After seeing the first issue of Outlet, Columbia’s new sex mag, and agreeing with much of the commentary about its lack of layout—but also of the opinion that the publication might have a shot at promoting more lucid dialogue about sexuality—I offered to design the magazine. Over the course of three nights, we hashed out the second issue.
A note from editor Kimi Traube
Outlet has been receiving a lot of attention lately, both on the internet and in print. We’ve been featured in the New York Sun, New York Magazine, and numerous internet blogs. I’ve been surprised at the response. There seems to have been some misunderstanding as to the nature of this magazine. Outlet was not created in the image of H-Bomb; it is not intended to be porn. They do a very good job of that over at Harvard; we are interested in doing something that has not already been done. The idea behind Outlet when we first talked about it in a 20th floor E.C. suite was to do something that hadn’t been happening on campus: thinking and talking critically about sexuality. In the realm of sex, there is a tendency to do and not to reflect. For something that takes up a large portion of our undergraduate brainspace, there’s very little serious analytical thought given to the subject. Sex is a legitimate though controversial topic worthy of critical social analysis. The unexamined life, as Socrates says, is not worth living. So why should we be opposed to examining our sex lives?
Much of the discussion surrounding Outlet’s debut has been centered on the fact that words, and not photographs, are the predominant medium of the magazine. If you want porn and only porn, get on the internet, there’s a lot of it out there. We’ve got some interesting recommendations up our sleeves; look for links in this and future issues. But this magazine is about discussion and exploration, not spreads of co-ed college buttporn. We’re here to talk about buttporn, not to make it. So stop asking for it, and ask yourself instead: why is it acceptable to show sex, but not to talk about it?
500,000 Kilowatts of Funk,
Outlet Editor in Chief