||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (October 2010)|
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Erotic Review is a monthly UK-based lifestyle publication. Covering eroticism and sex-related topics, it was first published in 1995 as a print magazine, migrating to an eZine format in June, 2010. In addition to the monthly magazine, available to paying subscribers as a virtual flipbook (or a downloadable PDF), the magazine's website also featured blogs and reviews available free of charge. Mid-2011 it was decided to change the format once again, dispense with the flipbook and subscriptions and make all current columns, articles and reviews free of charge and so accessible to all.
Erotic Review comprises feature articles, fiction, photography portfolios and a review section, taking a literary approach to eroticism and sexuality. The magazine’s stated purpose is ‘to appeal to the primary sexual organ – the brain’ which it achieves through ‘great writing, which is witty, funny, intelligent, knowledgeable’. Erotic Review is currently edited by Jamie Maclean.
Erotic Review was founded in 1995 as a monthly newsletter for the publisher Erotic Print Society (subsequently Erotic Review Books). It was created by first editor Jamie Maclean, who ceded control to Rowan Pelling in 1997. Pelling staged a management buyout from the Erotic Print Society in 2001, after a successful tenure that saw circulation figures rise to 30,000. As the magazine’s parent company had been experiencing financial difficulties, Pelling was able to purchase Erotic Review for only £1 plus liabilities. In mid-2003 Pelling sold Erotic Review to media mogul Felix Dennis, whose company Dennis Publishing controlled titles including Maxim. In late 2004 Erotic Review was sold again, this time to a top-shelf magazine publisher. When the new management attempted to transfer to the editorial team to the Penthouse offices in Surrey, they resigned en masse, and Pelling was replaced as editor by Penthouse UK's sub editor Catasha Kin. Kin edited three editions before the magazine was withdrawn for a period due to finance issues, as the Daily Mail reported. This left many thousand subscribers without their publication with little recourse to the publisher, Sapphire, who were by this time starting to go out of business.
Edward Timon, who had been hired as deputy editor under Kin, took over as Editor-in-Chief at the end of 2004 as part of a deal to revive another well-known British publication, Forum - The International Journal of Human Relations; successfully negotiating a deal with publisher Q3 to take on monthly magazine Forum only if Erotic Review could also be revived as a quarterly publication. Timon revamped ER to be less elitist, aimed at the emerging neo-libertarian audiences who were feeding the Burlesque cabaret revival in the UK at the time. He reduced the size of the publication to A5 (a format he termed as 'hand bag sized') and significantly increased the page count. He laid out the blueprint for a fully online offering of freely available content, with some also available for purchase. Utilising the global nature of the internet, printing was moved from Spain to Hong Kong allowing for significant savings to be achieved, despite the need to have the magazine flown to Dubai and then shipped to Felixstowe.
The relaunch edition, Edition 69, featured burlesque performer Miss Lily White on the cover and a book review by famous comedian and raconteur Barry Humphries. Timon emphasised not only the need for a younger fresher audience without having to 'dumb down' but also vigorously supported sexual freedom campaigners such as Tuppy Owens and the Erotic Awards arguing that with the privilege of titillation came the responsibility to educate and to defend all people's right to feel erotic and engage in their sexuality, regardless of class, income, or physical ability. Timon's campaign for new editorial assistance received attention from the Financial Times' Clay Harris, in the Mudlark media column for seeking staff who "must embody pure sunshine"  Over the next two years the ER readership steadily grew, while Forum's stagnated, until the then publisher of Attitude magazine, Trojan, purchased the titles and took on the entire staff of Q3. He requested to be released from his obligations under Forum magazine to concentrate on Erotic Review..
Timon was supplanted by the newly reinstated assistant editor of Forum Jan Birks, previously of Northern & Shell, in late 2006. Birks, in her own style, tried to make the magazine more much further mainstream, "not just for the toffee-nosed or the literary". The change of tack did not work, and after two issues Erotic Review was sold back to its original owners The Erotic Print Society in early 2007. The magazine was merged with The Erotic Print Society’s new magazine SEx, and re-launched, with Founder Jamie Maclean as Editor and Edward Timon as Associate Editor, in December 2007 in a larger format. A second relaunch took place in 2009, when Erotic Review was purchased by one of its longest serving contributors, writer and broadcaster Kate Copstick. The magazine is subscription-based and is now exclusively available online. The first issue of the monthly eZine was published in June 2010.
- Kate Copstick in Simon Tate ‘ ‘Erotic Review’ back to Titillate- and Educate’, The Independent, 14 June 2009: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/erotic-review-back-to-titillate-ndash-and-educate-1704824.html
- Vanora Bennett "Goodbye Soho, Hello Surrey", The Times, 24 September 2004
- "A pain in the Asprey?" 20 January 2005
- Clay Harris "Bring Me Sunshine", The Financial Times, 10 March 2006
- Jan Birks "Erotic Review Aims for Mass Appeal", Press Gazette, 22 December 2006
- Matthew Bell "Erotic Review goes for cyber-sex", The Independent, 6 June 2010
- Simon Tate "Erotic Review back to Titillate- and Educate", The Independent, 14 June 2009