Women’s Magazines, Men’s Pleasure
October 15, 2010
Let’s pretend for a minute: You’re a girl who walks into a grocery store. You pick up some milk and a loaf of bread. At the last minute, you decide to buy a magazine, just some light reading for a lazy afternoon.
You get home, and you start to read. But here’s the problem: the articles are mostly about ways to sexually please men. OK, so I’m sure we can all see what makes this a bit weird. Why are women’s magazines only focusing on ways to give sexual gratification to men? Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying men shouldn’t be able to enjoy their sexual experiences, but why do these articles assume that the only role for a woman, in a heterosexual relationship, is to please her partner? Whatever happened to mutually enjoyable sex? I sure haven’t seen men’s magazines with the tagline, “Ten Ways to Please Your Woman.” And why do women’s magazines assume every woman has sex with men? That kind of assumption is what you would call “heteronormative.” It completely dismisses all the women who do not identify as heterosexual. And what about the women who aren’t sexually active?
The real question, I suppose, is why do women keep buying these magazines? It has to be stressful—and frankly a bit sad—to only be concerned with pleasing your partner sexually, without ever getting any satisfaction yourself. Wouldn’t it be better if these magazines encouraged couples to communicate to find out what pleases both partners? But unfortunately, sensationalism sells. These magazines promise a quick-fix for all relationship or sexual worries-and that can seem appealing, even when deep down we all know life doesn’t quite work that way.
—Taylor McCabe, 18, Contributor