The magazine, the first official issue of which was released today, aims to “empower people to embrace their sexuality in a positive light and feel OK about their sexual desires and to honor the naked body,” said founder and editor-in-chief Matt Di Pasquale, a 2009 Harvard alumnus. “I wanted it to be a Playboy for Harvard,” he explained, adding that “the initial idea was to just have girls in it.”
Sullivan discovered Diamond magazine through a Facebook advertisement that mentioned monetary compensation for modeling. “I thought, ‘What’s the harm in applying? I’m poor. [I’ll] see what happens,’ ” she explained.
“I thought applying would be funny,” she added. “From there, it just spiraled into what it became. It was not something I ever thought I would go through with. When I was on the train on the way there, I was, like, ‘Oh, I am going through with this.’ ”
Sullivan noted that she didn’t tell many people about the shoot. The friends who did know were “more worried about it than I was, about whether or not I’d come back. It just didn’t seem very legitimate to them,” she explained. And when asked if she told her parents, she responded, “God, no!”
Sullivan added that she only used her first name for Diamond magazine so she wouldn’t be “Google-able.”
“I’m surprised that people in the Princeton community had picked up on it,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting that. I sneaked away on a weekend. I didn’t really tell anyone I was going.”
Besides Sullivan, three other models posed naked for the issue, including Di Pasquale, and all of the models were students or graduates from Princeton, Harvard or Yale. “I wanted to find models that were smart and went to good colleges,” he explained. The fact that the models were from the three Ivies “was a nice surprise, a nice touch.”
“A lot of people don’t expect Ivy League students to pose naked,” Di Pasquale said. “I think a lot of people will have something to say about it, will want to check it out.”
Di Pasquale noted that the September 2008 pilot issue of the magazine, in which he was the only nude model, was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the first three days after it was released. “It was pretty crazy how much attention we got,” he said.
Di Pasquale said he hopes that people react positively to the magazine, which he views as thought-provoking. “I like that we spark a discussion on sex and whether certain things are right or wrong,” he explained. “I find the whole thing a little ridiculous. All the sex in the media — people kind of blow it out of proportion, when I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
While Sullivan said that the new issue was a great improvement from the pilot edition, she also explained, “I think it will take him a few more issues to actually achieve his goal. I have high hopes for him.”
Sullivan said she probably won’t model for Diamond again, but she remarked that modeling did have its benefits. “Part of what was nice about it for me was getting to experience sexuality without the experience of an actual sexual scenario,” she added. “It was more about me and how I felt about myself.”
Sullivan said she was not nervous about the issue’s release. “It’s out of my hands,” she said. “I’m ready to just get made fun of. I’m waiting for that.”