Porn for women. A simple idea, so why has nobody done it right? The magazine formerly known as Ligerbeat is giving it a go with features like Porn by Number, Cliterature, and Grower or Shower – at least when they’re not too busy being sued by a certain teeny-bopper rag. We sit down with Editor-In-Queef Calisha Jenkins to talk about loving dick, the decline of the beefcake, and what happens when you have to change the tape in your recorder during a mid-coitus interview.
SV: What is the Ligerbeat origin story?
CJ: I guess we were at an art show – which I don’t even remember because it was open bar – but the other ladies tell me that it started at this art show we went to that was all pictures of girls’ vaginas. And we said, how come there’s never any photo spreads of just dicks? Later we were talking about how there should be porn that actually shows stuff girls would want to see and we got into a whole conversation about the male gaze… how the guys in porn are there so the guy looking at the porn feels comfortable to relate to it, so he’s not the subject, and how the girls always stereotypically hot, so girls cant related to that character either. There’s nobody really for a regular girl watching porn to sympathize with and connect to because the characters are all based on something that the guy is going to want to related to, either by wanting to have sex with her [the female porn star] or by being that dude. Then Playgirl folded, and Sweet Action had folded already…
SV: What is Sweet Action?
CJ: Sweet Action was awesome! Not enough dicks, for me, but at least it was more of an indie scene. It was made by women. See, Playgirl got stuck in that ‘I’m pretty sure you’re gay’ kind of thing. I had a friend who was an editor in chief of Playgirl, and she was telling my how they were trying to get it to turn so it had guys that the girls would want to look at, but the owners were guys, and they wanted to keep the beefcakes because they knew that was what sold in the 80’s and they were just trying to stick to that plan. Of course, it sold in the 80’s because everyone was gay and the gays didn’t have anything to look at yet, they didn’t have the porn world.
When we had the idea [for Ligerbeat], I called her and a couple other friends of mine who happened to be doing porn stuff, and we all sat down in the livingroom smoking weed and getting wasted, and we said let’s actually do this. There was a guy over who I was hooking up with at the time, and he left the house, sent us a dick picture, you know, made the logo and put his dick in it, and within 10 minutes we were like, we should actually do this.
SV: I love the logo.
CJ: Right! We have to change it though, because we’re getting the cease and desist.
SV: Yes, can you tell me more about that?
CJ: Well, it’s Tiger Beat. They think we’re leading young children to porn. We have ‘Over 18’ on everything so it shouldn’t be a problem, so really I don’t see how they can justify it. But we didnt want to get in any bullshit. It’s easy to change shit early on, and we don’t have the money to do anything, so we figure instead of trying to fight it we should just change it. I kind of knew that this could have been a problem. My lawyer was really stoked we got found out that fast [by Tiger Beat, shortly after the first issue came out], so that was positive. But now we have to change the name.
SV: What are you going to change it to?
CJ: We’re running a contest on the blog. I’m feeling Baloney Pony. That’s my favorite. The art director really likes Rub. Cock Tales. Dick Tales. There’s a bunch of good ones. We’ll see what the people want. My boss suggested The American Journal of Junk. I loved that, but we’d probably get sued by American Journal so we can’t do that.
SV: Who is your reader?
CJ: Pretty much any woman who loves dicks. With a sense of humor about sex, that doesn’t take sex so seriously. Or at least to know that it doesn’t have to be taken that seriously. Obviously 18 and up, since we’re not children’s porn, and men. We have a lot of male readers too that just read it because they can’t believe that women actually think that way, because there’s no vehicle in which they can even have that kind of access to the fact that women think that way.
SV: What’s in the magazine?
CJ: The mid-coitus interview, that’s a recurring one. So far it’s me [writing it] but hopefully eventually someone else will step up to the plate… or the bed, or whatever you’re having sex on at the time. I take a tape recorded to people I’m already having sex with that I think are doing something interesting. Artists, deejays, whatever. The last one was this guy Teen Wolf, a deejay. The next one is this guy who builds robots, kinetic art. I did half the interview already… he called on Saturday when I was really drunk out with the girls and luckily I had the tape recorder, but there was an interview on the other side [of the tape] and I didn’t know if I could tape over it so I was only working with so much tape.
SV: Is it awkward to flip the tape over in the middle of the interview?
CJ: It was since I was holding a beer in the one and hand and the tape recorder in the other and I was in the air. You know- ‘I have to put this down or you have to put me down, for a second. Or I’ll have to use my feet.’