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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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).
View All Articles »
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!’
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
View All Reviews »
Eve Made A Wish
Eve Made a Wish
has a wonderful selection of high quality erotic toys and lingerie for women at our boutique. We’re not burlesque and we’re not soft-porn – we’re here for positive, sensual erotic pleasure and contemporary design. Be seduced by us!
We stock fabulous products from Shiri Zinn, Je Joue, Rianne S, What Katie Did, Kiss Me Deadly and JimmyJane.
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