You’ve been hearing about it for months. Close to a year, in fact. But if you aren’t in New York (and even if you are), you have yet to see what “Cootie Catcher” looks like on stage. Today, I will remedy that. My friend Aaron Long filmed my final performance at FRIGID New York and compiled this nifty trailer for me, that I think you’ll find highly entertaining. Take a gander… and don’t forget that my Fund What You Can Campaign is still alive and hoppin’!
Tell me something: who is the author of this bullshit rule that we aren’t supposed to talk when we’re having sex?
Apparently there is a memo that almost everyone seems to have received during puberty (kind of like an owl from Hogwarts but way less practical and doubtless from a far less adorable animal) indicating that talking during sex is bad and we should never do it and OH MY GOD YOU’LL KILL THE MOOD.
Thankfully, I never got that memo.
Sex is not something that can be gracefully navigated without talking. It just isn’t. I know that, as a gay man, I’m supposed to be some kind of master of sexual telepathy who never opens his mouth in bed unless to welcome a foreign cock or grunt in some sinister way, but I’m not and I don’t want to be. For me, the best sex comes with verbal cues, requests, check-ins, and even *GASP* conversation.
A customer at my day job recently asked me for advice. He was worried that he was being too selfish in the sack, and asked what he could do to remedy that. I told him, simply, “Ask your partner if there’s anything they want from you.”
He seemed taken aback. “Just…flat out? Like that?”
Yup. Just flat out. Like that. I do it all the time. Being a double-Leo who likes to feel pretty and pampered, I’m consistently terrified that I’m a selfish lover. So I make a habit of asking my partners if there’s anything I can do for them. And I’ve never found it to be a bad move. Usually, they tell me that they’re having a great time, and then I can move forward with confidence. And sometimes they ask “Can you fuck me in the butt?” And of course, I do.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of “bad” news, but you really can’t make sex work without talking. If you want something sucked that’s not getting sucked? Ask for it. If you need something done a certain way to get off, more often than not, you’re going to have to speak up. And that’s okay! Sex is a team effort, and if you don’t yell “go long!” how can you expect your teammate to catch what you’re throwing?
I firmly believe that if you can’t talk about sex (especially while you’re having sex) you shouldn’t have sex at all. Sex is a grown-up activity, and it’s time to act like fucking grown-ups. Talk when you have sex. Do it. Do it until it’s normal.
Hey…remember that tour I’m going on this summer? The one with my one-man show? Well, it starts in just over one month. It’s going to be long. It’s going to be epic.
It’s going to be expensive.
Just to dump some perspective on ya real quick: Between 2012-2014, I participated in five fringe festivals with VGL 5’4″ Top. In 2015, I’ll be participating in five different fringe festivals with Cootie Catcher. That’s, like two years of development crammed into one summer. I didn’t expect this when I submitted my applications last fall, but the theatre gods have deemed it must be so, and I am determined to make it so.
Yesterday I launched a crowdfunding campaign through Fund What You Can, a platform operated by the lovely folks at the Toronto Fringe Festival. My goal is to raise $4500 to cover most of my participating fees, travel, and promotional materials, and to keep my from starving to death while I’m on the road. From May 11 until July 15th, my art will be my only source of income, and I think we all know how reliable that can be. (If you don’t know, hint: it’s not). If all of my followers donated $5 each, I’d be beyond golden, so even a little can really make a difference.
It’s an adventure. It’s a risk. And it could be a major building block in my career as a performer. Life on the road as a solo artist can be lonely, and knowing I have your love and support throughout the journey will make it infinitely better. Check out my cute campaign video below, and please…please…click the link below to donate.
There are many cases in which I think humility is an admirable quality. There are also many others in which I think it simply a waste of time and energy. Right now, I am experiencing the latter. Last night I returned from Catalyst Con East in Washington, D.C., feeling like a mother-fuckin’ sex-positive rock star and I don’t care who knows it.
This time last year I attended my first Catalyst Con, and I knew approximately 1 person going in. I knew who a lot of other people were, of course, but being as shy as I am, I wasn’t about to strike up a conversation with most of them right away.
This year, I didn’t have to. As soon as I stepped out of the elevator to go to registration, familiar faces were popping out of the woodwork to greet me and I felt like I was in that opening scene from Beauty & The Beast. “Bonjour!”, etc. At one point I thought I was being attacked by a rainbow, but it turns out it was just a ferocious hug from Crista Anne.
I feel like I’ve come a long way since my previous Catalyst Con. Last year, my own application was not accepted, but I was offered a spot on Ruby Ryder’s “Ass Panel” (which was awesome). I also had the chance to perform snippets from “VGL 5’4″ Top” and “Cootie Catcher” with the performance series Urban Erotika. This year, not only was my panel pitch accepted, but I was also given the opportunity to perform “Cootie Catcher” as part of Saturday evening’s entertainment.
My panel, “Sex on the Stage: Sexuality in Performance Art” was more than I ever could have asked for. As it was my first time organizing and moderating a panel, I was borderline terrified for the weeks leading up to the event. I invited Urban Erotika’s Mo Beasley, burlesque star Fancy Feast, and fellow Fringe-er and solo performer Cameryn Moore to join me for this panel, and seriously you guys…I picked the best people!! I could have listened to their stories and quips for hours on end, but unfortunately we were only granted 70 minutes, and as the person in charge, I had to adhere to that rule.
After that, I only had a couple hours to pull myself together for “Cootie Catcher”. Much to my surprise, I’d had dozens of people telling me for the 24 hours prior how much they were looking forward to it, which is what I always love to hear, but also put a little extra pressure on me to put on a good show. And, well…I did. I can’t take all of the credit though. One of the reasons it was such a damn good show was because I had such a damn good audience. Performing a show about sex for ballroom full of sex nerds is one of the best experiences I can think of. I wish more of my audiences laughed and cheered like that.
Following my performance, my work wasn’t done yet; I had once again been asked to perform with Urban Erotika, which is not something one can really resist. All of my spoken word material had been used up that day, so I pulled out one of my burlesque acts and did a little disrobing. Once again, sex nerds = best audience.
I am really fuckin’ proud of the work I did this weekend. I am also really fuckin’ proud of the fact that I managed to be a social butterfly for once in my life. From the moment I arrived at the hotel until the moment I left, I swear I never spent more than two minutes by myself, which is really difficult for an introvert like me. But I forced myself out of my shell and was rewarded with some of the best conversations and company I’ve had in a long time.
Funny this is…I don’t seem to be experiencing any con-drop. Usually on the bus ride back, I slam into a deep depression, longing for the lovely folks I just parted ways with. Not this time. I like to think that it’s because I accomplished everything that I intended to this weekend. Usually my con-drop comes with a healthy helping of regret, and I really don’t have much worth regretting (aside from not getting laid. It’s been a while and that needs to be remedied.)
I feel like this weekend really helped me gain some focus in life and figure out how all of the things I do fit together a little better. I feel like what I do matters, and that I can inspire and affect others with my work. This is exactly what I needed before my epic summer tour that’s coming up. Much love and thanks to everyone in the Catalyst Con community who hugged me, supported me, and made me feel like a sex-positive rock star this weekend. (I could name drop at this time, but it would take so much time, and I would definitely forget someone. You all know who you are.)