In a move that is sure to incite howls of outrage from distaff participants in the sexual revolution, the new owner of the British magazine The Erotic Review told Reuters, bluntly, women are too “drowned in estrogen” to write compelling erotica.
Because women “are not passionate enough about sex and concentrate too much on feelings” to write raunch, Kate Copstick said she intends to employ primarily male writers. She won’t exclude women who can portray pile-driving, testosterone-dripping, “take it, bitch!” fantasies, but a more touchy-feely, emotional female approach to intimacy has no place in her magazine.
“I think women, too many of them, whether it’s nature or nurture or politics, they’re not straightforward about sex,” Copstick told Reuters. “It’s almost like writing about food…. ‘Ladies who lunch’ should not really write about food, because they don’t really love food. They don’t salivate at the thought of a great steak.”
In January, shortly after purchasing the financially troubled lads mag that once was a highly regarded literary journal, former journalist Copstick told the U.K.’s The Independent the publication would focus on “[s]ex. Not love, not relationships. It’s for people who have a genuine, visceral appreciation of sex qua sex … sex for the connoisseur, and more about really good writing than anything.”
Of course, Copstick told Reuters she is among the handful of women internationally who are able to write about sex in the “scratch-and-sniff burst of endorphins” style she feels defines good erotica. Most women, she noted, are incapable of divorcing themselves from the emotional components of sexuality both in their personal lives and in their creative endeavors.
No sooner were the words out of Copstick’s mouth and onto the page than female writers began to respond. Primarily, their criticism centered on society’s traditional focus on men’s dominance and pleasure — a focus Copstick intends to glorify in The Erotic Review. Kathy Lette, a former writer for the magazine, told BBC Radio 4 a third of women fail to achieve orgasm during intercourse, indicating men don’t know as much about sex as Copstick seems to think.
Perhaps if men knew — or cared — more about giving pleasure, women would be able to write about the subject with more of the visceral qualities Copstick seeks. Not that all men are bad lovers. In fact, I have a number of fond memories of … but enough about me. As with men, women’s fantasies often hold the keys to unlocking their responsiveness. Although there certainly is a place in literature for pile-driving, testosterone-laced, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am adventures, depriving men of glimpses into the female perspective does neither gender a service — especially when that deprivation is institutionalized and presented in such a way as to make a skewed view seem normal and natural.
Ms. Copstick, shame on you. For a woman who claims to be comfortable with all aspects of sexuality, you don’t seem very comfortable with your own.