Sunday, October 17, 2004

Notes on Annie Sprinkle

(I wrote the following prior to starting this blog, to share reactions to Annie Sprinkle's recent Vancouver appearance with friends. I love Annie.)

Wow! Annie Sprinkle is SUCH a generous person. Just saw her give a performance at the Western Front. To a room of gays & lesbians, sex workers, gender benders, sex activists of one stripe or another, and a few people like me, whatever it is I am, she played a bunch of early porn clips, with her own narration, which was funny and cute and sweet; she talked about her transformations from a dumpy Jewish girl who had very low self-esteem into Annie Sprinkle; she shared how the losses of the AIDS movement moved her away from straight porn into becoming a sort of spiritual explorer combining meditation and masturbation, played clips of the first ever female-to-male transgendered porn film, which she starred in with her lover of the time, read thru (with colourful slides of herself and her friends illustrating the point) a list of reasons why whores are her heroes, and then GAVE OUT AWARDS AND HUGS to the sex trade industry workers (or any confessed sluts), who lined up one by one to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” to briefly introduce themselves and get their diplomas, awarding them for their hard work giving pleasure to people. (Liz's friend Michael was there and got a big cheer when he introduced himself, without further explanation, as Cookie LaWhore). (I would have loved to have had one of these certificates, but in no way merit one... Nice that she transformed being a sex industry worker into a position of merit!). She played a clip from her new film, called something like Annie Sprinkle's Amazing World of Orgasm, which I wish I could have shared with some o’ you (the clip, not orgasm) – I may have to get it on video. At the end of the performance proper, Annie did her “bosom ballet,” exposing her now huge breasts (she’s put on a bit of weight, as is only fitting for a woman of 50, and is just… enormous) and making them do a cute little dance to Strauss, I think it was… I seem to think it’s called the “Blue Danube Waltz.” Wild cheers all round. After a short break, she came back and did a Q and A. The audience LOVED her, cheered, thanked her – and I got to chat with her, recommending she see Dusan Makavejev’s W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism. I also got to ask her about her name – I remember reading that “Sprinkle” had to do with her fondness for urine (later in the night she played us a censored relevant scene from one of her self-directed films -- a delight to be among those who have seen it). She basically said that she was fond of a lot of things evoked by the word Sprinkle, including urine, but in fact it was a “voice in her head” that told her to change her name to Sprinkle – a voice which only ever spoke to her one other time, telling her she HAD to quit smoking.

It was a great night. I’m not even bummed I missed the Tom Waits gig that happened t’night at the Orpheum. I AM shocked at myself – I’ve been feelin’ kinda in need o’ love lately, and IT NEVER EVEN OCCURRED TO ME, when Annie was so willing to hug people, to try to hug her. I just recommended films! I could have felt the healing properties of her embrace and, even more, COULD HAVE BEEN PRESSED AGAINST HER BREASTS, however briefly, and I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF IT in my enthusiasm to talk movies. No wonder I don’t get laid much. I hope she watches W.R., especially. I didn’t have the heart to check to see if she knew who Wilhelm Reich was – given her focus on orgasm and her PhD in human sexuality, it would have looked very bad had she not known. She must know. Of course, I figured she must know about Makavejev, too…

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