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"We as a society are not good at discussing sex, and yet the argument over what counts as porn and what is erotica is still raging. It might be futile, but at least the act of differentiating these genres opens that conversation and helps to sort out what some of the problems are with writing, and reading, about sex."

Our editor gets to thinking about the difference between erotica and pornography




"Christchurch school teacher, Laura Borrowdale, admits her father is horrified that she opened a new literary journal. It's called Aotearotica, and features 80 pages of erotic writing and art."

Jesse Mulligan asks what the appeal of erotic writing is and we express our surprise that anyone would need to ask.


"Last week I was squirrelled away to a dark corner, handed a brown envelope and told not to open it until I was alone. ’Twas the stuff journalistic wet dreams are made of, and - as it turns out - regular wet dreams too."

Melody Thomas talks to editor Laura Borrowdale about embarrassment, parental disapproval and a culture shift in the way sex is viewed.



"Aotearotica, available now, is New Zealand's first modern erotic, literary journal.
For the uninitiated, erotica is not porn. Its offerings range from graphic cartoons (sex from behind, sex on the kitchen table, sex with hips raised high, mouths gaping), to explicit poems and gentle, nostalgic short stories of a high school lesbian romance."

Eleanor Ainge Roy delves into the origins of Aotearotica.


"As a journalist, I wanted to ask Laura about starting her own publication. As a brother, I knew talking to your sister about erotica could be weird."

James Borrowdale gets weird with his sister, our editor, Laura Borrowdale.


"There's a bigger, political point to Borrowdale and Aotearotica. She's a "staunch feminist" on a "moral crusade". Her main collaborator is Oliver Rabbett, a transgender graphic artist. 

"There are politics behind it, it's not just titillation. It contributes to something bigger," she says."

Will Harvie gets the first scoop.