Y’know, I travel around a fair bit, but I really don’t go deliberately in search of naked breasts. And yet somehow, I’ve been in Toronto for less than 48 hours, and I’ve managed to see more boobs than I have in… days. I mean months! Months, yes.
Last night, my friend V and I checked out Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens’ “play,” Exposed: Experiments in Love, Death, Sex and Art at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. (Note: this town has a queer theatre. Like, a whole institution devoted to queer performance. How cool is that?! Add one more item to my list of reasons for my ongoing love affair with Toronto.) Anyway, it’s in quotes because it’s not really so much a play per se… more like a piece of performance art. And not the kind of performance art where you’re wishing it was over halfway through and by the end you’re all confused and then you have to pretend you found it deep and meaningful to impress all the other people who were wishing it was over halfway through and are confused and trying to impress you.
Basically, Annie – famed prostitute (she seems to prefer the old-fashioned term to “sex worker”), artist, PhD sexologist, massively well-endowed gal and general sex-positive shit disturber – and her absolutely charming girlfriend, a self-described California diesel dyke/academic (tenured professor at… was it Rutgers? I don’t remember) got together to create a seven-year-long art project about love, using one of the seven chakras (Annie’s kinda woo-woo) as the theme for each year. Part of the project involves them getting married once a year in a ceremony themed with the colour of that year’s chakra. They got an actual legal wedding in Calgary for the yellow year – apparently they only actually knew four people at the ceremony. I think they’re on year four now, at least if the colours indicate.
The evening began with Annie and Beth asking if anyone in the audience would be willing to have a photo taken of their breasts. (Breasts are a big thing with Annie. Pun entirely intended.) This led to my friend R, a committed lover of the boobies, leaping up from her chair in front of me and screeching “booooobieees!!”, running out into the aisle, and yanking up her shirt. Beth didn’t waste any time popping a polaroid. While dozens of other gals began to follow suit, my dear friend V – a more-or-less straight guy – leaned over to me with his eyebrows somewhere up in his hairline and whispered “Are all lesbian plays like this?!” And when I was laughing too hard to produce an answer, he settled for saying, with a degree of reverence usually reserved for moments of spiritual conversion, “Th-thank you.” And then he sat back and looked dazed for a while.
The performance involved them sharing the story of how they met – talking simultaneously right over top of one another, no less – and how they fuck and how they make art and how they got through Annie’s bout with breast cancer and all kindsa other stuff. They passed around a sheet of paper listing ten reasons why marriage is a bad idea, and explain that they decided to do it anyway. Which is a little odd, or at least a little dissatisfying. I would have liked to hear more about their ten reasons for going through with it, since they took the time to give ten reasons why not to. But I digress.
The crowning glory of the piece had them stirring up a “love elixir” and handing out little cups of it to the entire audience, each drink coming with a sentence starting with “One of the things I love about you is…” Which is, admittedly, very California indeed, but kinda charming, too. Annie said to me, “One of the things I love about you is that you’re really sexy.” Which was nice, though I hesitate to think she really put much thought into it, given that she was handing out compliments to several hundred people over the course of ten minutes.
Anyway, after a brief post-performance chat with the artists – during which I got to sniff Beth’s neck (yup, she smells like a very nice, clean butch) and snapped a sweet photo of me sandwiched between Annie and Beth, or perhaps more accurately, between Annie and Annie’s boobs and Beth – V and I took off to wander the Village a bit.
Which is where yet another set of boobs made its appearance. I swear, they’re just popping up everywhere in this town.
We were quietly enjoying our ice cream, sitting on a ledge near a little streetside park, when a super-hot girl came rushing up with two gay men in tow and declared loudly, “We’re gonna wrassle! You guys wanna call the winner?” and barely paused for an answer before jumping into the park, kicking off her shoes, yanking off her t-shirt, and tackling one of her man-friends. The ensuing fifteen minutes were definitely some of the most entertaining of the entire evening, especially the part where she pulled off her bra for a bit too. V was completely taken aback – I really think the poor guy might believe lesbians just can’t wait to, um, expose their assets to the world. Having walked in on my lovely Toronto hostess half-naked not once but twice now in as many days, in addition to all the rest, I’m starting to wonder if that’s perhaps accurate.
And now I’m about to head off to a big huge dyke Pride party called Libido. Lord knows what might happen there. Not to mention at tomorrow’s lesbo event, Moist, or Saturday’s Dyke March, or Saturday night’s all-girl Pride Paint Party (featuring copious amounts of body paint).
Gawd, the things I endure for the sake of community participation…