Before I start filling your feed with the Highway Page updates, or the reviews for the seven shows I’m seeing this weekend, some more clearing of the news chum. This is a collection of articles that caught my eye, but that I’m less than comfortable posting at work during lunch. You’ll see why.
- Theatre Nude Night. The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles has an interesting blog post related to an article in the New York Times. A contemporary art museum in Paris conducted its first-ever tour of its galleries given only for nudists. For one night in the museum, the art wasn’t the only handiwork on exhibit. The French nudist group, Paris Naturist Association, received interest in the museum tour from 30,000 people on Facebook. So, the Fountain asked, “will “Nude Night” one day become a popular American night out at the theatre? American audiences may no longer be astonished to see nudity on stage. But what about seeing it on the patron sitting next to you? Think about the actors. In an intimate theatre like the Fountain, would any costume-wearing actor be able to concentrate on their own performance while playing to a full house of naked people? It’s the classic “actor’s nightmare” coming true, in reverse.” This is less of a pie-in-the-sky idea than you might think. In 2016 and 2017 at the Fringe, there was a show that required both the actors and audience to be nude. Needless to say, I didn’t go. No need to scare anyone.
- Nude Woman in a Mall. But do people even notice nudity anymore? Here’s an article about a woman who walked through a mall naked with nobody noticing. This was the work of someone named Jen the Body Painter, who sent one of her models to the mall without any clothes on, but with a painted-on outfit that would allow her to walk around in public without causing too much of a stir. Jen wrote about this experiment beforehand and she wanted to see if people noticed a nude woman walking alongside of them.
- Diversity in Porn. Another interesting article was on the porn industry — specifically, the diversity therein. In this episode of “What Porn Stars Want You to Know,” porn stars talk about misconceptions about the porn industry. Jiz Lee, Asa Akira, Stoya, and Nikki Darling discuss their experiences with diversity and representation in porn. The question is: What makes a woman beautiful? The video makes clear that the industry thinks beauty is one thing, but that with people, there’s an incredible diverse range of desire. I think that reinforces something I tend to believe: that for any body — any body — someone will find that body attractive.
- The Porn Business. Mayim Bialik posted an extremely interesting interview with an Adult Film director and producer, Erika Lust. It explored how she worked in the adult business while raising two daughters, and what message it was sending to them. There are some interesting discussions in the article. Again, I’ll opine: Given the choice between someone watching something sexual and something with violence, I’d rather have them watch the sex anyday. I don’t want people desensitized to violence. But then again, often what is presented as sex in visual imagery is often overly violent, disrespectful of partners, or presenting bad images of what beautiful bodies are. That’s a bad thing. Further, although some go in the industry voluntarily, many often are forced and mistreated, or subjugated. That’s just wrong. I wrote on my blog a while ago (alas, I can’t find the link easily) about an interview with Mia Khalifa on the Lance Armstrong podcast where she talked about why she went in, and how they exploited just a month or two in the industry. I think this may be a case where the concept, if uncoerced and with consent, is fine; but the execution as it is today is extremely flawed.
- Oversharing. An interesting article in the LA Times explores a new art trend in Sweden. Online art entrepreneurs from Gothenburg, Sweden, have launched the Penis Poster. The premise? Men love their best friend. And that has led to a proliferation of men sending women uninvited pictures of their best friend. The website suggests that men fulfill their urge to share via line art, watercolor or sketch printed on 19.7-inch-by-27.6-inch matte paper for $45 a pop. Braggers, fear not: Designs are to scale, using dimensions the customer provides.
- Comedy and Sex. An interesting piece by a student at UC Berkeley explores the relationship between comedy and sex. It starts out noting “In a piece written by the Atlantic, it’s proposed that comedians are guided by a central “benign violation” theory. Break your audience’s expectations, but in a way that is harmless. It’s not so different from visiting a haunted house, knowing that people try almost anything to terrify you, but they’re paid not to touch you — so it’s still fun.” The article explores the author’s use of sexual humor, noting “Audiences laughed at my representations of myself as sexually proactive. The worst part was, I hadn’t been in on the joke.” In other words, when someone who doesn’t fit the mold of a sexual creature makes jokes about being agressively sexual, what does the audience’s laughter say? An interesting piece, made more interesting by the fact that I might personally know the author — the name is the same as someone who was a friend of my daughter when she was in high school.
- Branching Out of Porn. In an interesting business move, Pornhub has launched a VPN. When you think about it, what makes more sense than for a company built on porn videos to allow anonymity of where you browse on the net. It supposedly offers free and unlimited bandwidth. The VPN is supposed to help users avoid ISP throttling and geographic limitations. It’s also designed to let users transmit data anonymously without saving or collecting any of that data.
- World’s Largest Orgy is a Bust. I’ve noted a few articles on the promotion of the World’s Largest Orgy in Las Vegas. There was the announcement of the intent of the orgy, which noted: ” An organization for sexual enthusiasts called Menage Life is planning to break the record for the world’s biggest orgy. The current record was established in 2006 in Tokyo when 500 people congregated to copulate. The Las Vegas orgy will take place at the Embassy Suites on June 2, and Menage Life is aiming for at least 1,000 participants.” That was followed by an announcement that the Embassy Suites didn’t want that particular business associated with it (can you just imagine the free breakfast!), and so it was being move to the Erotic Heritage Museum. But never mind, there was more science: “Erotic Heritage Museum Executive Director Dr. Victoria Hartmann will conduct a qualitative research project during the orgy to help fill holes in the study of the evolution of group sex.” Help fill holes. Right. But after all of that, the attempt fell short. Despite having more than 1,000 registrants (according to reps from Menage Life, which produces Sin City 8), only 375 of them made it to the Green Door sex club that Saturday to break an unofficial record established in 2006, when 500 participants gathered in Japan. But don’t worry, there’s always next year.
And with that, I can get those links off … my bookmarks list.