I went to the Oxfam bookshop this weekend and guess what I found? Yes, stacks and stacks of Granta. But also this from an illustrious former Granta-ite:
Richard Rayner’s Los Angeles Without a Map is a book about jumping on airplane to find a girl he had once met and landing in a city of endless possibility full of swimming pools. There are water sports, gorilla suits, a case of mistaken identity and a rainbow of Playboy Bunnies in the first pages… And you have to check out the film adaptation with Vincent Gallo. Rayner is also a columnist at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Little did I know that there’d be a link with the other book I picked up. Richard thanks Christopher Peachment, a writer who gave me one of my favorite lessons in editing while I was interning at the Erotic Review. (I liked his novel Caravaggio very much and think The Diary of a Sex Fiend is simply wonderful.)
Peachment pops up in the next book, which I include for the many of us who interned at the Erotic Review. This anthology is edited by the fabulous Rowan Pelling. With pieces by Damien Hirst, India Knight, Auberon Waugh, Sebastian Horsely and, to get back to where we started, David Aaronovitch, who’ll be joining Granta‘s editor John Freeman on a panel looking at how the world has changed since 9/11 on September 11 at the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival. Here is the Erotic Review Bedside Companion:
When stocks go up, so do ladies’ hemlines, and vice versa, they say. So with the UK barely making its way out of the recession, what does it say that women have ditched their skirts entirely?
From TheCut.com to Women’s Wear Daily, there seems to be a concurrence that Beyonce’s fondness for the corset, Lada Gaga’s corset-knickers-fishnets uniform, and Rihanna’s saucy slips have much to do with a spike in women wearing lingerie as outerwear. Retailers have benefited accordingly. Between 2008 and 2009, Selfridge’s saw a 70 percent increase in corset sales. After Rihanna wore a white bandage slip the American Music Awards, sales of Bordelle’s £300 Angela Cage Slip increased 90 per cent. The Spring 2010 collections are still full of lingerie-inspired garments. Even erotic luxury retail brand Coco de Mer is being name-checked by the Los Angeles Times for embodying “bordello chic”. Underwear as outerwear isn’t going anywhere, and there’s a cherry on top.
Stylist and LOVE magazine editor Katie Brand said she sent Louis Vuitton’s Autumn 2009 models down the runway with bunny ears to add a bit of whimsy, but one wonders how bunny ears and the lingerie trend will translate to mass market fashionistas. Lingerie + bunny ears = Playboy Bunny. Right? Instead of more conservative hemlines during the economic downturn, fashion seems to be channeling the early thrusts of the women’s movement… The age when Hugh Hefner was securing his title as bachelor extraordinaire and the Playboy Bunny became iconic, and when Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurly Brown responded to Hef by telling women to “go get ‘em.” One-night-stands and a disposable income, that is.
Some form of animal ears crowning a lingerie ensemble has been a Halloween fancy dress staple for years. “Sexy” doesn’t even represent this costume category anymore. Manufacturers of sexy Halloween costumes have added a “super” to “sexy” to describe their current array of naughty nurses and wicked witches. Why? Because women are demanding fancy dress that looks like intimate apparel. Now that lingerie is in fashion, women have more opportunities to work it. Perhaps it’s more than a desire to “flaunt it if you’ve got it.” In an age where we are terrorized by religious extremists who like their women covered up, is lingerie fashion a sign of protest?
Underneath this trend is the return of the voluptuous curve. The waif is over, they say. “Real women” (read: fleshier women) are exclusively gracing the pages of German women’s magazine Brigitte and more are being sent down the runway. Kate Moss rose to fame when an underfed body was a mark of luxury. This body implied you could afford to starve. Amidst cutbacks and downsizing, fistfuls of breasts and juicy asses are once again desirable in the media.
Celebrities may have brought lingerie out of FHM and into Vogue, but this certainly isn’t new. The 1990s alone gave us Madonna’s infamous Jean-Paul Gaultier cone brassier. Beyonce took Thierry Mugler’s 1992 motorcycle corset off Emma Sjöberg in George Michael’s “Too Funky” video and used it for her “I Am Sasha Fierce” album promotions. The mid-nineties also gave us the babydoll look, as worn by a bedraggled, red-lipped Courtney Love. So what can we make of this conundrum of fiscal belt-tightening and zaftig barely-dressed ladies? It’s a back-to-basics reminder swaddled in a silky nothings: Eating and fucking, our primal urges. They are also the height of luxury.
Do purchase the Erotic Review here. It’s just worth it.
Posted in Jewelry, Fruit, and Sex, The Erotic Review
Tagged beyonce, brigitte, coco de mer, cosmopolitan, courtney love, curvy models, designer lingerie, eating, emma sjoberg, erotic review, fhm, fucking, george michael, helen gurley brown, intimate apparel trend, katie brand, lingerie, lingerie trend, louis vuitton bunny ears, love magazine, playboy, recession, thierry mugler, vogue
By Saskia Vogel
When I’m not keeping an eye on the European adult entertainment market as editor of AVN Europe, I study. Imagine me in whatever sultry postgraduate scene you like. Absent-mindedly nibbling on the end of a pen, sporting an unintentionally too-open shirt that offers you a flash of lace when I bury my head in note-taking.And sometimes, wandering the hallowed halls of my university, on my way to a lecture, I get sentimental for halcyon days of youthful fucking under the wide and starry California sky. Well, it wasn’t fucking or night time to begin with. It was the discovery of pornographic magazines in broad daylight. One might say that my awareness of something like desire was an issue of Juggs that had clearly been enjoyed al fresco.I grew up on a cliff in the outskirts of Los Angeles that had no city-approved path to the sea. Mainly divers and fishermen, who arrived on the beach by boat or fin – or the likes of me and my father, who could blaze a trail through the quicksand, made it to the tide pools and caves along the rocky shore. Since there was nothing much to do in my area that didn’t involve nature and no means of public transport to get me somewhere else, I spent many days scaling the cliffs…
Read the rest in the HedgeRowSexual Issue of the Erotic Review!
