Paris's naughty new magazine.


L’imparfaite, the erotic magazine launched last fall by a group of students at Paris’s Institut d’Etudes Politiques—France’s training ground for the country’s public service and diplomatic elite—is at once elegant and naughty. Effortlessly mixing high and low, it offers a bathtub ménage à trois, a well-researched history of the uses and misuses of French pissotières (public urinals), and a discussion about sex aids for the handicapped. Financed in part by Passage du Désir, a Paris “love store” specializing in sex toys, L’imparfaite has a print run of 2,000. This isn’t the first time a student body has launched a sex publication—Vassar’s Squirm came out in 1999, Harvard’s H Bomb was launched in 2004, and the University of Chicago has titillated readers with Vita Excolatur since 2004. But L’imparfaite, like most things French, is about as far from Debbie Does Dallas as a soufflé is from a Pop-Tart. The name, which means “imperfect” in French, expresses the idea that erotica is a subject that can never be fully explored, but it’s also a printing term referring to an edition that has mixed-up or missing pages. “We all grew up in an age where porn is readily available on the Internet, so for us it’s kind of banal,” says editor Abdel Fahd Ayeva. “One of our models showed the magazine to his mother and she didn‘t even recognize him.”

Photo: George Chinsee