Erotic Review Magazine

Patron Saint of Prostitutes

by Camilla Cassidy / 18th December 2014

Josephine Butler was a middle-class Victorian woman; a respectable wife and mother, safely ensconced in a culture that idolised wives and mothers. She nevertheless exposed herself to abuse and humiliation in her campaign for the rights of prostitutes. Under the Contagious Diseases Act, these often vulnerable and voiceless women were subject to humiliating and painful gynaecological examinations and forced quarantines. Butler was a vocal opponent of the Contagious Diseases Act and, as a result, the target of insult and innuendo. One MP said ‘I look upon these women who have taken up this matter as worse than the prostitutes’. Helen Mathers’s biography of Butler – Patron Saint of Prostitutes: Josephine Butler and a Victorian Scandal – builds a rich history of sexual ethics and early feminist thought around the life of one remarkable woman who isn’t as celebrated, or as well known, as she should be.

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“It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. ” - Marge Piercy


Stifling under Mrs Grundy's petticoats?

13th December 2014

Westminster's 'face-sitting' legislation which forbids a whole slew of actions in UK commercial porn – including aggressive whipping, female ejaculation, urine ingestion and verbal abuse – is already in place and active. So might the Daily Telegraph's video reportage of the mass face-sitting protest outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday be considered in contravention of new Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014? At the Westminster protest yesterday Obscenity lawyer Miles Jackman pointed out the absurdity of new laws which criminalise the representation of activities that are legal to perform. "If it’s legal to do it, why can’t it be watched? This is, without a doubt, the first step in a concerted campaign for internet censorship and control by the state.” How bizarre that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – which sounds like it should be a rather fun, cosmopolitan government department – should turn out to be the UK's latest Mrs Grundy. And she's one person we don't need sitting on our collective face, whatever she says. Ian Dunt writes:"The whole event was resoundingly British. It was cold, confused, deeply eccentric and broadly good-natured. The use of the face-sitting stunt pulled in more journalists than you'd ever see for a protest this size and in fact reporters and photographers easily outnumbered attendees. The arguments against censorship were well made and favourably received by the press, for obvious reasons. Journalist are into free speech and most of them quite like porn too. Now you get the sense that free speech issues around pornography are in the public consciousness as never before. Whatever else, that was not what they wanted when they passed the regulations. But whether the protest movement can continue, or whether it will be split by its own internal contradictions, remains to be seen." Ian Dunt and Nichi Hodgson were there and took the pictures.

And the Winner is…

21st October 2014

We bring you the winner of the 2014 Alternative Miss World competition: flanked by host and founder Andrew Logan (left) and co-host Grayson Perry (right), Miss Zero+,  (Sasha Frolova), looks appropriately overwhelmed by the excitement and emotion of the crowning moment of this colourful event. Congratulations! (click on image to see more photos)

Vogue Land

8th October 2014

No, not that Vogue, Charlotte. Tricity Vogue, Ukelele & Burlesque Queen. Her hot news? She is to host this month's Ukulele Cabaret's Rocktober Horror, where The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Hard Rock - as if you needed an excuse to get your fishnets and your leathers out. Dressing up box fun aside, it's going to be an exciting one, she tells us, with an international visitation from Portland Oregon blues elder statesman James Clem, plus joyous sounds from The Zoobes, comedy wrongness from Eleanor Morton, and some authentic rock from Teri Reed. Tuesday 14 October: 8pm-11pm Lincoln Lounge, Kings Cross, London Entrance is free, which can't be bad, so see you there?

Cheerless Observations

30th September 2014

The Observer published on Sunday the findings of its 2014 sex survey and the report Jim Mann compiled from the paper’s data makes sobering reading. 16% of all the anonymous respondents (and 21% of some demographics) would have gay sex outlawed and 23% would not consider having sex with someone of a different colour. 37% of all respondents are dissatisfied with their sex lives but conventional catalysts for reigniting the spark are left well alone by the majority. Only 31% of those interviewed described their sex lives as adventurous and over half had never used a sex toy or turned to the delights of erotica. And to top it all off, 61% of respondents believe that it’s possible to maintain a happy romantic relationship without a jot of sex. Given that The Observer only surveyed 1052 people, their findings are best taken with a pinch of salt but that doesn’t mean there’s no truth behind them.  It doesn’t mean that we’re not harbouring too much intolerance and too many inhibitions. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we should get complacent in the under-covers struggle for more satisfying sex.

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Baddha - an extract

by Elson Quick / 1st December 2014

We nod at some monks hanging out their laundry, the long red robes like banners against the green foliage, and go up the steps to the temple hall, spacious, calm, shabby. We kick off our shoes at the door, me thinking, these over-designed North Face clown strollers costing a year’s salary for an average Burmese.


by Thomas Stewart / 19th November 2014

He stands there, his knees trembling, his hand gripping onto the sink. He lets out soft moans, the occasional gasp. A vein begins to push out from his neck. His body tenses. His belt buckle rattles around his ankles and he looks up at the mirror to see himself – a thirty-two year old man, masturbating. He does it and barely hears his wife call him.

