Nerve (website)

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Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Sex, relationships and culture
Available in English
Owner IAC
Created by Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field
Editor Peter Smith
Launched 1997; 18 years ago (1997)

Nerve or is an American online magazine dedicated to sexual topics, relationships and culture. Founded by Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field, it publishes articles and photography. It also hosts blogs, forums, and a section for personal advertisements. Nerve's CEO is Sean Mills. Regular and past contributors include Rick Moody, Mary Gaitskill, Lisa Carver, Steve Almond, Neil LaBute, Kevin Keck, and Neal Pollack.

Nerve Media has produced several books, including The Big Bang: Nerve's Guide to the New Sexual Universe, Sex Etiquette, Full Frontal Fiction, The New Nude and Sex Advice From....


The site was founded in 1997 by Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field with the goal of creating a smart sex magazine that men and women could enjoy. It has subsequently evolved into a more general site about love and culture. Nerve is often cited as one of the few Silicon Alley success stories.[by whom?]

In 2014, Nerve was acquired by HowAboutWe.[1] Under new ownership, Nerve will operate independently from the HowAboutWe dating site, and the company will continue to pursue the original mission of[2]

Mission statement[edit]

Nerve is a fearless and intelligent magazine about sex, relationships and pop culture. With cliché-shattering personal essays, interviews, reporting and criticism, we explore the predominant concerns of young men and women with peerless honesty and wit. Our mission is to apply the highest editorial standards of the print magazine world with the best online innovation to deliver (1) an editorial voice that doesn't exist anywhere else, online or offline, and (2) an interactive online experience that harnesses the creativity of our exceptionally clever readership.

Website features[edit]

Nerve content is divided into six sections.

  1. The Features section includes: personal essays, fiction, dispatches (reported pieces) and “regulars” (recurring columns). Current "regulars" include I Did It For Science, My First Time, and The Nerve Debate.
  2. The Advice section includes Miss Information, Sex Advice From..., a satirical look at other advice columns called Awesome Advice - Way to Go, and Dan Savage's syndicated column, Savage Love.
  3. The Entertainment section includes film, music, books and television coverage.
  4. The Blogs section includes Scanner (daily pop-culture coverage) and Tools of Attraction (personal style/design).
  5. Dating Confessions, a user-generated collection of short posts regarding sex and romance.
  6. 666

Notable contributors[edit]




Other media[edit]

Nerve has expanded into books, a video website and a personal advertisement network.


  • Smut: Volume 2 (2009)
  • 2033: The Future of Misbehavior (2007)
  • Naughty Crosswords: Presents Fifty Sexy and Outrageous Puzzles (Spiral-bound) (2006)
  • Sex Advice From... (2006)
  • Position of the Day (2003)
  • The Big Bang (2003)
  • Classic Nasty: More Naughty Bits (2003)
  • The Lisa Diaries (2002)
  • The Naughty Bits (2001)
  • Full Frontal Fiction (2000)
  • The New Nude (2000)
  • Nerve: Literate Smut (1998)


An HBO special called Downloading Sex premiered in 2001 and still airs periodically on HBO.

Print magazine[edit]

Nerve published a bimonthly print magazine from 2000 to 2001. The magazine attracted subscribers, but had difficulty achieving significant newsstand sales, in part due to distribution and racking issues. The magazine's sexual content made non-endemic ad sales a challenge, and the lack of advertising revenue led to a suspension of publication after six issues.

Nerve Personals[edit]

Although they originated on Nerve, the personals are now part of a larger network of over 100 websites and print publications.[3]

Audio CD[edit]

Nerve released a spoken-word CD in 2000 called Sweet and Vicious. It featured Nerve content being read by authors and actors, including Parker Posey.


  • "Literate Smut"
  • "Screw with Your Mind"
  • "Love * Sex * Culture"
  • "Think about sex"


  • 2006 Webby Award Nominee, Best Copy/Writing
  • 2005 National Magazine Award Finalist, General Excellence Online
  • 2005 American Photography 20 Award (2)
  • 2004 Forbes "Best of the Web" Selection
  • 2004 American Photography 20 Award (2)
  • 2001 GLAAD "Outstanding Digital Journalism" Award
  • 2001 Webby Judge's Award, Print and Zine
  • 2000 Webby People's Voice Award, Print and Zine
  • 2000 National Magazine Award Nominee, Online Design
  • 1999 Entertainment Weekly’s "30 Most Beautiful Sites" Selection


  1. ^ HowAboutWe buys
  2. ^ Brooks, Mark (January 31, 2014). "Why Buy Interview With Brian Schechter, CEO Of HowAboutWe". Online Personals Watch. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Wortham, Jenna (December 14, 2011). " Introduces a Hip Dating Site — Again". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]