Erotic Review Magazine

No Sexting, Please. We're British.

by Ian Dunt / 27th July 2014

When the sex offenders register was first conceived, we can presume it wasn't intended to include teenagers taking photos of themselves. That would be absurd and no right-minded lawmaker would wish it. But laws, like pets, have a life of their own. Take your eye off them and they will shit in your house. This week, a teenage girl was given a police caution for taking a photo of herself partially undressed and sending it to her boyfriend. In any normal conception of the world this would be considered regrettable teenage behaviour. In the brave new world in which we live it is 'distributing indecent images of a child'.

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“Germany seems to have made topless titillation a national pursuit, whether it is big-jugged beer-hall Mädchens bending over to top up your stein, naked soccer cheerleaders or stripping animal rights protesters. ” - Rebecca Riley

News

Ruby Restored!

10th July 2014

Our news story on 2nd July about poor Leena McCall’s painting being chucked out of the Society of Women Artists’ exhibition by their host gallery, the Mall Galleries, was followed by a little flurry of excitement in the meedja, culminating (or perhaps not) with Dan Damon’s World Update on the World Service yesterday. Among these, our sainted former editor Rowan Pelling penned a lovely piece for the Guardian on the 8th July and a former ER columnist, Dr Brooke Magnanti, aka Belle de Jour, likewise wrote a convincing argument in the Telegraph against the sanitisation of the world for the sake of children and vulnerable adults. Meanwhile the painting has been relocated by its inclusion in a show opening tomorrow, entitled Summer Salon, at a new London art venue, The Leyden Gallery, 9 Leyden St, London E1 7LE (a very smart move by the gallery owners). We’re expecting crush barriers will be erected any moment now, so visit early to avoid the scrum… However there remains a mystery: who was it that actually called Leena’s painting ‘too pornographic and disgusting’? Was it a member of the Mall Galleries’ executive committee? Or was it uttered  by a visitor (or visitors) to the gallery? Did one exclaim “This is simply too pornographic!” while another, nodding his head wisely and voicing his agreement, propounded “And too disgusting, too!” We await an answer from Leena’s press officer, Rosanna Head.

If Jean Genet was alive today

4th July 2014

"Slowly but surely I want to strip her of every kind of happiness so as to make a saint of her" - Jean Genet, Our Lady of the Flowers. In a couple of weeks' time, Joseph Mercier and his company PanicLab present their latest work Of Saints And Go-Go Boys in London for three nights at Toynbee Studios. Commissioned for Homotopia’s tenth anniversary and premiered at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre last November, Of Saints And Go-Go Boys is an uncompromising and erotically-charged descent into a world of misfits and sinners. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR MORE INFO AND DATES

The Mall Galleries Respond

3rd July 2014

An update about the painting that Leena McCall has had removed from the SWA exhibition (see below): a full statement has now been issued by the Mall Galleries: MALL GALLERIES STATEMENT RE: PAINTING BY LEENA MCCALL     *  The painting by Leena McCall was hung in an exhibition organised, selected and funded by the Society of Women Artists, who have hired the Mall Galleries (run by the Federation of British Artists) for their annual exhibition.     *  The Mall Galleries played no part in its selection or hanging.     *  As an educational arts charity, the Federation has a responsibility to its Trustees and to the children and vulnerable adults who use its Galleries and Learning Centre. After a number of complaints regarding the depiction of the subject and taking account of its location en route for children to our Learning Centre, we requested the painting was removed.  The Society of Women Artists made no objection and replaced it with another painting, also depicting a female nude. Mall Galleries / Federation of British Artists This has prompted the artist to ask the following questions: 1. Why did the Mall Galleries not simply have the painting moved to a less prominent spot in the gallery? 2. Why is it ok to replace "Portrait of Ms Ruby May, standing" with a nude by another artist? 3. What is it about the painting that is seen as a threat to children/vulnerable adults? 4. Would the Society for Women Artists like to respond to this press release? The SWA continue to be unavailable for comment…

…Victoria

2nd July 2014

Surprising news has just reached ER, news of censorship and prudishness on an altogether Victorian scale. The Society For Women Artists’s 153rd annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries – home of the Federation of British Artists –  has had one of its exhibits summarily removed. This is the rather fetching, life-size Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing, by prize-winning artist, Leena McCall, whose work “deals with female sexual and erotic identity”. Apparently the work was deemed to be ‘too pornographic and disgusting’ to meet the public’s gaze, although we’re not quite sure who is being quoted here. ER is waiting to hear both from The Mall Galleries and the SWA who are both – so far – unavailable for comment. Watch this space. In the meantime, judge for yourselves:

