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January 27th, 2008

Review: Sex Workers Art Show

Sex Workers' Art Show

Mr. Radical and I recently saw the Sex Workers Art Show. Wow! It rocked. I’m in the middle of reading Working Sex and on a hunch decided to see if the show would be anywhere near me. And it was. Woot!

Annie Oakley opened the show and was a great host. Before each act she gave us a little snippet about the realities of traveling or insight to the performer. You can tell this show means a lot to her. Mr. Radical and I had a wonderful time chatting with her afterwards.

She introduced Miss Dirty Martini and as soon as I saw her I knew I was going to love the Sex Workers Art Show. She came out dressed in an American flag, blond curly wig, red blindfold and holding two golden scales. Dolly Parton’s version of God Bless the USA was playing as she stripped down to a red bra and panty set stuffed with dollar bills. As “I’m proud to be an American” blared out of the speakers Miss Martini threw the money around and stripped naked. As she pulled what looked like a string of money out of her ass my sides ached I was laughing so hard. She sat on the stage, legs spread wide, and stuffed money into her mouth as Dolly sang her climatic finish. It was by far one of the most radical, the most profound, the most hilarious performance art I’ve ever seen. Miss Dirty Martini-I love your work!

Kirk Read read an open letter to Rick Hilton. He made many great points about being an escort working in hotel rooms. As a dominatrix I do many of my in person sessions in hotels and could relate to a lot of what he said. His annoyance at the horrible lighting of hotel rooms was right on.

He made a comment that struck me as very profound. Kirk was talking about the difficulty of being a sex worker and complaining about one’s job. When you complain people often say “oh you’re oppressed so why don’t you just quit”. When really we sex workers just want to complain about our job sometimes, like all people want to do. He talked about the pressure of always presenting a “happy face” of sex work to non-sex work people. “My job is to be an ambassador to the non sex working world.”

I know exactly what he means. If I’m the only sex worker a person knows then the experiences I share may be the only things that shape their opinion of the sex industry. Sometimes I hesitate to bitch about my job to some of my non sex worker friends because I think they’ll think my job is horrible. When in reality I just need to blow off some steam like every worker needs to do now and again.

The World Famous BOB made a martini with her ample 42 1/2 F breasts. I know-doesn’t that sound impressive? It was! She also talked about her time as “the worst dom ever”. She was a prodom for several years and her story of asking if the client was ok every time she smacked his ass had me laughing hard. Her combination of breasts bouncing and music is something that needs to be experienced.

Erin Markey told of her experiences as a stripper. Her story of being small breasted in an outfit meant for breasts to burst through the nipple slips had me laughing so hard I teared up. Then she moved into a song called St. Bridget that she performed partially on a stripper pole. It rocked! The song stayed in my head and I bought her CD Puppy Love: A Stripper’s Tail during intermission.

Chris Kraus read an excerpt from her novel. It was a story about her boyfriend getting arrested in a small town. The tale seemed an odd fit since it made no references to sex work at all. She was once a topless dancer so perhaps some of her other excerpts touch on sex work?

Two of the performers had the flu so couldn’t perform. Dirty Martini and The World Famous BOB did two sets to make up for it. While it was a bummer not to see Lorelei Lee and Keva I. Lee perform, the extra performances by the two amazing ladies was great.

Krylon Superstar was the last performer. He came out with a purple wig and a Madonna/80’s/lace ensemble that my sissy callers would have drooled over. His song started out with “Superpower Sissy Man” and went into describing-who else but-George Bush. As he stripped down to a duct taped g-string the words Fuck Bush were taped on his chest. The audience erupted in applause. And then came the glorious finale. As the words “from sea to shining sea” rang out of the speakers Krylon bent over in his glitter filled swimming pool and lit a sparkler that was sprouting from his ass. God it was brilliant. Brilliant! Not only was it an Amazing political commentary his act will definitely feature in future calls. (Many of my callers would love to be on stage, dressed in women’s clothing, singing and stripping off their clothes while the crowd applauds and yells their approval.)

I loved this show! It was funny, profound, political, personal and a very much needed show. We sex workers share our stories with the non sex working world to leave the anonymous realm. Giving a face and a voice to our experiences make us real. When we can be seen as people we can be seen with respect. A paragraph from the Annie Oakley’s introduction to Working Sex sums up my feelings perfectly:

“Sex workers telling stories, humanizing ourselves through the sharing of experience and insight, punctures the bloated dream of consumption without consequence. It puts a real face on the mythological creatures that are the subject of so much fantasizing and demonizing. It moves us from a weird landscape populated by the iconography of people’s fears and desires to a tangible, relatable reality; and only from there can we begin to be taken seriously as people deserving of safety, agency, and respect.”

You can see if the Tour is coming to your city here. Hell, even if they’ll be a few hours away try to make the drive to see them. It’s worth it.

Posted by Vixen in Reviews, Sex Workers

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 27th, 2008 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Reviews, Sex Workers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Review: Sex Workers Art Show”

  1. alisha says:

    i’m excited because i’m going to go see it next wednesday!

  2. Vixen says:

    Alisha-How did you like it?

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