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Profile of online publisher Nerve.com Inc.

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Back in '87, George Michael told us "Sex is natural, sex is fun"- people got pissy. But thanks to what Rufus Griscom calls "a technological and cultural revolution," he and Genevieve Field, co-founders of New York City online publisher Nerve.com Inc., have created a place where the educated Net set can immerse themselves in all the wonders of copulation without feeling pervish. Erotic essays (Naomi Wolf and Norman Mailer are past contributors), poetry, columns, Position of the Day, NerveRadio and NerveCenter- community with chats, e-mail, and more-are all for the taking.

"For years, Rufus wanted to do a magazine for women and men about sex," says Field, 30. So in late 1997, the former editors at a small publishing house decided to take Griscom's idea online. With a $100,000 private investment and assistance from designer Joey Cavella (now creative director), 31, they got the business rolling. Early media praise drew the obscure venture from the virtual shadows. Now it's got a four-book deal and a documentary to tout- its own PR agency (NervePR) for Internet businesses. And Griscom, no underground snob, wants everyone to check it out.

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