Newsstands To Censor Fully-Clothed Cosmo Covers, Of Course Shirtless Men’s Magazines Still Fine


Justin Bieber can flex his tits on the cover of Men’s Health, but advocacy groups want to censor Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover of Cosmo because it’s “pornographic”. 

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation just made a big coup for themselves: getting Rite Aid and Delhaize America (owners of Hannaford Stores and Food Lion) to put blinders on future issues of Cosmopolitan.

The Hearst publication has endured loads of criticism throughout the years, from sexism to racism to advocating really, really terrible things to do with a glazed donut, but now it’s being likened to the most taboo form of print media: pornography.  

That’s a little far-fetched, and a little sexist. Despite how explicit its language is or how much of a woman’s breasts they can expose on their covers (and, as you can see above, it’s a lot), it’s not Playboy. There’s no real graphic content that would qualify it as pornography, and ever since Joanna Coles took the helm of the woman’s magazine, there’s been a shift to more empowering content (Sarah Jessica Parker saying she’s not a feminist in the latest issue notwithstanding).

There’s something decidedly similar about this to Instagram’s policy of censoring pics of women’s nipples; men’s magazines never get this amount of scrutiny, even though they’re chock full of explicit content, like sex advice from male escorts, the right way to refer to having sex with breasts, and Amy Schumer performing fellatio on a lightsaber. If the NCES isn’t going after those magazines, we say, #FreeTheNipple. 

The real clincher is this campaign against Cosmo was spearheaded by someone very close to home—Victoria Hearst, sister of Patty Hearst and granddaughter of William Randall Hearst, founder of Hearst Publications. Hearst, a born-again Christian, assured this had nothing to do with a family feud or was vindictive in any way by saying,

“We’re not trying to censor Cosmo. We’re not trying to put it out of business. All we’re saying is, you want to print pornography, I can’t stop you.”

Of course she continued by stating, “If I was queen of the Hearst Corporation, this magazine would no longer exist, and the editor in chief and all the people there would be on unemployment.” which, you know, still makes us think there’s a bit of bad blood in the Hearst family. 

Miley Cyrus Displays Some Righteous Sideboob In ‘Cosmopolitan’

Miley Cyrus is a grown up. And she has boobs. You hear?

The pop singer can’t be tamed on the March 2013 issue of Cosmopolitan: the magazine which usually features long-haired, buxom starlets popping out of cocktail dresses shows a more androgynous Miley in a  minimalist suit jacket and pants … and no shirt. That’s some double side boob we’ve got here! All jokes aside, this is probably one of the less revealing covers that Cosmo has ever done, in terms of bare skin vs. skin covered. 

It’s a departure from Cosmo‘s usual cover of big hair, plunging necklines, red lipstick and leopard print — perhaps indicating that under new editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, there’s truly a new sheriff in town. 

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Harlequin & ‘Cosmo’ Team Up For E-Book Romances

It’s a sisterhood of sexytimes! Romance publishers Harlequin are teaming up with Cosmopolitan magazine for a bodice-ripping new venture: e-book romance novels.

The New York Times reports that the series Cosmo Red Hot Reads will e-publish two new, short novellas each month beginning in May 2013. All the e-books will be less than 30,000 words. Harlequin authors will pen the books with Cosmo is presumably jumping on for branding purposes only. In a statement, Cosmo’s new editor-in-chief Joanna Coles trilled:

This is fiction for the modern girl negotiating modern love — with all its unpredictability and complications!”

Cosmo has already been publishing e-books on sex and relationship topics for the past year (14 in total), according to The Bookseller blog. One recent e-book flirted with erotic fiction: Cosmo Sexy Stories: Volume 1 contained five short stories by romance writers.

The Times mentions that the new Harlequin erotica will be in e-book form so readers can be "discreet" in public. Discretion certainly hasn’t stopped millions of 50 Shades Of Grey readers, to say nothing of all the women and teen girls who keep the romance genre afloat.

Esquire magazine, which, like Cosmo, is owned by Hearst, has also debuted a range of e-book novels recently. However, Esquire’s e-books, which were boldly and bizarrely marketed as "fiction for men," were somewhat less positively received

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‘Cosmo’ Solves Your Vacuum Cleaner Masturbation Problems

Let’s get right to the point. This is the lede of an article in Cosmopolitan‘s October 2012 issue: "Julie, 29, has amazing orgasms. The catch? They’re with her vacuum cleaner." 

Julie*, whose name has been changed of course, continues:

One time, I was straddling it and noticed it felt good. The intense vibrations against my clitoris sent me over the edge and it’s become the only way I can get off.

Laugh if you must (and I think I must) but it’s actually a useful article about women who get "hooked on" orgasms from different sensations like "strong vibrations," "grinding" and "running water." Comso’s tips teach you how to replicate those with another person — as in, put the Dyson away and buy yourself a vibrator, or buy lubricant instead of doing nasty things with that shower head.

Maybe some lady somewhere who has never heard of the Rabbit will benefit from this? I want to hear more about women who jerk off to household appliances, though.


