These Absurdly Bad Vintage Cosmo Tips Are Making Us Thankful It's No Longer 1972


When it comes to the bedroom, communication is key. All great lovers know they need to conclude sex by whipping out their wittiest one-liners ("This is the best coffee break I've ever had!") or questions like "Where do I send the check?"


At least, that's what the listicle "Things to Say in Bed" from the January 1972 edition of Cosmopolitan recommends — proof that Cosmo sex advice has always been truly "WTF."

The article, which Mic accessed via public archives at the New York Public Library, prescribes lines for when your performance in the bedroom is great but "your dialogue could be more amusing." The same month Gloria Steinem founded the feminist mouthpiece Ms. Magazine, Cosmopolitan was doling out these bons mots, certified by "girls who have kept men coming back for years."

What were modern single women supposed to say in bed if they wanted to retain their men? Unsurprisingly, things that pump up the male ego and deferring to the man as provider of pleasure. A sampler:

"There's nothing like sleeping with a man who's athletic enough to touch all the bases."

"My, you're as handsomely proportioned as Michelangelo's David."

"How can something so good be nonfattening?"

"My God — this has cleared my sinuses!"

"Encore, encore!"

New York Public Library/Mic

Then there are the things you should not say, according to Cosmopolitan, the kinds uttered by women whose men "didn't return" to their beds. What's unacceptable to say aloud?

"That hurts!"

"I can't breathe."

"Let's see... did I take my pill this morning?"

"Maybe we should get a vibrator..."

In other words, a woman expressing her needs and desires is a total turn-off for men. Mentioning birth control or requesting some extra stimulation? That's a total deal-breaker, says Cosmo

Forty-three years later, that lingering mentality still affects how women behave in bed, perpetuate myths about women's bodies and widen the notorious orgasm gap between men and women.

But, unlike Cosmo's sex tips, things have improved over time. The conversation about what women should say in bed has turned to discussions of fantasies, kinks and sexual preferences. Questions like "What are you into?" help communicate desires, frustrations and curiosities all people feel when they get in bed with someone new.  Plus, talking about sex more in and out of bed is crucial for sexual satisfaction

Which is why Cosmo's tip to flatter our partners in lieu of asking for what we really want in bed isn't just retro — it's actively bad. Be thankful dirty talk has progressed far past comparing our partners to General Electric heating pads. That kind of advice is timelessly terrible.