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Article Discussion

Faking It: Sex, Lies and Women’s Magazines

Women’s magazines are in almost every store that people stop to do some shopping. These magazines most of the time, these magazines will have very eye-catching headings. The purpose of these headings is to attract the attention of the reader, although sometimes they attract the wrong age group. Parents walking around with their kids in these stores sometimes have to contend with the very thought of literally standing in front of their under-age kids to prevent them from seeing some of these absurd titles.

One may ask whether this is genuinely responsible journalism that the magazine editors’ practice. The truth is that there is no responsible journalism exercised here. Worse still, they do not consider professional ethics and publish whatever they must attract the attention of their target market. Furtherstone (2002), states that ‘In women’s magazines as in life, motives for lying about sex vary greatly. Many attribute the fibs to deadline pressure, and the need to produce continuously diverting copy.’ The present-day journalists are so embedded in the culture of maximizing profit that they rarely care about the effects of their articles on the society at large. The other reason for this irresponsible behavior is the adoption of a girlish attitude towards sex, which ends up misleading the editor and the readers.

Featherstone (2002) notes that ‘Within these service-oriented magazines, the worse abuses seem to occur in a specific genre—the relationship/advice story (OPPOSITES ATTRACT, THE SEVEN-YEAR ITCH), which is usually illustrated by ebullient quotes from supposedly real women.’ The implication of this is that the magazines mislead the audience by pretending that what they showcase is the truth, while in actual cases, it is all a fallacy. However, in the end, it seems that the problems portrayed in these magazines are part of a problem intensely embellished in the current society. There are too many lies going on about sex that have made even the magazine editors have a perfect picture of how sex should look like or feel like. That is the same thing that they transfer to these magazines.

Examples in Current Women’s Magazines

Mackenzie (2019), in the September issue and the health and wellness section of Glamour magazine, states that ‘Good sex, in other words, is sex that makes you feel like Beyoncé.’ In the article subject to the discussion above, there is the claim that these women magazines tend to exaggerate some of the applications that they make in the materials. The statement by Mackenzie is one such exaggeration. What exactly does feel like Beyoncé entail? That is one question that a critical analyst of such a magazine would ask. Having such a quote would make some of the readers feel that sexual satisfaction is something unattainable, especially if the target audience is the teen or early twenties generation who may view Beyoncé as some unreachable limit. It is some of these claims that make these readers have perverted opinions about sex.

In the December issue of Marie Claire magazine on the sex and relationships section, there is an article on getting the sex that one deserves. The title is pretty eye-catching. However, the one amazing thing is that the report begins by mentioning the name of the person who is supposedly involved in the scenario, Kate Davies. The article on Faking It: Sex, Lies, and Women’s Magazines indicates that when the magazines begin using the names of real people, then there is the possibility that these people do not exist in the first place. Thus, there is a possibility that the story playing out here vs. entirely fictitious. One of the reasons for this may be that it is quite hard for people to reveal they’re real names, insensitive articles such as these as it would make them subject to the ridicule to some extent through the narration of their sexual escapades.


Mackenzie, M. (2019). Good Sex Matters—And Too Many Women Don’t Have It. Glamour, Retrieved from https://www.glamour.com/story/why-good-sex-matters

Marie Claire. (2019). Mind the orgasm gap – how to get the sex you deserve. Retrieved from https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/life/sex-and-relationships/orgasm-gap-641531



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