years ago, we published the first plucky little issue
of Exotic magazine. It was an 8-page pullout
stapled inside of X magazine, a paid magazine
we had published for six months. Besides the 5000
copies we put inside of the third issue of X magazine,
we printed an extra 7500 to distribute for free at
all the adult venues in Portland. We continued to
publish both Exotic and X magazines
for a couple more months, then dropped X magazine
to concentrate solely on the free monthly Exotic.
Now we have
published 120 different issues...120 deadlines...
120 cover shoots...120 huge printing bills...120 distribution
days...Over 2 million dollars in printing and production
bills...And 30,000 copies every month.
In the last
10 years we've seen plenty--at least 12 at last count--other
local, adult-oriented magazines and papers come and
go. We've witnessed dozens of strip clubs rise up
and burn out. We've seen adult video stores and lingerie
shops pop into and out of existence like primordial
quarks. We've seen the city and the state try to legislate
adult businesses out of existence more times than
I care to think about and fought them tooth and nail--or
pussy and balls--all the way. And we have survived.
When we started
this humble little rag, Nirvana ruled the music world.
Bill Clinton had just been elected President. My hair
was halfway down my back. Nobody except university
students, scientists, the military (and Al Gore) knew
about the internet. We started publishing the magazine
online, not on the internet but on our own local computer
bulletin board system.
We laid the
first issues of the magazine out on a Macintosh Powerbook
160 and a Mac SE. Both were black and white and neither
had more than 4 megabytes of RAM. The 40 meg hard
drive that held the final documents and images cost
more than my car. What the finished product was going
to look like was usually a crap shoot. Finding a printer
that would print "smut" in Portland was nearly impossible.
We were in
the office in the middle of a 64-hour deadline stint
when we heard the World Trade Center had been bombed
(the first time). It kept standing. We predicted
Kurt Cobain's suicide the month it happened (okay,
so did a lot of people). We predicted O.J. would
be found not guilty (ditto). We helped bring down
the ultra-conservative Gubernatorial candidate Denny
Smith, when we sent letters out to a few media people
thinking it hypocritical that a religious "family
values" candidate that professed his opposition
to the adult industry actually owned the printing
company that printed the T&A Times. He
dropped out of the close race a week or two after
it hit the nightly news.
We have been
through six or seven editors, including myself,
all whom have published detailed accounts of their
own sex lives, the good, the bad, the ugly, the
despicable and the unmentionable. Writer's regret,
and the abrupt end of relationships, usually followed.
about Jim Goad during the media blitz of the censorship
trial of his magazine ANSWER Me!--only to
hear of him going to jail a few years after that--only
to hire him after he got out. We nervously watched
as he brought unprecedented quality--and notoriety--to
the editorial pages, only to flame out in a blaze
of glory as only Jim Goad would have it.
rode out the longest uninterrupted economic expansion
in American history. And here we are now in the
depths of a long-overdue recession. But like all
good capitalists--and Barry Manilow--we'll make
it through the rain...
to thank everyone out there who advertises with
us, reads us, looks at our pictures or just curses
us, for all the attention, good or bad, you've given
us throughout the last decade. Without you, doing
this would only be somewhat amusing.
And no one
would get the joke except us.