I was hired to make the site funnier, more feminist and less about creepy servile blowjob magic. Ask me stuff!

https://twitter.com/Cosmopolitan/status/403614462701076480

[UPDATE] thank you for your questions and comments! we went on a real journey today. you can find me on twitter @annabreslaw.

Comments: 252 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

CelebornX133 karma

To everyone who keeps downvoting all of her responses: You need to chill out.

She's being pretty open and upfront about the rebranding of Cosmo online.

Just because you hate the magazine like the rest of us doesn't mean you need to downvote ASK ME ANYTHING responses that actually have some merit.

So many fucking children on this subreddit. I'm gonna downvote every response because I don't like something that you're tangentially linked with!

Sonmi-452-6 karma

Tangentially? Like hell - she works DIRECTLY for the magazine and in its most egregiously asinine editorial department.

I'm not on the downvote brigade - but get real.

annabreslaw19 karma

I actually work directly for the website (we have different bosses), and if you are thinking of the "blowjob tip" type editorials, I was actually hired to kill those and update the Cosmopolitan.com website content to be better (which it says in my bio at the top, if you bothered to read that).

I write about feminist porn, and how to go down a girl properly, and make funny lists for girls my age. What do you do for a living that's so essential to the world's continued spinning? I'm curious.

annabreslaw5 karma

it must be really important, since you know words like "egregious" and "asinine" as well as how to put them together in such a lovely way.

Musicmantobes72 karma

How do you feel about people complaining that a lot of the tips are uncomfortable, bad, or just generally painful? Also, what do you think of /r/ShitCosmoSays?

annabreslaw76 karma

well, i just started working here a few months ago, and i'm not responsible for the iconic bad tips people make fun of. (i also don't do sex tips, really, since the website has changed/become less stereotypical "cosmo.")

walrus_moustache47 karma

Does this comment make my ass look big?

annabreslaw86 karma

i'm ass-positive, so your ass looks however big or small you want it to look.

Mcabe123439 karma

You should be in politics

annabreslaw24 karma

too many naked pictures of me exist.

UsedForWeirdComments41 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw57 karma

i'm gonna need to look at this before i respond, but it sounds like something i'd be interested in writing about. thanks for linking me.

scrambelina40 karma

It seems like you're getting a lot of shit for things you didn't write. Just wanted to say thanks for having the guts to do this AMA! I'm a fan of cosmo and look forward to seeing what positive changes you have in store for the magazine!

annabreslaw32 karma

thanks!

Dollarama37 karma

This is going well

annabreslaw54 karma

hahahah

chipsy_queen34 karma

You've got a great attitude about this--I was worried for you but you're rocking it! (Nolite te bastardes carborundorum!)

annabreslaw34 karma

haha, i appreciate the concern! humor as a defense mechanism is my jam. i was born for this

rovina33 karma

How do you keep finding 15 new ways to please men in bed every three issues?

annabreslaw188 karma

not sure, that's the old-school version of the magazine's bag. i mostly just throw cats at men and cackle at the sky.

ianmac4725 karma

What should people do with their pets when they are having sexy time? Do you let them watch or ban them to the other room?

annabreslaw107 karma

i let my cat watch. she has so few joys.

ChaosRedux22 karma

You're such a weirdo. I LOVE IT!

(Seriously, I'm like a third of the way down the page for your AMA, never liked Cosmo but am seriously considering giving some of your articles a try. You're super witty and very funny and I'm really enjoying reading this!)

annabreslaw20 karma

thanks!

ChaosRedux16 karma

You're also still replying to an AMA from 7 hours ago... WHICH IS INSANELY COOL.

annabreslaw16 karma

yeah, I have a really fulfilling and vibrant social life, if you couldn't tell.

freckled_brunette20 karma

What changes has the magazine made to update itself?

How do you plan to engage more college aged readers?

How do you respond to criticism of a lot of your articles?

