Erotic Review Magazine

ATVOD: this is how they shut you up

by Ian Dunt / 28th June 2015

This is how they shut you up. If you're producing non-mainstream porn, the British authorities are coming after you. They will threaten you, they will destroy your business, they will publish your real name and they will issue crippling fines against you. The penalties for producing ethically-made, non-mainstream porn are legion. Pandora Blake had just started turning a profit when it happened to her. After four years of running her own website, a letter came through the door. It was from the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), a shadowy privately-owned regulator. Atvod is supposed to be the watchdog for video on demand services – stuff like 4oD and iPlayer. In reality it is an organisation which uses a twilight area of law to shut down non-mainstream porn, presided over by a man named Pete Johnson, who appears to be on a personal crusade against pornography.

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“Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. ” - Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960



7th June 2015

POLITICS A lot of male politicians who’ve felt the need to stray from the conjugal bedchamber seek comfort in a spot of extramarital sex; indeed David Mellor’s friend, Antonia de Sancha once wrote a column for Erotic Review. But her choice always gave us pause for thought: this must surely be an example of where the aphrodisiac properties of power triumph over distaste. 11.  Jeremy Thorpe’s sexuality dogged his political career. Then his secret gay lover complained of being hounded. Things came to a climax in 1979 with a murder trial and Thorpe losing his seat. What was the name of the only fatality in this sordid story? 12.  In 1969 Senator Ted Kennedy left a party on Chappaquiddick Island with an attractive young female colleague but drove off Dyke Bridge and into the sea. The car sank and overturned. He swam away and she drowned. What was her name? 13.  Which prime minister loved to chop down trees by day and accost sex workers by night, then guiltily wrote up the latter experience in a partially encoded diary? 14.  Who was the unfortunate sex worker to whom Jeffrey Archer paid ‘an Archer’, i.e. £2,000, thereby unwittingly taking part in a newspaper sting, a perjury trial and the eternal enshrinement of his wife’s fragrance? 15.  What was the name of Lord Prescott’s secretary, with whom Old Two-Jags conducted a two-year affair that started at an office party in 2002? Tomorrow, you'll probably get the answers to all 15 questions. At some stage. If we can wake up the quiz person. 


6th June 2015

ENTERTAINMENT Sex entertaining? Well, not for everybody, and not all of the time. Some of us at Erotic Towers (but then they are very old) remember when the government and the judiciary wanted to ban just about everything. This forms the second third of our 15-question quiz. 6.  Which UK film, screened in 2004, showed fellatio, cunnilingus, penetration and ejaculation – the first to contain all these explicit elements? 7.  In 1972, Sir Cliff Richards imposed self-censorship when he discovered that Honky Tonk Angel was, in fact, about a hooker. The Rolling Stones, however, were banned from radio and TV when they brought out a record, which apparently promoted promiscuity: what was its title? 8.  In porn movie parlance, what is the name of a person who helps get male stars hard before they go on camera to do their duty? 9.  In 1954, The Story of O appeared under the name of Pauline Réage. This wasn’t her real name. So what was it? 10.  Who wrote literary porn with Henry Miller in the 1940s for a cent a word, or a dollar a page? Did we promise that you'd get the answers to Part 1 today? Well, we lied. You'll have to wait until Monday, when you'll get the answers to all 15 questions. Tomorrow? our quiz’s last section, Politics.

Are you really a Sexpert? Summer Quiz - Part 1

5th June 2015

HISTORY Sex pervades every aspect of culture and human endeavour. So it is a theme that runs through our history, which forms the first third of our 15-question quiz. 1. Which French philosopher who, having enjoyed his first orgy, was asked if he wanted to take part in another the next evening, succinctly declined, saying: "Once a philosopher, twice a pervert." 2. The Japanese are famous for their elaborate manners and rigid social structures. They also have a reputation for being the most perverted country on earth. From the 17th century onwards, they have practiced a highly intricate form of bondage, and over time, developed this into a sexual aesthetic. Knotty, but nice. But what is its name in Japanese? 3. Polygamous Brigham Young, the man who took over from the Mormons founder, Joseph Smith, had quite a few wives, though not quite as many as King Solomon, who was reputed to have had 700. Most of us can only deal with one wife at a time (just ask Fiona Shackleton why). So how many did Brigham actually have? 4. History’s had its fair share of Bad Girls. Cleopatra, Messalina, Empress Wu. So what was the name of the Hungarian countess who kidnapped local virgins wholesale, tied them by their feet to the bathroom rafters, slit their throats and bathed in their blood? All because she thought she’d discovered a sixteenth century version of Botox. And because she thought she was worth it. 5. The man with the largest penis in Britain is about 2,000 years old. The Cerne Abbas Giant is a depiction of Hercules, sporting a 26-foot erection. In which English county does he reside? Answers tomorrow, with our quiz's next section, Entertainment

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'Unbelievably Wonderful!'