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Fiction

That Whiteness You Always Craved For

by Ali May / 14th July 2014

As she inspects each of the roundish shapes, she plays with her toes, as if they are buried in sand. The smell of the sea plays with her nostrils and at that very moment she feels the breeze beginning to go round her legs. She turns around in a pleasant shock to investigate which window has been opened and who the source is to that immense act of kindness. The windows are still shut. A woman has walked past her, in a pace too brisk for the context. She follows her steps with her eyes and moves her head up slowly, from the tan, ankle-length boots to tight black jeans, the narrow camel belt, the white, white, white shirt. The mystery woman stops across from her and watches out the window. She likes her cropped, blond hair and the simple elegance that she carries.

Ménage à trois: Morning After

by Lori Schafer / 7th July 2014

I yawned and opened my eyes. Early morning sunlight was streaming in through the blinds. A cool breeze ruffled pleasantly through my exposed pubic hair. It tickled. I felt myself becoming aroused. I glanced down at my body, dappled with the warming rays of the sun. My breasts were bare. My belly was bare. My thighs were bare. In fact, the only part of me that wasn’t bare was my right foot, to which still clung to the more stubborn half of a cotton ankle sock.

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Galleries

RORY MIDHANI

19th July 2014

RORY MIDHANI is a freelance editorial/narrative illustrator interested in telling stories within a single page. The work he enjoys the most is creating scenes of real and imagined places, with an emphasis on character. Click on the image to see more of his amazing work.

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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

Rochester Redux

by Alexander Larman / 21st June 2014

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, is often thought to be the quintessential Restoration man, in terms of his debauched lifestyle and squandered brilliance. When he began one of his most famous poems, A Ramble In St James’s Park, with the statement that ‘Much wine had passed, with grave discourse Of who fucks who, and who does worse’, his aristocratic readers, recognising themselves as those who participated in such ‘grave discourse’, would have sniggered and enjoyed the allusion.

POSTCARDS FROM BEYOND NO. 4

by Bruce Abrahams / 16th June 2014

I sit on my terrace with the sun setting on an azure sea – or some such. In the fields around me cattle graze peacefully and sheep engage in sheep like wanderings, dispersed across the meadows. I note that three young bulls (all virgins) have just broken out of their enclosure and are heading for a neighbouring field full of dairy heifers. On the wireless news is brought to me of Iraq and the sectarian conflict erupting from its previous simmer. The Sun has, via the postman, delivered a free copy of its special ‘celebrating England’ issue. This is a masterly stunt designed to reinforce and infuse our World Cup efforts with a general sense of how brilliant the English are. Pace any Scots or indeed Welsh readers, there is acknowledgement that being English is inclusive.

A BOOK ABOUT SEX BEFORE ITS TIME

by Jonathon Green / 13th June 2014

The book was only sporadically reviewed and those notices it received were less than kind. Literary editors being, then as now, eager for ‘controversy’ sent it only to those most likely to condemn: ideologically conditioned feminists. It was suggested by one that I had used the interviews as a stimulus and that while disguised by microphone and machine I had pleasured myself with brisk games of pocket billiards. Another, having savaged it, admitted when we met at a festival that she hadn’t actually meant what she had written but ‘it was what was expected’. There were no royalties.

The Lost Age of Paperback Porn: ER Books' Past Venus Press revisits some hard-won erotic freedoms

by C.J. Lazaretti / 6th June 2014

Justice Potter speaks in 1966: "Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. Long ago those who wrote our First Amendment charted a different course. They believed a society can be truly strong only when it is truly free. In the realm of expression they put their faith, for better or worse, in the enlightened choice of the people, free from the interference of a policeman’s intrusive thumb or a judge’s heavy hand."

Postcards From Beyond No. 3

by Bruce Abrahams / 28th May 2014

But we have our own yummy mummies. My local garage has a marvellous girl I shall (for the sake of discretion) call Molly. She is a grown-up woman with teenage sons but has kept herself together with great style. As well as a neat figure she has a sparkling personality that she deploys as a complement to her very tight jumper and very short shorts behind the filling station counter. There may be imaginative parallels with The Postman Always Rings Twice, but not in our village.