How can a young writer break into writing? If they submit a piece about an experience they had how likely is it to even be read let alone published?

As a suggestion-I would like to see more detailed makeup and hair tutorials. I also really like funny articles like sexy/skanky.

annabreslaw31 karma

  1. the print mag runs some edgier stories these days as well as the usual "how to give him a bj so he cums glitter" kind of stuff — i don't feel qualified to speak for them, but the new editor in chief Joanna Coles is very against the old style of Cosmo that was all about bj tips and not about career stuff. which reflects in the upcoming issues, i think.

  2. we have a contributor network that accepts writing from college-aged readers! submit!

  3. see above.

  4. drink; cry; watch a lot of Instant Netflix.

  5. carly cardellino, who does our hair/makeup, is great. and i like those too. note taken!

DemanRisu10 karma

How do you respond to criticism of a lot of your articles?

How can a young writer break into writing? If they submit a piece about an experience they had how likely is it to even be read let alone published?


3. see above.

4. drink; cry; watch a lot of Instant Netflix.

I like you.

annabreslaw6 karma

i like you too. :)

bulbousnub19 karma

Why am I so lonely?

annabreslaw29 karma

come over!

BeachCop14 karma

What 8 simple tricks could an average guy like me use to get in your pants?

annabreslaw43 karma

  1. Be nice to me. 2. Smell good. 3. Profit

BeachCop11 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. You seem like good person who loves her job and that's awesome to hear. Best of luck at Cosmo. :) Now excuse me, I've got to go put some cologne on (Burberry or Polo are my go-to's).

Let's get it on.

annabreslaw11 karma

thanks!

jimunoz13 karma

What do you think about websites like Jezebel?

annabreslaw32 karma

love jezebel! i used to write for them, i was the morning Dirtbag writer and a weekend editor for awhile. also love the hairpin and the toast. am a big fan of women's blogs in general.

rtpout10 karma

I miss you on Dirtbag!

annabreslaw13 karma

awwwww i miss you guys too

Mikeaz123-5 karma

Are you that girl who went out with a guy from okcupid and then wrote a blog about it on jezebel making fun of him because he was #1 in the world at some geek card game? Probably not but that chick sucked.

annabreslaw1 karma

nope. also i am 98% sure that was a post on gizmodo, not jezebel.

HolyBleep12 karma

What is the weirdest cosmo advice you've ever read?

annabreslaw41 karma

the infamous doughnut one is pretty fucking weird.

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw11 karma

nah, not going to promote things i don't like or stand behind. you can find it if you google it?

AwkwardEm10 karma

As many people comment on your posts saying "That's it, i'm unliking Cosmo!" are your page stats actually going down at all? Same with magazine subscriptions/purchases?

I love the more feminist, progressive direction the magazine is going in but I think a lot of people obviously feel strongly against things on that side of the spectrum. Keep it up, Anna. :)

annabreslaw19 karma

actually, they go up every day. i think the most vocal people are the ones who hate it (small amount) and then there is a huge silent demographic of people who are like, oh cool.

thanks for the support!

SteelyDude10 karma

What is the strangest relationship question you've ever received (other than this one)?

annabreslaw27 karma

A woman from a foreign country with a v strict marital sex policy in the social caste system once asked me for a brief sex education (via facebook message) because she couldn't ask anyone she knew.

mhck9 karma

Is it hard dealing with all the negative comments? Some of the readers are REALLY personal in the way they critique your articles...it's a little scary to read sometimes.

annabreslaw23 karma

yes! i am very sensitive about a lot of them, especially since many (MANY) don't read the articles close enough and then get mad about what they think they just read. but at the end of the day i try to leave all that behind.

shebeard9 karma

Is there a sexual experience qualification to write for Cosmo?

annabreslaw13 karma

in my case, an embarrassing sexual experience qualification. (the answer to that is "lots.")

lindseydawn9 karma

Hi! First let me say that I love you and what you've brought to Cosmo so far and, ya know, fuck the haters.

