Erotic Review aims for mass appeal

Erotic Review is planning to become more mainstream and appeal to women and the masses, "not just the toffeenosed or literary", according to its new editor-in-chief.

Jan Birks, who took over the role in October, spoke to Press Gazette as the title celebrated its tenth anniversary by securing shelf space at WH Smith for the first time.

She said the monthly title should be for "anyone from any walk of life who appreciates sex and glamour" and should promote "a more positive sexual image for women".

"I aim to make the Erotic Review more mainstream. It isn't just for the toffeenosed or the literary — although they are a part of the magazine too," said Birks.

"I want the suburban reserved housewife to feel comfortable about herself and to enjoy reading the Erotic Review as much as a showgirl. I also do not want a hetero or a straight magazine."

The magazine was recently bought by Trojan Publishing, which also produces re-aligned men's magazine Ice, now a more gadget-heavy title.

Former Erotic Review owners have gone on to invest in the market. Scarlet magazine, launched in October 2004 by Gavin Griffiths, has made inroads into mainstream distribution, securing deals with Tesco and Somerfields this year.

SEx, which was launched in February 2006 as a quarterly by the founder of Erotic Review, Jamie McLean, will now be publishing ten issues a year. At its launch, McLean said he wanted SEx to find a middle ground "somewhere between Prospect and Zoo".

Aimed at 35 to 60-year-old men, SEx is currently being sent to subscribers of the Erotic Print Society which originally published Erotic Review before it was sold to Dennis Publishing in 2003.

Birks said of the move into mainstream distribution: "Being in WH Smiths, it is wonderful to be shoulderto- shoulder with The Chap — and why not? There is nothing sleazy about the Erotic Review, and we ought not to be top-shelf material.

"We received a huge interest at Erotica [a sex fair] in 2006, and have been hotly tipped by Vogue in their 2007 List as the "well-written erotica monthly... as British as tea-time".

Birks said she was confident that, despite the media being saturated with sexual imagery, Erotic Review could bring something different to the table.

"I think we are all getting bored with sex being in our faces, as it were. Being a woman interested in vintage glamour and fashion, I am a believer in mystique,"

she said.

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