Featuring glossy spreads of naked co-eds, Boink magazine might seem like just the latest rendering of porn sexualizing college life.
But in this case, one of the scantily clad cover models is the co-founder of the magazine, which is predominantly run by college students. With pictorials of both naked women and men, it is targeted toward straight and queer audiences alike.
“There’re plenty of magazines out there that are geared primarily towards men,” said Christopher Anderson, 38, the co-founder of Boink and a professional photographer. “We wanted to be more inclusive. If anyone is tolerant enough to handle it, it’s the current college generation.”
Anderson said the idea came to him after working on Harvard University’s sex magazine H-Bomb.
“It really came from the work that I did on H-Bomb and having the concept out there, I thought we could do something a little different with it,” Anderson said.
Boink, which declares itself “the college guide to carnal knowledge,” was released on Feb. 17 and features full frontal nudity, sex toy reviews, sex advice and articles about sexually transmitted infections and contraception.
“Some of [the articles] are meant to be educational and some are meant to just be entertaining,” Anderson said.
Alecia Oleyourryk, a senior at Boston University, developed the magazine with Anderson and is featured on the cover of the premier issue. She said the main difference between Boink and its more mainstream counterparts is that it strives to celebrate people in all of their flaws.
“These aren’t models, they’re real people—we don’t have a stylist,” said Oleyourryk. “There’s a sexiness that you might see them in class the next day.”
Anderson said that many magazines like Playboy “are targeted towards an older audience and don’t really have credibility with a younger audience.”
The magazine’s staff is about 60 percent women and 40 percent men, according to Anderson, who noted that most of the male staff members are gay. He said the staff’s makeup is reflected in the magazine’s openness to all genders and sexual orientations.
While many staff members are Boston University students, selling Boink on campus isn’t allowed and University President ad interim Aram Chobanian said he disapproved of the magazine.
“I don't want to see our students calling themselves a group that's putting out a BU pornographic magazine,” Chobanian told The Daily Press, the student newspaper at BU. “And it shouldn't be confused with the university, it's a student who, along with an entrepreneur photographer, put this together.”
“I think the human figure is a very, I'm not sure how to explain things, it's just a very special thing and this is exploitation of it,” he said in an interview with The Daily Press.
Oleyourryk, who’s been running the media gamut promoting the magazine, said she’s encountered a lot of criticism from other women who feel that the magazine is degrading, but she sees it differently.
“It’s liberating and empowering to say ‘Look at me I’m not perfect, but look at me. My classmates are gonna see it and I’m okay with it,’” Oleyourryk said.
She said her decision to pose naked in the magazine was a “practice what you preach kind of thing.”
“I wanted the models to know that it wasn’t something I was gonna do as a spectator,” Oleyourryk said.
As for Oleyourryk’s parents, she said they’re supportive of her latest endeavor.
“[My mother] understands the potential of sex selling,” said Oleyourryk, adding, “She really wishes I wasn’t in it.”
While it has yet to be seen whether the current college generation will embrace Boink, Oleyourryk said that they’ve sold over 15,000 subscriptions through their Web site, and Virgin Megastore will be selling the magazine nationally within a few weeks.