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’.
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.
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.
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.
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...