There’s something rotten in the West. In the UK, the rabid anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Brexit campaign translated into a vote to leave the EU. In the US, a lunatic sociopath won the presidency on the back of a racialised political programme, Biblical levels of misogyny and a constant, almost cult-like worship of aggression and rudeness.
There is nothing like Joyce Mansour’s poetry. It expresses the erotic yet cruel power of love and desire. The poems are stark and painful, with an almost frightening and obsessive streak of sado-masochism. The consuming madness of sex and death are fiercely and passionately described with shocking and violent imagery, yet there is often a moving sensitivity in her work. Her vocabulary is precise, every word counts, these poems are bare and spare.
Sex is not often discussed in any direct way in our group. It arose though because one occasional member with literary pretensions happened to have been to the Cheltenham Festival. She (and it could only have been a ‘she’) drew to our attention to a suggestion by Jenni Murray of BBC’s Woman’s Hour during an address there, that schools should have porn lessons. That is, opportunities to review and critically analyse pornography and its underlying messages.
I had a friend tell me about her erotic novel recently, a heavily horse-themed saga she’s been writing on and off for years and, running as it currently does to some 80,000 words, is nigh-on ready to reach the audience it deserves. I’m surprised when she says fervently that no living soul will ever clap eyes on the thing, and that it’ll lie on her hard drive as innocently as a copy of the Racing Post for time immemorial. She’s not embarrassed by it: far from, but it’s personal. My meeting with Jodi Ellen Malpas in a Soho hotel reminded me of this, if only because the New York Times-bestselling author began her career doing just the same thing: writing in secret, without expecting that her work would one day be read by millions.
There was a particular charm about the way the British hockey girls celebrated their win. Although the sport is officially billed as ‘women’s’ hockey, the team members referred to themselves as ‘the girls’; much as males talk about ‘the lads’. One of our group (who claimed to have studied sociology) remarked on the semiotics of these descriptors. It was evident that female sports had to be described as ‘women’s’ - neither ‘female’ nor ‘ladies’ were options because the former was too clinical and the latter plain old-fashioned. But would it have been acceptable for third parties to refer to our heroines as ‘girls’?
It has been a busy month at The Old Doom Bar - that is, in the world beyond it. There has been The Royal Cornwall Show, a big local wedding, the arrival of early and child free summer visitors and of course the Referendum.
As with the LGBT movement, Sex Workers in various combines have fought valiantly for their corner of social understanding and acceptance. Last year they put together their first Opera at the Arcola Theatre and 29th May this year has just seen the end of their second week's run at The Pleasance.
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When the Chancellor of the Diocese visited the Convent of the Sisters of Holy Affliction, Sister Michael always received him with a kiss on the lips. That was the closest Fr Tom got to enjoying a woman. He relished that kiss, even as he winced at the austerity of the place, imagining those who, over the years, had cut themselves off from family and comfort here.
The aliens crash-landed in the middle of London Fashion Week - right through the roof of the old tobacco factory into Jemima Ong's debut show. Everyone applauded as the 'creatures' took to the catwalk. They were even wearing the same distressed crinolines and burnt sienna/mauve palette cut to their multiple tentacles and horns.
'They're attacking the models!' cried the football player and his wife in the front row. Except the models seemed quite happy about it. Ecstatic, even. The girls and the aliens tangled in and out of file down the catwalk like a self-weaving river of long lost tribes reuniting, burning with love.
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It's the perfect gift for anyone into any of the following: tattoos, satire, make-believe, colour, illustration, poking fun at celebrities, poking fun at royals, poking fun at history, beautifully presented books, life, love, wit, humour, fun. Oh you don't know anyone who likes any of those things?
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From the boardroom to politics we look to increase the representation of women. But if women were dominant what impact would it have? Might female leaders be the answer to our modern malaise? Could they create a more productive economy and a less conflictual politics? Or is this utopian and sexist? Darwinian philosopher Helena Cronin, Labour politician Diane Abbott, and Morgan Stanley Vice-President Niamh Corbett consider the implications of a radical culture shift. This debate, chaired by Matthew Parris, is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas, home to cutting-edge philosophy and ideas from the world’s leading thinkers.
DESIRE: FROSTRUP & EROTIC REVIEW
100 of literature’s sexiest stories, chosen by Mariella Frostrup and the Erotic Review.
Strict mistresses, naughty maids, handsome gardners and disarming strangers; literature is awash with love, sex and desire. This collection brings together 100 of the best examples, hand-picked by Mariella Frostrup and the Erotic Review.
is a friendly, independent cycle shop in Battersea, London SW11. Established in 1992, our bike range isn’t huge but it is considered. British favourites and classics, Brompton, Pashley and Moulton rub handlebars with our favoured hybrid brand, Giant. Come and visit and see for yourself.
OPEN Tuesday – Saturday;
59A Battersea Bridge Road
London SW11 3AU
Tel: 020 7738 2766
Did Johann Salvadorus kill the Homecoming Queen? No, he did far worse…
Why not treat your Kindle (or other eReader) to a first-class read? Now available from ER BOOKS, Heart Killer is a dark, erotic, time-tripping crime thriller by Andy Nowicki.
Heart Killer is Nowicki’s fifth novel, with close thematic links to his controversial 2011 novella, The Columbine Pilgrim
eBook price: £4.30
Erotic Review Books
The web has a new home for creative erotica. An independent online publishing house, ER Books publishes carefully selected digital books, often beautifully illustrated with contemporary and classic erotic art. Browse our catalogue. Explore our website HERE