Exposing the Student Body at CT Schools

It has been around for, well, ever. Yet, it is still taboo in most conversational circles.

Ahh, leave it to students at two prestigious Connecticut universities to open up that conversation, putting the topic of sex in your hands -- literally.  Yale's mag goes along with its Sex Week and Wesleyan's "Unlocked" is heading for the presses soon for a Spring 2009 edition.

“Our mission is to unlock the mind of the student body to be comfortable with sexuality and the naked body," said Unlocked co-editor-in-chief Yannick Bindert.

Bindert, currently a sophomore at Wesleyan, co-founded the sex magazine his freshman year after chatting about collegiate sex magazines with co-founder Ben Kuller.

What will you find in their sex magazine? Drawings, artistic photography featuring nude and clothed student models, fiction and non-fiction writing, informative articles, polls, interviews with professors and experts and reviews of sex boutiques.

The cash for “Unlocked” will come partly from advertising, fundraisers and Wesleyan’s Student Budgetary Committee.  The magazine hasn’t hit any roadblocks with the university, but there have been some minor snags internally, Bindert said.

“Everything has been going really smooth,” Bindert said. “In the beginning, we had insufficient funds, now that isn’t a problem. We used to have problems with getting material. We have to narrow it down now because we get too much.”

Yale University has the biennial sex magazine, “Sex Week at Yale: The Magazine,” also known as “SWAY Magazine.” Production on the 2010 edition starts this April.

“I definitely see it as a method for those students to express their sexuality,” Yale junior Colin Adamo, the director of Sex Week at Yale 2010, said.

Sex Week at Yale is an entire week dedicated to sex education and fun activities. The event began in 2002 and the magazine debuted during Sex Week at Yale 2006. It's held during the week of Valentine’s Day every other year. The magazine’s printing schedule coincides with the sex-filled week.

Unlike “Unlocked,” which contains some nude photos in their publications, “SWAY Magazine” doesn’t expose the student body.

“Yalies are still interested in being employed after graduation, and having naked pictures of yourself circulating in print doesn't always seem like the best resume booster,” Adamo said.

The board of directors for the 2010 week will choose an editor-in-chief for the magazine “soon,” in preparation for its release. The board will begin brainstorming, generating story ideas and covering stories, such as the “Drag Ball” in October.

Sponsors and small grants pay for the event, but the main sponsor and biggest financial contributor is Pure Romance.

“Our goal is to promote sex education,” Brandy Reeves, health education coordinator at Pure Romance, said.

Pure Romance is a Cincinnati based in-home party company that sells bedroom sex toys and accessories. The company also sponsors similar week-long events at other college campuses, including Indiana University and University of Cincinnati.

“We were approached by SWAY and we saw potential to educate,” Reeves said. “We really wanted to educate college students about sex education, relationships and how their bodies work. It was something we wanted to be on board with.”

Adamo, who says his career will be in sex education, stressed the importance of the magazine.

“It’s one of these things where it has fun topics and it’s educational at the same time,” Adamo said. “It shows we’re committed to sex education.”

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