Erotic Towers has moved – to leafy Clapham. Its denizens look glumly at a veritable mountain of boxes filled with books, obsolete sex gadgets, back issues and office paraphernalia. The only one not to make the short journey across the river was Bonking Bonita, our unofficial mascot, never taken out of her box, by now almost certainly perished (in more senses than one) and possibly a contender for the world’s oldest inflatable sex doll. Poor Bonita, we shall mourn her as she takes her inevitable resting place in some toxic landfill site in a corner of South East England. We will miss our old building, too, where many a jolly lunch was held with guests that included such luminaries as Boris Johnson, a man who loves cycling, pretty gels and being mayor and a tough Tory. Not necessarily in that order.
So please bear with us while we try to organise ourselves into some semblance of alert and receptive efficiency. We hope to be up and running again in the first week of January. But between now and then we will be acting a little crazy…
Oh, and thanks v. much, Virgin Media, for compounding our moving lunacy by telling us a couple of days before that our new place would not have the super-fast broadband you had promised and we would just jolly well have to wait – for up to eight weeks. But never mind, those nice people at Sky are helping out. So there's one in the eye for Liberty Global's chairman, John C. Malone, aka Darth Vader. Yes, I'm sure our defection to Sky will come as a bitter blow to Darth. Question is, will Rupert do any better? According to a cheery ex-employee of Sky we talked to today, probably not – they're all the same bunch of wankers. There's one robust view of the telecoms industry.
Recently, BBC documentary-maker Louis Theroux did a follow-up to his now classic documentary Porn. The sequel is called Twilight of the Porn Stars, which shows how the internet has destroyed stable incomes of people within the porn industry.
Copstick is interviewed by Divya Khan about her charity, Mama Biashara: "You only have to watch a couple of hours of TV and you'll catch enough Poverty Porn to last you a lifetime - picturesque brown toddlers looking downcast and then, on queue, lifting their limpid, pleading brown eyes to camera as the obscenely overpaid voiceover celebrity exhorts us to pay £3.00 a month to ensure ‘little Ayesha’ doesn't have to starve/drink dirty water/watch her mother die/get sold into slavery/get beaten/abused/neglected by her parents/the man up the road."
What is perverse sex and what isn’t? Julie Peakman has explored two millennia's worth of strange, abnormal or deviant sexual activity in her new book, The Pleasure’s All Mine. This first comprehensive history of sexual difference seeks out an abundance of original sources – letters, diaries, memoirs, court records, erotic books, medical texts and advice manuals – and shows how, for ordinary people, different kinds of sex have always offered a huge choice of different pleasures. There never was a ‘normal’. Tati Kalveks interviews the author.
Since time immemorial, religious people have been weird about sex. But which came first? Are they weird about sex because they're religious or are they religious because they're weird about sex? The science is inconclusive, despite a data set comprising of the entirety of human history.
It goes way back, presumably to before recorded history. But by the fourth century there were already signs that religious devotees had a sexual screw loose. In Egypt, the Pachomius of Tabennisi banned the showing of knees, in case the sight of them led the monks to fuck each other. They were also banned from lending each other books or, more reasonably perhaps, from oiling each other's bodies.
Fast forward to Iraq 2006 and you see similar thoughts at work. Outside Baghdad, shepherds were forced by Islamic militants to put their sheep in diapers, in case the sight of their orifices proved too tempting. Naturally, they killed the shepherds who would not comply.
Behold! The Erotic Review Penis Beaker in all of its glory! Specially commissioned by ER (with a design yet to be approved by Mumsnet). Crafted from molten glass into the clearest crystal by skilled Murano glassblowers steeped in a centuries-old tradition: each beaker hand-blown to become a thing of beauty, indeed, a joy forever… Oh yes, I know, it’s so easy to smirk. But as a male, I chortle guiltily at Penis Beaker Bloke (or maybe with: here’s hoping he has a highly developed sense of humour). But somehow it feels like breaking ranks and betraying the Brotherhood, whatever’s left of it. Well, betraying some kind of male solidarity, anyway.
