Yo Is That My Lab Partner With No Pants
College campuses have long been at the forefront when it comes to fighting for sexual liberation, but lately it seems the halls of higher education are taking their liberating to a whole new level.
Last month, Boston University students launched Boink, a 'sex positive' magazine produced by undergraduate students that features real co-eds in nothing but their birthday suits. Created by and for students, the magazine (plugged as 'Real College Porn for Real College Students') comes straight on the heels of the sex-themed Harvard publication H Bomb as well as the sexuality- and sexual-health-oriented Vassar mag Squirm.
'We wanted Boink to represent college and all that college is,' said senior Alecia Oleyourryk, a journalism major and the magazine's editor in chief. Aside from the erotic photography, the magazine also features sex-themed articles, advice, fiction and humor. And, Oleyourryk added, 'It's for all sexual orientations and people of all different colors, races and preferences.'
'When they came out and said it's going to be pornography, a little more hard-core, I think people had mixed reactions,' said Patrick Gillooly, editor of Boston University's campus newspaper The Daily Free Press. 'Some were totally disgusted, while others were glad that BU students were actually taking a stand and saying we're not afraid of sexuality.'
|More Action From Boink!|
Photos from the Boink shoot
The idea for Boink was born when photographer Christopher Anderson, 38, who had done work for H Bomb, brought the idea to 21-year-old Oleyourryk, who had modeled for him in the past.
'[Chris and I] met up and it was one of those things where it was like, 'So, you wanna do this sex magazine? All right, what should we call it?' ' said Oleyourryk, who started modeling nude at 19. 'It was really just step by step. There was no huge game plan.'
The BU senior is quick to disregard any similarities between Boink and Harvard's 'omnisexual' approach to studying sex. ' H Bomb is very careful about drawing a line between, is it sex or is it art? [They] make it very educational,' Oleyourryk explained. ' Boink is porn, and we're not scared to say that. It's meant to arouse and entertain, and there's nothing wrong with that.'
After placing an ad in The Daily Free Press, word of the new venture was picked up by The Boston Globe. Soon, Oleyourryk and Anderson were overwhelmed by responses from students who wanted to be a part of the mag. Models were booked (at a flat rate of 0), writers were recruited and, five months later, the first issue of Boink hit the stands.
Since Boston University does not endorse the magazine, the ,000 cost of producing the quarterly publication had to be covered solely by sponsors and advertisers. 'The university actually blocked us from selling [ Boink ] at different venues that they own around the university,' Anderson revealed. However, the lack of ties to the university also means less restrictions for the publishers, who have complete creative control over the magazine's content.
'The magazine was very beautifully done,' said Alexis Smith, another Boink model. 'It's tasteful, and it's appreciative of the human form.' Twenty-year-old Smith, who appeared anonymously in two of the magazine's ads from the neck down, said the experience of posing nude was almost like a retribution after years of insecurity about her body. 'I'm a lot more comfortable with who I am now,' she said. 'I feel like I've grown into my own skin.'
Oleyourryk says that she is extremely proud that Boink features real students as their models, sans stylists, Photoshop and airbrushing. 'We have average people modeling. They're not perfect,' she said. 'These are real people.'
It is the possibility of seeing your bio lab partner posing in one of the risqué layouts that is one of the magazine's main draws, according to Smith. 'Students will want to pick it up and say, 'Am I going to see someone I know?' That has a huge effect on whether or not they pick up the magazine.' The first issue of Boink has sold more than 12,000 copies and may soon be reprinted due to high demand.
While many BU students support the new project, initial response from the community has been mixed. 'Some people are very much in support of Boink and some people are very much against it,' Oleyourryk said. 'You get people that are gung-ho about it, and then you get the people who think you are going straight to hell.'
Gillooly, The Daily Free Press ' editor in-chief, says that he's received letters from the community arguing both sides of the issue. 'One of the letters we received said, 'Why would you want to show something like this to your grandchildren?' ' said Gillooly, who adds that the magazine was not as risqué as many students had anticipated. 'But then we got responses back saying, 'It's great that I can say that I was part of a revolution on my campus — or possibly a revolution across all campuses.' '