Some directions you could take this in:
FICTIONAL SEXUAL AWAKENINGS: Essays on films that feature a sexual awakening plotline (though the essay doesn't need to be explicitly about that theme, necessarily.) Think The Graduate, Say Anything, Fish Tank, The Last Picture Show, Splendor in the Grass, The Dreamers, It Follows, Wetlands, It Felt Like Love, The Ice Storm, An Education, Secretary.
REAL SEXUAL AWAKENINGS: Films that were eye-opening/mind expanding in the story of your own sexual awareness. This will obviously be very idiosyncratic, and could go in very serious or very funny directions. (Have fun, and don't be gross!)
THE SEXIEST FILMS: Write about a film/scene that you think does sex better, or differently, than any other film. Write about what filmmaking choices made it work. Think Moonstruck, Out of Sight, The Handmaiden, Body Heat, Brokeback Mountain, Bound, Like Water for Chocolate, In the Mood for Love, The Piano, Belle de Jour, In the Realm of the Senses, Breaking the Waves, Blue is the Warmest Color, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Swimming Pool, Stage Beauty, Dangerous Liasons, Sex & Lucia.
SEXY AUTEURS: What does eroticism look like in the films of Jane Campion? David Lynch? Ingmar Bergman? Andrea Arnold? Steven Soderbergh? Jill Soloway? John Cassavetes? Wong Kar-Wai? What about the actor as auteur—which actors wield their sex appeal with particular skill? (Be sharp, not skeezy).
CINEMATIC SEX REVISITED: Is there a film that everyone else thinks is sexy that you think gets it totally wrong? Or a film that everyone else discounted but you think has some unacknowledged erotic power?
SEXUAL FRUSTRATION/THE DARK SIDE OF SEX: Think Shame, Nymphomaniac, Antichrist, Mulholland Dr., Lost Highway, Breaking the Waves, The Piano Teacher, Election, Taxi Driver, Like Someone in Love, Peeping Tom, That Obscure Object of Desire, Stranger By the Lake, Cruel Intentions, Boogie Nights, Eyes Wide Shut, Black Swan.
We’re not looking for reviews or “hot takes.” We’re looking for thoughtful analysis and wholehearted engagement. We publish interviews, profiles, formal analysis, cultural criticism, personal essays, humor, and even the occasional poem. But everything we publish looks at film and TV with love, care, and attention. We're looking for writing that is savvy and insightful about filmmaking, but that also grapples in some way with the business of being alive.
We tend to publish critical essays between 1500-3000 words, though we’ve been known to publish pieces in other formats. Creative approaches are encouraged.
In order to be considered for the issue, we’ll need to receive a first draft of your essay by June 12, 2017.