Columbia Delivers Pornless Porn Mag

What good is having sex if you don’t, like, talk about it? So asks Outlet, an online magazine that proves Columbia students not only work hard, they play hard — or at least think about playing hard — too. Though the kids of Morningside Heights are a little late to the Ivy League sex party — recall that H-Bomb, “Harvard’s Magazine About Sex,” came out in the spring of 2004 — the editors of Outlet claim their approach to the dirty is different. “H-Bomb is an erotica magazine as such, meaning that its main purpose is titillation,” says Outlet editor-in-chief Kimi Traube ‘08. “Outlet seeks to focus more on cultural, sociological, and political issues surrounding our generation’s experience of sex and sexuality.” A tad more titillation might have done some good: Visitors who click on the site’s “Porn” link expecting to see Columbia students in various states of undress instead encounter 38 pages of vaguely intellectual undergraduate musings on topics from the faux feminism of the Suicide Girls to the shortcomings of sex ed in American schools, all set in a decidedly un-sexy Courier New type. Unlike H-Bomb, Outlet is currently a Web-only venture — it soft-launched earlier this month and filtered into student consciousness this week — though Traube hopes the magazine will generate enough publicity to make a print version financially viable. One hopes Traube and her team haven’t forgotten the golden rule of marketing: Sex sells, but only when you show it.

Neel Shah