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

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 5, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

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?



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & 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, is now available.


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

  1. Kert says:


  2. Adriana says:

    There does seem to be a bias toward publishing many more pics of sex women than men – It would be nice to have more sexy male bodies represented – the guy with the dreds just isn't doing it for me…lol.

  3. nacho says:

    Yea for sex!

  4. Hebrewzzi says:

    Umm I think I need to bookmark this post 😉

  5. Despite our many wonderful writers, I still do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to blogs…and as I'm a straight male, I'm sure my bias is reflected in my posts. But our writers are welcome to correct that bias, and you're welcome to blog for us, Adriana, and use whatever images please your fancy. Email write at elephantjournal.com. Or, enjoy: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/10/i-wanna-in… or http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/02/hunky-jesuhttp://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/12/eco-gent-crush-number-eight-dominic-monaghan-lord-of-the-rings-lost/ etc.

  6. CvK says:

    Phfft – keep up the good shit EJ!

    As a female in her 30's who has suffered bias(s) – yup, we'll make that plural, been harassed (continuously) and yes, even raped; who has struggled with the fallout from these incidents (negative body image, low self confidence/esteem, unworthiness, mistrust, you name it…) and who has come full-circle with an unconditional love for the other, for myself, my body and – YUP! – sex, sex, and more SEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – the healthy kind I'll add, lest someone think otherwise, (I will also add here that this healing came about with much, much hard work, and a nod to meditation, yoga and a lot of conscientious soul searching. It also is a never-ending process) I give you kudos. I love you. You are my most fav blog to read!

    I believe that when you choose to post things of a sexual nature or with sexual content, you do so consciously, knowing you may rock the boat, stir the shit. Yup. Sometimes that's what it takes to spark a debate, to get people THINKING. This is part of your MO, yes? Well obviously my friend, you're doing a great job 😉
    Ha. Keep it up!

  7. Wow. Thanks for being so sweet, and…brave. Whew. Any time you're inspired to write something on the elephant forum, I and we and our readers would be honored. About anything, of course. BTW, my friend reading this with me thinks this recent one is great, and may be appreciated by you and readers here:
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/07/get-back-o… is one she enjoyed recently.

    A few others that may be of interest:
    or http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/07/sexist-mea
    or http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/07/10-photos-

  8. […] we would nevvvver post anything about nudity for the sake of nudity, we couldn’t help but pass along these not-at-all-lascivious, artistic, inspiringly beautiful […]

  9. […] because you want to save souls and only further a cause? Or do ya kindof want clicks…and you KNOW people click on tits and ass and […]

  10. […] think it’s clueless because Waylon engages in cheap attention getting image trafficking, then acts as though his audience is repressed and puritanical. I find this posturing hypocritical and disingenuous. Threatening? Who are you kidding? Elephant is […]

  11. Walker says:

    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.

  12. trin says:

    Agreed Walker! Yoga is about connection of soul to physical body and although young, fit, toned hybrid creatures bodies may look more like what mainstream people want, we are not all like that. A broader representation of yogi's bodies would be appreciated and would make this yogi feel a bit more like Elephant Journal is trying to achieve what I hope it is. Having struggled with body issues since my teens I still find that these images evoke a sense of not being able to achieve the perfect version of myself…even though I'm already here 🙂