As Valentine's Day approaches, I've been practicing my withering glances and crash testing my bullshit detector because there's only so much street style and runway pics you can look at in a day.
This morning I took an excursion to the land of glossy women's mag websites to find out how they were covering the day of amour that's almost upon us. What I found was surprisingly inoffensive: Vogue's running a lingerie shopping guide which, okay I guess that's useful even though I hate lingerie and Lucky has an open letter to the CFDA pleading with the American fashion council to reschedule next year's NYFW so it doesn't conflict with Valentine's Day* and Self is too busy Build[ing] a Better Butt to think much about a Hallmark holiday that's basically just an excuse to shovel
insecurity chocolate down American women's throats.
Meanwhile, the Internet is killing it with Coolest Fashion Couples slideshows and mind-boggling What to Get Your Pet for Valentine's Day shopping roundups. I know Conde Nast, for one, doesn't really have much of a digital strategy and still believes its future lies in print but what I saw this morning was just plain bleak. I have never been so bored on the Internet.
But when the going gets tough, um … Cosmopolitan can be relied upon to be sleazy. The notoriously sex-obsessed (no judgement!) magazine was working some of its headline magic on the front page with a story promising to explain Why Men Should Spend $218 on Valentine's Day. I'm not sure whether the title is supposed to appeal to women or more to men lurking the cosmo dot com homepage hoping to pick up some V-Day date night tips, but I will not lie and say I clicked through purely for "research" purposes.
And then it got even better! Here's the opening:
How much is your vagina worth? Just over $200, according to a survey commissioned by one website.
I think I should able to set the price of my own vagina, thank you very much.
The article goes on to say that this "Crazy New Research" (that's an official term) was commissioned by SeekingArrangement.com, a "Sugar Daddy" website that rivals Cosmo in reputation. The survey found that $218 was the average price a man had to spend on Valentine's Day to have sex with his date.
But then Cosmo offers up a plot twist, closing the story with the kind of principled stance you couldn't see coming from the publication that lures its reader in with headlines like, "Would You Do Him Outside?," "30 Things to Do to a Naked Man," "75 Sex Moves You Need to Try" and (my fave) "We Have a Crush On Someone Else's Boobs?" (There's actually nothing wrong or even manipulative about those headlines, I just thought you'd enjoy them.)
Gross. These dudes have it all wrong if they think cash=sex on Valentine's Day. Sure, it's likely that every guy has V-Day sex on his mind when he heads out on a date, but to expect it? Bad form. Oh, and if he pressures you to have sex because he dropped a few dollars on dinner? Do it if you want to, otherwise ditch him, stat.
Um, maybe you should just split the bill?
*Haha yeah right. Milan would throw an epic hissy fit about their factory production schedule and London would quit fashion all together and it would all spiral out of control until the world erupted with a devastating fashion war.