On Cosmo Card Night

I am in love with Cosmopolitan. I have been ever since high school, reading the sex tips out loud to my fellow band geeks. We laughed, but I was secretly fascinated. It remains my favorite magazine to this day. I’ll never miss an issue. So it should be no surprise that when I wanted to find something fun for the bedroom, I ended up choosing Cosmo. I stood, staring at the options before me in the “Relationships” section of Barnes and Noble -- which, by the way, was distressingly close to the religion section -- looking for a sex book. Yes, I know -- the internet is free, etc. But I’m a book nerd. This is what I do.

Now, I’ve never been ashamed of my sexuality. One of my proudest moments was when I bought a box of condoms as a 16 year old, putting them on the conveyor belt at Target, not even hiding them awkwardly among bags of chips and books as the 20-something guy ringing me up blushed. (I later realized that I had purchased non-lubricated Trojans. Lesson learned.) Despite this ease, I couldn’t help but feel awkward as I flipped through graphic sex books while middle-aged folks scooted past me on the search for life’s meaning.

Anyway, I ultimately settled on “Cosmo’s 365 Naughty Nights,” primarily because it was the most bang for my buck (literally), and because it seemed to provide the most variety: sex positions, “red-hot reads,” finish the fantasy, and cards for her and for him. (I should note that this set is not really LGBT-friendly, Many of the cards could work, but would require creative readings and that seems like a waste of energy that could be better used.)

So when did I first start using the cards? Valentine’s Day, of course! (Mostly because I couldn’t think of anything to do other than order Pizza Luce and watch House Hunters.) If you read my last column, you know that I have a tendency to get stuck in my own head, and I thought having the prompts would appeal to my Type A personality.

Well, I was semi-right. I put on a new piece of lingerie and got into bed with The Manfriend. I quickly realized that I did it all backwards. Why did I take off my robe before we drew a card? Now I had to lay there awkwardly in bed, wearing what was essentially a pair of fishnets over my entire body as I tried to find a good playlist on 8tracks. Smooth.

We finally draw a card, and it’s one For Her. “Lick his cut lines, the creases that separate the thighs from the torso,” it said. “Then have him do the same to you.”

I have probably done this a hundred times before, but there was something about the card telling me to do it that sparked the rebellious teenager in me. Who does that card think it is, telling me what to do with my Manfriend? And what am I supposed to do when I finish? Draw another card or just see where it goes? It was starting to seem like too much work.

And this is what I mean about getting stuck in my head. The point of the cards was to force me out of my comfort zone, that happy place you end up after four years in a relationship with someone. Telling me to lick his cutlines -- I mean, come on. Are we in high school again?

I put the card back and The Manfriend rolled his eyes, knowing I was essentially defeating the point of the cards -- which were, after all, my idea. But we finally drew a new one that was just a sex position -- the Sexy Swimmer, if you must know. This was much easier to obey because it meant we could just get to the point. So we did.

And then we went to sleep. Because it was 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday and we were tired. I’m excited to use the cards again, even if it means discarding 70 percent of them. Moral of the story? Try something new. I will say that most of the cards I’ve seen in the set are pretty great. But if you don’t like them, that’s fine too. Try something else, and try, try again. I’ve heard the internet is a good place to start.


New anthropology courses in fall 2015

It's Okay to Tip the Scales