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The art of arousal

3rd October 2014

One of the most talked about exhibitions at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, FECK:ART took shape as the area’s emerging artists toiled to answer one question: can art succeed where porn fails: to actually turn us on? Their diverse and dazzling output celebrates ‘beautiful obscenity’ while challenging pornography’s status quo.

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Because She's Got Breasts

by / 5th September 2013

After a few months at Erotic Towers, Tati is leaving her post as editorial assistant to chase boys in the South of France. Parting is such sweet sorrow: let us sweeten it a little more with a charming song about her breasts. Ladies, this one is for you.

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The Erotic Review’s Top Eight published erotic novels of 2014

by Kate Borcoman / 16th December 2014

2014 has been an interesting year in the world of erotic fiction;  sales of romantic erotica, in particular, have been boosted by Sylvia Day’s Captivated by You, the fourth instalment in the Crossfire series. Apparently, Day’s first novel in the series, Bared to You, was not only Penguin UK’s biggest book of 2012 but also the publisher’s ‘fastest-selling paperback of the last ten years’.

Far More Dangerous…

by Jane Fae / 6th December 2014

In our second piece on the current legislation concerning pornography, Jane Fae looks back on the UK's long history of censorship, from Lord Campbell's 1857 Obscene Publications Act to Peter Johnson's ATVOD of today. It's an alarming picture. Despite much public froth to the contrary, the Government has NOT just banned squirting, face-sitting or even trampling from video on demand. They have not even banned BDSM or pain play.

The war on pornography

by Ian Dunt / 2nd December 2014

Where are the liberals when pornography is attacked? They are silent. Where are the feminists when dominatrixes are censored? They say nothing. Pornography is the great silencer. It makes usual defenders of free speech hold their tongue and proponents of equality forget their values. For years now, pornography laws have been contrary to the fundamental values of British justice. People are branded sex offenders for images they do not know they possess, whether by being sent them unsolicited on social media or because they featured somewhere on a website they once read. Quite simply, it is impossible for any user of pornography, no matter how mainstream or infrequent, to know they are not breaking the law.

Portraits of the Artists

by Lisa Stanford / 20th November 2014

This evening an exhibition of photographs of artists by Kevin Davies opens at Timothy Everest’s atelier in Shoreditch: it will be on view to the public for a week from tomorrow. At a recent show of Auerbach at Tate Britain (Frank Auerbach: Paintings and Drawings from the Lucian Freud Estate) one of the drawings is after Davies’ photograph of Frank Auerbach with Lucien Freud, taken in 2002. They are having breakfast at the Cock Tavern in Smithfield.

No sex please, I’m prudish

by Ariane Sherine / 21st October 2014

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).

Tom's Dicks and Harry's, too

by Erotic Towers Review Team / 16th October 2014

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?

Interview: Ann-Marlene Henning

by Nusa Bartol-Bibb / 10th October 2014

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.

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Thérèse Raquin: From The Shadows of Desire

by Jessica White / 8th December 2014

I first encountered Émile Zola’s anti-love story Thérèse Raquin, by that giant of nineteenth century French literature who gave us J’accuse, some time in the winter of 2006 while recovering from my first genuine French love affair. Consoling myself with incomprehensible continental philosophers and copious quantities of vin rouge, I happily embarked on a new liaison, of the literary kind.

What sex means to us now

by Camilla Cassidy / 24th November 2014

‘The Institute of Sexology’, the Wellcome Collection’s inaugural exhibition in its newly refurbished gallery space, is tellingly subtitled ‘undress your mind’. This is a thoughtful traipse through the history of sexology rather than (or at least as much as) a titillating collection of curiosities, though you wouldn’t know it from the kind of sniggering coverage it has already attracted.

Sex and disability

by Bruce Abrahams / 21st November 2014

When asked toward the end of his life if he had any regrets, the poet John Betjeman famously replied ‘not enough sex’. Few of us I suspect, would think we have too much sex and surveys are unreliable measures. But it is a safe bet that for most people our sex lives cluster around some median range of frequency and satisfaction; although there will be outliers on the frequent and great or rarely and disappointing spectrum. Overall however, society’s preoccupation with sex acknowledges that we humans are predisposed to find sex attractive and pleasurable in prospect and often (if sadly not often enough) in practice.

Filthy, filthy, filthy. But beautiful, in its own way…

by Kate Copstick / 17th November 2014

I have an overwhelming desire, since listening to this strange little album, to give a dinner party, have it playing quietly in the background and see how long it would take to stop the conversation. Because stop the conversation it most certainly would.

Beautiful People (of their time)

by Edward Field / 11th November 2014

When you are next in London, head for the National Portrait Gallery and you will not regret buying a ticket for admission to Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy. It’s a brilliant exhibition, lovingly and intelligently assembled by author and art historian Fiona McCarthy.

Blue Mondays Blues

by Kate Borcoman / 23rd October 2014

Sensible, hard-working Lucy Green fleetingly meets a handsome stranger on the tube, wielding a picnic basket of all things. As he turns to exit he drops his wallet – which Lucy picks up. Should she hand this over to lost property and continue on her way to work? Or should she try and return it – personally?

Circus of Men

by Nusa Bartol-Bibb / 13th October 2014

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?

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Heart Killer is Nowicki’s fifth novel, with close thematic links to his controversial 2011 novella, The Columbine Pilgrim

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