Five Ways to Make Him Scream and Not Get Pregnant When You Do: Cosmo Gets Serious About Repro Rights

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
April 15 2014 11:54 AM

Five Ways to Make Him Scream and Not Get Pregnant When You Do: Cosmo Gets Serious About Repro Rights

159557318-this-picture-taken-on-january-15-2013-shows-mongolian
Cosmo, now serving up more sexual health coverage along with its sex tips.

Photo by Byambasuren Byamba-Ochir/AFP/Getty Images

Cosmopolitan, long considered one of the fluffier offerings to women on the magazine rack, has been quietly remaking itself into a powerhouse of reproductive rights coverage. Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress reports on a new era at the sex-tip-centric rag, with recent articles on abortion rightsabortion stigma, and contraception access. I've noticed it, too: Just last week, I blogged here about a Cosmo story highlighting the desperate measures one woman in Brazil had to take in order to secure a safe abortion. So what's going on with the magazine that has long advised women to put a doughnut on their man's penis?

“It all comes down to one core value, which is that we are unequivocally for women’s rights. It’s that simple,” Cosmopolitan.com’s editor, Amy Odell, told ThinkProgress when asked about the apparent editorial shift. “We believe every woman should have access to safe, affordable health care, and when that right is threatened, we’re not afraid to tackle those threats head-on.”
Advertisement

Cosmo is also competing online with other women's websites—such as this one and Jezebel—that have built substantial audiences on the assumption that women want more in-depth coverage of sexual health and repro rights issues. Getting its share of that audience means taking the same approach. 

But mostly, I think Cosmo's new focus has a lot to do with the fact that the traditional wall between fluffy sex content and hard-hitting sexual health and rights content is crumbling. Cosmo has undeniably been a major factor in signaling to young women that there is nothing wrong not only with having sex but wanting to make the most of it. But as attacks on contraception and abortion access increase, it's now tone-deaf to talk about 15 ways to make him scream without considering how you can do them all without ending up with an unwanted baby. No ongoing discussion of sexual pleasure can unfold without addressing reproductive rights. Cosmo's recent coverage simply reflects how real women think about sex.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The Simpsons World App Is Here, and Nearly Perfect

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Education
Oct. 22 2014 4:45 PM Welcome to 13th Grade! Several Oregon high schools are offering a fifth year of high school. Every district should consider it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.