Erotic Review Magazine

The Provocateur

by Robert Rosen / 11th April 2017

I found out Attanasio was dead on December 16, 2015, from a review of one of his movies on the New Yorker website. Sound Camera Rotation, made in 1977 but now being shown at an art gallery on the Lower East Side, was “witty” and “a slapstick gem,” the critic said. What a great review, I thought as I began reading, amazed that the film was suddenly getting so much attention. I also wondered why my old friend hadn’t invited me to the opening—until I read the last sentence: “The show turned unexpectedly elegiac: Attanasio died last month, after a brief illness, at the age of sixty-three.” I’d known his cancer was terminal but hadn’t realized—or wanted to realize—how aggressive it was. The last time Attanasio and I had communicated, by text in mid-October, he said that he didn’t feel strong enough to have me visit or even to talk on the phone, and that it was impossible to make plans. The effects of his medication were too unpredictable. He’d died on Friday, November 13, a day I remembered well—it was the day terrorists massacred 130 people in Paris. I hadn’t heard the news about Robert Attanasio because we no longer had any mutual friends; nobody I knew from City College was still in touch with him. When he first e-mailed me, in early February 2015, nearly 30 years had passed since we’d last seen each other. We hadn’t had a falling out. We’d just drifted apart.

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“For flavour, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook. ” - Quentin Crisp

Love & Sex

The Sweet & Savory of Slow Sex

by Karin Jones / 5th April 2017

The few times I’ve had a man look into my eyes when he’s coming he wore an expression that said, ‘Good god, my balls are being electrocuted.’ Practice I say, practice.

Fidelity vs Monogamy: Do You Need Both?

by Karin Jones / 15th March 2017

Saying you're open can come across as a justification for sleeping around, imply you don't have the emotional skills to commit to a ‘real’ relationship, or that you're so bent on living a life less ordinary that you're willing to suffer through the heart stomping emotion of knowing your partner is fucking someone else.

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Reviews

Sex and Puppets / Puppet Cabaret

by Catherine Ellis / 5th April 2017

I’ll admit, there was a time when I had never really considered what I wouldn’t expect puppets to do. Reared on Thunderbirds and seaside Punch and Judy, my conscious puppet repertoire was defined by International Rescue missions and sausage-themed domestic abuse. A diverse enough spread, you’d think. But, had I thought about what I wouldn’t call ‘puppet territory’, knife throwing, striptease, and floating through the air while masturbating with an aubergine would have been high on my list. How wrong I would have been. Thank goodness the Sex and Puppets/Puppet Cabaret double bill hosted by Moving Parts, Newcastle’s new puppetry festival, was here to set me straight.

The 120 Days of Sodom

by Sophie R. Knowles / 22nd February 2017

It’s official: Sade is part of the canon. Thanks to a blistering new translation by Thomas Wynn and Will McMorran, the 120 Days of Sodom now sits merrily alongside War and Peace and Little Women in a restrained, matte black cover. A familiar little bird in an orange bubble is posed directly under Man Ray’s Monument à D. A. F. de Sade, a close-up of pert buttocks framed by an inverted cross. Fifty years ago, anyone who published Sade faced prosecution. Now, ‘the most impure tale ever written’ is a Penguin Classic.

An Almond for a Parrot

by Catherine Ellis / 27th January 2017

Gardner’s vision of eighteenth-century sex work is the perfect mix of romanticism and realism. For every silken gown, rococo pleasure garden, and champagne-fuelled masquerade, she offers a sobering glimpse of the indigence, cruelty and inequality on which eighteenth-century society was built.

2016 Sexual Freedom Awards

by Bruce Abrahams / 20th November 2016

Originally titled The Erotic Oscars until the Hollywood proprietors of the eponymous statue objected and forced a change to The Erotic Awards, this annual recognition of libidinous creative talent is now in its twenty second year. It was conceived by the extraordinary Dr ‘Tuppy’ Owens, ‘onlie begetter’ of The Sex Maniac’s Diary and The Sex Maniac’s Ball. Both productions fell victim to political correctness (the well-researched and informative diary died), although the Ball survived for over twenty five years including a name change to Night of the Senses.

Only the Visible Can Vanish

by Edward Field / 4th November 2016

Only the Visible Can Vanish, Anna Maconochie’s debut collection of short fiction, crackles with an electric energy. It’s extremely present and the humour is trenchant. Eleven stories, dealing with big city themes: urban alienation to the point of wanting to vanish; internet romances; pressure-cooker media jobs; trying to connect with the opposite sex; encounters that could succeed and bloom into fuller, more permanent relationships only to be destroyed by their creaky foundations.

