Filament (magazine)

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June 2010 cover
Editor Suraya Sidhu Singh
Categories Women's magazines
Frequency Quarterly / biannually[1]
First issue June 2009
Final issue December 2011
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Website Filament
ISSN 2041-1472

Filament was a quarterly magazine aimed at women, showcasing erotic photographs of men. Filament professed, through its tagline, to be "The thinking woman's crumpet". Unlike other magazines for women that have featured solely muscular men, Filament featured a wide variety of men.[2] Alongside erotic photographs the magazine also included discussions on topics not only related to sex but to other aspects of life. Since "Men's magazines regularly mixed aspirational and intelligent content with high-brow erotica (...)"[2] Filament attempted to replicate this in a magazine for women.

The inspiration for the magazine according to their website was that:

Women are 10 times more likely than men to undergo cosmetic surgery and 43 times more likely than men to suffer an eating disorder. Is this because women are 'naturally' life-threateningly obsessed with their appearance, or is this in some way influenced by women's media? Many men's magazines don't discuss men's appearance, but nearly all women's magazines discuss women's appearance. Filament breaks this trend by covering a wide range of topics that inspire and engage, and giving you gorgeous boys the way you like to see them.[3]

The magazine was published in the United Kingdom and was available for purchase worldwide through their website and selected retailers.[4] In the winter of 2011, Filament ended after 9 issues.[5]

Topics Covered[edit]

Filament was a magazine for women which alongside its erotic aspects (images of men and erotic fiction) offered coverage on topics related to sex and those that are unrelated to sex. For example, the first issue contained an ethical discussion on Hardcore and Softcore pornography, and etiquette tips alongside atheist parenting. This in turn related to their goal of creating a magazine for women with intelligent discussion similar to men's magazines. It further choose to distance itself from typical female magazines by not covering topics such as dieting, celebrity gossip, fashion and cosmetics.

The Female Gaze[edit]

Image: Ara Maye McBay

The magazine featured both explicit and non-explicit photography of men. The magazine presented photography of men designed for women, as distinct from that designed for gay men, which has been traditionally simply been repackaged for women in magazines such as Playgirl. The magazine uses academic and primary research findings about the types of men and photography that more women prefer both to guide photographers and to assess erotic photography for publication.[6]


Reactions to Filament were both positive and negative. Voxpops with women undertaken by New Zealand current affairs programme Close Up were strongly positive,[7] whereas those undertaken by British chat show The Wright Stuff were mainly negative.[8] Many blogs were positive in their reception of the magazine citing it as "a highly-researched, beautifully bound publication chock full of both saucy males posing for the camera and intelligent articles"[9] with "not just your emaciated pretty boys, they cover quite a range of the male form"[10] and saying that "the articles, interviews, short fiction and poetry pages are top notch".[11]

Erection Campaign[edit]

In August 2009 Filament magazine began a campaign to become the first UK women's magazine to publish an erection pictorial, after the printers of its first issue declined to print the second if it contained such images. Filament sought to sell 328 further copies of the first issue to finance changing printer, and succeeded.[12] The campaign attracted support from high-profile figures such as Zoe Margolis and Warren Ellis.[13]


  1. ^ Suraya Sidhu Singh (4 November 2010). "Changes to Filament's publishing schedule". Filament magazine. LiveJournal. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Taylor, Jerome (28 May 2009). "Can an ex-civil servant finally persuade women to buy erotica?". The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "FAQ". Archived from the original on 26 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Get Filament through your letter box in any country within days, discreetly packaged". Archived from the original on 20 June 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Suraya (November 2011). "All Good Things Must Come To An End". Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Female Gaze, Filament Magazine website". Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  7. ^ "Close Up: Taranaki girl creates new sex mag". Television New Zealand. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Simon Kendrick (7 June 2009). "Filament magazine – for the female gaze - Curiously Persistent". Curiously Persistent. Retrieved 13 July 2009. 
  9. ^ "Exoskeleton Cabaret". 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Squidge Mag". June 2009. 
  11. ^ Laura (June 2009). "Review: Filament magazine". Retrieved 13 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Filament magazine erection campaign page". Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Kristina Lloyd; Mathilde Madden (13 August 2009). "A limp response to women's erotica". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2009. 

External links[edit]