by Wendy Perriam / 22nd June 2015

‘Keep the change,’ she told the cab-driver, her buoyant mood unaffected by his crabbiness. He had kept up a peevish monologue most of the way, irritated, apparently, by the traffic, London in general and Boris Johnson in particular. As she approached the heavy plate-glass doors of the restaurant, she could see Duncan through the lighted window, seated at a table at the front, engrossed in a sheaf of papers – an overflow of work, no doubt, since his job in corporate finance was even more pressured than hers in advertising. He dressed the part, of course - impeccable clothes, well-cut silver hair, general air of stylishness – a strong contrast to some of the oddballs she had dated in the last few years. Suddenly nervous about her own appearance, she peered at her reflection in the doors. Was the new swept-up hairstyle ageing; the figure-sculpting scarlet dress too blatant, compared with his understated suit?


by Hannah Sward / 2nd June 2015

Cinnamon. Honey. Cat. Lola. Who am I? Irina or Ava? I can’t remember. At first I serve drinks. Diet coke and apple juice. No liquor or beer. It's all nude. Only topless places serve alcohol. I wear a blue and white checkered Swiss Alps outfit. White knee socks. Black patent leather heels. Two braids. Girls dance. Men watch. I take orders for juice. I stop serving soda. Start giving lap dances in the back. And shower dances. I don't like being hosed down. I have a routine at Club Ecstasy. Go to 24 Hour Fitness at noon on Gower. Go home. Get ready for work. Hair in rollers. Shave legs. Dark eyes. Glossy pink lips. After a summer I move onto The Gentleman’s Club. Prettier girls. More money. More competition; Celeste with her little tanned bum. Big auburn hair. Fake boobs and black patent leather thigh boots. Beth. Blonde hair, boobs, long legs. Lily, the tiny Asian. Looks fourteen. Wears bobby socks, pleated school uniform mini skirts. Dusty with her nude splits, back flips and tricks on the pole. Taylor and her fishnet skin suit. Candy just walks out onstage nude with her bare feet and boobs.

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Antic Staatsoper: Gods and Myths

10th May 2015

If I don't see Art as a way to turn this world in a better place, I strongly believe that the main role of art is to ask us the good questions about it. Artists have to point out the issues and trouble of our conditions that stop us on our way to the spirituality and universal harmony.

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Because She's Got Breasts

by / 5th September 2013

After a few months at Erotic Towers, Tati is leaving her post as editorial assistant to chase boys in the South of France. Parting is such sweet sorrow: let us sweeten it a little more with a charming song about her breasts. Ladies, this one is for you.

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by Florence Walker / 15th June 2015

Summer’s soft, warm breezes are back, bringing their own special memories: the end of exams; holidays on the beach; falling asleep in hammocks; but most of all, the first few exciting weeks of a new relationship. How many of us have enjoyed our first romantic relationship thanks to the revealing outfits that warm weather allowed us wear, the tanned limbs the sun gave us and the simple fact we had somewhere that wasn’t indoors to go and, well, explore? But when sun goes in and the Ray-Bans come off (somehow instantly losing that rose-tinted quality they possessed) we find ourselves ‘in a relationship’.

Venus in Furs?

by Jessica Isobella White / 12th June 2015

Every now and again, the wheel of fashion turns but discovers it has nowhere new to go, and suddenly bellbottoms and crop tops are back in vogue. The same cyclical patterns can be found in Gender Politics. Catcalling, quotas and ‘how-to’ books on feminism are all back on the agenda. And so it is that the question of body hair has become somewhat of a ‘thing’ lately, with the press reporting ‘hairy isn’t scary’, with a combination of fear and fascination that denotes it could well be the last taboo. Girls, rejoice! Sporting neon dyed underarms is proof your feminist credentials and a fashion forward-look for SS15. But is a bit of fluff really a political statement?


by Bruce Abrahams / 11th June 2015

Down here there is special concern about whether an EU ban on neonicotinoid coated seeds will threaten the oil seed rape crop. Rape, apart from its colourful contribution to our landscape is apparently (do we detect the PR hands of the OSR Marketing Board?), a coming rival to disease-threatened olive oil in the kitchen. This issue was the cause of some discussion in the Old Doom Bar the other weekend. June arrived wetly so there was leisure time to consider whether to cover our verdant meadows with solar panels – like our neighbours in Devon or persevere with a cash crop such as rape. Rapeseed or brassica napus to give its proper name has nothing contextually or etymologically to do in its familiar form with the act of sexual violence. Nonetheless the term inevitably led someone in our little discussion group to mention the current issue of new CPS guidelines that enable being drunk as no impediment to a female’s claim of rape – that is, non-consensual sex.

Under the gay skin of Tehran

by Ali May / 10th June 2015

The account Tom of Tehran ( publishes intimate pictures of gay Tehran. They are subtle in nature, perhaps following the long tradition of Persian poetry, where metaphor is king. Most images are accompanied by a description, a poetic narrative that, at times, gets cheeky, humorous, or envious. But it remains evocative at all times.