Playing FTSE

by Tara Smyth / 25th October 2016

This is the somewhat predictable story of Melanie, a young woman working hard to gain credits in the banking world and doing her best to be taken seriously for her brain, rather than her body: a seemingly simple, but obviously unrealistic, goal.

Belinda Blinked: 1

by Jessica Slane / 18th October 2016

Here at Erotic Review we are nothing if not champions of good sex: the expression of it, the reading of it, the writing of it and indeed the having of it. So when an erotic novel takes the world by storm, well: we want a piece of the action. Hell, we’ve been wanting a piece of the action since 1995, and Belinda Blinked; 1 A modern story of sex, erotica and passion. How the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels.does the job very nicely indeed. Welcome to the Steeles Pots and Pans industry, where women always come first, and where a humble charity tombola can end in a horsebox.

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Articles

Erotica and Diversity: A Call for New Writers

by Catherine Ellis / 27th March 2017

Diversity is something that sexually explicit media have broadly failed at for centuries. While we all have our preferences, the ‘norm’ from which erotic media deviate to a greater or lesser extent is still defined by youth, whiteness, heterosexuality, and framed by the male gaze. For every civil rights victory and ‘equality and diversity away day’ the world has seen, too many contemporary representations of sex are still limited to fit, able-bodied white people fucking in a penthouse.

A Response to Eimear McBride's TLS critique of DESIRE

by Catherine Ellis / 19th January 2017

The Marquis de Sade tells us that his epic catalogue of perversions, The 120 Days of Sodom, should be treated like a vast banquet. Enjoy the breadth of what’s on offer, pick what you enjoy, and leave what you don’t. Criticise neither the host for giving you such wealth of choice, nor your fellow diners for picking what you find unappetising. Appreciate that dishes which might seem the same to you are, in fact, delicately nuanced. In short, don’t be prudish at the table: be philosophical. Admittedly, advice from Sade should usually be taken with a large pinch of salt (I’m no advocate for abduction, cannibalism, and baroque torture machines myself). Yet we could do worse than adopt his approach to explicit literature. Sex, like eating, is invariably a question of taste. So while Eimear McBride’s critique of Desire: 100 of literature’s sexiest stories is undoubtedly well intentioned, I can’t help but think she would make a judgemental dinner guest.

DOWN AT THE OLD DOOM BAR: POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE 27

by Bruce Abrahams / 20th December 2016

It’s a funny time of year. Somehow the absence of visitors makes the landscape quieter. In the season it is as if the hum of their activities transmits even at night to the moors. Down at the Old Doom Bar we regulars retreat to the snug in small numbers and the landlord or his wife sometimes join us, though willing to knock out scampi and chips if we fancy them. The women are less in evidence. This is because they are busy with seasonal preparations. As well as list-making, baking and provision planning these include two day excursions to favoured shopping centres such as Bath which is a smart city with spas and high end hairdressers.

The new authoritarianism

by Ian Dunt / 29th November 2016

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.

JOYCE MANSOUR: FIVE POEMS TRANSLATED

by Carol Martin-Sperry / 12th November 2016

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.

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Fiction

The Annunciation

by Louise Murray / 7th April 2017

Joseph could not touch one so young. She was a child, a daughter. Wedding her, he was almost ashamed – an old man with grey in his beard and she a dark-crowned girl. Yet he trusted God, and he knew that to be ashamed would be a dishonour upon Him.

Andromeda Unbound

by Katherine Mezzacappa / 19th March 2017

‘Mr. Mannheimer had to go and get the stepladder to tie my hands to the beam. He used rope because he said he didn’t have any chains, but that I was to try to imagine that’s what they were seeing as that’s what he’d paint. He said he’d just tie me loosely but I said no thanks, if I have to hold my arms up myself I’d be worn out in no time so please to tie me up proper so I can hang from the chains and not pretend. Afterwards he got down and off my plinth and looked at me tied up there. I liked it when he did that, better than when he’s looking at me from behind his easel. Then he frowns and says, “Please not to shave under the arms again.” Then he says: “You are a dromedary.”’

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Galleries

AN UNRELIABLE HISTORY OF TATTOOS | PAUL THOMAS

20th April 2016

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? Pity.

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Videos

ORGASMATRON

by / 10th December 2016

'What can MRI scans of brains in orgasm tell us? Past editrice of the Erotic Review Rowan Pelling reveals how the science of la petite mort might might hold the key to abolishing pain. This debate is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas, home to cutting-edge philosophy and ideas from the world’s leading thinkers."

Videos

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100 of literature’s sexiest stories, chosen by Mariella Frostrup and the Erotic Review.

Strict mistresses, naughty maids, handsome gardeners 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.

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