Saturday, January 24, 2009

sex shows and skin flicks


those were my primary reporting duties for the weekend. i've just come from the everything to do with sex show at the cunard centre. where today there is a dungeon, complete with crosses, whips and chains, was my dinner table less than 48 hours ago as i listened to myann francis, the l-g, speak at the courage to give awards.

the show was packed - more than 2,000 in the middle of the day, and people i talked to there said that was nothing compared to last night - it runs late tonight, and all day tomorrow, too.

i slipped into sexy girl rachel dodds's talk on fellatio after interviewing her for my metro canada article on people whose job it is to help couples rekindle the spark (she had some great ideas, btw). as she strapped a dildo on a female volunteer to demonstrate technique, thumping bass music signaled the start of the erotic dance show on the stage behind her. on the stage, and on the big screen suspended in the middle of the centre, a beefcake of a man wrapped in saran wrap set the cellphone cameras flashing as rachel continued her demo.

looking entirely out of place was the woman running the slice of life portrait booth. amidst a sea of scantily clad men and women, her display was puppy dogs and cute kids. i asked her if she had made a booking mistake. nope - she has a side business in erotic photography, mostly girlfriends shooting for their boyfriends and so on. she had booked at the last minute, and didn't have time to put together a more fitting display, so went with what she had. she said it was a huge part of her business in ontario, but the demand is low in halifax.

could be because she advertises with kittens, rather than sex kittens.

i talked to oliver in the dungeon, while one curious member of the public left his whipping post and another got ready. he's local (with a quebec accent) and explores kinks for kicks. i asked him how he found other people to share his pursuit. 'when you're a pervent, you find other perverts,' he said, without a hint of humour.

last night, i checked out skin flick, neptune's new play. it's about a near-retirement couple who lose all their money and decide, after a string of curious events, to make a porno to secure their golden years dreams. with visions of 'costumes, romance and nine-grain baguettes' throbbing in their heads, they start the cameras rolling on the 'cinema of the unclothed.'

unexpectedly, it's as far away from the sex show as anne of green gables.

where the sex show is focused on the body and sensuality, skin flick is a sweet little story of love, intimacy and respect. and it's hilarious. theatre laughs are almost always better than cinema laughs. i think it's the intimacy and the collaboration between the audience and the actors.

an unexpected bonus is the easy love story of the main couple. they have been married for 28 years and love each other heaps - and like each other. there's none of the stereotypical bitching or slow trench warfare we usually see in pop-culture older couples - they just really love each other. it's the backdrop - and backbone - to the whole play.

halifax being halifax, i ran into norm foster, the playwright, and the entire cast at the shoe shop later that night. when i interviewed foster before the play, he said he usually knows where 80% of the laughs are, and worries about the rest. he seemed pretty happy that he'd hit the mark.

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