Erotic Review Magazine

The Lonely Soldier Monologues

by Daisy Bata / 24th May 2015

Addressing an event in such recent history, you would be forgiven for thinking you knew everything about the Iraq war. After numerous Hollywood blockbusters, public executions and a worldwide critique of the parts America and the UK played in the arguably unnecessary and absolutely mishandled invasion of Iraq, we understand the politics of the war so much more clearly in hindsight. It is interesting to discover a side of the story that has been largely overlooked, something that all too often happens when the subject matter is women. The Lonely Soldier Monologues is an entirely verbatim play written by Helen Benedict, recounting stories told to her by female American soldiers deployed to Iraq. Superbly directed by Prav MJ, seven women deliver fiercely striking and honest performances that would make their real-life counterparts proud.

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“The behaviour of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life. ” - Sigmund Freud

News

HAY FESTIVAL 2015

18th May 2015

Erotic Review is off to Hay Festival, and we're excited about it. Bell-tents and burgers aside, we're looking forward to some very interesting chatter indeed. This year we'll be reporting on moral philosopher Susan Neiman talking about sex and culture, John Mullan celebrating the bicentenary of the ever-wily Emma, award-winning comedian Jo Caulfield on her favourite books, Simon Armitage's personal Odyssey of the southwest, Stephen Fry in conversation with Peter Florence, Germaine Greer on being a liberation feminist, campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez on doing it like a woman, and Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire on the relationship between writer and lead actor. Hay – "The Woodstock of the mind" – runs from May 21-31 and spills into the surrounding countryside. We'll be swimming in the River Wye, scouring the variety of unanimously bonkers vintage shops on the hill and researching some lovely pub gardens. Come say hello to us, Tweet us questions and watch this space for a full low-down of all things sex at Hay. www.hayfestival.com/wales

Suburbaret: how to get on in suburban society…

19th April 2015

Suburbaret is Balham’s edgy new cabaret show themed entirely on suburbia. The variety format blends traditional and alternative cabaret performance, designed to appeal to locals and commuters who enjoy live entertainment without the late night journey home (unusually, the audience are encouraged to dress down for the occasion, not dress up). Prizes are awarded for the most comfortable suburban outfits, such as pyjamas, woolly jumpers and house socks. The host is surreal bearded drag lady Ms Timberlina who will involve the audience, as she tries to plan the perfect suburban dinner party… Shades of Betjeman's 'Phone for the fish knives, Norman/As cook is a little unnerved;'? The line-up for Sunday May 10th features Lorraine Bowen, legendary suburban songwriter and performer. Lorraine mixes fashion with a passion for polyester – think Madonna meets Mary Poppins.Tricity Vogue, named after a domestic refrigerator, sings songs inspired by ‘swingers’, park life and domestic life in the suburbs. Male burlesque performer Dave the Bear will surprise the audience with his sexy new ‘pet rabbit’ routine - furry and fabulous. The proceedings are held at the Bedford, the iconic music and comedy venue in Balham. The May 10thshow is part of the Wandsworth Fringe Festival 2015. Tickets are £7 from the website www.suburbaret.co.uk (showing the full line-up) or £8 on the door. Doors 17.30, show 18.30 until a sensible suburban hour (leaving plenty of time for those Sunday night chores).The line-up for Sunday May 10th features Lorraine Bowen, legendary suburban songwriter and performer. Lorraine mixes fashion with a passion for polyester – think Madonna meets Mary Poppins.Tricity Vogue, named after a domestic refrigerator, sings songs inspired by ‘swingers’, park life and domestic life in the suburbs. Male burlesque performer Dave the Bear will surprise the audience with his sexy new ‘pet rabbit’ routine - furry and fabulous. The proceedings are held at the Bedford, the iconic music and comedy venue in Balham. The May 10thshow is part of the Wandsworth Fringe Festival 2015. Tickets are £7 from the website www.suburbaret.co.uk (showing the full line-up) or £8 on the door. Doors 17.30, show 18.30 until a sensible suburban hour (leaving plenty of time for those Sunday night chores).

Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells

13th April 2015

Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells, the international festival of Hip Hop dance, is now in its 12th year and on Friday May 1 they will be trying out something different: erotic and just a little experimental. Strictly an adult affair, WorX will comprise of a series of short performances devised specially by international Hip Hop dance artists: http://breakinconvention.com/events/festival/worx  At WorX, the word ‘raw’ won’t just describe the highly original talent on offer. Breakin’ Convention’s Artistic Director Jonzi D has curated WorX which will be hosted by poet/MC Floetic Lara.  The award-winning Jazz musician Soweto Kinch will play live throughout the night, evoking an intimate and immersive speakeasy. Performers include amongst others, renowned dancer and choreographer Marso Riviere, Natalie James: Dance artist, circus performer and aerialist and Bisouxxx Brooklyn (who danced in London for Penny Arcade), aka The Hip Hop Josephine Baker.

Top French Intellectual wades into UK election debate

12th April 2015

Ne votez pas, mes enfants,’ he says,  ‘ça ne vaut pas la peine’. Russelle (rhymes with pucelle) Onfray-Brand-Farage, the famous French intellectual nihilist, has hit a new high in the Twittersphere, garnering 3 million followers almost overnight. We were granted a brief interview with him as he breakfasted in Starbucks before boarding the Eurostar back to Paris. M. Onfray-Brand-Farage, is it true you are the half-brother of the fanatical UKIP supporter Nielle Fernandel-Farage? Call me Russelle, my matey. No, this is not true. Yes, it is. Think what you like, I don’t really care.  We are all doomed anyway, so what does it matter. Booff! So, Russelle, you’re advising people not to vote, but isn’t it a good idea to vote, even so that you can end up by saying, ‘It’s not my fault; I never voted for him?’ Paff! It is not about the voting. The people must take the power away from the politicians. To make an omelette, you must first break some sacred eggs. Like Stalin. Tell us about your latest book, Vive La Révolution! The End of the Universey-Wersey, in which you talk to other nihilists, intellectuals and authors like your pal Michel Houellebecq. I hear that Harper Collins have offered you a £2.7 million advance for this. True or false? Piff! Don’t believe everything you read in the capitalist press, my matey. But buy it: you will love it! Or maybe you will hate it. It is like, how do you English say – Bovril! But this does not matter. Nothing matters very much… …and few things matter at all. But what matters to you? Duff! Mon dieu! That is a really, really silly question. Money and sex, of course, and lots of both. too… Are you very stupid indeed? Thank you, Russelle. Mon plaisir, my matey.

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Fiction

The Most Personal Assistant

by Emma Berry / 16th May 2015

Amy hated being Karl’s PA. She hated the way he said “let’s ramp up the PA system” when he was about to give her a pile of work; how he laughed at his own cringey jokes; how he always seemed to be buying a new Jacuzzi. The only good thing about working for Karl was that it meant Amy had time to do what she really enjoyed doing: writing. Not the sort of writing that started with a Dear and ended with someone else’s signature; Amy’s pleasure came from watching a scene unfurl on her computer screen. Casting characters, setting up positions, injecting dialogue. And… Action! Amy liked her stories to have a climactic ending.

Rule of Thumb

by Stephen Faulkner / 13th May 2015

She walked toward him, letting her skirt drop back down as she came past him into the narrow hallway and on into her small bedroom. She turned to him with an expression of innocence and said, “Am I attractive to you? “Silly question. Of course you are,” he said.

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Galleries

Antic Staatsoper: Gods and Myths

10th May 2015

If I don't see Art as a way to turn this world in a better place, I strongly believe that the main role of art is to ask us the good questions about it. Artists have to point out the issues and trouble of our conditions that stop us on our way to the spirituality and universal harmony.

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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

Bravo Ireland, but…

by Ali May / 23rd May 2015

We like the winds of change, especially when they are blown as a result of popular vote, as if it means we, as a species, have evolved a little, that we have become a tiny bit better. Ireland’s vote to legalise gay marriage is a welcome change. It is a victory against the Church’s obdurate dogma and a show of Irish people’s maturity and goodness. In comparison to many other countries, Ireland has done well. Although homosexuality was a crime only 22 years ago, this is a good deal of progress. The result of the Irish referendum is great news. However, I cannot agree that upholding human rights should require a popular vote. It is always dangerous to ask the majority about the rights of a minority. But where in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does it say that a country has to resort to a referendum?

