Cosmo Discovers Girls Who Like Girls

June Thomas is thrilled with the magazine’s listicle “28 Mind-Blowing Lesbian Sex Positions”:

Ogling, mocking, and largely ignoring Cosmo’s sex advice has been a venerable tradition for decades now. Nevertheless, the rag has surely made a positive contribution to Americans’ sexual satisfaction. I don’t know if, after studying this slide show, women around the world will attempt the Rockin’ Rockette, the Hot Hair Salon, or even the Lazy Girl’s 69, but I’m certain that a few women will feel more confident in their first same-sex encounters. And that really does blow my mind.

But Samantha Allen thinks something is missing:

[U]ltimately, the “Passionate Pole Dancer,” like so many of Cosmo’s lesbian sex positions, reduces the experience of lesbian sex to clitoral grinding. Only two of Cosmo’s 28 illustrations make visual reference to penetration. The remainder of them are depictions of beautiful women languorously writhing in pleasure with their legs wrapped around one another. This inordinate focus on non-penetrative intercourse is a common trope in mainstream depictions of lesbian intercourse. Lesbian poet Eileen Myles described Blue Is the Warmest Color, for example, as a “no-lesbian-sex movie renowned and lauded for its bold lesbian sex.” The leads in Blue Is the Warmest Color scissor in a dozen different positions but we never once see them penetrate each other.

Meanwhile, Allison P. Davis snarks affectionately, “While the subject matter might be new, the spirit is classic Cosmo: Its editors continue their commitment to encouraging sexual exploration and making sure that all women – no matter what they’re into – have access to punnily named sex positions.”