jobs. I don't mind giving them to my partner, but I am constantly worried that I'm bad at them. Thinking I'm bad probably actually makes me bad, so go figure. But I knew that if I was going to start engaging in sexual relationships, I needed to know what went where and what to do with it once it was there.
I steered towards sites I felt were reputable—Cosmo, lifestyle blogs, other smaller magazine articles. All in search of the 'tip' that would take me and my blow jobs from zero to his MFing hero.
I think I sat there beet-red reading for about an hour, and all the advice I found frankly overwhelmed me. I mouthed the words, feeling furrows of confusion appear between my eyes.
"What the hell?" I muttered, opening yet another tab on my browser so I could more thoroughly research deepthroating (I had a pretty good idea what it was, and I was right).
"But how?" I asked as I was told that I need to use both my hands and my mouth at the same time. Wouldn't that make me look like Gollum hunched over the precious?
"Good God no," I shrieked, clapping my hands over my eyes when I read that some women choose to have him cum in her mouth (to this day that has only ever happened to me once).
What I took away from the research experience was a sense that it was all weird, and there was no right answer. But I had a method planned out, and series of actions I would take when the time came.
For the most part, it worked. I had researched my way to rocking his world (moderately).
I know I'm not the only person to feel this way about one or more components of sex. That's why Cosmo exists. We all are looking for a little extra validation, some tricks we can pull out of our proverbial sleeve to make the experience better.
Even now, when I should be working on something else, I have a tab open with a page giving me a rundown of 40+ sex positions because I figured I should at least have more than three go-tos.
What's that saying... where there is knowledge, there is power? I completely agree. When I feel like I know what I'm doing (or in the rare case where I actually know what I'm doing), I am more confident. When I am more confident, the sex is better, and not just for my partner. I revel in my own confidence. I feel sexier, more powerful, and thus enjoy my sexual experience more.
So never stop learning. Three cheers for researching our way to better sex.