Opinion

'Men can't write about blowjobs'

Elvira Van Noort

Karin Eloff (32) is the new editor of Loslyf. She appeared seminaked on the cover of the September issue.

Karin Eloff (32) is the new editor of South Africa’s only Afrikaans porn magazine, Loslyf. She appeared seminaked on the cover of the September issue, and sales shot up by 30%. A well-known stripper in adult club Teazers in Cape Town who was crowned Miss Hustler 2003, she has now put her heart into writing.

The Mail & Guardian Online asked the unmarried editor 10 questions about the magazine and South Africa’s porn culture.

1. Was becoming the editor of Loslyf part of your career plan?
No, it was not part of my career plan, but it does fit in. I have always been writing, as a hobby, since I was 16. I never predicted that the opportunity would present itself; I think I am lucky. I studied psychology and I didn’t expect that my hobby would feature as a way of getting income as opposed to what I studied for.

If you weren’t Loslyf editor, what else would you have been doing now?
I would be sitting in a bank with some HR [human resources] job, which I would hate. I hate to work in a corporate environment. Or I would still be stripping. But stripping is not really a career, I can’t do it forever.

And what would you be doing if you were less physically attractive?
I would get surgery. I have nothing against that. You can already change a lot with artificial things. As an editor, I don’t have to be physically attractive, so I would still be doing what I am doing now.

2. Why did you decide to pose for your own magazine?
Because the readers already know me as a stripper, and I have posed for Loslyf and Hustler before. It is a good way to introduce myself to the readers. It is also the novelty of doing something that’s never been done before. I can’t think of any other editor who has done the same.

Why did you pose under the name of Zoë?
Zoë means “life” in Greek, I think so, at least. And it was my stripper name for about five years. I just stayed with it. It’s short and faster to write as well.

3. How many women are reading this magazine?
I can’t give numbers, I would not even know how many subscribers there are. But when a guy buys it [Loslyf], his wife will also read it. Women are calling me and ask me for more men and erect penises in the magazine. They definitely show interest. I had women coming up to me asking me if I could give them a copy of Loslyf, just because they are too embarrassed to buy it on their own.

Will the number of women reading it grow now you are in charge?
In writing, I also try to accommodate women; that hasn’t been done realistically before. Men can’t write about blowjobs, well, unless they’re gay. We had our ups and downs in sales, but it looks like there is a 30% sales increase since this last issue.

Are you going to change anything in the magazine?
No, I like to stick to the same format. I would like to put more local models in and less intellectual stories. We had stories about the KKK [Ku Klux Klan] and abortion, but that just has nothing to do with sex. People buy Loslyf because of the sex, and there is a place for everything, but Loslyf is just not the place for intellectual stories.

4. Why are there no black women posing in the magazine?
There have been before. Most readers are Afrikaans; they are curious about what a black woman’s pussy looks like, but there seems to be a shortage [of black women around]. I have nothing against that [black women posing], and every now and then we do have one. But Afrikaans readers would rather have white women.

In the next three copies, we won’t have black women posing. I just haven’t had any black models approaching me. There are lots of white girls stripping, and when we visit a strip club we ask them. Unfortunately, black women seem to be more into prostitution in this country. In the five years I worked as a stripper, I maybe have seen three black strippers. There is a shortage. I don’t even think they know Loslyf.

5. Don’t you feel Loslyf degrades women?
No, if you do think it is degrading then you have an issue about your own body and sexuality. I am not against exposing a body. I think it is beautiful, not ugly. Women think their pussy is ugly. Well, you can’t change anything about it, so you might as well accept it.

Would you not rather work for a mainstream women’s magazine, or start your own magazine with naked men posing?
I would love that. Now we are struggling to get widespread distribution. It is okay for women to pose naked but they [the Film and Publication Board] ban us if we show an erect penis when there is no content that justifies the picture. The rules are unfair and sexist. It is okay for women to show what they got, “but let’s protect the men”.

In my writing career, I would like to stay in the magazine industry. That can be either a women’s magazine or start my own. But not in the near future, I am happy here.

6. You have a baby girl. How are you going to tell your child what profession you are in?
In Afrikaans! No, she is now 15 months. It depends on her age. I will tell her I am an editor of an adult entertainment magazine. I won’t lie to her, but I have to choose my words carefully. I am not ashamed of what I do, but by then it is five or six years down the line and I don’t think I’ll be doing this. If she gets flak from the other kids, I will quit. I don’t want my child to suffer from what I do. I would probably make a horizontal move to another magazine.

But it also depends on how she is affected and how society responds. Teachers at the crèche now are quite fascinated about what I do. I get a lot of friendly attitude from women. I just got this letter from a woman that wants to convert me to Christianity. I consider myself rather spiritual. But that is the worst I had.

People, including women, seem to accept it. It has to do with my attitude as well. I am not bitchy, I accommodate women; I am not pushing them away.

7. Would you like to change anything in the porn culture here or see something different?
The movie world, because there is no porn-movie industry here! There are no local porn movies being made. We do have some home videos but the quality is bad. They have bad actors, bad directing and a really low budget. The videos we write about have a Hollywood quality; they are very impressive like the Private videos. Good directing, acting and obviously done with a budget.

I would like to see a porn-movie industry in South Africa. There are only three porn magazines I can think of: Loslyf, Hustler and Cape Town-based Red Hot Pages, which is not really porn. I would actually like to see the whole [porn] industry developing.

8. What do you think you will be doing in 10 years’ time? Do you expect you will still be working for Loslyf?
No, I see myself writing for a living, but by then maybe for Baba en Kleuter [an Afrikaans magazine about toddlers]! I am sure I can do that. I am also interested in parenting and children. People will probably laugh at this or maybe they don’t like the idea at all — but I have a child myself, I can do it.

9. What kind of man reads Loslyf?
The market varies from people like tradesmen to miners to professionals to intellectuals. There is a wide variety. I do have a stereotype in my head when I write: middle-aged, Afrikaans, from Pretoria, in his mid-30s or -40s. And they are most definitely married. I guess if you’re single you don’t need Loslyf!

10. What wouldn’t Loslyf show?
I would never ever consider child porn or bestiality. We are not allowed to show penetration and erect penises by the publication board [Film and Publication Board]. Shit and pissing [pictures] are not allowed; to show a girl masturbating is also not allowed.

You must always see her nails in the picture, otherwise it could look like penetration and that’s forbidden. Pictures of blowjobs are also not allowed; same goes for showing cum. I wouldn’t mind this. I would like to put the pissing in, no, it should be in. But then we also have to deal with distributing. If we put in erect penises only the sex shops will sell it, not the cafés.

Topics In This Section

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus