May 13, 2008 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

In April Rice University published their first issue of a new sex magazine, entitled Open Magazine, according to a Houston Chronicle article. Sex magazines on college campuses is nothing new; Harvard, Boston University and the University of Chicago are just a few that have their own sex rags. Most universities don’t align themselves with these magazines (for obvious cushioning reasons); they are usually all independent and student-run.

At first thought, the idea of sex magazines on college campuses seems unnecessary. Mainstream media, especially shows that many college students watch such as nearly every show on MTV, already promotes sex enough. Why encourage sex in an university atmosphere where sex is already so accessible?

But these magazines aren’t simply filled with salacious material; these rags serve an important purpose for a young adult community, featuring an open forum that showcases real peoples’ ideas, views and insecurities about sex, rather than only the “normal” and safe views offered by mainstream magazines. The photographs throughout these magazines also play an important role, showcasing models with flaws and body types that are real. In the Houston Chronicle article, sophomore Rice student and editor-in-chief Rachel Solnick made it clear that the magazine’s focus is literary and artistic. Though the photography is certainly suggestive, it’s about the art; “If you just want to see a hot girl, that’s easy to do somewhere else,” Solnick said.

Open Magazine features first-person, fiction and news stories, poetry and the first issue even includes an interview with a Buddhist monk. If these magazines take a mature, open approach to addressing sex and encourage students’ real opinions to surface, they can serve the needs of an audience that has been left ignored by mainstream magazines. With Open Magazine’s first issue, it seems this the rag is going in the right direction.


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