Righteousness is never pretty, and it tends to often respond after the fact. The fallen hero, or at least the figure shrouded in mystery, is suddenly found to be a creature of ill repute, tarnished, and therefore, in need of emotional and psychic exile. Works, and the man, need to vanish.
Such a figure is Donald Friend, advertised on the chat show circuit in Australia as the country’s greatest paedophile artist. (He has been regarded as the finest of figurative draughtsmen.) The title is, in a sense, a typical introduction to what is an old confusion: is the art of an immoral, criminal artist to be treated as its creator?
Now, you want to know how many years in jail your collection of internet pornography is worth. Of course you do. (Your dead-wood porn is quite safe. Nobody has been prosecuted for having feelthy postcards since Pontius was a pilot; it’s all internet stuff these days.) I am here to tell you.
What connects Madonna, the latest Wonder Woman film, Halle Berry, 80’s boy band Bros, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, photographer Herb Ritts, Cher, Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen and Pop artist Allen Jones? Whitaker Malem.
I was never really one for comic books. Both of my brothers would read them avidly: everything from Marvel comics to Manga, but personally I found them boring and stereotypical. Even as a child, I could see that their representations of characters, especially female ones, were unrealistic. Wonderwomen with tits like artillery shells, virginal Lois Lanes – they all seemed entirely geared towards men and their desires, masquerading as action comic heroines. Of course, there were powerful women within them – Captain Marvel and Black Widow to name but a couple. But despite all their super strength and heroic aura they were still drawn with the sort of overtly sexual features that men find sexually titillating.
'Performance and satire can give us kind of a cathartic feeling that there are people concentrating on calling out this move to the right but really it’s what we do with that feeling. I hope my shows inspire people to be more thoughtful and plant a seed in their brains and bodies to take action and pay attention to people and political movements that have caused these things that I satirise.'
Abigail Ekue is a New York-based author and one of ER’s favourite photographers. In the summer of this year the Erotic Heritage Museum presented Bare Men, her first exhibition outside New York.
Abigail Ekue Photography has been featured in The Huffington Post,PAPER, Refinery29, The Creators Project, Séparée (DE), Erotic Review Magazine (UK), WideWalls (CH), The Naked and the Lens andMath Magazine and she’s appeared on various media outlets including W Radio Colombia, VICE, SiriusXM and Madhouse TV. She has participated in various group exhibitions and has had photography exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York and Musée du Louvre. The first edition of her book, Bare Men was published in 2016.
We need to talk about Teen Vogue. Yes, readers, you read that correctly. We mean the fashion, beauty and culture magazine aimed primarily at American teenage girls. Because last week, Teen Vogue radically stepped up its already impressive sex ed. game by tackling one of the most enduring bedroom taboos. At the hands of writer and educator Gigi Engle, a whole generation of teenagers were finally presented with a comprehensive and accessible guide to anal sex.
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It killed him to see her like that, spread across the bed like a gisant. He was twenty-four, and she, at forty-three, was supposed to be the mature one, the one with her ducks in a row. But he believed she needed him in all of the same ways and for all of the same reasons the twenty-somethings did. But her needing him stung in a unique way. It was the sting of a woman’s need and not a girl’s. You see, young women, they have their whole lives in front of them.
I’m always afraid just before I fuck you.
While you wait, betraying no impatience, even though inside I know you’re needy—begging for it. It’s cliché but I’m sure it’s true. You’re empty in a way only I can fill. So you wait, watching me like you know exactly what you’re going to get.
It makes my mouth go dry as much as it makes my clit throb. My pulse jumps. I move my hands slowly, adjusting the strap-on harness. I know it gets you impatient when I’m so deliberate, but I’m also buying time.
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Abigail Ekue’s Bare Men is showing for the first time outside of her native New York. We take a second look at her work. Why? Because we love it and we just can't get enough of it…
Bare Men continues to challenge hegemonic notions of masculinity in a way that is both assertive yet nurturing, capturing the beauty of the male body but also the strength, playfulness, and tenderness of spirit. The result is at times touching, at others, highly erotic. It is always thought provoking.
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'What can MRI scans of brains in orgasm tell us? Past editrice of the Erotic Review Rowan Pelling reveals how the science of la petite mort might might hold the key to abolishing pain. This debate is brought to you by the Institute of Art and Ideas, home to cutting-edge philosophy and ideas from the world’s leading thinkers."
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DESIRE: FROSTRUP & EROTIC REVIEW
100 of literature’s sexiest stories, chosen by Mariella Frostrup and the Erotic Review.
Strict mistresses, naughty maids, handsome gardeners and disarming strangers; literature is awash with love, sex and desire. This collection brings together 100 of the best examples, hand-picked by Mariella Frostrup and the Erotic Review.
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