Slightly embarassed we didn’t know about this before, but The Bökship, an excellent indie bookstore in East London, which we wrote about back in March, recently started an Erotic Book Club – and the first title selected was Bookkake’s own Venus In Furs.
Meeting once a month, with Pat Califia‘s Macho Sluts as the next book up for discussion, this sounds like too much fun. We shall have to get ourselves down there, and if you’re London-based, why don’t you?
One for Private Eye here:
Over at Xcite, trends seem to be less otherworldly but equally painful. “Without a doubt, in our mainstream range, spanking is by far the most popular subject,” Cushion says. “People are very into spanking—it’s the new black.”
Not untrue, if not that new: spanking is consistently the most popular subgenre in UK erotica—as witnessed by the nearly 8,000 books on the subject at Amazon.co.uk.
The quote comes from The Bookseller, where Bookkake is one of the publishers featured in an article on the state of British erotica following the recent closure of Black Lace, formerly “the leading imprint of erotic fiction for women”.
Readers might remember our previous correspondence with the good ladies at Erotica Cover Watch on the subject of the gender divide in erotica publisher. As you’ll see from the article, our position hasn’t changed since then:
“From the orders I can track,” Bridle says, “I know there’s plenty of interest from both sexes. I’m aware of the shibboleths of the industry—not least the fascinating fact that books marketed at men through the use of heavily sexualised images of women are more frequently bought by straight women for their straight content. But I think that the mark of great erotic literature over its more corporeal incarnations is that its appeal is to all-comers.”
Image sourced from the cover of Nexus’ Over the Knee by Fiona Locke at Amazon.co.uk.
I recently received an email from Kristina Lloyd over at the excellent Erotica Cover Watch blog, where she asks the very pertinent question “Why only women on the covers of erotic books?” As authors of erotica themselves, she and her co-host Mathilde Madden have become a little fed up with the way their books are packaged, so they started BICEPS, their bid to Banish Inequality on Covers in Erotica, Porn & Smut.
It’s a pretty good point, as I think the covers below, highlighted by Kristina and Mathilde, demonstrate:
Publishers’ justifications for this obvious double-standard are well summed up in the discussion that kicked off the ECW blog, which rely mostly on “the reality of publishing” argument, and straight men’s fear of seeing male flesh and nudity – ignoring the basic point that women are by some margin the best writers and biggest readers of contemporary erotica.
Luckily, it seems Bookkake comes off fairly well – “although,” Kristina says, “I’d be happier still to see even more images of men hinted at but, hey, kudos to you for doing it on The Torture Garden.” Well, we can’t argue with that, and we’ll certainly try harder. And we’re very pleased that ECW have given us the ultimate honour of including a Bookkake pastiche among their frankly somewhat disturbing LolTits collection. Do I even need to say NSFW here?
Some of you may remember the recent silly season brouhaha over a decidedly unscholarly work by a Kafka scholar, James Hawes, best known as author of the deliciously caustic A White Merc with Fins.
Excavating Kafka took issue with the widespread assertion that Kafka was virtually unknown in his own life time, and little is known of his daily habits. We’re not really interested in the kafkakesque (ha!) debate that ensued, but you can check out a sample at ReadySteadyBook, which has recently been rejoined by the author himself. We are, however, always interested in the facts at hand: what were the actual works that comprised this ‘secret porn stash’?
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