WRITING ABOUT SEX (PART TWO)

by Malachi O'Doherty / 20th May 2015

In Part 1 of this article, the evidence was laid out that writers are wary of presenting sexual detail. Peter Stothard, a Booker judge, had read 145 new British novels in one year and concluded that our writers prefer to close down the action at the bedroom door. The article also considered the psychological and cultural constraints and the idea of taste and decency. Some writers are now saying that this avoidance of sexual detail in literature is unwarranted. Sarah Hall, author of Haweswater, said in a recent Guardian interview, ‘Most novels avoid sex like the plague, but I love writing about it.’ She said she likes extreme situations: ‘people pushed out of their comfort zones; the civil veneer stripped off. Sex does that.’ So why are other writers more wary and how much of this is to do with the mechanics of making a story work? What is it that is shocking about sex when we read the details? Is it just that it comes in breach of a custom of silence and that, if that custom was broken for long enough, we would find it as normal to read a description of a penis as of a hairdo or pair of shoes? Or is there something in the nature of a penis or a vagina that makes it a bum note to describe it in the middle of a love-scene, even though it is fully present in it and there is no love scene without it?

Writing About Sex (Part One)

by Malachi O'Doherty / 19th May 2015

There are unmentionable parts of human experience. At least, many writers seem to think so. The chair of the Man Booker judges in 2012, Sir Peter Stothard, observed before the rash of Fifty Shades inspired erotica distorted the picture, that literary sex had ‘gone out of fashion’. He reached that conclusion on the greatest possible authority, having just read 145 new British novels. This is not what was expected when legal changes freed writers to describe copulation more lucidly. Then it seemed that the main obstacle to sexual candour was the danger of being banned or imprisoned. But clearly there are other restraints at work. In terms of literature, some of these restraints may be psychological or cultural and some may derive from the mechanics of constructing a story.

What do free-thinkers do on polling day?

by Ian Dunt / 6th May 2015

When it comes to British politics, sex doesn't sell. Amid a war on pornography, there has been no mention of it during the election nor any promise one way or the other about how it should be treated. The British press loves sex when it comes in the form of scandals or scantily-clad young women, but it's not so keen on covering it as part of the news. Political parties feel no need to discuss their policy on sex or pornography, so major changes to the law, such as clamp-downs on online porn or significant changes to the rules around sex work, are ignored at election time and often passed with little debate during a parliament.

Postcards from the edge 11

by Bruce Abrahams / 1st May 2015

Any return from a visit ‘up-country’ is greeted with at least mild interest in the Old Doom Bar. If it is to London the attention is closer. Most of us make trips of greater or lesser frequency to the Great Wen and so are not entirely unsophisticated. Still, the stuff that happens there, happens here later, if at all. So it’s worth finding out about. The first thing your correspondent was able to report was the revival of the scantily clad female on posters in the underground. Backalong, ladies in their underwear were liberally displayed alongside the escalators and in the station concourses. Then they vanished in proper response to feminist complaints and the changing times. Now, at least one advertiser has broken ranks. Proteinworld.com offers what seems to be a slimming product on the premise of asking if one’s body is ‘beach ready’.

Sex Issues

by Louisa Dunnigan / 29th April 2015

‘Girl Power 3.0’ is how the Observer  described Ladybeard back in 2013, while over on Radio 4, Jane Garvey hailed it as ‘stylish’. This is an unusual level of hype for any student publication, and raised Ladybeard from the masses of magazines that are born and die each year in universities across the country. It had a lot to live up to when in late 2013, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, ‘The Body Issue’ was finally published. The editors describe the magazine as ‘an antidote to the toxic feminine and masculine ideals promoted by women’s magazines’. After a launch party in Cambridge, the first issue was distributed for free in ten universities. Then the money ran out, editors got sucked into exams, and Ladybeard went silent. It seemed that ‘Girl Power 3.0’ would suffer the same fate as its student mag compatriots; consigned to a box in the corner of a childhood room recently requisitioned by an unemployed arts graduate.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