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Good Girls Go To Heaven, Helen Gurley Brown Went Everywhere

It’s been three decades since former Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, who passed away this week at age 90, first published her treatise suggesting that women could have it all—love, sex and money—and offered possibilities of how to make that happen, and we’re still forever entrenched in a debate over what “it all” means and whether or not it is attainable. Although some of the discourse surrounding the “having it all” debate is problematic, that discourse may not have been possible at all without Brown laying the groundwork. At a time when even uttering the word “sex” on television was verboten, Brown wrote Sex and the Single Girl, at the time provocative and polarizing and likely liberating for a number of readers.

Traces of Brown’s cultural impact can be found well outside the pages of Cosmo or the classic film adaptation of Sex and the Single Girl, where Natalie Wood played her. Sex and the City has been called an heir apparent to her landmark book; Matthew Weiner says it has inspired characters and plotlines on Mad Men. Her one-liners have been quoted, parodied and reproduced with ubiquity on t-shirts and Facebook profiles—think of how many tourist items you’ve seen with “Good girls go to Heaven. Bad girls go to London/Amsterdam/Benidorm/Atlantic City” emblazoned on the front. Her other maxims extolled the values of intellectual stimulation (“Beauty can’t amuse you, but brainwork—reading, writing, thinking—can.” ) and hard work (“Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlepp.”).

Not everyone is or was a fan of her writing or her views, and many conflicting viewpoints exist over her role within the feminist movement, if her work is feminist and what legacy her work left for women, for everyone. But more than anything, she got people to talk. The best writers do.

At any rate, she worked right up until the end, with more than 50 international issues of Cosmopolitan to her name, doing something she loved doing, and we should all be so lucky. Here’s Wood as the iconic editor, alongside Tony Curtis in the film adaptation of Sex and the Single Girl.

Caveat Emptor at the Cosmopolitan’s Wedding Chapel

Did you know that we’re in the middle of engagement season? We know, we thought our relatives were just bothering us about our future for no reason, but the holiday season is actually peak time for popping the question.

If you’re ready to get hopped up and make some bad decisions this weekend, you can now officially skip the waiting period in style at the Cosmopolitan Hotel’s pop-up wedding chapel, which opened this week on the glittering ground floor of the hotel, so passers-by can admire you and your new spouse in all your glory (read: try not to be falling-down drunk) while you wed. The $80 “Hitched in a Hurry” package includes two Coppola canned champagnes, rubber rings, and a photobooth session—but it’ll be an additional $90 to make it legally binding. 20-minute ceremonies are offered from noon to 10pm on weekdays and until midnight Thursday through Saturdays, and you can kit out your big day (okay, moment) with custom playlists, bouquets, and more.

The Gold List Goes Platinum: Conde Nast’s Annual Awards

We promised you the readers’ choice CNT Gold List was coming soon, and it’s finally been released—8 million people voted to come up with just over 500 properties worthy of inclusion. And of those, 214 were pulled out for the “Platinum Circle,” a list of properties that have been chosen all of the last five years, to mark the magazine’s 25th year. Grade inflation? As long as your tastes run to the traditionally elegant luxury in the Northern Hemisphere (including the Dorchester in London, the St. Regis in New York, and One & Only Palmilla in Cabo), high romance in the Caribbean (like the Nisbet Plantation Beach Club on Nevis), and giant modern palaces in Asia (think the InterContinental Hong Kong) then these are absolutely the crème de la crème.

Other notable picks include quirkier properties, like the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and Las Ventanas al Paraiso on the Riviera Maya, as well as a healthy selection of properties in farther-flung destinations, including African safari lodges and an ever-growing list of properties in Australia and New Zealand, who are stepping up their luxury hotel game. 

From Garden to Snifter: Veggies Land in Cocktails Across America

Is that a cucumber in your cocktail or are you just happy to see me? I, for one, am just happy to see the cucumber. With the emergence of ‘vegetails’ (vegetable laden cocktails) popping up on bar menus from coast to coast, the days of ordering a salad might soon go the way of the tape cassette. These days, you can find all the greens you need right in your drink, from walloping tubers to delicate slices of cucumber, and you can bet those veggies come from organic pastures.

Whilst carousing at New York’s Gilt in Midtown East recently, I found myself gleefully swilling chef/mixologist Justin Bogle’s Watermelon Coolers, made with Bulldog Gin, fresh watermelon, and basil. Like a symphony played upon the taste buds, this legume-y libation partied on my palate and went down almost too smoothly. Summer, watermelon, and basil go together like peas and carrots, which decidedly should be Bogle’s next veggie-inspired cocktail. Always an intrepid foodie (and cocktailie), I’d come back for some muddled peas mixed with vodka and a carrot garnish any day. He could call it The Forrest Gump.

Ever since, I’ve been thinking—what else is out there in the vegetails realm, and how deep does this alcoholic spin on the farm-to-table trend really go?

Owner of Williamsburg’s Huckleberry Bar, Stephanie Schneider explains that there are many reasons to use vegetables, fruits, and even meats to create cocktails. She says, “Being in the restaurant business for so many years [Schneider put in time at Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Eleven Madison Park, and Jean Georges before opening Huckleberry Bar in 2007], I saw chefs working with seasonal herbs and vegetables all the time. It’s bringing the same mindset to cocktails. If you’re serving a fennel and blood orange salad, why not make a cocktail with fennel and blood orange juice?”

