This Month In The Lady Mags: Sex Marathons And Relationship Advice From The Obamas

Not sure if you want to spend $3.99 on this month’s Elle? Don’t worry, we’ve got Wendy Felton, Editor of, here to tell you exactly what’s up on the sex, love, and relationships front in each month’s crop of lady mags.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for magazines! The September issues are thick with the latest in fashion. While the style pages are touting ghastly amounts of fur, pastel winter coats, and all-lace suits, perhaps the romantic advice is more palatable. What are the relationship trends for fall? Let’s take a look.

  • Self reports that “sex marathons” are the hottest relationship rebuilder right now, spurred by two recent books urging ailing couples to get busy every day for 30 days. Short on stamina? The mag suggests a handful of “sex toys for shy girls.” Further intimate inspiration can be found in “Great Sex Your Way,” which decries scheduling sex (huh? did they not read about the 30-day plan?) and promises fulfillment in the missionary position, masturbation, and dressing like yourself instead of a maid. There’s also a poignant essay from Valerie Frankel, who grapples with weight loss during her husband’s battle with cancer. Pass me a tissue, please!
  • Glamour’s “14 Things He Wants You to Know About His Body” may also induce tears, though for completely different reasons. Dudes want us to know about their toenails and digestive tracts? Sorry, guys, ignorance is bliss. What’s a must-have accessory this fall? A geek! Writer Holiday Reinhorn and husband Rainn Wilson discuss their courtship, and Reinhorn explains, “Geeks are always grateful.” Other men reveal their most cherished fantasies — apparently, threesomes with Jessica Alba never go out of style. Finally, in the category of don’t-try-this-at-home, “He Wants You Back!” lists the lengths men have gone to in order to reclaim their girlfriends. Um, Glamour? Maybe it’s just me, but sneaking into an ex’s apartment through an unlocked door is not romantic.
  • Cosmopolitan’s just as crazed for cads, kicking off with a quiz to determine whether he’s a cheapskate. “What He Notices About Sex” spills the “surprising observations” men make in the sack, discouraging such unsubtle behavior as “crazy porno wailing.” Crazy porno wailing? That’s almost poetic! Even pithier is “100 Crazy Sex Questions (Answered in 20 Words or Less),” which is like reading about the coital-alignment technique via Twitter. Elsewhere in the mag, Cosmo declares “getting busy against a wall” as the hottest position, devoting two full pages to the mechanics of the act. Sadly, there are no diagrams.
  • You’d need a diagram to track the dalliances of the “male sluts” Marie Claire calls out, slamming Lance Armstrong, John Mayer, Vince Vaughn, and Tom Brady for their tomcatting ways. Not interested in sleeping around? Could be your medication! Cold medicines, antidepressants, and birth-control pills can all cause a lack of libido. The harrowing first-person essay “Living With a Crazy Husband” covers one woman’s marriage to a man with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. In an example of a healthier relationship, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he didn’t feel inadequate when he earned less than wife Michelle, and that a key part of their conflict resolution is “let[ting] her know I understood and heard what she was saying.”
  • The Obamas’ communication skills are leagues beyond those of the couple in Elle’s cheating tale “Danger Man,” a timeless classic in which one fellow — wait for it — leaves his wife for a much younger woman. The new couple dissolves shortly after the milestone of shopping for silverware at Crate & Barrel. At least flatware-induced relationship failure is a fresh idea! Then there’s “Cinderella Man,” about women who let men shop for them — this is a problem? — and E. Jean Carroll talks tough to a woman whose boyfriend maintains multiple aliases and won’t divulge his phone number or email address. What, don’t spies deserve love, too?
  • Even though the September issues are packed with fads, style experts advise sticking to the trends that work for you — it’s only fashion victims who blindly follow every trend. That’s sound counsel for relationship advice, too, unless you want to spend the next 30 days having up-against-a-wall sex with a geeky guy who’ll take you shopping afterward. Actually, on second thought…