Who’s writing slash and why?

by Felicity Hannah / 1st June 2015

Do you read slash fiction? Well, you read the Erotic Review, so presumably you have fairly eclectic literary tastes– but until recently I had never heard of it. Frankly, it was a more innocent time. Then one evening, quietly googling Sherlock plot predictions like the amazingly cool adult I have become, I stumbled across some of the most shocking filth I have ever read. Honestly, I may never be able to see Sherlock and Moriarty together on screen again without blushing.


by Bruce Abrahams / 30th May 2015

It’s been odd weather of late. May struggles to present itself as nearly summer, rather like a long dreamed of or fancied lover who turns out on re-acquaintance to be not quite as remembered. May, despite sunny moments has been in general a little colder, less reliable and more windy than hoped for. The first two could well be true of lovers, but one hopes not the third. As my friend Nick the builder says ‘you can get pills for that’.

Bravo Ireland, but…

by Ali May / 23rd May 2015

We like the winds of change, especially when they are blown as a result of popular vote, as if it means we, as a species, have evolved a little, that we have become a tiny bit better. Ireland’s vote to legalise gay marriage is a welcome change. It is a victory against the Church’s obdurate dogma and a show of Irish people’s maturity and goodness. In comparison to many other countries, Ireland has done well. Although homosexuality was a crime only 22 years ago, this is a good deal of progress. The result of the Irish referendum is great news. However, I cannot agree that upholding human rights should require a popular vote. It is always dangerous to ask the majority about the rights of a minority. But where in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does it say that a country has to resort to a referendum?

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For a dollar a page

by Bruce Abrahams / 25th June 2015

Thirty-five years ago on June 7 1980, Henry Miller died at his home in Pacific Palisades, California. His had been an extraordinary life, and he left behind a body of work of unique character and quality. Sadly, in the popular mind (if that term can be applied to the mainstream media commentariat) Miller is referenced too often as a notorious author of smutty ramblings. In reality he was in the first rank of radical 20th century writers, and many of his books would qualify as ‘the great American novel’, were they merely novels rather than semi-autobiographical works of polemic and social critique. Lawrence Durrell and Norman Mailer were both unreserved in their admiration of the meaning and power of his work.

Anonymous Anonymous

by Zoë Apostolides / 24th June 2015

"We're not junkies," says Michael, the newest member of a group for Internet addicts. His relationship may be in tatters, but his YouTube videos have become a sensation (almost 2,000 hits a day). This is Anonymous Anonymous, AA, if you will. But Michael's right in a way. The four people sitting in this circle haven't hit rock bottom through any of the more “traditional” addictions. They're here because they can't stop Tweeting, can't get off Facebook, they scour and contribute to forums as day turns into night.

Reclaiming Eroticism: a review of Defining Beauty at the British Museum

by James Cahill / 28th May 2015

“About beauty they were never wrong, the ancient masters” – so W.H. Auden might have professed upon seeing Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art, the British Museum’s most significant exhibition of Greek art in decades. It is a truism, after all – or an ingrained assumption – that Greek sculpture epitomises beauty in art, especially the classical Greek sculpture that emerged from 'democratic' Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Since antiquity itself, this view has heavily shaped the way we think about art, and about beauty. And wandering through the low-lit chambers of the new Sainsbury exhibition wing at the British Museum, it is hard to deny the allure of the sculpted bodies on display. Lithe, torqued, tensed or rippling, they multiply into a pantheon of gods, athletes and heroes.

The Lonely Soldier Monologues

by Daisy Bata / 24th May 2015

Addressing an event in such recent history, you would be forgiven for thinking you knew everything about the Iraq war. After numerous Hollywood blockbusters, public executions and a worldwide critique of the parts America and the UK played in the arguably unnecessary and absolutely mishandled invasion of Iraq, we understand the politics of the war so much more clearly in hindsight. It is interesting to discover a side of the story that has been largely overlooked, something that all too often happens when the subject matter is women. The Lonely Soldier Monologues is an entirely verbatim play written by Helen Benedict, recounting stories told to her by female American soldiers deployed to Iraq. Superbly directed by Prav MJ, seven women deliver fiercely striking and honest performances that would make their real-life counterparts proud.

Tongue in Cheek: The Best New Erotica Written by Women

by Zoë Apostolides / 21st May 2015

For Books Sake's star has been gradually rising since its launch in 2010. Its aim is threefold – to champion writing by women and girls, reform the mainstream media's gender bias, and to petition national exam boards to better reflect equality and diversity. As a charity it's all done voluntarily, with a dedicated cast of reviewers, editors, feature writers and commissioners. And now it has launched a short-fiction anthology dedicated to erotica by women, compiled from an open call for submissions and featuring emerging as well as established writers.

Have you heard, it's in the stars…

by Zoë Apostolides / 15th May 2015

High Society: Kevin Spacey's tenure at the Old Vic is almost up, after an 12-year jaunt that's taken the theatre to as many corners of the thespian globe as it's possible to go. The success of last season's Clarence Darrow saw queues snaking round the side of the building (I know because my mum was one of them, hunched in the doorway in a sleeping bag at 4am). And what better way to bow out than on the sparkling pink cocktail that is High Society – at once sexy, jolly and naff.

Geography of Attraction

by Christine Fears / 14th May 2015

Ali May’s debut collection of erotic short stories, Geography of Attraction, takes the reader around the globe, pausing breathlessly to observe the fleeting flirtations and longings of others as nationalities and philosophies entwine and people connect through that universal language, desire.

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