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Elska Magazine goes to Perth, Australia 🇦🇺😍️🇦🇺

Today we launch the latest issue of Elska Magazine, made in Perth, Australia. It’s our seventeenth cityzine, and it’s our first to be made Down Under. It’s also our biggest, comprising 176 pages and 17 local men, all shot in the city and in their homes, and each accompanied by a personal story. 

Reading Elska is an intimate experience. It’s meant to feel like you’ve been transported to the city, met some local guys, and got to know them a bit. It’s also about gleaning some insight from the local culture, both in the gay/queer community and more broadly, revealing how lives can be different depending on the society, but also how they share similarities with our own. Perhaps that’s why we’ve been charmingly referred to as a “sexy anthropology journal”. But it’s really not that serious – all we do is go to a city, meet a bunch of guys, and then introduce them to you. No celebrity gossip, no fashion tips, no sanctimony. 

Elska Perth is available now in a classic print version or in a download version. Also available is our companion e-zine, Elska Ekstra Perth, containing behind the scenes content and stories and pics from seven guys not featured in the main mag. Head to our shop now to order: bit.ly/elskashop

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Another Elska selfie sent in from a Sydney guy called Bryce, showing off his copies of Elska Berlin, Elska Reykjavík, Elska Istanbul, and the rare first run of Elska Lviv. You can follow him at instagram.com/broberts89

And if you want one of those rare Elska Lviv issues, there seem to still be a few copies left at The Bookshop Darlinghurst in Sydney.

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Foreign Tongues… with Jean-Bosco M from Elska Cape Town

Something just wasn’t right when I read Jean-Bosco’s story. It’s not that the text was terrible, but it revealed he wasn’t good at English. I had no idea. In retrospect it should have been obvious he wasn’t a native English speaker with a name like Jean-Bosco, but when we first met (online) I only knew him by his profile name “Makoto”.

When I started reading his text, I quickly saw him mention being born in Congo, so I figured it might be appropriate to message to him in French. He responded back in fluent French and so I decided to ask him to please rewrite the story in French. He quickly did, and what came back was perfect. I always tell the guys they can write in whatever language they’re most comfortable in, and we’ll worry about the translation, but I never offered this to Jean-Bosco ‘cos I never knew he wasn’t an Anglophone. Our previous messages online were only brief and so he was able to use an online translator… but that won’t work for a full story.

Later, once we met in person, even though his spoken English was actually quite good, I thought it would be fun for me to conduct the shoot in French. My BA degree is in French but I only rarely get to use it these days. So as I walked over to meet Jean-Bosco for our shoot, I loaded up my phone with French tunes and practiced over in my head those terms I’d learned when shooting Elska Brussels: “addose-toi” [lean], “lève le menton” [raise your chin], “accroupis-toi” [crouch down], and of course, “déshabille-toi” [take your clothes off]!

It’s such fun to speak in foreign tongues. That’s why I hope one day I can shoot in the countries that are home to the other two languages I’ve studied… Russian and Georgian. Maybe one day.

Pick up a copy of Elska Cape Town here: bit.ly/elskacapetown

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I like to affectionately refer to Elska readers as ‘elskans’, an anglicised plural version of the word ‘elskan’ which means ‘darling’ in Icelandic. Like Gaga has her monsters, Kesha her animals, and Kylie her lovers, we have our elskans.

Sometimes our elskans like to send in selfies with their favourite issues of Elska. Like this one from someone who wants to be known as “horny customer.” Well thanks, Horny Customer. Keep them coming!

And if you’re an elskan who’d like to send in an elska selfie, send it to elskaservice@gmail.com.

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Allir Elska Berlin [Everybody Loves Berlin]… with Raphael K from Elska Berlin

This week we ran the sixth re-printing of our Elska Berlin edition, meaning there’s now more copies of it in the world than any other Elska issue. Although technically Elska Reykjavík is the best seller when you include download copies, Berlin is the hard copy king. And really, Elska is best enjoyed in its classic printed form.

So how come everybody loves Berlin? I know that when I first went there at the tender age of nineteen, I wasn’t totally in love. But I was an innocent sort of kid. Imagine Blair St Clair but with chest hair. I remember going to a random gay bar and being genuinely shocked to see porn showing on the TVs. And then when I went to go find the loo, I instead found a dark room filled with roaming hands and slurping sounds. It was of course not just a dark room but a darkroom, and honestly I never heard of such a thing before. But I could get into it!

Over the years I returned to Berlin a few more times, and discovered that the debauchery I’d found previously was nothing. One memorable night of Elska Berlin Shoot Week involved me going to lab.oratory where a friend and I hung out totally naked at the bar, drinking and chatting. I still have my innocent side though – I never dared to wander off from the bar area into the adjoining rooms, too scared I might slip over on a jizz-slick and slide into some sort of fisting accident. I was however tickled to see, when I went to the toilet, that some of the urinals were replaced by a couple of portly men sat on the floor with their mouths agape. For the record, I used a “normal” porcelain-style urinal. I was just too unsure about the etiquette surrounding the use of a human pissoir.  

So I don’t know, maybe Elska Berlin is so popular because people are expecting more of the naughtiness that Berlin is famous for. But what I discovered when shooting Elska Berlin was that the local guys are as boring as anywhere else! Most guys I met don’t spend their evenings at sex parties. Rather they’re home watching TV, hanging out with friends, or maybe getting a bite to eat. The wonderful thing about Berlin isn’t that it’s depraved, but rather than you can find depravity if you want it. I don’t want to make a wall analogy, but there’s a great sense of freedom here, where all different kinds of people can come together and be themselves. As in Berlin, everybody is welcome in Elska, so it really is a perfect Elska city.

Elska Berlin is 152 pages and contains photospreads and stories from fifteen local men. Grab a copy of it from bit.ly/elskaberlin