I'm a broadcast journalism major and I have heard a lot of opposing viewpoints from professors and people in the field on how to land a job like yours. Some say it's about persistence and being borderline insane and annoying until you're noticed, showing up at the place you want to work with writing samples and a portfolio and refusing to go away until you're heard. Some say it's about staying quiet and doing good, consistent, but small, work until someone notices. Is it one of these options or something in the middle?

On that same note, are you looking for an intern or someone to bitch around at the office or an adorable little transplant to New York to do video segments? Because I'm totally down.

annabreslaw22 karma

Something in the middle. Do awesome work, promote it to a point and make sure to stay connected to good, talented people, but don't be a shark, and NEVER EVER fuck over someone to get ahead, because that's the kind of shit people remember. I've seen this happen repeatedly, and i'm not like, a creepy old newsman ghost who has been around forever, i'm 26.

mrpotatospunk9 karma

How much of the sex advice is intended to be satire or comedy?

annabreslaw13 karma

on my end, a fair amount of it. or, at least, a lot of it is peppered with jokes. i can't speak to the old school "sex tips" that you find in the magazine or old online articles.

soo-crates8 karma

I love your articles, whenever I find myself checking to see who the author of a particular Cosmo online article is it always ends up being you. There was an article I read the other day, with a line that included "freebasing dark chocolate", that had me laughing out loud. Personally, I've never had a great opinion or sought out Cosmo but recently your articles have been changing my attitude towards the magazine. Keep it up.

annabreslaw7 karma

thank you!!

xsssy8 karma

How do you deal with mean internet commenters?

annabreslaw26 karma

Ambien and Jose Cuervo Especial.

ohbabyyyy7 karma

does it make you feel weird writing about sex all the time? is it ever "too" much?

annabreslaw42 karma

that's a good question. sometimes it's weird, especially family things, because everyone at the table has that weird moment where they're like, "oh yeah, ron and carol breslaw's daughter writes about how she likes getting cummed on"

annabreslaw15 karma

as long as i stick to my rule of not writing about any guys i might be dating/hooking up with, it's generally okay.

ohbabyyyy8 karma

no kidding! some guy sees you referencing his slightly less than average penis in one of your articles... so awkward. and do you ever feel like you're being judged in real life from your posts? like maybe a guy won't date you because of something you wrote in an article. but i guess that's just something you have to put up with

annabreslaw16 karma

YES. all the time. it's also one of the things that's hard to explain to people who don't write essays/nonfiction. a lot of the times "I" in the essays i write just means one small fraction of who i am, or one thing i've thought, and is often more black-and-white than i feel in my personal life.

and i think when i date guys — or meet people, generally — who don't write, that's a tough thing to explain. it's complicated, you know?

TheSweetness917 karma

funniest fart story?

annabreslaw45 karma

that's really hard.

once i was in a really fancy hotel lobby bathroom, and a woman in the stall was just farting her dick off. like big-time. then she came out and was GORGEOUS. which i thought was hilarious, for some reason.

i don't know if that's funny to everyone or just funny to me/other demented people.

annabreslaw25 karma

tl;dr: #blessed

twodaysofsnow7 karma

What is your favorite part of your job?

beyoncestwin6 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw31 karma

My trajectory was like, Get a job at a start-up that pays you nothing and stay there for way too long --> Cry --> Drink --> Start freelancing on the side --> Do okay --> Get a cat --> Name it Mothballs --> Start working at Cosmo

honestly, there's no right way to get a job like this other than to write your ass off and be persistent (submit to our contributor network!), although talent helps a lot too, obviously. just write a lot.

i do highly recommend getting a pet, though. writing is lonely.

Crazylittleloon8 karma

What a cute name for a cat!

annabreslaw9 karma

hahaha. she's the best.