Huckleberry Bar serves up a bevy of booze, from citrus-infused vodka to rosemary-infused rye to anise hyssop-infused vodka to lovage-infused rum to jalapeño-infused tequila. You name it, they infuse it. Most of their ingredients come directly from the Green Market in Union Square. “You take the fresh herb, shock it with hot water to release the oils, then pour the booze over and let it sit for two to five days,” Schneider explains. Not only does it make for great tasting drinks, but it’s also cost effective. “When you make dinner and you buy tarragon or thyme why not use the leftovers for the drinks? It eliminates waste in a small place like ours by using all parts of the vegetable and animal.” If you ever go to Huckleberry Bar for brunch try the bacon-infused bourbon. But I digress.

Aimee Olexy, co-owner of Talula’s Garden in Philadelphia, maintains a purist mindset when adding herbs and vegetables to cocktails. “One of the things that we do is try to focus on food and then the drink as a result of it,” she says. “We manipulate ingredients but still showcase the liquor. If we’re going to use a pure spirit then what can we do to take some of those inherent flavors and showcase them in a natural way?” The goal of the cocktails at Talula’s is to relax you and get you ready to eat, a precursor to a nice bottle of wine. “People that are drinking good cocktails these days are such foodies that the drinks must reflect some of the flavor profiles of our food,” Schneider adds. “Take the flavor of rum. We think about what characteristic from the farm will make a nice marriage to it. Its woody because it’s aged in oak so honey or a cucumber nuance will bring the flavor out. We want the integrity of the spirit itself to exist by finding something in the garden that will accentuate the taste.”

A house favorite at Talula’s Garden is the Gardner, a classic play on the Mojito. “The fresh mint will bring some more fragrance to this nice vanilla woodsy spirit, making it a little grassy. The use of cucumber, basil, or mint tends to open up your palette far more than juice. This drink literally makes you start to salivate and then you crave food,” Schneider says.

Chef/Mixologist Mariena Mercer of the Chandelier at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas takes a culinary stance when it comes to her cocktails. “I explore individual roles of the four basic tastes [salty, sour, bitter, and sweet], coalescing them and bringing them into unity,” says Mercer. “The spirit needs to stand out, as does each element.” One of the newest additions to their cocktail menu is the Thai Down, made with Milagro Blanco, Domaine De Canton, strawberry puree, Thai Chili Syrup, and Thai basil leaves. “We eat a lot of Thai food so we wanted to channel the cuisine into the cocktail,” says Mercer. “The Thai basil has strawberry puree, but not in a gratuitous sweet way. It’s all about creating perfect harmony in the drink,” says Mercer

Beverage director Jonathan Baird of Hatfield’s in L.A. agrees wholeheartedly. Baird takes leaps and bounds to concoct myriad mixed creations for their discerning and thirsty clientele. “We base everything on balance,” says Baird. “That is to say, we make sure that you can taste each item that goes into the drink. It’s also about using the freshest ingredients we can get our hands on from the local Farmers’ Markets.”

Baird reveals how it’s done, “For our Cucumber Mint Gimlet we peel and slice the cucumber thin and blend it with an immersion blender instead of steeping the cucumber coins in vodka. This gives the drink more of a cucumber flavor and adds a nice green hue to it.”

Now that fresh herbs and vegetables can be obtained through bar hopping, I may never have to masticate them in salad form again. The veggies in these drinks must counteract the calories from the alcohol (they simply must!). And besides, why expend energy chewing when you can sip your greens and simultaneously get a buzz?

The Cosmopolitan Salutes Fashion in Film

There’s no better way to kick off the country’s largest fashion trade event than watching some stylish films at Las Vegas’ hottest hotel. Last night, The Cosmopolitan and W magazine welcomed industry folk to a week of MAGIC by highlighting the best of the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. The LJFFF took place on July 29 and 30 at the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla, and featured film debuts from international tastemakers like Bruce Weber, Poppy de Villeneuve, and most notably, Karl Lagerfeld. While seeing these shorts projected on the hotel’s big screen was cool enough, it wouldn’t have been a Cosmo party without some additional bells and whistles. Read on for the extras.

image Celebrity stylist Todd Hanshaw was on-hand to provide guests with a unique style profile. This girl was reluctant to get analyzed at first, but warmed up once he deemed her a “chicly sassy” dresser.

image After the style analysis, celebrated mixologist Jason Hughes whipped up an exotic concoction that defined your signature look. For whatever reason, my style called for eating a crazy “buzz button” flower before my drink, that left my tongue tingling for 15 minutes straight, and I liked it.

image In addition to serving up films and drinks, pop-up shops were hosted in the Boulevard Pool’s private cabanas. I couldn’t resist snapping up some covetable goodies from AllSaints.

image In true Cosmo fashion, the film clips were showcased on the hotel’s main display screen for all of Vegas to see. Now that’s how you throw a party.