reviewed by Kimberly Villalba Wright

Published in Issue No. 18 ~ November, 1998

Nerve surprised me. It gave me more than I was expecting from an erotica magazine. For one thing, the zine is full-bodied and fleshy. Additionally, it is (as it boasts) truly “literate smut.” Here is a perfect blend of the thoughtful and the sensual.

I was particularly impressed with the initial navigation page, one of the best on the web. The reader has an illustration of a parlor room table top, with various objects signifying different sections of the zine. For example, the photograph on the table is the link for “Skin: Uncensored Photography.” Other sections of the magazine include “Roles: Personal Essays,” “Threads: New Fiction,” “Pedantry: Sex and Culture,” “Smut Cut: Reviews,” “Ex Libris: Erotic Excepts,” “The Pile: Archives,” “Globe: Table of Contents,” and “The Bar: Reader Feedback.”

This erotic magazine is not only comprised of stories and pictures, but of thoughtful and entertaining discussions as well. One particular roundtable discussion, hosted by a panel of “guest,” focused on puberty, which I found enjoyable (the discussion, not puberty). It was a bit like “Crossfire,” only without the shouting.

I must admit I didn’t read much of the fiction. Erotica is not my preferred genre, not by a nautical mile, and there’s only so much of it I can stomach. If you like erotica, though, Nerve has it all. It’s a no-holds-barred and well-written magazine.

All in all, I was very impressed by the variety of material provided and its presentation. Nerve is a slick mag. Erotica fans should take a venture into this parlor. You never know what you might find.

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Kimberly Villalba Wright was born in Hollywood, Florida, and has spent most of her life in Mobile, Alabama. She earned a BA in English at the University of South Alabama in 1997. Her poetry has appeared in the Epiphany, Arrowsmith, Doggerel, Dicat Libre, El Locofoco, as well as Poetry Café. This fall, Wright will begin working toward an MFA in creative Writing at the University of Memphis. Wright currently resides in Kennett, Missouri.