Erotic Review Magazine

Can I love Heathcliff but loathe Christian Grey?

by Felicity Hannah / 27th January 2015

Do you think Christian Grey a violent obsessive with a downright nasty jealous streak? Or is he just another romantic, powerful hero in a similar vein to Heathcliff or Darcy? I ask this because the 50 Shades of Grey film comes out in February, just in time for Valentine’s Day lovers to bond over popcorn and butt plugs. I’m going to see it myself with a gang of other 30-something mums, so I’m thinking of making us letter t-shirts that spell out ‘T-A-R-G-E-T  A-U-D-I-E-N-C-E’.

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“Men reach their sexual peak at eighteen. Women reach theirs at thirty-five. Do you get the feeling that God is playing a practical joke? ” - Rita Rudner

News

The Road to Wigan Beer

17th January 2015

  Lucy Hilton of the news website Wigan Today tells us that a man called Paul Bennett has been sentenced to a 12-month community order for having sex with a bright red, George-VI-era, pillar box in a shopping arcade. Her report goes something like this: after an argument with a woman (girlfriend? granny?) who then departed the scene, Paul lay down on a bench, yelling. But then he sat up, started to perform a sex act, exposed himself and pulled down his trousers (really? in that order?).  Now comes the tricky bit: he began to perform ‘a sex act’ (another, or the same variety?) while simultaneously walking towards the pillar box. And then – and only then – did he begin ‘to make sexual advances towards it’. At this point, though shameful, guilt-inducing and somehow slightly humiliating, an image of Cherie Blair, herself a Lancashire lass, pops uninvited into the reader’s head. Bennett was highly intoxicated. Could he have been labouring under the beer-sodden illusion that he was about to ‘perform a sex act’ with the illustrious QC? There’s an eerily long and (almost) silent video of the abused post box which is worthy of a first year creative film studies student. In addition to this surreal visual offering, it would appear le tout Wigan has commented on the event. Many of these comments have been lost to posterity, but one or two pungent, Les-Dawsonesque examples remain; good to know that dry Northern wit is alive and well. Sort of.

A unique celebration of the relationship between poetry and sex

14th January 2015

 

In what sounds like a must for the lyrical crowd, on the 9th of February, Poet in the City will present a unique celebration of the relationship between poetry and sex, and ask you to join Erotic Review writer and broadcaster Kate Copstick as she hosts a panel of leading experts in erotic literature and gender, exploring poetry’s intimate relationship with love and desire through the ages. The evening will feature acclaimed poet Adam O’Riordan, Dr Linda Grant and Richard Parkinson. Drawing on the evocative writings of authors and poets from John Donne and Anais Nin to ee cummings and beyond, this event will explore how poetry charts and challenges our evolving relationship with sex and each other. May the Muse be with you. Get info/tickets here. Eros: The Poetry of Sex 7pm, Monday 9th February 2015 Kings Place 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

CHARLIE HEBDO MASSACRE

7th January 2015

  We are outraged by the grim carnage at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris: let's fight to preserve freedom of speech; let's never be silenced by religious lunacy; let's all show bravery to those who would enslave us with fear and always condemn those who possess such appalling contempt for humanity. Je suis Charlie.

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Fiction

Memoirs of Egypt

by Anastasia Parkes / 22nd January 2015

The recent attacks in Paris have filled everyone with renewed foreboding and re-awakened memories for me of the fascinating years I spent in a liberal, peaceful, ambitiously tolerant Cairo back in the 1980s. Life in Egypt and much of the Arab world, most notably Syria, has changed drastically since then. The levels of violence and anger which surfaced during the demonstrations in Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring were shocking. Although Mubarak was ousted, and then Mohamed Moris, along with his strict Islamic agenda and the sharia basis to the constitution he was proposing, tension still remains. The wonderful country and welcoming people face dissension and regression. Tourists are staying away, cutting off vital sources of income. Worse still, previously independent women are often closely monitored, prohibited even from roller skating, or being downright abused. I'd already noticed in the TV coverage of the demonstrations the almost universal wearing of hejabs and more severe abayas by the few visible women in the crowds  When I was there my uncovered English head wasn't particularly remarkable or inflammatory because less than half the local women were covered, and if they were they wore beautiful scarves rather than plain, repressive black.

