• Porn, Penises and German Electro - An Interview with Filament Magazine's Suraya Singh

    Suraya Sidhu Singh, Editor of Filament - Credit: Gerard HarveyFilament magazine has launched, and in its wake is a media frenzy, a lot of debate and a ton of women handing over their details to obtain a copy.

    Whether you consider Filament to be art, porn, art-porn or just downright smut, you have to admit that the controversy it has created can only be a good thing.

    After all, just knowing that there's a demand for a pornographic magazine aimed at women is enough to reassure the masses that looking at hot naked men is perfectly normal.

    We caught up with Filament editor Suraya Sidhu Singh to find out more about the magazine and how you can become a porn star for the intellectual generation.


    Carly: For those who haven't heard of Filament, what makes it different from every other woman's magazine?

    Suraya: Filament has thrown out the classic women's magazine formula and started from scratch. We don't do fashion, diets or celebrity gossip. Instead, we've gone for brain-engaging articles on social, lifestyle and political issues, interspersed with spreads of beautiful men, and a wee bit of erotic fiction. We don't claim to be an erotic magazine, simply a magazine for women, and erotic images and some erotic fiction make up part of that.


    Carly: Company and Cosmopolitan magazine often have sealed sections with photos of naked men in them, what do you think of these?

    Suraya: I applaud both magazines for doing so, and I'd like to see women's magazines generally contain more realistically beautiful men and fewer unrealistically perfect women - that way, women might not suffer eating disorders at 43 times the rate that men do. I also find the man porn is often without context and character, and therefore not so hot. I would suggest that they use models who are more interesting-looking, and put them in less generic environments, so that viewers can more easily imagine getting up to some excellent carry-on with that man.


    Filament Magazine - Credit: Ara Maye McBayCarly: Would you refer to Filament as porn?

    Suraya: People mean all sorts of things by porn. I personally use porn and erotica interchangeably because I've never heard a coherent argument for why there needs to be two different words for stuff that's designed to arouse. Our images, and some of our content, is designed to arouse, but not necessarily in a 'run off and have a wank' way. Arousal is just one shade of the general state of being excited by possibility, hence the brainy context around the hot stuff in Filament.


    Carly: Although the first issue doesn't contain any full-frontal crotch shots, you've mentioned that you won't rule it out in the future. How do you photograph penis 'artistically'?

    Suraya: I'm keen to go there, because explicit male images designed specifically for women - as opposed to images bought off the gay market and repackaged, which is what everything else I've seen is - is such uncharted artistic territory that who could not be excited about it? But we have British censorship laws to ease Filament into, as well as a strong steer from our research community that 'explicitness for its own sake' is a big fail. The first thing about photographing penises is that a flaccid penis is not erotic. The second thing is that you need to plan your man's erection into the shoot concept to make it look erotic. But there are loads of sexy ways to shoot men without showing the tackle if you don't want to - you just have to be imaginative.


    Carly: What advice can you give potential male porn models?

    Suraya: Get in touch with Filament magazine! Same to aspiring photographers. A lot of our photographers and models are not hugely experienced in their art, and we're willing to work with anyone who's passionate about really going for The Female Gaze.


    Carly: Finally, a slightly unrelated question, when a woman is reading Filament what would you recommend as a soundtrack?

    Suraya: German electronic singer-songwriters The Notwist are the music of having a beer or two in a sunny garden with a crowd of interesting folk who have fascinating things to say - a selection of whom just happen to be stunning gentleman with their tops off. That's Filament.


    Pick up a copy of Filament, the quarterly print-porn magazine available by subscription only, and make sure to check the Lovehoney blog in the future for more of Suraya and Filament!


    Photo Credits: Gerard Harvey and Ara Maye McBay for Filament Magazine.

    Comments (4)

    • Jake Holden: June 05, 2009 16:15
      Did you see the Daily Mail article about Filament (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1190425/Filament-A-new-erotic-magazine-women-believes-images-like-turn-Hardly.html)?

      I'm glad there's been such a backlash to the simplistic view in that article that women don't enjoy looking at artistically created photos of men. Hehe something that I know from my own blog certainly isn't true...

    • LoveHoney - Carly: June 05, 2009 17:00
      Of course, Mr Holden ;)
      www.lovehoney.co.uk/blog/2009/06/03/porn-for-women-filament-magazine/

      One step ahead of you!

      But as you well know, women enjoy a good perv as well as men!

    • Nataly: July 27, 2009 14:57
      A very interesting conversation! The editor must be very unusual women, I guess. As for me I am intrigued by the content of a magazine. "We've gone for brain-engaging articles on social, lifestyle and political issues, interspersed with spreads of beautiful men". I think I'm gonna like it. By the way I've watched a documentary "Women" in three parts. Downloaded it at the torrents files search engine http://www.picktorrent.com . So, I made a conclusion that women have almost the same erotic and sex needs as men, and they shouldn't be ashamed of it. So, I think this magazine is a brilliant idea.
    • LoveHoney - Carly: August 05, 2009 10:42
      Glad to hear you like the idea Nataly! I already have the first issue and I must say - it's great! The photos are gorgeous, the articles are interesting and it has about 90% less adverts than any other magazine out there!

      I even read my copy in the doctors surgery and had a few people having a cheeky peek over my shoulder!

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