Another postcard from beyond

by Bruce Abrahams / 26th April 2014

The builders and postmen go through the entire year in shorts. I wonder if this is because they are the only males who have access to village women at home during the day. This is not to suggest anything lubricious in the motivations of these fine men or the women they serve – if one can use the term in reference to the professional context. It may be a subconscious anthropological thing. There she is, knitting quilts in her kitchen, surrounded by garden and geese, her accustomed and dull bloke off burning gorse or in his fishing boat; here’s the postie or the craftsmen, with tanned bare legs and merry demeanour.

Ingrid Berthon-Moine: Interview

17th April 2014

Have we become so conditioned to the cosmetic industry’s insidious grasp on the way women ‘should’ look that we’ve forgotten how they actually do look?

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Reviews

Blazing Star

by Jonathon Green / 15th July 2014

Rochester, aristocrat, courtier, debauchee, atheist, drunk, naval hero, bisexual, father and, for its own purposes, poet, is one of Eng. Lit.’s perennial conundrums. Like Pope’s Sporus, he seems at time ‘a painted child of dirt that stinks and stings,’ at others, to steal the jealous Hilaire Belloc’s sneer at P.G. Wodehouse, ‘English literature’s performing flea’.  A fallen angel, perhaps, capering on a shit-smeared pin. He lived fast, died young (like Christ, at 33) and, the bulk of his life having been subject to the on-going attrition of incurable syphilis, his corpse was far from good-looking. If one uses a phrase that conjures up a rock or movie star maudit, then it is apt: in many ways his life seems very modern: in two words, the rebel. The question remains: to what extent was there also a cause.

Saintly Stuff

by Kate Borcoman / 11th July 2014

It is generally acknowledged that romantic women’s fiction subscribes, in the main, to the following truisms: there must be an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending’ and where possible the ‘hero’ should appear to be unobtainable à la Rochester with his mad wife; Edward, a vampire and, of course, Christian with his fucked-up kinkiness

Such clever, expensive racehorses

by Zoë Apostolides / 8th July 2014

“We're white, we’re westerners, we're girls and we’re rich, of course we're fucking miserable. The standards are just too fucking high for us to be anything else.” Milly Thomas' new play, A First World Problem,  is a must-see. Under bright lights and perched on hard-backed, straight-A classroom chairs three young women are poised like eager greyhounds waiting for the rabbit to be released. Each one holds the key to a future in her lap, cased in an innocuous brown envelope. Have they been accepted to Oxbridge, or rejected? And if they've got the go-ahead, are they attractive enough, slim enough, sporty or edgy or rich enough, to succeed there? These are 'first world problems', and lead actress-cum-writer Milly Thomas' eponymous new play is chock-a-block with 'em.

Review: The Erotic Doll

by Peter Webb / 21st May 2014

At the start of his book, Mr. Smith poses the questions: “What is the nature of man’s – or rather men’s –intimate and erotic relations with inanimate human forms?”…”When, where and why have human beings – usually but by no means only, men – fallen in love with statues and other inanimate things?”…”What provokes or stirs them to consummate that love erotically and what form does such consummating take?” These are provocative and intriguing questions…

Going Down…

by John D. Michaelis / 11th May 2014

Gazzman’s Down On Abby, by missing a crucial ‘t’ and ‘e’, cheekily creates a porno-parody of a particularly notorious period soap, one of the several jewels in Julian Fellowes’ artistic (and now, of course, baronial) coronet. Except that in Gazzman’s movie, not much happens in the way of snobbery, avarice, pride, intolerance or any other of the many aristocratic vices that Baron Fellowes so lovingly, yet obsessively, dwells upon. Aristos and staff are all far too busy screwing one another. In the nicest way possible. 

Rupert Everett's Love for Sale: Channel 4

by Bruce Abrahams / 2nd May 2014

Channel 4 has had the wisdom to allow Everett total creative control. He conducted his inquiry with delicacy, balance and restraint. There was nothing louche in the way he explored the world of paid sex – in which he has been both consumer and vendor. Instead he used his credentials to elicit the views and commentaries of his respondents with great insight and gentle empathy.

Translucent Stuff

by Zoë Apostolides / 15th April 2014

Every generation is accused of believing that it invented sex. In the wake of the Olympic summer, however, you couldn’t catch a tube without catching the eye of the blushing person opposite, precariously balancing Fifty Shades of Grey upon clenched knees. This generation’s late teens and twentysomethings might be forgiven for thinking their own, Jane Austen-style ‘coming out’ ball far racier than anything which had come before.

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