Posted at 18:28 on 17 Aug 2009 by Pandora / Blake
Some friends of mine recently started a magazine called Filament. Billed as 'the thinking woman's crumpet', it aims to buck the trend of consumerist, diet-and-gossip-obsessed women's magazines which, despite their claims, are very rarely woman-positive. Filament focusses on the female gaze, and features erotic photoshoots of beautiful boys alongside well-written, intelligent articles. The first issue contains a grand total of two adverts, and the only women pictured are real, interesting, and decidedly non-airbrushed.
It's received some well-deserved media attention, including a Guardian article last week about the contraversial decision to include full frontal male nudity in the second issue.
Filament, responding to reader feedback, had planned to include a photo set of an aroused man in their second (September) issue. It's not illegal to print images of erections but the Obscene Publications Act is notoriously vague. After taking legal advice, Filament intended to make a test case of sorts. Its printers, however, refused, citing potential objections from "the women's/religious sectors". As a new, independent publisher, Filament can't yet afford more liberal-minded printers willing to tackle the taboo on tumescence.Encouraged by the positive response from their readership, Filament opened a fundraising campaign to try and raise the extra cash they needed to switch to a more liberal printers. As of today, their target has been met: fantastic news for those of us who want to see more equality in pictorial erotica.
It's the second major hurdle for Filament, which has already been turned down by numerous UK distributors refusing to handle a women's magazine with a man on the cover. When set against the plethora of men's lifestyle and top-shelf magazines featuring scantily clad and open-legged women, the struggles faced by Filament highlight a deeply entrenched sexism: men can look at women but women cannot look at men.
It may be more heterosexual and vanilla than my normal taste in porn, but I support this venture wholeheartedly; it embodies a lot of the principles which I'm following in my own porn production, but as a mainstream printed magazine Filament has the potential to meet a much wider audience. And I hear a rumour that the male models featured in Issue 2 are very spankable indeed.
The groundbreaking Filament Issue 2 comes out on 1 September and will soon be available for presales through our website. In the meantime, if you still haven't got our first issue, please support the tiny fledgling magazine that embraces the cutting-edge science that women have brains and eyes, and get yours here.