Filament Says Goodbye

FilamentFilament, the hard-copy women’s magazine that set out to bring naked men to the masses, is closing down.

Launched in June 2009, Filament branded itself as “the thinking woman’s crumpet” and championed the cause of the female gaze. It featured full frontal nude photos of a variety of men, most of them average guys, not the standard beefcake seen in Playgirl magazine. It also featured erotic fiction, articles about sex and politics and even recipes.


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At the end of November, editor Suraya Singh released this statement saying she was closing the magazine for personal reasons. It seems that the magazine will not continue on in any fashion but the website will feature all previous content.

I’m sad to see this happen as I’ve considered Filament to be a great thing for porn-loving women. It certainly attracted a lot of devoted fans and gained its fair share of media attention. It showed what a broad range of erotic tastes women can have. And it reminded me that I’m getting on a bit and need to stay in touch with what young women are thinking.

It’s tempting to speculate as to the reasons behind its demise. It may simply be a matter of economics – perhaps the money it was making didn’t justify the amount of work required to run it. I know that it featured a lot of unpaid contributions because it didn’t have the cash to pay staff and many contributors were perfectly happy with that. If it became too stressful with not enough reward, I could see why it would be time to end it.

When Filament first started, I was a little skeptical as to how it would go. Not because it was women’s erotica but because of the choice to be a hard copy magazine. In the era of the internet, it was a big call to go with paper and all the associated production and distribution costs (and subsequent censorship by printers). I think Suraya was very pleased to prove me wrong. Plenty of people were happy to subscribe, pay cash and get their subscription in the mail. Over time, Filament began to appear on newsagent and bookshop shelves across the globe. It really did seem that Filament had made it – up until now.

They are still selling the final issue, though there’s not many left. I’m pleased to say I was involved with this last issue as I judged the erotic fiction competition. You can read one of the runner-up stories here.

I consider Suraya a friend and I wish her well in whatever she does next.

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