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Mail on Sunday inadvertently bolsters annual smutfest

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A purse-lipped piece in the Mail on Sunday directed at politicians who dare to support the legitimate adult industry has backfired, with sex tradeshow Erotica 2010 turning the slagging to its own advantage.

Erotica is an increasingly jaded attempt to generate excitement around matters sexual. It takes place once a year, toward the end of November, in the decidedly unerotic surroundings of the Olympia exhibition centre. As we have reported previously, it is an uncomfortable marriage of play-safe commercialism and sexual liberation, with their invitation to "make your partner come" attracting schoolboy titters and school-marmish disapproval in almost equal measure.

This year, however – and to the apparent disapproval of the Mail on Sunday – there is to be a pre-event event (pdf), in the shape of a black tie dinner at the House of Commons, followed by a party on the HMS President. Those who can afford the £89 ticket will first enjoy a meal in the Members Dining Room as guests of Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, before heading off to enjoy a night of fantasy, featuring burlesque, erotica and pole dancing.

The more adventurous might enjoy the play room (on the boat, that is, not in the Commons), where they are invited to cavort "to erotic and ambient soundtracks, with dungeon equipment and a dungeon bar". While dress code for the meal is strictly formal, that for the after party is decidedly informal, with fantasy, fetish or uniform strictly enforced.

So what’s the problem? The Mail on Sunday reports Rosindell as "coming under fire" [sic] for his part in this event – despite the fact that the only critic appears to be a single MP volunteering anonymously that "this smutty event is below the dignity of the Commons".

Erotica may not be to everyone’s taste but it is a major London attraction, bringing in significant revenue to a rapidly growing and legitimate UK business sector. The company that runs the event, Erotica Ltd, is based in Rosindell’s constituency of Romford: the company owner, Savas Christodoulou, made a donation in 2006 to Rosindell’s constituency party, which was quite properly declared in the register of members' interests.

As Rosindell himself told the paper, he has done nothing wrong. He is merely sponsoring an event at the Commons, just as he would do for any other local business.

The only difference between this and any other venture – and the reason for the paper's somewhat sniffy coverage of it - appears to be that Erotica just happens to be about naughty stuff.

So some parties may be slightly piqued to learn that the follow-up invite to this event, which went out on Tuesday, now leads with the bold endorsement: "As seen in the Mail on Sunday." ®

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