The fabulously rakish William Hickey was acquainted with many good-time girls, and catalogued his exploits in some of the more
entertaining memoirs of the 18th century. He records that in 1781 he held a lavish dinner party for Lord Fielding and others at the Bull Tavern, on Shooter’s Hill. One of the guests was a prostitute called Miss Pris Vincent, who performed her party piece of pissing over a dining table into a champagne bottle held by Hickey on the other side. By manipulating her labia, she encouraged her urine to describe a graceful, golden arc through the air, and her aim was so accurate that at least a third of her water actually filled the bottle. Lord Fielding is said to have laughed so hard at this feat that he was near suffocation.
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Among the many illuminations offered by Grayson Perry in his Reith Lectures was that of the artist’s primary function to ‘notice things’. The implication being that unless an artwork leads us to notice something we had not before been aware of or considered it is not really art. It may be great décor or design, but it is not strictly speaking ‘art’. Grayson did not add that caveat but it surely follows that if we are not prompted to think about meaning, the artefact however skilfully contrived is essentially a piece of artisanal craftsmanship, however admirable.
Lady Alex served up Wam Bam Electric with a sort of elegantly disdainful panache. This is, musically at least, a fine tribute to the 80s, energetically performed and bathed in that trashy, flashy period’s disco glitter. But never mind the nostalgia, it’s a superbly balanced show, more cabaret than burlesque, perhaps, but none the worse for that.
Will wonders never cease? After several years of not greatly esteeming the brash mega-event that Erotica had become in its accustomed home of Olympia, I was pleasantly surprised by the somewhat more subdued, intimate, sex positive event that was Erotica 2013,over at Tobacco Dock. Whatever can be up?
This novel is not the work of a child. If the author could just slow down the chatter she might be a decent writer. As it is, the prose style and the heroine reminded me of Bridget Jones on speed. And overall this 456 page (including bonus chapter with male PoV) is pretty much the same sort of thing; except it has not been written by Helen Fielding.
At the risk of sounding like the beginning of the Madeline books – ‘in a small room in Carnaby Street all covered in vines’… Well, not quite, but stay with me. This October has witnessed the opening of The Other Club, created by journalists Joy Lo Dico and Katie Glass. It's a tiny, intimate space in Kingly Court: standing in the quad-like space below (it's on the first floor), the doorway is teeming with women: all chatting, laughing, drinking, and having a stonking good time.
Like most men, I suspect one’s support for the feminist cause, however unwavering, has its hot and cold moments. Hot when asked to consider the degree of oppression and disregard with which women’s history and present reality is still so sadly marred. Cooler when the nicely modulated tones of BBC presenters facilitate the plaints of middle class matrons about the lack of females on FTSE 100 company boards. Luckily there is a lot less of that nowadays, partly because of the attention being paid to the more serious matters of FGM and the wider issues of violence against women.
We love the We-Vibe. It’s a fine piece of kit, designed in Canada for couples. Trust those lovely Canadians to come up with the egalitarian concept of shared vibe. A visit to their site reveals that the We-Vibe is the world's No.1 vibrator for couples that is made from quality materials, so that while manufactured in China there is none of that toxic odour that occasionally emanates from some of the Land of the Sleeping Giant’s erotic products. Perhaps they’ve finally got the message and, using 100% medical grade silicon and being phthalate-free (go on, say it – phth! phth!) it just doesn’t smell. As something of a gadgeteer, I liked the USB-rechargeable We-Vibe’s Apple-esque, elegant packaging, instructions (clear enough, for once) and the clever little ‘egg’ it all fits into, but above all I liked its discretion.
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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
Is your man wrapping up the right way? Fair Squared have produced the first fair trade condoms – they’re as safe as any other condom and come in many shapes, sizes and flavours. AND they’re made from sustainably-produced rubber. Bravo!
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