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Bared in Boston

"I've kissed my friends before but not passionately," she says. "Just like, 'Hey, we're drunk and betcha if we kiss, he'll give us a free beer.' "

The magazine's prospective cover came out of the women's second photo session, when they'd apparently gotten to know each other even better. In it, Oleyourryk is wearing only a pair of frilly red panties and her hand is wandering down Blom's torso.


Alecia Oleyourryk and Christopher Anderson are co-founders of Boink, the new sex magazine featuring Boston University students. (Photos Laurie Swope For The Washington Post)

Go BU! Beat Harvard.

The Natural Order

In BU's student union recently, a table of mostly female students who've been reading about Boink in the campus newspaper regard the magazine with mild interest, as though it's no more unusual than a new Taco Bell in the food court. Two of them volunteer that they'd pose for it. Then the conversation devolves into talk of off-campus events like the " '80s Porn Party" and the "Anything-But-Clothes Party," and Boink starts to seem less shocking and more like the natural order of things.

Pity today's college students. It's tough to be transgressive these days; all the good stuff's been done. Nudity is about as exciting as it gets, and even nudity isn't such a big deal. If you believe the spring break lore, everyone has already been naked at the tiki bar.

College can seem like Las Vegas -- a place where debauchery is tried on like a tight outfit, where no one keeps score of misdeeds. A BU sophomore named Yianni, who doesn't want his last name known because he's posing nude for Boink, says he probably wouldn't pursue nude modeling after graduation. It's "fun" so long as he's in college, he says. "But in the real world, it's not like that."

Still, Oleyourryk had to draw the line somewhere. Boink will not depict sex acts, mostly because she isn't sure about the legality of them. Eight printing companies that Anderson approached turned him down, six of them because of Boink's adult content. He finally found a printer in Quebec.

Boink's one-upsmanship does not impress the editor of Harvard's H Bomb, whose first issue included a piece called "ART vs. PORN: the polemics of desire."

"I find it kind of depressing, to be honest," says Katharina Cieplak-von Baldegg, a junior. "The focus of theirs really is nudity in a way that it never was for us." Cieplak-von Baldegg says in creating H Bomb, she was conscious of "the male gaze and the objectification of women." H Bomb, a nonprofit, is distributed to Harvard students free, while Boink, a commercial venture, will cost $7.95 per issue. Cieplak-von Baldegg feels that charging for nude photographs is "perpetuating the status quo" of commercial porn.

Oleyourryk has no such compunctions. She doesn't talk about "the male gaze." There is something like integrity in her refusal to offer high-minded justifications for Boink. She's starting a magazine that she knows people will pay attention to, and that's reason enough.

Oleyourryk is an unlikely rebel. She describes herself as having had a "sheltered" upbringing in Oswego, N.Y. Her mom does clerical work, she says, and her dad works for a power company and keeps beef cows on the side. Neither went to college. Oleyourryk describes them as "a bit old-fashioned." They wanted her to go to state school in Oswego, she says, but she demurred: "I'd rather blow off my own leg."

She says she has tried to explain Boink to her mom, who thinks it's nice but doesn't seem to grasp the totality of the project.

Oleyourryk is a magazine journalism major, but unlike her classmates she does not hope to be a writer for the New Yorker. "I picture a 40-year-old man with bifocals and a pipe," she says. In her heart of hearts, Oleyourryk confesses, she wants to be a Hollywood actress.

A 'European' Attitude

Time to get naked.


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