Here’s a taste of an article on my favorite pornography for the “Working Girls” issue of the Erotic Review. Enjoy!
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I am a plague to the porn industry. I’m not sure I would feel guilty if I were just another one of the faceless people who surfs the next for seconds, minutes at a time for free pornography. But, my job is to make sure instead of free clips, wankers like me pay top dollar for videos and all the bells and whistles that go with.I’m your friendly neighborhood adult industry trade magazine editor. I have on my shelves more hardcore DVDs than I know what to do with. (When I moved to London from Los Angeles, I left my car boot full with the crème-de-la-crème of 2007’s adult films for the next owner to dispose of). I know more about hardcore pornography than I never imagined wanting to. Before I landed a job in adult entertainment, my erotic inquisitiveness stopped at Radley Metzger’s The Lickerish Quartet, where, as best I remember, a group of friends hole up in a Tuscan villa to watch erotic Super-8s. Becoming obsessed with one of the female performers, they think they see her in the local circus’ motorcycle Ball of Death, somehow get her back to the villa for some fine 1970s softcore. That’s about as hard as I needed it to get. For most of my teens, I was stuck on Kryzstof Kieslowski’s drama White, where Julie Delpy mounts her down-and-out ex-husband in her shop in Paris for one last cruel mercy fuck. For more, click here.
Coco de Mer and Alpha help launch new offering from Taschen books
By Saskia Vogel
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--A lithe Latino wearing only tighty-whities zipped across a secluded stretch of Melrose Avenue, balancing a silver tray of phallic niblets. This was the place. Rather, these were the places.
The June 26 launch of The Big Penis Book from Taschen Books took place across two locations in a high-end, village-like stretch of Melrose: Coco de Mer, the erotic luxury boutique, and Alpha, a store specializing in “gear for gents.” It seemed everyone who loves an endowed man was there.Notable guests were Dian Hanson, Taschen’s sexy book editor, cover model Chad Hunt, photographers Charles Hovland of Chuckpixxx, Hal Roth of Filmco, David Hurles of Old Reliable, and cover photographer Ed Fox. Hanson, Hunt, and others skirted between locations, signing books at either end. The kink contingent also made an appearance. Marina St. Mark, an L.A. fetish model, turned up with photographer Eric Charles and friend.Dressed to kill and dressed to chill, the crowd was dizzy with male appreciation, making the odd (as in “odd one out”) straight man flying solo bold as winter white. Women in psychadelic prints and pencil skirt-blouse combos and men in argyle vests and casual suits congregated around the library, flipping through Coco’s excellent selection of erotic books, including a pillow book from London-based Erotic Review Books (formerly the Erotic Print Society) compiled by Charlie Webb. In the back garden, happy customers paged through The Big Penis Book and mingled amongst the palms, many toting Coco de Mer bags with goodies purchased at a 20-percent discount.Contrasting the romantic opulence of Coco de Mer, the sleekly masculine Alpha shop was where the party seemed to move. By the time I had finished crowding among the dapper men spritz-testing the colognes on display and drooling over a delightful crocodile tote, a line snaked down the block with happy campers waiting to join the party, avec pink cocktails.Back at Coco de Mer, the lithe Latino, scrawny in comparison to the other, brawnier tray-bearers, lamented to a female friend that he felt a little out of place with amongst the “studs.” But as The Big Penis Book shows, they come in all shapes and sizes-with a little something for everyone–and sometimes, all you want is a little something.
For more information about The Big Penis from Taschen Books email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Sex in Los Angeles?’ my weedy, chain smoking, writer friend exclaims over dinner at a Hollywood hot spot. ‘I’ve been here three years; there is no sex in LA.’ Not quite the response I was hoping to get from the guy who co-authored a travel guide for the horny adventurer. But it goes to show, compiling information about skin-to-skin activities is not the same as seeing action of one’s owniespecially not in this town. Sex is sold here so much that people forget the pleasure of an old fashioned sweaty fuck.
Disappointed by my companion’s terse reply, I looked around to see if our fellow guests might throw more light on sex in Los Angeles. All around are fig trees planted in pots the size of a colossus’ tea cup, leather booths, and outdoor heating lamps, and we are the only people on the patio who are not in the porn industry. At the table to our right, a blonde with a body the size of Kylie Minogue’s, clad in gold hot pants, lifts her gravity-defying breasts over the place settings and opens wide her titanium Macbook for her fellow diners to admire.‘I’m going to be in Playboy,’ screeches the blonde, letting the slideshow of nude photographs run for the guests at her table, and mine. She has waist-length hair extensions, a yoga-toned, sun-toasted body, lips as glossy as her black vinyl jacket, and at the apex of the V of her splayed legs a pink pussy invites the viewer’s tongue to get licking. ‘These are my test shots.’ The rest.