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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cesar Padilla talks about sex...

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about attending the Sex Workers' Art Show this week. Like my man said, "I thought the show was going to be an exercise in 'my pussy, my father, my pain.'" Instead, what I saw was a fascinating perspective on the industry through cabaret, burlesque, spoken word and film—created and performed by members of the industry to dispel the myth that sex workers are good for/at only one thing.

To a packed house at Fuzion nightclub in Louisville, Kentucky, this was the show's final performance on the tour, a controversial six-week run that saw several clashes with university administrations and heavy-handed, right-wing factions. (Check out creator and performer Annie Oakley's confrontation with that tired-ass conservative motormouth Laura Ingraham on the hideous O'Reilly Factor.)

It's always seemed to me there would be a lot of humor in the real world of the sex trade. And the performers here know this to be true. Asian-American dominatrix Keva I Lee's interactive performance was pure genius, a reenactment of an absurd yet real encounter. Prior to her entrance, an audience member volunteered to play the slave. They then emerge together, with the slave on a dog chain, and proceed to hilariously demystify a real rendezvous in which a client asks her to humiliate him in her native tongue. "Native tongue?" she wonders aloud onstage, followed by a raunchy approximation of "I want that pretty yellow purse." The client wouldn't know the difference, right?

Other acts included Dirty Martini and her can-can-like homage to the stripper scene in The Graduate and Erin Markey's rousing tale of transforming into her alter ego Bridget, courtesy of St. Bridget. The show isn't for everyone, naturally, but if you have an open mind and you get the chance, GO!

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