Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Brandy,” you’re thinking, “where do you get off telling us not to read ladymags? You write a relationship column in an online ladymag! Where do you get off?”
But ladymags are seriously detrimental to your mental health and your sex life! They ravage your self-esteem and fill you with panic. Here’s why:
1. Let’s start with the insufferable basics. You will never, ever in a million years and after a million injections of Restylane look like that movie-star cover girl. You will never be a size 00, and you will never look good in sequined rompers and stripper heels. In fact, the more you glance at those bony-chested models sprinkled throughout the pages of your monthly mag, the more you will feel beaten down by your shapely hips and limp hair. A healthy self-esteem is paramount to a healthy relationship, and staring at those stick-thin models is more depressing than the eating disorder that made them that way.
2. Those quotes from mysterious first-named men are ridiculous. “I like a woman with a big heart, a big ass, and a big laugh!” says Derek from Brooklyn, NY. “Real men love going down — and don’t mind if the favor isn’t always reciprocated!” says Mark from Madison, WI. Who are these disembodied men? Well, they’re usually gay BFFs of editors. The real questions they were asked were, “If you weren’t gay, what kind of woman would you date?” and “What would an ideal straight man say to his girlfriend to get her in bed?”
3. All those sexy corsets, lace bras and tummy-reducing solutions look great on women who want to look good in bed or under a tight dress. But those skin-sucking underwear closets come at a hefty price. Between the shapewear and the wax job, who can afford those sequined rompers and stripped heels? Better to wear your favorite thong and suck in. It’s like a kegel for your stomach!
4. “69 Sex Positions that Will Blow His Mind” was either written by a an extreme masochist or a member of Cirque du Soleil. No one is that bendy! For those of us who like to have a lot of sex, the regular moves—missionary, doggystyle, half-sitting-up-with-a-pillow-wedged-under-your-back—work fine. Sex is not a gymnastics competition. Stay away from any sex moves with the word “Spider” or “Leaping” in their names. Hot and heavy shouldn’t result in leg cramps or back spasms … Well, not those kind of back spasms.
5. I know that section that gets up close and personal with a celebrity gynecologist is useful to some, but it just induces paranoia in others. Painful vaginal fungus you’ve never heard of? It’s lingering in your bathtub. Genital swelling stones? You might contract them. Herpes? You already have it. Use a condom for everything, including sex, blow jobs, and making out anywhere near a bedroom.
6. Who are these anonymous women with embarrassing stories? You know, the one about the women who had awkward period sex on a first date and then accidentally shat all over the guy’s bathroom and locked herself inside because she was so mortified? And then the lock broke and he had to call the fire department and the entire apartment building was evacuated and she was naked and covered in period blood? That could be you.
7. Blow job advice is always overly complicated. The last thing your boyfriend wants when you’re sucking him off is some high-pitched humming and uncomfortable junk-squeezing. Here’s some real blow job advice, ladies: no teeth, both hands, play with his balls and keep going until you swallow. Also, we hear if you squeeze your left thumb under your left forefinger, it will reduce your gag reflex. But so will one glass of wine. And so will a muscle relaxer.
8. The lists of things he’s thinking but not telling you are just reasons to be paranoid and insecure. The editors who printed “I am turned off by women who do not wax every other week” and “I’d never cheat, but I sometimes I fantasize about my secretary” should burn in lady-mag hell. Here’s what men actually don’t tell you: They are totally turned off by paranoid and insecure women.
9. These magazines will rot your brain and nobody wants to date a bimbo. Get a subscription to something worthwhile (The New Yorker! The Atlantic! Granta!) and ditch the shallow nonsense. Spend the little free time you can spare making yourself feel good, not almost-good-enough. If you’re lucky enough to have a dude, enjoy being with him and stop dissecting the relationship. If you’re single, you need to be happy with yourself before you settle down with a dude who makes you even happier.
10. You just shelled out $5 on a bunch of repetitive nonsense you could read online for free. If I were you, I’d spend the extra cash on condoms.