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(On the edge of indecency… with Julien P from Lisbon)

I can be very sensitive about people assuming that Elska is or contains porn. It’s not that I have a problem with porn. I even use it sometimes. Yet I don’t like to think of Elska as porn, as if it’s a dirty word (blame my nine years of Catholic schooling perhaps).

For me, nudity is not sexual but just simply honest and beautiful. Maybe some people do get off looking at certain pics in Elska, but it’s not my intention to make a wankzine. Hmm, I kind of like the idea of a wankzine… Truly, if I wanted people to buy Elska so they could get off, then it would be porn, but that’s  not my intention.

My shoot with Julien P really tested my notions of what was ‘artistic nudity’ and what was ‘pornographic nudity’. I’d done many nude shoots before but it was different with Julien. Why? Well, he got an erection, and rather than tell him to get rid of it somehow, I shot him anyway. The choice I made later, however, was to not show his erect penis in the main print issue, but to save those instead for Elska Ekstra.

But why does hard dick = porn? Does an erection automatically transfer something from art to porn? Actually, I don’t think so, but I worry that others will, and that’s why I didn’t put those in the print version… because I don’t want Elska on the top shelf next to Playboy. I want them next to all the other photography, art and LGBT mags and zines. Ultimately, an erection is a part of life – it’s just as honest and authentic as a soft penis – and it’s authenticity that is my main goal for Elska.

See more of Julien and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (04) Taipei

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