Cosmo never ceases to put me on tangents

I do love the ladyblog known as Jezebel, especially for the posts that take down ladymags. Today's fun involves the January 2010 issue of Cosmo. I DNW to link to Cosmo, so I'm going to link to the awesome Jezebel takedown instead. So the "new" (????) male sex habit that can HURT a relationship? Chronic masturbation apparently. Because a man's hand provides more friction than a vagina.

From the Jezebel entry, which quotes the original Cosmo article (again, DNW to link to it):

In the January 2010 issue of Cosmo, sex therapist Dr. Ian Kerner reveals: "The bad economy is leaving a lot of guys without jobs, so they sit at home, bored, and start masturbating more often." Ladies should really police their man's masturbation habits more closely, since there's a good chance he's developing a "solo-sex problem" and will soon be unable to climax during intercourse because "a man's hand can provide a lot more friction than a vagina." So now in addition to other women, we have to fight our boyfriend's right hand to keep his attention?

You know what I love more than the posts themselves though? The comments. And commenter i.m. writes:

03:26 PM
"A man's hand can provide a lot more friction than a vagina."
If men's hands were better vaginas than vaginas, then...I mean, please, this is stupid. I can't even make a joke, this is so stupid.

Spot. On.

Being as pensive as I am, I feel like expanding on that.

If men's hands are better than vaginas, why do men "need" to get laid? Why do men "need" to sleep with every woman alive? Why do the truckdrivers in India who spread HIV "need" to keep visiting commercial sex workers? Biological need? When men's hands provide a better feel, at least on a purely physical level, than a vagina? What the hell?

And that brings me to the biggest bone I have to pick with HIV education programs aimed that are abstinence-based - they're usually aimed at wives to stay faithful to their husbands, and they promote repudiation of prostitution, but they NEVER call into question the entitlement that the men who actually BUY the services of prostitutes feel that they have for said services of prostitutes. And all this when their own hands would probably do the job better than a prostitute, to say nothing of the way the risk of STIs and the moral squickiness of cheating on your spouse while you demand absolute chastity from that spouse both drop down to zero when it's your own hand. All right then.


wow, I love Jezebel. And the comment section just said everything I was thinking. But seriously, who comes UP with this crap? And "how to get a healthy, sexy vagina". Sorry, but my vagina is already healthy. And I know of two people who love it; me and my partner. I don't think it's in need of being made "sexy" :P And what really is annoying is that it's not "healthIER and sexIER" (though I do hate that they're telling you you MUST WORRY ABOUT HAVING A SEXY VAGINA), no. They're telling you that your vagina is NOT at all healthy and NOT at all sexy. And that you must work to make it so. Well excuuuuuuuse me.

And this comment just had me laughing so hard:

"and in the big reveal, we see before and after shots of Chamalla's vagina on Extreme HooHa Makeover. Before, it was just plain and pink - BORING! So the team installed an HDTV, an Xbox and lined the whole thing in leopard print
Take that, hand.
I have an overactive imagination."

I read the Jezebel post, the Cosmo article, and your post several times and while you make several valid points, I feel like you/Jezebel treats the article unfairly in some respects. Obviously, masturbation is not new by any means and I wouldn't really trust their claim that guys are doing it more often now (somehow I doubt a study was done for this one page article). However, the article never says masturbation is "better" than sex. And even if it had made that claim, that doesn't necessarily imply it would replace sex. I might like oral sex better than vaginal intercourse, but that doesn't mean I want to stop doing anything but oral. All the Cosmo article says is that it provides more friction - and if you get habituated to that sensation, it may be harder to come through more subtle sensations. The nation's leading sex columnist, Dan Savage, frequently gives roughly the same advice as the Cosmo article because masturbation CAN make it more difficult to come through vaginal intercourse. Similarly, if a woman is using a really strong vibrator all the time, she may have trouble appreciating more subtle sensations from a partner as well.

I believe, however, that in the case of men, it's not the frequency of masturbation that can be a problem but the intensity. If the guy is gripping his dick with "the death grip" when he's jerking off, it can be harder to come. Unless you've been doing some serious freaking kegels, a vagina is not going to grip your dick as hard as a hand. And the shaft of the penis doesn't have many nerve endings, it just feels deeper sensations like tightness/pressure, so it makes sense that it would be harder to orgasm during sex. Of course, I've never seen a study on any of this, but I trust Dan Savage. He's amazing. Moreover, I've had this problem myself. It would take me hours to come and sometimes I just couldn't get there. But because I had a partner, I had basically given up masturbation and just had sex - and eventually, I got my accommodated to the sensations of a partner and then I was having almost the opposite problem - taking pains to make sure I wasn't coming to early.

Also, the article does not ask the women to "police" their boyfriend's masturbation habits. It just says that if you notice they can't orgasm (or are taking hours to orgasm), you might bring up this issue with them. That's hardly the same as "policing" which implies the girls are spying on their men when they jerk off and telling them when they can and can't masturbate.

So yes, the article was a little sensationalist, but I think this is a valid issue, personally. Still, thanks for bringing it to our attention, I enjoyed hearing your perspective.