Crazylittleloon3 karma

What does she look like?

annabreslaw4 karma

she's a calico — black, white and red. she's also hella salty and i have permanent scratches. BUT LOVE IS LOVE.

milowashere6 karma

What are your thoughts on asexuality?

annabreslaw39 karma

legitimate sexual orientation that we'd love to write more on, since it's so marginalized

AGoodMan3245 karma

Top five movies??

annabreslaw12 karma

boogie nights, goodfellas, rushmore, manhattan murder mystery, having trouble thinking of a fifth. i take this question SERIOUSLY

withthequickness5 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw7 karma

what's his name?

landmule5 karma

Are you a cat or dog person?

annabreslaw14 karma

cat. i like dogs, though!

uberlad5 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw23 karma

Don't be so scared

Philofelinist4 karma

What do your friends and family think of your job? What's it like going on a date and them finding out what you do?

annabreslaw17 karma

my family's a little confused sometimes, i think, but very supportive. dating is weird, but as soon as i make it clear i'm not going to write about the guy, they're generally okay with it and realize that Me The Human is not exactly the same as Me The Amazing Sex Writing Ferret

Philofelinist3 karma

Do you always ask the guy for permission to be used in your stories? Any funny stories about that?

annabreslaw7 karma

usually don't write about them, unless i learned a lot from dating them, in which point i maybe use them as a teaching point but don't write about them explicitly

car0linagirl4 karma

Hi Anna! I interned with Cosmopolitan.com this spring and was sad not to have ever met you. I love your writing style! My question: What's the most difficult article that you've ever had to write for Cosmo? -Cameron

annabreslaw8 karma

that's really tough. anything that involves talking about a foreign culture and/or religion that represses women without making snap judgments/being offensive about it.

ktc53 karma

This is going to sound semi obsessive, and slightly stalker-ish, but I honestly have read all your Cosmo articles and have definitely become an avid Cosmo reader because of your writing. I'm an "aspiring" journalist, and honestly am honestly very sarcastic and tend to not have a filter most of the time in the real world, but have felt pressured to be the most boring person in the world when it comes to writing. I guess what I'm trying to get at is thank you for showing me that you can be your crazy, neurotic, hilariously brilliant self, and still have the respect of your peers and your audience. If not, they can go politely fuck themselves.

P.S. can we be best friends, because you kind of write about my life at times and would appreciate the idiotic situations I get myself into. Just saying.

annabreslaw20 karma

that's so nice of you! not stalker-ish at all. you should hear me on dates. or outside my dates' windows. or masturbating furiously in the elm tree outside my dates' windows.

keep writing!!

khaleesii3 karma

Hi! Thanks for coming on to do an AMA, I saw that this was happening from the Cosmo Twitter. My questions are:

How did you get the job for Cosmo? Are you only an online writer or will you write for the print too?

Any sex tips for ladies who want to do something special for their guy?

annabreslaw30 karma

  1. I wrote a lot about relationships, got moderately good at it, and then got lucky. I will be freelancing a bit for the mag here and there.

  2. Dress up like his mom, put her perfume on, and his penis will feel ~~~dELiCiOuS cOnFuSiOn.~~**~~

ChaosRedux9 karma

Dress up like his mom, put her perfume on, and his penis will feel ~~~ dELiCiOuS cOnFuSiOn. ~~ ** ~~

It is entirely possible that I love you. I hope you are okay with that. I try not to love without permission.

annabreslaw7 karma

100 percent okay with that.

xsssy3 karma

Does cosmo ever get in trouble with Facebook for posting sex articles?

annabreslaw11 karma

nope, but commenters aren't fond of it sometimes. why they are still subscribed boggles the mind.

fannerz3 karma

I am very happy to see you working at Cosmo. Can you please do something about the awful diet ads placed right next to trite body-positive messages? Thank you.

annabreslaw5 karma

I've been trying.

landmule2 karma

Hi Anna - Although this is typically a woman's publication, do you get many questions from men? Even answering imaginary questions from men might be really amusing. Ever watch a group of old men smooth their hair and suck in their guts when a pretty girls goes by?

