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Dear Cringe Reader,


When we hosted our first ever Cringe launch for issue 5 this summer, we were already thinking of what our next theme might be. What would be the antidote to ‘rage’? Was it joy? Love? Desire? Our friend Quinn eventually came up with the idea of interrogating all things ‘pleasure’. Little did we know that the response would be so overwhelming, we’d have to double our page count.


As has become evident throughout this project, single-word themes like Belonging (issue 4) or Rage (issue 5) hold meaning beyond its immediate interpretation. Contributors have responded to the complex and sometimes mystifying experience of pursuing and experiencing pleasure in lots of different ways: From reflecting on the ways in which a Catholic upbringing can stifle pleasure (p. 35) and its rather strange symbolisms in spite – or perhaps because – of sexual taboos (p.125), to essays and artwork on comfort food (p. 89) and the strange joy of rooting for a team you know is going to lose (p. 105).


We’ve also spoken to people whose work either produces, protects or challenges pleasure. Founders of CINC, a queer underground party in Cardiff, talk to us about the importance of nurturing LGBTQ+ spaces for collective joy (p. 119), while photographer Kate Rosewell and dominatrix Eva Oh reflect on female sexuality, bodily autonomy and the act of giving and withholding power (p.55). We also had the privilege of talking to the incredible poet and novelist Susannah Dickey, who shares some insight into the process behind her poetry collection ISDAL and how the true crime genre separates grief from death, and dignity from victims, in order to thrive (p. 137).


The photographer behind our cover managed to address several aspects of pleasure at once: Who gets to experience pleasure in an unjust class system that marginalises people? Who designs the beauty, indulgences and aesthetics you’re allowed to consume? And what does it look like when you deliberately subvert expectations by combining the rebellious energy of punk with the extravagance of 18th century aristocracy? Head over to page 81 to find out. 


We hope you enjoy reading and reflecting on the poetry, prose, personal essays, interviews and artworks you’re about to dive into, and that you will agree with us that something as seemingly simple as ‘pleasure’ is not so simple after all.


As always, don’t forget to #StayCringeBeHumble,


Annika Loebig 



  • Sixth issue of Cringe Magazine, PLEASURE 2023

    A5 Print Magazine, produced with Mixam

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