Why I Am Not Writing For Cosmo

Women's magazines are constantly announcing that they have The! Secret! to great sex. Or more specifically, they like to tell me that they have The! Tips! for driving him wild in bed.

And I have always found this rather baffling, since it's been my nearly universal experience that The! Secret! to making men crazy in bed is simply by agreeing to go there with them.

I'm pretty sure that for like, 98% of the population, driving him wild is achieved like so:

Him: Honey? Uh, could we have sex tonight?

Her: I don't see why not.


See? Done and done.

But the magazines don't stop there, no. Because for some reason, these publications are preoccupied with our sex lives. They seem to want us to be having sex ALL THE TIME. And if we aren't, we have a problem.

Magazine: Are you having sex ALL THE TIME?

Us: Uhm...no?

Magazine: A-Ha! We KNEW it! And we have the answer! Look inside to discover How! To! Keep! The! Spark! Alive!

And you think maybe you will read these articles and discover something new about yourself or your partner, like how to not want to wring his neck for leaving his clunky shoes out on the floor in front of the bed that you cannot see but will trip over in the middle of the night for the 147th time.

But you don't. Instead, you're told that you should buy new lingerie, or cook a meal for him unexpectedly, or do a chore around the house that he usually does. And what fun is that?

The point, I think, is that the articles are always suggesting ways that you can change your routine just enough to make it feel exciting again. And I appreciate this, except I found my own methodology years ago.

I find that all I need to do to keep my man on his toes is to be completely unpredictable about when I may -- or may not -- choose to shave my legs.

Do you remember learning about behaviorism in Psych. 101?
  • Scenario A: Every time a rat pushes a lever, he is rewarded with a pellet.

  • Scenario B: The first few times a rat pushes a lever, he is rewarded with a pellet, but then never again.

  • Scenario C: Sometimes when the rat pushes the lever, he gets a pellet. Sometimes he doesn't. The results are random.

And do you remember what the resulting behaviors were?
  • Scenario A: Eventually, the rat gets bored and stops pushing the lever, and or he gets too fat and dies. Either way, he stops pushing the lever.

  • Scenario B: Eventually, the rat gets bored with his failures and gives up entirely.

  • Scenario C: Because the rat never knows what the result will be, he never gives up. He keeps trying and trying.

I hope you see where I'm going with this.

If you shave your legs all the time, or even just on a regularly scheduled basis, your partner will come to expect it. He will climb into bed with you and not be stabbed by a million prickly little shards of stubble, and think that is normal. And then he will grow fat and die.

If you never shave your legs, he will eventually come to realize that he will always be pricked by your leg stubble, and/or that your legs will always have a fine sheen of hair. He will eventually grow bored of this, too, and get discouraged. And then leave you. Or die.

But! If you SOMETIMES shave your legs? Ladies, you are in business! Will it be tonight? Or tomorrow? Or...or...sometime next week? Who is to say! But every night, he will get into bed with you, and he will wonder -- and hope -- that he will be rewarded. He knows that sometime soon, your bare legs and his bare legs will meet and yours will be silky smooth and inviting. And he will keep pushing that lever until it happens.

Ah? Yeah?

Take that, Cosmo.


  1. Fantastic ! Love it ! I think this is the seed of your own, new genre of magazine.

  2. I think it's been a while since I said, you crack me up!

  3. except his legs are never really bare...

    love this theory, though...!

  4. Once, one of those magazines had on its cover, "Discover his M-shaped Moan Zone." I turned to Carolyn in the checkout line and said, "I got news for them. My "moan zone" is shaped pretty much like an "i".

  5. Kiki, don't you know that we only exist for the purpose of sexual gratification of our men?? How dare you not have freshly-shaven legs every minute of every day!! And you don't want to do an extra chore to show him how badly you want to give him a blow job tonight! Gawd! What kind of a woman ARE YOU??

    I fucking hate hate hate Cosmo. But oh, how I love YOU!!

  6. KRISTY! This is almost exactly what i do and i am SO ASHAMED. But maybe i shouldn't be because it really does always keem 'em guessing.

    SO FUNNY for you to point this out and create a real cognitive behavior study. LOVE THIS.

  7. I do the same with waxing my bikini line, and it really works. I think the writers at Cosmo would have a stroke if you suggested they run that article, no matter how well proven the theory is. Good Job. (I am glad I am not alone)

  8. kristin - it's entirely possible. maybe next month's issue can be about the REAL "does he love me quiz" which will involve ONE question.

    Women, look your partner in the eye and ask, "Honey, true or false: I got my hair done today."


    tyra - thanks. it probably wouldn't be funny if it weren't also so true.

    jenny - and hurrah for that!

    terry - no, but i'd rather have silky smooth next to man-hair-legs than my hair entwining with his...

    sam - thank you for confirming.

    ll - the kind of woman who sort of makes a lousy girlfriend. :)

    claire - do not be ashamed. it's science!

    anon - cosmo and i don't have a lot in common. but kudos to you for your bikini line, too!

  9. Wow, I do this, TOO! Without even knowing it!

  10. LOL! I'm in the same boat with aarwenn. My shaving is highly irregular, but that's mostly because I'm lazy and unstructured. Now I know it also drives my man wild with anticipation/wonder!

  11. Well, I only see my guy every other weekend--we're both single parents and not far along enough to meet each other's kids yet. So I don't think shaving my legs twice a month is a hardship.

  12. Consider that if you only try to do things "sometimes", you end up doing it rarely because of distractions and interruptions.

    Here's a chart to prove my point:

    Shoot For: "ALL THE TIME", Result: "Sometimes"

    Shoot for "SOMETIMES", Result: "Rarely"

    Shoot for "RARELY", Result: "Never"

    So, by this argument, if your desired result is to have sex "sometimes", then you need to shoot for having sex "ALL THE TIME". Otherwise, you end up with "rarely" having sex (because of distractions). That results in your man leaving you as Kristi wrote about.

  13. Kristy, you should launch a counter-cosmo - I would totally subcribe!

  14. Does "keeping the mystery alive" include asking him to pop your blisters and do your laundry? Because if so, I rule!

  15. Uh oh, my legs are always smooth. Does that mean I'm going to have to start randomly offering anal?

  16. browncow,


  17. With my ex, I got used to the "never." And I left and I'm the happiest man alive.

    Keeping men interested is not difficult. Show up naked. Bring beer.

    Beer is optional.

    Willingness is sexy.

  18. Very funny. You have obviously found the secret to keeping men interested and on their toes. You should write a book!

  19. Aarwenn & Shan - isn't it fabulous to know that what you THOUGHT was "laziness" is actually very strategic? i'm sure if we work at it there are MANY other instances this line of thinking could be applied to...

    anon - twice a month seems about right. i'd just be concerned about setting a dangerous precedent. :)

    tim - is that what it is? do most men operate this way knowingly?

    chroskep (it's like the new JLo) - i appreciate that. in addition to the quiz i mention above, i'd want to include a regular feature about how to stay thin while supporting your drinking habits: celebs weigh in.

    cordelia - absolutely they count. and laundry? really? you need to be a contributor to our new magazine.

    browncow - pretty much. or you could apply the same theory to doing the dishes. either way.

    mr. b bull - thanks for the male perspective. other thoughts on this theory?

    skip - is that willingness for sex or willingness for leg-shaving?

    grizz - i appreciate your enthusiasm, though i'm not sure it's shared by my boyfriend. :)


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