Generally speaking I’m not surprised by the kind of stuff that magazines like Cosmopolitan churn out any more. When I want to feel particularly patronised, or perhaps when I’m having a bout of ‘worrying that my pubic hair’ isn’t in the right style, I may even pick up a copy.

But Cosmo, even you got me on this one.

Penis Shaped as Potato

Via Twitter, I saw @CosmopolitanUK put out some information about a web chat they were running this week. So far, so good. When I glanced again, I saw that what they were actually asking for was women to get ready with their questions…for their in house penis. Or as they like to put it – their very own little fella.

I was lost for words for all of about 5 seconds, and then I proceeded to shout “what kind of next level bullshit is this?” I mean I get completely that we need to find a way of communicating about sex that makes us feel comfortable and confident. I’m just not sure talking to a man/woman on a forum who is pretending to be a penis is really that way. Particularly not one peddled out by a female glossy who claims to be supporting, not patronising women.

Let’s be clear here. By taking part in this web chat, we weren’t getting the chance to ask an actual penis a question. I mean. Wow. It was a typical set up of readers asking questions about sex that were answered in their offices either by a man or a woman or a group of people who are writing as if they were the penis. I just wanted to make it really clear what we were dealing with. Sounds ridiculous right? (The use of the phrase “I’m a clever dick!” was a particular highlight).

Perhaps I’m over thinking this. It surely has to be a good thing that we find a way to discuss our sexual issues and problems, which can help us resolve difficulties in our sex life. We’ve all had that awkward question, the one that isn’t answered by the ‘Top Ways To Please Your Man’ articles we see on a regular basis – and perhaps there are times where you don’t feel able to discuss the ins and outs of your sexy other life with those closest to you.

I’ve used internet forums in the past for other topics, and I love the idea that solutions and answers are crowd-sourced from everyone participating. In fact that was exactly what was happening in Cosmo’s web chat before the penis himself arrived. Internet forums feel anonymous and secure – particularly important when discussing sexual problems. But why did we all have to pretend we were asking questions of a penis? We are adults! Why can’t we be asking questions of sexual experts, the sex writing team at Cosmo, or each other? It just feels gimmicky. And patronising. And a little bit icky.

If you are really worried about what that penis thinks of your sexual technique, a good place to start is probably the man that it belongs to. He is probably way more qualified than the man/woman on the other end of a penis internet forum because NEWSFLASH – not all men like the same thing. I know right? Who knew.

So Cosmo, you can keep your forums full of employees pretending to be penises (wonder if that was in the job spec). If you really want to help us out in our sexual endeavours, why not just give us some proper advice?

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