Cosmo’s Guide to Red-Hot Sex

by The Editors of Cosmopolitan

reviewed by AlwaysArousedGirl on Wed 13 Feb 2008

Back in the day (“the day” being the early 1990s), I read Cosmo magazine with the same attention usually lavished upon religious texts, crib notes and the instructions on home pregnancy test kits.

Each month I eagerly devoured what guidance it could provide, and while I certainly had no use for clothing that cost many multiples of my rent or guides on how to get by in the big city (my “city” consisted of a few thousand souls), I adored the sex advice. I devoured each screamingly sexual article, drinking in both the information and the mildly lewd pictures.

And if Cosmo’s Guide to Red-Hot Sex by the Editors of Cosmopolitan had been around back then, there’s no doubt in my mind but that I would have ponied up the cover price and read the book front to back many times over. This 240-page hardcover guide reads exactly like a compilation of the “good parts” of several years’ worth of magazines.

Chapters cover the basics of seduction, including erotic massage, oral sex, positions, and after-play. Health and safety concerns are briefly mentioned; they also provide a few pointers on how to “get your man to wear a condom.”

I find it mildly tragic that books like these still have to exhort folks to practice safer sex. Won’t we ever get to the point where it’s a given that condoms will be available and used for each sex act? Eh, who am I kidding. Of course Cosmo’s Guide to Red-Hot Sex needs these warnings.

I was pleased to find that the book includes a beginner’s guide to anal play, directed toward women as both the givers and receivers of butt love. They suggest little more than tentative exploration around the anus for men, and wisely suggest obtaining explicit permission before dipping in a fingertip. Women are encouraged to use plenty of lube and to go slowly — wise advice, though much more could be said on the topic. A list of suggested additional readings would have been appropriate at several different points in the book, but most especially here.

As in other Cosmo publications, this guide is illustrated with suggestive but hardly revealing photographs of playful couples in the early stages of sexual activity. While there’s excellent representation of various skin tones, you’ll find precious little additional diversity. Same sex couples? No way. Larger folks? Ha! People who look edgy in any way other than the single obligatory emo-rocker-boy? Not a chance.

I know it’s Cosmo, but come on. Couldn’t they broaden their definition of what’s attractive? By just a smidge? Sometime soon? Please?

The guide ends with several short tales meant to be read aloud between lovers. These could be performed over the phone, via text or IM, or even during sex, if you’re really adventurous. And well-coordinated.

While Cosmo’s Guide to Red-Hot Sex aims more toward those at the start of their sexual lives, it’s a fun read for anyone interested in adding a little fun to the bedroom.

Cosmo’s Guide to Red-Hot Sex by The Editors of Cosmopolitan
Published January 2008
Hardcover, 240 pages, 9" x 9"
$24.95