Quake is Penn's first and only literary erotica magazine, and Jessica is its esteemed co-editor-in-chief. Look out for Quake's Spring issue in mid-April. Yay for sexual liberation!
Street: How did Quake come about?
JH: Quake came about after I posted an entry to my blog last spring lamenting the lack of an outlet for proper erotica -- or frank discussion of sex -- on Penn's campus. I was inspired by the "smart sex" genre that arose in the late '90s -- in particular, Jack Murnighan's Nerve.com and the recent nascence of Harvard's H-Bomb and other campus erotica publications. It was nice to read the work in Nerve and H-Bomb and discover that writing about sex doesn't have to mean buying a Harlequin romance novel or lowering your IQ 20 points.
Street: What does Quake aim to do?
JH: Quake aims to promote honest erotic expression on campus -- to publish stories, commentary, photography and original artwork by students and Penn affiliates that has something to say about sexuality. We do have some stipulations: we do not publish work that depicts illegal or nonconsensual activities.
Street: How has it been received by the Penn community (negatively, positively, inquisitively)?
JH: As is typical with anything having to do with sex, Quake has its proponents and its detractors. It's been wonderful to find others who share the interests of Jamie [my co-editor] and me and have the passion to help us make this magazine great. As for the detractors of Quake, my response has always been the same: if you feel that Quake does not represent you, please submit to the magazine! Quake would be very boring indeed if we didn't publish different voices, and dialogue is often the first step to mutual understanding.
Street: Tell us some of your favorites:
Feminist? Betty Friedan
Piece of erotica? I like the Story of O by Pauline Reage.
Name for sexual position? I like the "reverse cowgirl."
Street: Do you consider Penn a sexually liberal campus?
JH: I think that the response to Quake shows that there's definitely a need for more sexual expression. I do think that we are a sexual campus, but I'm not sure that that the sexuality is positive.