Orgasm Guaranteed

What I learned while freelancing at Cosmopolitan.

By Katherine Goldstein

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to expand. As I walked into the elegant Hearst Tower, home to many of the country’s top magazines, with gleaming white floors and a two-story waterfall, I was sure my life was about to change forever. I was 23, wearing a gray hand-me-down wool dress from Bergdorf Goodman that my mother’s friend gave me, and I was reporting for duty for my first job in publishing: fact-checking at Cosmopolitan.

When I moved to New York City a few months before, I had a vague but highly determined notion that I wanted to be a writer. I got jobs baby-sitting and working as a catering waitress. I obsessively read books about how to write magazine pitches, took "secrets of publishing" classes, and dutifully followed alumni networking leads. One of those leads, it so happened, led a frazzled research chief at Cosmopolitan to call me one Monday afternoon in January. "Was there any way I was free to come in and fact-check for the rest of the week on such short notice?" I burst with joy as I replied in as soothing a tone as I could muster. Yes, after checking my schedule I could be available to fact-check for the rest of the week. She told me the pay was $25 an hour and gave me the Hearst Tower address.

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