Recent events in Paris have led to a subdued mood in the Old Doom Bar. Even our host’s normally ebullient promotion of his Festive offer has been muted. We watched the France v England friendly in almost neutral spirit and although pleased enough by the England win took little satisfaction from its promise. Rather, we shared the inevitable tropes of sympathy, bewilderment about terrorism and hopes that all sectors of our multi-cultural society would rally behind the cause of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. This slogan seeming much more meaningful than the anodyne ‘British values’ trotted out by our leaders.
There is arguably no greater parliamentary spectacle than watching lords debate pornography.
It's a rare treat. I've never seen the matter come up in the chamber before. But we must hope it comes again soon, because this afternoon's debate, launched by famed pornography expert the Bishop of Chester, was far more enjoyable than anything in the cinema.
The Bishop began by admitting that his "first-hand knowledge of pornography is very limited", but – as you may guess – this did not stop him from holding very firm convictions on the 'ugly squalid degraded sex' he had been told it contained.
Surveillance and censorship were much on the agenda at The Old Doom Bar this week. This was partly inspired by the presence of a London-based Barrister in our midst. As with so many of his trade he was a fund of anecdote. Much of it either reassuring to those seeking to avoid justice or depressing to those who sought it. It is the same with medicine. Both sorts of practitioners of these professions, once drink has been taken, are apt to cast off their normal considered demeanour and treat their audience to the comic version of their work.
I’ve never had it with a doctor, but it’s a common fetish to take relations outside the office. I imagine it would be really sexy if they whispered all the side effects while we stared into each other’s eyes and fell into a simultaneous rhythm of lifting and lowering. Throw some ice cubes into the mix or crank the heat up: there’s a new way to get your temperature taken.
Pick any social problem, real or imagined. Whatever it is, the solution proposed by well-meaning busybodies is always to get it on the school curriculum. Obesity crisis? Get schools to teach healthy eating. Financial crisis? Teach kids how to budget. Doctors over-prescribing drugs? Teach kids about the correct use of antibiotics. Rape culture? Compulsory 'sex and relationships' education.
Earlier this year, wannabe Prime Minister Nicky Morgan argued that sex education in schools does not go far enough and proposed new measures to make such lessons compulsory and cover a wider range of issues – such as consent. Morgan might have been surprised to discover just how much Jeremy Corbyn agrees with her on this point. He also wants children to be given lessons in ‘age-appropriate’ sex and relationships education in order ‘to help end sexism and tackle violence against women and girls’.
Stephen Fingleton passes on the offer of coffee, thanks. He’s got an hour – before he’s goes off to a meeting round the corner in Soho – to impart his wisdom about sex, evolutionary psychology and film. More history professor than film director in appearance, he looks at me as though I’ve handed in a mildly disappointing essay. I get the feeling I’m about to be schooled. His towering frame sports a tweed jacket and an unexpected cravat. A bushy beard camouflages his youth of 32 years. The combination creates an academic’s air of chaotic brilliance. He removes his glasses to expose the full power of his hypnotic stare… repeat after me: ‘You will go and see The Survivalist’.
Zoë Apostolides: Tell us how it all started. What are you trying to achieve? Were early audiences receptive?
Ursula Martinez: In a way, my new show, Free Admission, is a simple response to a lot of the feedback that I got from my last show My Stories, Your Emails. A lot of people commented on how much they had enjoyed my autobiographical stories and felt they could have heard more. And so that is what I decided to do. Although my stories and observations are quite personal, I tackle a range of meaty subjects that resonate with a wider audience, including religion, the Internet, gender inequality, war, racism… as well as the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of my bum-hole! I premiered the show this summer at The SouthBank in London and got an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences.
View All Articles »
Murphy, an American film student in his early 20s is living with his partner, Omi, and their child in Paris as he laments the breakup with his ex-girlfriend, Elektra. He receives a voicemail from Elektra’s mother telling him that she’s gone missing. Instead of going out to look for his ex, he indulges in a set of opium-induced flashbacks.
Remember the fairytale about the girl and the penis bush? No, me neither.
But the premises of the nine and a half “fairytales” in Grow A Pair are swollen with surreal eroticism and a weird, lavish imagination.
As well as harking back to horny early puberty fantasies, the stories in Joanna Walsh’s collection also resound with tender-hearted humour, aimed at adults whose sexual flights of fancy has been curtailed to the “most private thing I’m willing to admit” field on an internet dating site.
Grow A Pair is a short story collection a little like The Bloody Chamber after a couple of gins. ‘A girl passed a penis-bush growing in someone else’s garden, and picked a ripe dick because she couldn’t resist it’ – it grins at you from page one.
I have found yet another evidence that London is the centre of the world. This time it is a book of images from Lebanon, curated and brought together by a Pole.
A Lebanese Archive is a collection of images from the personal collection of of Lebanese emigre Diab Alkarssifi. Most of them are anonymous, giving the book a ghostly quality, yet making it a window into lives of others. The others that we may never get to know, but we, in this book, get the chance to see them frozen in a frame.
Measure for Measure is more than what critics have dubbed a "problem play" – it's completely baffling, and a brave choice for any director to try and tackle. Joe Hill-Gibbins' production is very Young Vic – alternative, edgy, and starring an extended cast of about a hundred blow-up sex dolls. Vienna lies in moral tatters, and the Duke is horrified. He privately elects to go about disguised, telling Angelo, his deputy, to pull the city's socks up in his absence.
Meanwhile Claudio, a young man accused of lechery, is thrown into the stocks to await the death sentence. His sister, the convent-girl Isabella, begs Angelo for mercy – and is denied it, unless she commits the very act for which her brother is condemned. She refuses.
It’s a bit like having sex with Batman’s body armour (don’t ask me how I know what this feels like). It looks like a robotic trilobite that could find its own docking station if you asked it nicely. My partner compared it to the thing that clamped itself over John Hurt’s face in Alien, which I thought was unfair. It has two independent motors and costs around ninety quid. It’s waterproof, so you can use it in the shower (recommended). It’s reassuringly heavy. It’s the slickly-designed rechargeable Hot Octopuss PULSE 2 Duo Vibrating Male Masturbator, boasting new PulsePlate technology and it can be used with lube or dry. It’s a lot of fun with a partner (if something has to come between you, it might as well be this), but possibly more of a warm-up toy than a 0-60 orgasm aid.
Stratford is a strange, dead place after dark. The roads are straight and empty, lined with fancy new tower blocks in all directions, with only the occasional window lit. It’s hard to imagine anything living, let alone creating art in this cold and impersonal landscape. Which in some ways makes it the perfect setting for Mark Storor’s new play, The Barometer of My Heart, a disturbing and raw exploration of masculinity, potency and its constant companion, impotency. Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that is often kept hidden and undiscussed, behind closed doors and hardened exteriors; Storor’s play aims to bring this male experience from the shadows into the light.
Let’s face it boys, to be a white male in 2015 is, frankly, unfashionable. Yet here’s a film that makes Clarkson’s Top Gear look like a vicar’s tea party with extra doilies. La Grande Bouffe is about male physiology and psychology in all its full glory and horror.
View All Reviews »
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