annabreslaw16 karma

not that many questions from men! i mean, at bars or whatever i sometimes do. but usually they just sneer and go, "so you write for the blowjob magazine?"

and then i start doing the Charleston on the bar, impromptu, until they freak out and walk away.

bengul2 karma

Hello. I need some help. A boy I have been seing lately, is now pissed, because I had sex with another boy last time I was out having drinks. I really like the guy, but messed it up when I was drunk. Please tell me how I can get the boy back!

annabreslaw2 karma

were you exclusive at the time?

bengul4 karma

Nope. Some things happend the first time we met, but we have just had a couple of dates, but talked every day.

annabreslaw8 karma

Honestly, if you were really heartfelt in your apology, there's not much else you can do. Let him have some space for now, and if it's meant to be, he'll forgive you in time. (If not, he's a grudge-holder, which ultimately might not bode well anyway.)

that sucks though, i'm sorry. drunk logic is a real life-ruiner. been there.

ruizmichelleann2 karma

what do you think about karen silkwood?

annabreslaw2 karma

role model.

Chuckanator2 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw7 karma

sorry you feel that way! do you mean me personally? or me like "cosmo?" because the brand has been around for a long time, way before I was even born, and other people do write for Cosmo besides me. <--facts :D

Chuckanator-7 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw10 karma

haha. yeah, I mean, the old guard of "bite his penis gently!!!!" is dying. you shouldn't call her a whore, though. it's not nice.

other hobbies include napping, drinking, napping and eating. thank you for the compliment. i'm a nerd in some ways (feminist theory, book-readin'), but not the ways boys think are cool (video games, superhero movies).

women like me can generally be found under a log.

drNothing2 karma

How much "research" would you say is performed before the article is released with "techniques to ... your boyfriend"?

I often picture the "How to Lose a guy in Ten Days" approach.

annabreslaw5 karma

Hey, yeah, we don't do that on the website. I don't write anything about how to touch balls.

wellmynameishaley2 karma

Hi. I have a woman crush on you after reading your AMA. Please do continue to up the feminism in your print... I remember being a little girl, taking mad shits, reading my mom's Cosmo, and feeling like, "OH, FUCK, I DO NOT WANT TO BE A WOMAN." It was all blow jobs and bakini waxin'... I am a loyal subscriber, ten years later, and I get a totally different vibe now.

I'm a little late but... erm... do you have any tips on how to control my nerdy, awkward, jumbled, quirky she-beast side of myself at job interviews? I'm usually either 2professional4them or just kind of... kdlslmemelKkskslKklslKAJNWNDNLOL

ianmac471 karma

Sarah Silverman was doing an AMA right before you today. Does she still hate you?

Do you ever worry about offending celebrities' feelings, or do ever worry about hurting the people you know in real life with the things that you write?

annabreslaw6 karma

hey ian.

  1. No idea, but I really like her, so hopefully not?

  2. Depends on the celebrity/person.

lolihaetwow1 karma

This ama is probably over, but some of the phrases you use is very chan-esque. Did you ever browse 4chan or any other website similar to that?

annabreslaw2 karma

no! i know what it is, though. i think i've just spent so many years on the internet that my brain and the internet have fused into one.

paintedgreenteeth1 karma

Does Cosmo ever consult men regarding their sex tips? Some of them seem pretty obviously written by people who do not own a penis.

annabreslaw5 karma

Cosmo's sex tips are not something I've written since I got here, so not sure what their process is

AshRae841 karma

I was a subscriber to Cosmo for more than 15 years (mostly, if not all, Kate White years.)

For the first time this year, I have not renewed my subscription. I do not want to be rude, but why have there been so many changes?

I'm a believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and the Cosmo I once loved no longer exists. It saddens me.

annabreslaw7 karma

Basically the new ed in chief came in and decided it was time to update it from just being "how to please your man," etc.

