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.
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.
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I was born on 9th September 1966.
My mother cut the placenta off me and said "You're the fatal blow at the arse end of the revolution." Mao Tse Tung had died an hour ago. I was missing my left eardrum.
When I turned three, my father died too and the "one-child" policy came into force; suddenly, there were no brothers or sisters around, we were little emperors to be maintained and my mother said "If you were later, I would have aborted you for a boy." She wanted a man to help her and instead she had me; so the number of little boys started to grow, twenty three million of them, with no hope of a woman, future sexual orphans, the fruit of Deng's policy and Chinese copulation
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.
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'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."
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DESIRE: FROSTRUP & EROTIC REVIEW
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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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