Commute

by Kass Goldsworthy / 21st December 2014

There was something about her that grabbed me. Actually, there were many things about her that grabbed me. One was the way she inhabited her body so easily. There were plenty of attractive women on this ferry run, but they had the pinched beauty and tight bodies of professionals. Their bodies were walking catalogues of spin classes, Pilates, and expensive moisturiser. This woman, though, walked with the rolling ease of a dancer. Her ass was high and tight and gorgeously round. I had imagined doing all sorts of things with that ass. Her face and eyes had a look that was distant and inviting and bemused all at once, as if she was remembering something sweetly sad or delicious.

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Galleries

The art of arousal

3rd October 2014

One of the most talked about exhibitions at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, FECK:ART took shape as the area’s emerging artists toiled to answer one question: can art succeed where porn fails: to actually turn us on? Their diverse and dazzling output celebrates ‘beautiful obscenity’ while challenging pornography’s status quo.

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Podcasts

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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Articles

In the name of our non-negotiable rights

by Ali May / 9th January 2015

I was born in Iran, raised to become a good muslim. My last name was Sheikholeslami, which translates to 'The Wise Man of Islam'. I was wise enough to know this wasn’t me. I’ve dropped my name, my religion and my country. One of the reasons I emigrated to the UK was the fact that I aspired to be surrounded by values such as freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of press. When I came across Have I Got News for You in Britain, I imagined an Iran with its own version of HIGNFY would be a democratic Iran, a free Iran. The truth is people who cannot laugh at themselves are dangerous people. The world of political Islam is, sadly, one devoid of humour and hung up on self-righteousness. The assault against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris is an attack on all of those values that I sought to have, and all in the name of political Islam.

Postcards From the Edge No.7

by Bruce Abrahams / 4th January 2015

Just before Christmas, we were all very baffled down here in The Old Doom Bar about what that lot up-country were playing at. It is a commonplace among us lads to express our appreciation of an attractive female with the phrase ‘I wouldn’t mind her sitting on my face’. And just when BT had brought us broadband and we could settle down to a bit of vicarious face-sitting, the ghost of Mary Whitehouse has risen to deprive us of this innocent homage to the female body.

The Erotic Review’s Top Eight published erotic novels of 2014

by Kate Borcoman / 16th December 2014

2014 has been an interesting year in the world of erotic fiction;  sales of romantic erotica, in particular, have been boosted by Sylvia Day’s Captivated by You, the fourth instalment in the Crossfire series. Apparently, Day’s first novel in the series, Bared to You, was not only Penguin UK’s biggest book of 2012 but also the publisher’s ‘fastest-selling paperback of the last ten years’.

Far More Dangerous…

by Jane Fae / 6th December 2014

In our second piece on the current legislation concerning pornography, Jane Fae looks back on the UK's long history of censorship, from Lord Campbell's 1857 Obscene Publications Act to Peter Johnson's ATVOD of today. It's an alarming picture. Despite much public froth to the contrary, the Government has NOT just banned squirting, face-sitting or even trampling from video on demand. They have not even banned BDSM or pain play.

The war on pornography

by Ian Dunt / 2nd December 2014

Where are the liberals when pornography is attacked? They are silent. Where are the feminists when dominatrixes are censored? They say nothing. Pornography is the great silencer. It makes usual defenders of free speech hold their tongue and proponents of equality forget their values. For years now, pornography laws have been contrary to the fundamental values of British justice. People are branded sex offenders for images they do not know they possess, whether by being sent them unsolicited on social media or because they featured somewhere on a website they once read. Quite simply, it is impossible for any user of pornography, no matter how mainstream or infrequent, to know they are not breaking the law.

