Filament, in case you’ve missed their booming word-of-mouth campaign, bills itself as a non-fashion magazine for straight women that features erotic photos of men that are also for straight women.
The articles are great. They’re more like something you’d read in Ms. or Utne Reader than something specifically designed the way Slate’s Double-X or Gawker’s Jezebel are to capture advertising for the “women’s market.” (I spotted only two ads — one for an online sports-bra retailer, another for vision-protecting vitamins.)
The photos are pretty cool too and that’s a surprise for me. I’m usually pretty neutral about men’s bodies but also often a bit squicked by the way men are presented in porn meant for men. I don’t identify with the men in gay porn, and I really don’t identify with the contortions men in straight porn are put through in order to preserve lines of sight to their partner’s bodies.
The photos in Filament are kind of eye-opening even though or maybe because they’re not for me! I look at them and don’t think “where would I fit in” the way men are sort of meant to in for-men porn. Instead I keep thinking is that how a partner would like to see me? or did I look like that when I was 20? Also (blush!) I kept thinking what would I do but what would a partner want to do to me! Or want me to do to her! A feeling I really don’t get from porn for men because, at least for me, porn for men is about knowing exactly what I’d like to do next.
There’s also a cool sense of drama in some of them — not so much scenarios or the fabled “plot lines” as visual and atmospheric context that goes beyond “m’kay, here’s what the model looks like with out a top; here’s what the model looks like in undies; here’s what the model looks like lying on a bed; here’s what the model looks like giving/getting/watching this or that sex act” you see more of in industrial porn for men.
Point being that I enjoyed reading the articles I was inspired by the photography.
Bottom line? It’s the sort of magazine I’d enjoy reading in bed. With a partner. Not so much one-handed reading as three-handed. :-)