Making Moist

Ottawa XPress – Shotgun – December 9, 2005

“yes because theres a wonderful feeling there so tender all the time how did we finish it off yes O yes I pulled him off into my handkerchief pretending not to be excited but I opened my legs I wouldnt let him touch me inside my petticoat because I had a skirt opening up the side I tormented the life out of him first tickling him I loved rousing that dog in the hotel rrrsssstt awokwokawok his eyes shut and a bird flying below us he was shy all the same I liked him like that moaning I made him blush a little when I got over him that way when I unbuttoned him and took his out and drew back the skin it had a kind of eye in it theyre all Buttons men down the middle on the wrong side of them Molly darling he called me what was his name Jack Joe Harry Mulvey was it yes.”
~James Joyce, Ulysses

Moist magazine of erotica is a quarterly periodical founded and published in Ottawa, and according to its editor, Liam Taliesin, it’s “quickly becoming North America’s premiere journal of erotic arts and letters.”

It is intended to facilitate the healthy expression of sexuality.

The erotic content in Moist magazine can be touted as superior to its porno counterpart by the way it teases, tempts and titillates – likely inspiring readers to share sexual energy or celebrate it solo, but with class.

An alternative to the superficial energy of pornography, Moist fills the gap between Playboy and more hardcore forms of entertainment, like BDSM (bondage, domination and S&M).

There are few others like it.

Its pages feature sexy black-and-white photographs, hot stories, poetry and essays. Enjoy a fabulous short story by local erotica writer, Elana White. Read an insightful analysis of erotica in the once-banned “pornographic” literature of Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov and James Joyce, which will inspire readers to consider pornography rather than just consume it.

“Pornography plays a valid role. It is totally functional, period. It’s a quick fix,” Taliesin explained to Shotgun. But, he added, “Porn isolates … keeps people apart and reinforces the status quo – that sex is dirty. Erotica, on the other hand, brings people together. It is inclusive, to be appreciated with lovers and friends.”

Erotica can be suggestive and subtle in its portrayal of an ecstatic moment, sophisticated in its depiction of sexual magic, and thoughtful in its treatment of the erotic impulse.

“It crosses lines, without closing doors,” Taliesin said. “There are tonnes of men aching for more than the obvious.”

Not all guys like porn; some guys are not turned on by fake breasts, big hair or subservience. In the words of a Shotgun reader response to the “Talk Dirty to Me” column on-line, “seduce the mind and the body will follow.”

Many couples are enjoying Moist together, Taliesin said, using the magazine as a vehicle to connect. Because the content engages the reader on more levels than one, there is something in it for everyone and it appeals to men and women of all sexual orientations.

The magazine maintains that erotica is evocative and porn provocative, but inevitably taste will be the deciding factor in which you choose: “Erotica for her, porn for him; erotica for us, porn for them,” says Taliesin.

This is a treat for the cultural creative, those who appreciate something upscale from a plain ol’ skin mag. Moist is available online at, or find it at Britton’s, Collected Works, Crosstown Traffic, Glebe Smoke Shop, Globe Cigars and Mags, Mags & Fags, and Venus Envy. It’s a find for your night table.


Danny Michel is back in full effect on December 10 at The Black Sheep Inn.


Remember Ottawa’s “kick-in-the-ass” Celtic band, Siobhan. Welcome them back to Ottawa after a month tour in Denmark. Lead singer Nicholas Smyth checked in with Shotgun about the “Dickheads in the Village” column citing Mike’s Place at Carleton University as his favourite pub: “warm, friendly, intellectual, and free hand jobs with every Guinness.” Beware – the boys are back in town.


On the topic of pubs, have you been to the Highlander Pub on Rideau Street? Go celebrate TGIF with a Scottish twist. At 9 p.m., the exceptional staff treats all patrons to a free shot of Scotch accompanied by haggis!


And speaking of hand jobs, well … I dare not, lest I be accused of being unfeminist and non self-respecting. I got no bra to burn, ergo, I am braless. Opinions are like dildos, eh? We all have one (or wish we did). They come in so many different shapes and sizes, and here at Shotgun, I’m delighted to try them all out.

– Sylvie Hill