Sunday, 6 December 2009

This is the way the world ends...

I'm pretty sure that On Demand features a lot of both, so it can't be said that Black Lace ended without bangs or whimpers.

Banging and whimpering were in evidence from day one, of course, though in 1993, when the imprint launched, my awareness of it was pretty vague. I'd heard of it, because there was a fair bit of press hoopla at the time, but it washed over me. I think I might even have disapproved of the 'by women for women' tag line. There was no way, back then, that I was ever reaching for a book off the top shelf in a shop and taking it to the counter, especially in the WH Smiths concession at Bristol Temple Meads station, where I recall spending a bit of pre-journey time analysing the titles and covers and wondering - in a not very urgent way - what lay within. If I'd browsed them on the internet, I might have bought. But I'm not sure I'd even heard of the internet in 1993.

I got braver as time went by, and started buying erotica titles. I think it was because I was living in London then, and you had the feeling that nobody cared at all what you did in London, whether it was buying a copy of Delta of Venus or stabbing a passerby in the neck. Even then, I stuck with the 'classics' of the genre and didn't think of Black Lace. I don't think I had a reason for that, beyond not knowing what the quality was like because nobody had recommended them to me.

It wasn't until I read a piece - I think it was in Cosmopolitan, though I could be mistaken - about Kristina Lloyd's Asking for Trouble that I sat up and thought 'Ooooh, interesting.' I bought the book and I was not disappointed! Here, I thought, was the kind of book I wanted more of - sexy, dark, fresh, brave, modern. The kind of book I had imagined probably didn't exist.

It was a wonderful find, and the gateway to a secret garden. I was so happy to find it, and even happier to become part of the vegetation. But now, unless a Mary Lennox happens along sometime, the secret garden is all locked up again.

Funny thing about gardens, though - they can grow in a lot of places.

(I feel I ought to make it clear that I never stabbed any passers by in the neck while I was living in London. Just for the record.)


  1. "I'm pretty sure than On Demand features a lot of both, so it can't be said that Black Lace ended without bangs or whimpers."

    Hahaha! Well said.

    And very interesting hearing about your personal journey as an erotica consumer ... and then producer!

  2. Wow, I was in a high street magazine? I had no idea. Fascinating to hear how you discovered BL and I'm so thrilled to learn it was AFT that snagged you. Thank you!

  3. Thank you, Jeremy!

    And, Kristina, I wish I could remember exactly where I read it. At the time I regularly bought Marie-Claire, Cosmo and Elle, along with the Guardian, so it would have been one of those. Unless I read it in a doctors waiting room or summat.