by Zoë Apostolides / 27th April 2015

I brought three books with me when I moved to Paris on a £14 Megabus: one of them was The Story of O. I'd squirrel away in the predictably unheated top-floor bedroom-cum-kitchen-cum-occasional bathroom (I would say "garret", but it'll make me sound even more of a nob) and read it, while I waited for Ab Fab to stream. Published in France in 1954 by the appropriately monikered Jean-Jacques Pauvert, it's a dirty great romp of chains, castles, masks and leather, and its author was a 47-year-old editorial secretary, whose boyfriend had mouthed off that no woman was capable of writing an erotic novel. Anne Desclos, noted variously as 'prudish' and 'nun-like', wrote under a pen-name at Gallimard Publishers but invented a new one – Pauline Réage – for O, which became an immediate success, was banned in court, and whose author only revealed herself 40 years post-publication. I believe the phrase is "slam dunk".

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Reviews

Tongue in Cheek: The Best New Erotica Written by Women

by Zoë Apostolides / 21st May 2015

For Books Sake's star has been gradually rising since its launch in 2010. Its aim is threefold – to champion writing by women and girls, reform the mainstream media's gender bias, and to petition national exam boards to better reflect equality and diversity. As a charity it's all done voluntarily, with a dedicated cast of reviewers, editors, feature writers and commissioners. And now it has launched a short-fiction anthology dedicated to erotica by women, compiled from an open call for submissions and featuring emerging as well as established writers.

Have you heard, it's in the stars…

by Zoë Apostolides / 15th May 2015

High Society: Kevin Spacey's tenure at the Old Vic is almost up, after an 12-year jaunt that's taken the theatre to as many corners of the thespian globe as it's possible to go. The success of last season's Clarence Darrow saw queues snaking round the side of the building (I know because my mum was one of them, hunched in the doorway in a sleeping bag at 4am). And what better way to bow out than on the sparkling pink cocktail that is High Society – at once sexy, jolly and naff.

Geography of Attraction

by Christine Fears / 14th May 2015

Ali May’s debut collection of erotic short stories, Geography of Attraction, takes the reader around the globe, pausing breathlessly to observe the fleeting flirtations and longings of others as nationalities and philosophies entwine and people connect through that universal language, desire.

100 Things to do while Breastfeeding

by Kate Borcoman / 12th May 2015

A new book about breastfeeding reminds us that them hooters have a more serious raison d'être. As an ex-marketing employee of Sainsbury’s, Melissa Addey knows her stuff: she understands how a product should look, where it should be placed and who is going to buy it. She’s a very clever woman indeed. She's also a skilful writer with a chatty manner and a nice, easy-to-read style. She's the mate who is sweetly dispensing advice, just like a good mate should. Both the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) and Mumsnet have given this guide their nod of approval.

An Eloquent Woman is Never Chaste

by Claire Benn / 9th May 2015

This is a call to arms. Sexism is alive and well, and yet, as Caroline Criado-Perez shows in her book Do It like a Woman, there are amazing women out there doing their best to kick the shit out of it. She asks us all to revel in their achievements and to join their ranks. No false moustaches or male pseudonyms required. Just do it like a woman.

VENUS OBSERVED

by Florence Walker / 8th May 2015

VENUS is the antidote to the subversive and edgy nude photography that dominates the art bookshelves. These photographs of nude female models set in grand English houses taken by Grace Vane Percy are worthy of the great goddess herself in their beauty and purity. The classical nature of her subjects is enhanced by photographing them in black and white on film, the most organic of a modern artists’ arsenal of technological techniques. Most of the poses are derived from traditional poses attributed to Venus from classical Greek and Roman sculpture. Text accompanies the images detailing the iconography, poses and importance of the ancient deity. This book emphasises the sheer beauty of line and moulding of the female form.

Exiting the comfort zone

by Zoë Apostolides / 30th April 2015

The step-mother figure's a handy little plot device and Leaving Things Unsaid, Karen Barratt's first novel, makes gripping use of it. Beth's married to Ralph - happily, it seems - and works as a teacher. She's inherited his history and his two children, but it's his home - where he once lived with late wife Caroline - that's unsettled her from the moment she carried herself over its threshold.

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Did Johann Salvadorus kill the Homecoming Queen? No, he did far worse…

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Heart Killer is Nowicki’s fifth novel, with close thematic links to his controversial 2011 novella, The Columbine Pilgrim

eBook price: £4.30

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