As with the LGBT movement, Sex Workers in various combines have fought valiantly for their corner of social understanding and acceptance. Last year they put together their first Opera at the Arcola Theatre and 29th May this year has just seen the end of their second week's run at The Pleasance.
“There is a problem for kids who have grown up with online porn on tap. Girls think that it's OK to be treated like that and boys think thats how they have to behave.” We suck the froth off our second pint. “There is a really high level of erectile dysfunction in boys under the age of 20” she informs me. “A friend of mine he spent some time with a couple of girls – they were under 20 and he was 30 – and they were really surprised because when they unzipped him he was ready to go and they'd never experienced that.”
Love is a many splendid thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love - right? But what about sex? What if love and sex don’t combine, but instead you are left with someone you love, or someone you want to have sex with, but not a combination of the two?
Elections have figured recently on our agenda in the Old Doom Bar. The most significant being that of Ukraine being voted top Eurovision nation in a clearly politically inspired coup against Russia. No-one could work out why joint hot tip Australia was in the contest until it was suggested that their population was full of former Yugoslavs. This turns out not to be true so it must be in a vain effort to bolster the meagre European pro- UK vote from the Anglophone diaspora that predominates in the Antipodes.
We meet at Cafe Zedel. It is sparkling, bubbling with conversation and really rather lovely. When she makes her entrance, Polly is equally sparkling, bubbling and really rather lovely. And so is the champagne she orders. This is exactly how it should be when one meets Burlesque Royalty. Miss Polly Rae is pretty perfect : a Rita Hayworth redhead, flawless skin, carmine Cupid's bow, matching nails and dark eyes dancing behind the raven's wings of her lashes like twin Fan Dancers. I say 'her' lashes' but they are not. And – disappointingly for my fantasies of the Burlesque Life – she does not always look like this. She is on her way back from a photo shoot.
Our new reporter from the field, Nadine Summers, might have been in High School the last time she picked up a 3B pencil, but nabbing a place at a sex worker life drawing class was enough to get the creative juices flowing again.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree, and wish his mistress were that kind of fruit as maids call medlars, when they laugh alone. Romeo, that she were, O, that she were an open-arse, thou a poperin pear!
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Eat your heart out Cirque du Soleil.
Within moments of arriving outside the closed shutters on a quiet Borough backstreet we’re approached by men – they want the password, and once we’ve given it we’re in. It’s an old carpet factory, perfect for the sense of claustrophobia and dark dealings that CROOKS aims to create. The atmosphere is charged; the old lift creaks and clanks as we go down. There’s door upon door leading who knows where (if we go snooping, we’re told, they’ll f*cking kill us, so I resist the urge). We’re split into teams and throughout the next 90 minutes we’re tasked with extracting information from a bent rozzer, swapping two heavy, powdery briefcases over, playing a hand of Blackjack with the Don, scheming with his fur-coated wife and then slipping a vial of poison into a lurking glass of whiskey. It’s great entertainment, even if the pauses between each “scene” are a little drawn out in the dark, thumping downstairs saloon.
We know Beardsley as the poster boy for Naughty Ninety’s decadence: he was by far the most controversial exponent of Art Nouveau; apart from Henry Fuseli, virtually the only nineteenth century British erotic artist of any real importance (his Lysistrata was privately published); he lost his job as art editor at The Yellow Book essentially because of his association with Oscar Wilde.
The guide asked me if I was into "Shibari". What? Japanese fabric dying? For a moment I envisioned a W.I. instructor coming showing us how to make a beautiful table-cloths on the cheap. No, no, that's shibori. Shibari or, kinbaku if you're caught out by vowels as I so often am, is a Japanese erotic art form which involves tying girls up in rope. Well yes, actually, that sounds like just my sort of thing.
Robert Mapplethorpe and I have something in common: as children we both loved chewing our toenails. Fortunately, Mapplethorpe also loved drawing. He became an artistic sensation, turning photography into an art form as it had never been before. I doubt I’ll ever make a career out of chewing my toenails.
Catullus is not current or sexy. And he not only wrote – he wrote poems, which is a bit naff. Plus, he’s dead. Thankfully, Daisy Dunn is here to save the day. She adores this ancient verse-maker, and now, since reading her first books – published concurrently – so do I.
Allen Jones does not allow us to objectify her body and what she represents. Each image realises her as an individual person. The maîtresse may represent your utmost fantasies and she may wear a mask of sorts, but she is also a strong and a highly accessible representation of a sexually powerful female figure.
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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…
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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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