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Erotic title Scarlet targets 'sexually confident' women

LONDON - Scarlet, a magazine for women who are 'intelligent' and 'sexually confident' will hit newsstands in October and has signed a number of high-profile writers.

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The magazine has been designed to tap into women's changing attitudes to sex, evidenced by the popularity of Ann Summers, which sold more than 1m vibrators last year, and US TV show 'Sex and the City'.

Gavin Griffiths, formerly of the Erotic Review and the publisher of Scarlet, claims there is a gap in the market for a "young and funky" sex title for women. The magazine will have a sense of humour and feature stories designed "to help women get off", advice and no-nonsense sex features. It aims talks to women in the way they talk to each other when men are not around.

Scarlet will be edited by Emily Dubberly, the founder of the cliterati.co.uk website. She is also a 'Lover's Guide' scriptwriter and the author of Brief Encounters: The Essential Guide to Casual Sex.

She is joined by Sarah Hedley, Cosmopolitan's sex editor; Flic Everett, the agony aunt for Company and author of Sex Tips for Girls; Dr Pam Spurr, the author of Sinful Sex and an LBC 97.3FM agony aunt/sex adviser; and Helen Knox, the contraceptive and sexual health specialist and founder of sexplained.com.

Rachel Kramer Bussel, Playgirl journalist and erotic author, whose work has been published in more than 40 anthologies, will also contribute to the title.

Griffiths said: "I realised there was no mainstream publication catering for sexually adventurous women. I started chatting to Emily Dubberley, veteran of the female sex market, and it became clear that we could put together a magazine unlike any other out there and offer women what they really want."

Other high-profile writers will write for the title on non-sexual matters. They include Mil Millington, the Guardian columnist and author of Things my Girlfriend and I Have Argued About'; Lou Wener, the former Sleeper singer and author of The Big Blind; Jane Wenham Jones, the author of Perfect Alibi and Raising the Roof; and Paul Carr, the Guardian journalist and founder of the London News Review.

There will also be opportunities for readers to contribute writing, art and photography to Scarlet.

The magazine will have an initial print run of 50,000 copies and a cover price of £3.50. Scarlet will be supported by a PR campaign and a website.

Helix Media, the title's publisher, claims attitudes towards female sexuality have changed significantly in recent years. Black Lace, the range of erotic novels, has sold more than 3m books and 15% of internet porn users are said to be women.

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