Featuring art, poetry and essays, this issue of PhiMag gives an intimate and creative exploration of a variety of themes related to sex, such as homosexuality & bisexuality, sex toys and menstruation. Crucially, through its wonderfully diverse and inclusive work it is able to clearly present these topics which are often over looked yet highly relevant to everyday life.
Several articles and poems reflect interesting and personal views on homosexuality and bisexuality. Diana Craciun’s ‘Thank God I Like Men’ is a subjective perspective on bisexuality, discussing how her accepted attraction to men led to her own disregard of feelings towards women, which had been exacerbated by a lack of social media and society's general ignorance of bisexuality. In ‘Schrodinger’s Lesbian Virginity’, Charlotte Dougan explores how the virginity milestone is not clear for lesbians, compared to encounters had by heterosexuals and gay men.
In ‘Sex, Society and Smut’, Maria Payro reviews the Pornhub awards. She portrays an interesting perspective on the statistics provided by the website and illustrates how porn affects our society. Hecate Crow describes her unique experience visiting a fetish club, Torture Garden, in ‘A Night at Torture Garden.’ She recalls the club as a ‘perfectly vanilla introduction into the BDSM world’. In ‘Chronicles of the Rising Demand for Vibrators’, Jo Winters has a distinctive take on the rising popularity of sex toys. As a sales person working in the adult toy industry, she is well placed to comment on the increasing commercialisation and normalisation of female pleasure.
The taboo against periods is stimulatingly addressed by Chiara Zucchelli and Astrid. In ‘Daye in the Life,’ Zucchelli standardises the discussion of menstruation through her review of CBD tampons. In doing this she tackles issues surrounding periods, specifically pain and the sustainability of sanitary products. Astrid’s bold and unconventional art accompanies the article, positively normalising period blood.
Overall, PhiMag: The Sex Issue delivers a wide variety of topics, the vast majority of which are conventionally disdained, such as periods and sex toys. The Issue draws attention to these areas in a creative and distinctive way. Art featured in the magazine is daring and eye catching, bringing the articles and poetry to life, with diversity and inclusivity celebrated throughout. The Sex Issue is certainly worth a read if you want an insight into sexuality; the themes presented are very much relevant to everyday life as they closely reflect the personal experiences of the individuals themselves.