Why Buy Porn When You Can Buy Cosmo!?!

April 1, 2009

This is an actual photo from the magazine
This is an actual photo from the magazine

I’m not embarrassed to admit that one of my guilty pleasures sometimes consists of flipping through the latest edition of Cosmo or the occasional People Magazine when I find it lying around.  Magazines such as this used to be a girls’ best friend when it came to the latest trends in fashion or the newest beauty secret.  The covers used to tote “100 Ways To Do Your Hair”, “Work Outs That Work For You” and “Eat Right Even When Eating Out”.  These magazines used to be focused on compiling as much helpful information as possible to insure that women were happy and healthy, while throwing in a little gossip to keep the pages turning. 

 

As I flipped through the April edition of Cosmopolitan, I made a very astute observation.  My magazine resembled that of soft pornography!  I flipped through over ten pages of half dressed men and women posed in sexy stances before even reaching the table of contents.  Upon finally finding the table of contents, I was assaulted with article titles that seemed just as graphic as the advertisements.  “What Guys Crave After Sex”, “Sex That Brings You Closer”, “Sexy Little Tricks That Add Bliss”, and several other sex related title leered at me.  At this point, I double checked the cover to make sure I hadn’t mistakenly picked up a copy of Maxim Magazine.  I then proceeded to question (out loud, while in line at the grocery store) “What the hell is this shit?!”  When did entertainment become solely based on sex?  I mean, I’ve heard the phrase “Sex Sells” before, but this seems a little extreme.  I mean, men need look no further than their girlfriend’s coffee tables for sexual stimulation; forget that moment of embarrassment when caught purchasing a dirty magazine by the cute girl at the checkout counter.   

Everybody knows that sex is the easiest thing to grab attention with.  A website about small business marketing says “Both males and females are attracted to this type of advertising. It is a powerful instinctive attraction that will take our focus from anything else we may be doing. And advertisers know this. They play off of our curiosity. They know that it will be more likely to be recalled than most other forms of appeals because of the generated interest.”  But when has it gone too far?  How many pages in a magazine need to be sexually stimulating before we say enough is enough?  What’s the use of putting an age limit on pornography if we’re openly broadcasting it in public media?

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4 Responses to “Why Buy Porn When You Can Buy Cosmo!?!”

  1. First of all, as a big fan of pornography, I can tell you that this picture is nowhere near anything remotely resembling porn (in the popular definition of the word).

    Second, in case you hadn’t noticed (I don’t mean for that to be incendiary; lots of people haven’t) the USA is in the midst of a sexual revolution. We are finally becoming desensitized to sexual images, more permissive in our social policies, and generally accepting of whatever comes to the table sexually. I’m a big fan of it, myself; but the downside is that publications that used to deal tangentially in sex, such as Cosmo and Maxim, are now becoming overrun with it because it’s creating such a big response. Playboy readership has increased every quarter for the past two or three years (which may have something to do with The Girls Next Door, a show whose existence only further proves my point), and, when they’re not being sued for libel, Penthouse has kept its readership relatively steady.

    So, Lenny, the best I can say is get used to it. And if you must give up Cosmo, I hope you can find something to fill that void. (Double entendre? Am I THAT clever? Maybe. Maybe.)

  2. thresholdlurker said

    “What’s the use of putting an age limit on pornography if we’re openly broadcasting it in public media?”

    Why indeed? But my stance is that I think the current age restrictions are pointless at best and detrimental at worst. I agree with thebeerphilosopher that we’re going to be seeing more of this sort of thing and we’re going to be less shocked by it. Does it bother me? Not really. Society and our values change constantly.

    I should also point out that the US is actually catching up to a lot of the rest of the world on this sort of thing. Even Canada is less concerned with nudity (and swearing) than we are. I think we’re needlessly conservative.

  3. lenny25 said

    Just a little note to the philosopher…I did add a caption that said I know this wasn’t that terrible of a picture and that because this is still class related I tried to find the cleanest picture that proved my point. The caption must not have shown up…

    • thebeerphilosopher said

      Right, but the point is that it wouldn’t have mattered what picture you put up there. Unless it showed nipple (and if it’s Cosmo, it didn’t) it’s not technically porn. And even if it did, that’s the way we’re headed as a culture. As for me, I’m a fan of it. We’ve shown everything BUT nipples on TV and in magazines — what’s the difference? And if there is a difference, who really cares?

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