Those articles totally still exist on the site, somewhere, though, if you want to look for them?

AshRae843 karma

The articles I miss are about relationships and real life. I find it to be almost too fashion oriented and too "shock factor" now. That's what Vogue is for, in my opinion.

annabreslaw16 karma

Soon we're gonna have more on relationships — I've never been in a serious long-term relationship (I'M BROKEN Y'ALL) but we are on the verge of hiring some editors who are grown-ass women and can write beautifully on such things.

if you are down with reading online, that is.

ItsJustBeenRevoked20 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw12 karma

<3

ColonelButtHurt0 karma

Why are there so many topics involving changing who your boyfriend is? These topics go so far as to say we like having our choices limited or straight up taken away. That we will thank you in the long run when you have successfully changed us men from who are to who you want. Does the femenist view point simply exist to convince women that men are inferior and have a secret desire to be whipped or is that simply a coincidence that I find in many of your magazine's topics.

annabreslaw4 karma

I've never written anything about changing who your boyfriend is, except to make sure you're with someone who's not an asswipe who makes you feel bad.

girlonthebeach-1 karma

Are you the one that told women to stick their panties in the freezer?

annabreslaw14 karma

nope. i keep mine in the microwave.

[deleted]-4 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw12 karma

  1. Lick it. 2. Sing to it. 3. Wait for marriage proposal

[deleted]0 karma

[deleted]

annabreslaw3 karma

I'll see what I can do. I will only work in professional lighting.

unglad-4 karma

Why does Cosmo hate men's testicles?

annabreslaw7 karma

Do we? Maybe some old articles did. I'm fond of them.

hsmith711-9 karma

Could you post a link to one Cosmopolitan "article" (lol) that wouldn't make the majority of redditors gag?

Note - in case you aren't aware.. most redditors probaly won't like content that suggests to your readers that they are inadequate and need to act a certain way or buy certain things a magazine tells them to so they can better "fit in".

Sorry for the hostility.. I missed the Ann Coulter AMA and had it stored up!

hsmith71111 karma

Based on the titles, I don't think I'll click on any of those at work.. but thanks for the response. I'll make an honest effort to check it out later.

annabreslaw5 karma

haha, sorry, should have mentioned they were probably NSFW! but yeah, read like one of them and you'll see i am an oddball myself. which i think has done well for cosmopolitan. people see through bullshit "women's magazine"-speak very easily nowadays, and i don't know how to/don't like to write that way.

samlamamma1 karma

That Taormino dude's really out there when it comes to the streaming sites like RedTube.

annabreslaw8 karma

i think you mean Taormino lady. :D

annabreslaw10 karma

oh also, print is changing its ways to be more progressive/feminist/smarter too — it's just a slower process, because the people who read print vs. online are different demographics. (internet readers are better. that's what i'm saying, really.)

hsmith7117 karma

print is changing its ways to be more progressive/feminist/smarter too

Something tells me its main goal will still be to profit from womens' insecurities.

Don't get me wrong.. I feel the same way about Maxim from the male perspective.

annabreslaw12 karma

hopefully not!! i mean, i get it, though. i'm writing something for them about the pressure curly-haired women (like me) feel to get blowouts/straighten their hair in a corporate environment. which sounds silly and shallow, but it's actually a thing that hasn't been written about that i feel women could benefit from.

BiancaNycole4 karma

I completely agree that this is a real issue. It would be great if you included input from black women who experience stigma from wearing afros and similar hairstyles in corporate environments.

annabreslaw4 karma

yes, i am including that! p.s. there was a fucked-up story about this that partly inspired me, if you want to google what happened at Glamour a few years ago.

AnaBackwards-14 karma

As an editor, are you aware that you're supposed to capitalize the first word at the beginning of a question?

annabreslaw23 karma

sry don't know how to do that. can you show me how to upper-case? you must be real smart.