Q: Why does every other post of yours have near-naked women in it? You’re using sex to sell too.

The below genius question was in response to our posting of the “Feminist Hack of Maxim Sexist Photospread of Audrina from the Hills.”

Q: Dear elephantjournal.com [well, they didn’t say ‘dear’ ~ ed.]

Why does every other post of yours have near-naked women in it? You’re using sex to sell too.

Answer: I would never, cross my heart, use sexy to get traffic.

Okay, seriously: we do not use sex in every other post?! It’s like every third post, man. And if we’re using sex to make money, we’re doing an awfully bad job of it.

We love sex. Don’t you? Nothing’s wrong with it. It’s awesome! I love it! You love it! My friends love it! Thankfully, my parents loved it!

Not sure if they do anymore.

We have a page devoted to it. We’re not puritans. We don’t equate spirituality with abstention from pleasure, nor do we believe that avoiding sexuality or any of the issues surrounding it (like objectification) is admirable, even if it were possible.

And, oh yeah, our readers click it up. I’m sure this post will itself be an example of that.

That said, we try and stay away from objectifying men or women in the ladmag manner. After all, every lady is someone’s daughter/sister. Every dude is someone’s boy. You know.

There’s been many times when I could have used a (way) sexier image to get (many) more clicks, but it didn’t feel right, so I didn’t do it. Why? Tacky-sexy hurts our brand. It’s not good for elephant, and it’s not good for our readers. When readers go to Huff Post and see five blogs about Tiger Woods’ mistresses boobs, and three blogs about nip slips, it kills loyalty to that brand.

Anyways, here’s a fuller answer.

Next question?


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Walker Aug 8, 2013 7:00am

Excellent point. My only contention with most images posted of men or women, in all media not specifically EJ, is that we tend to see only 'beautiful' people…thin, toned and often photoshopped. And young (except for your one notable example). It contributes to body image issues and promotes a sort of ageist attitude.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.