Portraits of the Artists

by Lisa Stanford / 20th November 2014

This evening an exhibition of photographs of artists by Kevin Davies opens at Timothy Everest’s atelier in Shoreditch: it will be on view to the public for a week from tomorrow. At a recent show of Auerbach at Tate Britain (Frank Auerbach: Paintings and Drawings from the Lucian Freud Estate) one of the drawings is after Davies’ photograph of Frank Auerbach with Lucien Freud, taken in 2002. They are having breakfast at the Cock Tavern in Smithfield.

No sex please, I’m prudish

by Ariane Sherine / 21st October 2014

When I was ten years old, my mother sat my brother and I down and told us about sex. “When a man and woman love each other very much and are married,” she began, “the man puts his penis into the woman’s vagina, and that makes a baby.” I frowned. “Did you and Dad do that?” “We don’t talk about that,” my mother replied, visibly uncomfortable. “Do you and Dad still do that?” “Ariane, I’ve said we don’t talk about that!” she snapped (no doubt because, when she was growing up, people really didn’t talk about sex).

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Reviews

Books about bedtime

by Kate Borcoman / 16th January 2015

I am sitting on a late Friday afternoon staring disconsolately at a pile of books recently sent to Erotic Towers for review. All, pretty much, have restrained grey covers and strap lines like ‘An erotic series so steamy, it sparkles!’

Patron Saint of Prostitutes

by Camilla Cassidy / 18th December 2014

Josephine Butler was a middle-class Victorian woman; a respectable wife and mother, safely ensconced in a culture that idolised wives and mothers. She nevertheless exposed herself to abuse and humiliation in her campaign for the rights of prostitutes. Under the Contagious Diseases Act, these often vulnerable and voiceless women were subject to humiliating and painful gynaecological examinations and forced quarantines. Butler was a vocal opponent of the Contagious Diseases Act and, as a result, the target of insult and innuendo. One MP said ‘I look upon these women who have taken up this matter as worse than the prostitutes’. Helen Mathers’s biography of Butler – Patron Saint of Prostitutes: Josephine Butler and a Victorian Scandal – builds a rich history of sexual ethics and early feminist thought around the life of one remarkable woman who isn’t as celebrated, or as well known, as she should be.

Thérèse Raquin: From The Shadows of Desire

by Jessica White / 8th December 2014

I first encountered Émile Zola’s anti-love story Thérèse Raquin, by that giant of nineteenth century French literature who gave us J’accuse, some time in the winter of 2006 while recovering from my first genuine French love affair. Consoling myself with incomprehensible continental philosophers and copious quantities of vin rouge, I happily embarked on a new liaison, of the literary kind.

What sex means to us now

by Camilla Cassidy / 24th November 2014

‘The Institute of Sexology’, the Wellcome Collection’s inaugural exhibition in its newly refurbished gallery space, is tellingly subtitled ‘undress your mind’. This is a thoughtful traipse through the history of sexology rather than (or at least as much as) a titillating collection of curiosities, though you wouldn’t know it from the kind of sniggering coverage it has already attracted.

Sex and disability

by Bruce Abrahams / 21st November 2014

When asked toward the end of his life if he had any regrets, the poet John Betjeman famously replied ‘not enough sex’. Few of us I suspect, would think we have too much sex and surveys are unreliable measures. But it is a safe bet that for most people our sex lives cluster around some median range of frequency and satisfaction; although there will be outliers on the frequent and great or rarely and disappointing spectrum. Overall however, society’s preoccupation with sex acknowledges that we humans are predisposed to find sex attractive and pleasurable in prospect and often (if sadly not often enough) in practice.

Filthy, filthy, filthy. But beautiful, in its own way…

by Kate Copstick / 17th November 2014

I have an overwhelming desire, since listening to this strange little album, to give a dinner party, have it playing quietly in the background and see how long it would take to stop the conversation. Because stop the conversation it most certainly would.

Beautiful People (of their time)

by Edward Field / 11th November 2014

When you are next in London, head for the National Portrait Gallery and you will not regret buying a ticket for admission to Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy. It’s a brilliant exhibition, lovingly and intelligently assembled by author and art historian Fiona McCarthy.

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Heart Killer is Nowicki’s fifth novel, with close thematic links to his controversial 2011 novella, The Columbine Pilgrim

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