From stripper to magazine editor

Published Jul 23, 2005


A stripper and former Hustler magazine centrefold has become the first female editor of a South African adult entertainment magazine. And Karin Eloff, or Zoë as she is also known, is also the cover girl on the latest issue of Loslyf.

The photographs of Eloff in the September issue, which hits the streets in a week's time, leave very little to the imagination. But she is not just a pretty face.

The outspoken 31-year-old, who took over the editorship of Loslyf from Eugene Goddard, grew up in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, attended Linden High School and has an honours degree in psychology. She is also a published author.

"The first book I wrote was a novel, and the second is an exposé on the stripping industry in this country... what it is really like. I am hoping to get that published soon."

Eloff started stripping soon after moving to Stellenbosch in the Western Cape at age 25.

"I had a degree in psychology but the only jobs I got were in banks and with corporate companies. I hated it."

"In Stellenbosch, I taught belly dancing to students before moving to Cape Town to work in a popular strip club.

"I worked very, very long hours and, yes, I made lots of money. But, like many other girls in the industry, I never had the time to spend the money. And, also like others in the industry, I started doing drugs - cocaine."

But a year ago Eloff fell pregnant and was compelled to change her lifestyle for the better.

"Becoming a mother has changed me," she says.

"I am a lot stronger than I used to be. It also made me re-evaluate my career and look at which direction I would like to take it in. And when this position (editor of Loslyf) opened, I grabbed it with both hands."

She says she is not planning on making drastic changes to the magazine, "just changing the content a little. I would like to use more local girls and also lighter feature articles.

"It was becoming too serious and intellectual. I don't think the people who buy Loslyf are interested in reading a story about abortions. So I have changed that little bit.

"We are going to concentrate on much lighter stories, such as how couples can give each other sensual massages and how to give good oral sex."

Eloff says that, while she sees it as "an honour" to work for Loslyf and that she is "very excited about taking the magazine to new heights", she does not understand why there is "this big fuss over a woman being the editor".

"I really don't know why this is news. And I don't understand why people are so conservative - especially women.

"It aggravates me that women here are so ashamed of their vaginas. Just deal with it. It is perfectly okay to think it's beautiful. A lot of those women who think the magazine is smut are just afraid of revealing their own insecurities.

"I am anticipating two kinds of responses after the first edition hits the streets: there are going to be those people who love my new ideas and those who don't. I want to say to Loslyf readers that I am certainly not going to change the magazine into another FHM."

Eloff was appointed editor after Goddard resigned. After becoming embroiled in controversy when Loslyf published nude pictures,

allegedly of celebrities Amor Vittone and Juanita du Plessis, Goddard apparently fell out with Loslyf's owner, JT Wholesalers.

Related Topics: