When I was ten years old, my mother sat my brother and I down and told us about sex.
“When a man and woman love each other very much and are married,” she began, “the man puts his penis into the woman’s vagina, and that makes a baby.”
I frowned. “Did you and Dad do that?”
“We don’t talk about that,” my mother replied, visibly uncomfortable.
“Do you and Dad still do that?”
“Ariane, I’ve said we don’t talk about that!” she snapped (no doubt because, when she was growing up, people really didn’t talk about sex).
When Wallpaper* graces 13 of its elegant pages with a feature on The Tom of Finland Foundation, you know that this extraordinary artist has finally acquired the Seal of Good Housekeeping: next stop House & Garden?
Sexologist. Neuropsychologist. TV personality. Ann-Marlene Henning is one accomplished woman. She adds a fourth string to her professional bow with the release of her first book, Sex & Lovers: the no-nonsense teen sex guide with a heart. Nusa Bartol-Bibb grabs a slot at the start of the UK book tour to talk porn and sex-positive parenting.
There are or were a few Pacific islanders who had no idea that sexual intercourse produced babies and who therefore enjoyed sex for its own sake. This made life for visiting sailors great fun until they (the sailors) infected everyone with syphilis. But in general, the societies of the world have tended to create systems in which the female’s primary role is to produce (male) children and the male’s job is to keep them safe from other males, much as stags do with hinds. In between the activities necessary to the main tasks of breeding and cooking, the women picked berries and danced to keep the men of their tribe entertained. Men merely killed animals – and each other – and made up epic verse about their deeds to recite when drunk.
“Which was Brooks Newmark’s greater offence?” the Sunday Mirror might have us ask: marital disloyalty by indulging (with apparently misplaced optimism) in some online ‘cheating’ or showing the sort of naivety and lack of worldliness that signally contradicted his job description? It’s hard to say. The first betrays his wedding vows; the second his party’s expectation of him to behave in such a way to show that he was fit for office and that he was taking his work seriously.
So far so good: there is a nice moral clarity about all this. But then…
"So basically," explains Phil. "You set up a profile and then men send you pictures of their cocks and if you like what you see you can arrange to meet up and fuck. I've fucked two guys this week and this little cutie is coming round to give me a massage tomorrow - obviously it will end in fellatio."
"Wow!" I marvel. It seems incredible to me that by simply posting a photo and professing to like George Michael, Turin Breaks and Châteauneuf-du-Pape* Phil is in contact with all the sexually available men within a 200 mile radius.
Imagine if such a thing existed for heterosexuals...
From the thrillingly explicit to the oblique, from the heartwarming to the tragic, from the ridiculous to the sublime: fiction's great scenes of sexual initiation come in many guises.But as the existence of the Bad Sex Awards attests, that doesn't make them easy to write. ER takes a look at the authors who've overcome adversity to produce perfect passages on surrendered virginity, inceptive masturbation, and uncharacteristic abstinence.
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I’m not going to beat around the proverbial bush: the latest offering from Black Fire, those masters of twistedly erotic stagecraft, is a disappointment. All the more so because it’s easy for the hopes to soar. Have a Google to yourself and you’ll find Circus of Men billed as ‘London’s newest, most erotic, sexual and dynamic all male show’. Never mind that two of them mean basically the same thing, and one of them makes no value judgement whatsoever, there are four superlatives in there. Four. You don’t expect anything that’s given four superlatives to let you down. And even for those who need a less tenuous basis for their great expectations, Circus of Men was something to look forward to. Fuel Girls, Black Fire’s self-styled Rock’n’Roll dance troupe, give a genuinely stunning, uncomplicatedly sexy show. Why should I have expected Circus of Men to be anything but two hours of sweet titillation?
Wave Caps. It’s a roll-off-the-tongue title and the perfect fit for Miguel Cullen’s first collection of poems. A relic from the hip-hop culture Cullen is drawn to springs readily to mind. There are associations to be made with the recurring themes of development, destruction, and rhythm. Soundwaves: as important to Cullen’s poetics, you sense, as lines on a page. And then there’s the duality of the ‘cap’: at once an imposer of limits and a triumphant climax.
David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow is a satire set in a jaded Hollywood where movies are made, not because they are good or bad, but because they are bankable. The play opens in the office of a newly promoted studio executive, Bobby Gould (played by Richard Schiff of The West Wing fame), who is giving an apocalyptic novel – The Bridge or, Radiation and the Half-Life of Society – a ‘courtesy read’ at the request of his boss, Richard Ross. Charlie Fox (Nigel Lindsay), a struggling producer who has worked with Gould for years, interrupts with good news: he has a script but, more importantly, it comes with a big name actor attached. It’s a sure-fire hit, never mind if it sounds like crap.
They say that sex is an instinctual, experimental thing. They say that kids today know all too much about it. They say, safe in numbers and insecure in their knowledge, a lot of shit. And now They – those clueless and authoritative spokesmen of common knowledge - are being taken on once again. Forty-two years after The Joy of Sex first shook up shagging, Alex Comfort’s revolutionary sex-manual finally has a worthy successor.
It’s called Sex & Lovers: A Practical Guide and it is 256 pages of brilliance. Co-written by Danish sexologist Ann-Marlene Henning and Tina Bremer-Olszewski, a German journalist, it is intended, as the blurb proudly tells us ‘ for young people who are just starting out sexually’.
Francesca Woodman’s photographs are filled with disappearing women. Their faces are blurred or concealed, they crouch in corners, hide behind loose strips of wallpaper or crumbling masonry. In one, a woman’s outstretched arms are the only part of her in frame and they are camouflaged by rolls of tree bark. These figures merge with their surroundings until they are barely distinguishable from the backdrop.
This exhibition sets out to show us how Woodman used the zigzag to vitalise her work. In doing so, it also makes clear how her nude portraits play a crucial part in this aesthetic. Though these figures seem to blend with their backgrounds, they initiate patterns that resonate throughout Woodman’s work.
Most of us behave differently online than we would ever admit to in real life. What we do on our computers is, within reason, between us and the screen. With the rise and rise of internet dating this unfiltered, unexpurgated version of ourselves has a freer reign to shape the most intimate parts of our lives.
Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid, has used raw data created by the site’s 30 million user profiles, alongside terabytes of information from other sites including Facebook and Reddit, to reveal the things we find attractive when we don’t realise we’re being watched. Rudder has used the OKTrends blog, and now his recently published book, Dataclysm, to show us these hidden dynamics of sexual attraction. ‘This isn’t survey data’, he says. This is human behaviour observed in the wild.
I stare at the black card in the centre of the table. It reads, 'What would grandma find disturbing, yet oddly charming?' I go through the white cards in my hands and chuckle uncomfortably at the awkward combinations I can make. A few are genuinely funny and hardly offensive: 'Ryan Gosling riding in on a white horse', 'Erectile dysfunction', or 'Passive-Aggressive post-it notes'. Others are too uncannily near the mark to be funny: 'Hospice care', or 'Dying'. And some are quite honestly awful: 'Battlefield amputations', or 'Dead parents'.
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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
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