Peruse any erotic shelf in your local NSFW bookshop or video store and whatever your fantasy, you’ll find it catered to. However, beyond the bondage, fetish and gay friendly pictorials, actual discussion into these ‘interests’ are severely lacking. L’imparfaite entered the scene in 2009 to combat such shortage of dialogue, a Paris-based, independent erotic journal whose founders hail from disciplines like art direction to sociology, art direction, political studies, journalism and data science.
“It is not a journal for the gay community or the straight community, for men, for women, for trans- or cis-gendered folks, rather, it is a catalyst for those curious to explore how sex and eroticism can be a window onto the world,” reads the publication’s press release. For L’imparfaite, text is just as important as the glossy photos they publish – a carefully curated selection shot by photographers like Camille Vivier, Liam Astle and one of the mag’s founders Arnaud Lajeunie, to name a few. Alongside these, sit features now translated into both French and English – for this issue, readers can delve into Indian erotic literature, an interview with London fetish-wear creators House of Harlot, and meet the brains behind kinky video game Trials in Tainted Space (aptly shortened as TiTs.)
“It’s so important for us to keep telling stories, putting faces, names, and backgrounds to everyday bodies and desires” – L’imparfaite
Since their inception six years ago, the worlds of erotica and sex alike have taken steps towards equality, open-mindedness and acceptance across varying degrees of cultures and countries. Same-sex marriage has since been legalised in 20 countries worldwide, fetish has been brought to living rooms and mainstream book shops – thanks in part to a certain Hollywood blockbuster – and trans rights have finally begun to be nudged into the public forum for the discussion they deserve, and have deserved for so long.
But there’s still a long way to go, and L'imparfaite are willing to continue that journey. “While we're delighted to see a more open debate around the kinds of things we've been working on since our first issue in 2009 – trans rights, sex work, cultural difference, the politics of desire, etc – no general opinion shift will ever ‘resolve" them’,” explains one-eighth of the publication’s team, and photographer, Lajeunie, adding, “That's why it's so important for us to keep telling stories, putting faces, names, and backgrounds to everyday bodies and desires.” Watch this space.
L'imparfaite issue 6 is available now from here. The full L'imparfaite team consists of journalist Quentin Girard, sociologist Damien Bright, photographer Arnaud Lajeunie, art direction studio VLF, art director Aude Debout, sociologist Myrtille Picaud, journalist Pauline Verduzier and data scientist Diego Antonlinos-Basso
Follow Ashleigh Kane on Twitter here @ashleighkane