Erotic festival blames northern males for inhibiting women

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The Independent Online

Long-suffering northern males have long been written off as unreconstructed types who love bitter and hate talking about their feelings.

Yesterday, they were coping with a further indignity after it was claimed they were so out of touch with their sexuality that they were inhibiting women in the North.

The finger was pointed by the organisers of an erotic festival, which blamed poor attendance figures on the chauvinism of the northern male.

Erotica - with its display of sex toys and topless dancers - would not be held in Manchester next year unless numbers improved, the event's organisers warned.

Emma Sayle, a spokeswoman for the show that opened at Manchester's G-Mex Centre said: "We thought Manchester was a sexy city, but perhaps we were wrong.

"Ironically, more women from the North head to our November event at London's Olympia than are prepared to be seen to be having fun in their own city.

"Our research has shown that they are intimidated by their men, who don't want their inadequacies exposed.

"Northern women seem far more comfortable getting out of town so that they can express themselves."

While more than 70,000 saw the last show at London's Olympia, only 20,000 people are expected in Manchester this weekend.

The event, which involves about 100 exhibitors selling a range of adult goods, has been staged in Britain at least once a year since 1997.

There have been 11 shows altogether - nine in London and two in Manchester.

But while London council chiefs granted the exhibition a full nudity licence, the Manchester event is only allowed topless stage shows.

Savvas Christodoulou, event director of the show, said: "We've tried to warm this city up for more than two years - now that's what I call foreplay. But the northerners just haven't responded in sufficient numbers."

A Manchester City Council spokesman said: "Erotica applied for a topless licence this year which was granted. They were refused a full nudity licence when they applied for their first event in 2003."