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SMUT STAND REPORT: May 1, 2015 (London)

My view from the Smut Stand...

My view from the Smut Stand...

SMUT STAND REPORT: first session of the season! WHEN: three hours (5:15-8:15pm), May 1, 2015. WHERE: Wandsworth Fringe launch party, inside Doodle Bar, Parkgate Road, London, UK. OUTPUT: 14 custom pieces of microsmut.

Normally at fringe launches or Fringe preview nights I try to secure a spot on stage. I'll talk a little about whatever show, or do an excerpt if it's suitable, but the director of Wandsworth Fringe assured me weeks ago that bringing in the Smut Stand would be a better bet for this environment.

Traveling there, I had my doubts, mostly because lugging around the Smut Stand without a car is always going to be a pain in the ass, thereby inviting me to make that eternal comparison of benefit vs energy output, where benefit must be demonstrably larger than energy output or I just can't be arsed. That equation was tilting very much the wrong way at the beginning of the evening, when a drunk fucker at the bus stop kept staring at me and making gross negative comments about my physical attractiveness—even when I was standing six feet away and staring straight at him—calling me an "andro" to his mate, and making a big show of NOT getting on the same bus as I did, even though it was the route he wanted. Turned out not to be the route I wanted; it was the wrong direction. So I went 15-20 minutes the wrong way, thankfully figured out my error, lugged the Smut Stand cart off the bus, and boarded the next one going the opposite direction. GUH. Not the greatest start.

(I wasn't afraid, not really, of that guy at the bus stop, but once again I feel like I chickened out. I want to call these fuckers out!)

So, I wasn't in the greatest mood arriving at the launch party, but when I walked in the room, I saw that the fringe director was right: the venue was cavernous, the performance spaces were unfocused, and fully half of the audience just wandered in for the free booze before 6 and weren't really paying attention to what was happening on stage. However, they would surely pay attention to the big Smut While U Wait pull-up poster backdrop from last year's Edinburgh Fringe!

Yes, indeed, they paid attention: I had only had the poster up for maybe five minutes before the first customer wandered over, and then I pretty much was pounding out microsmut for the whole time (I decided to stick with just microsmut for the evening, because who wants to wait around for 15 minutes for their erotica at a party?). I think a good number of patrons were connected with the Fringe director, or were deep in Fringe community, but others were most definitely not. Lots of interest in the show, as well. In a Fringe environment, the Smut Stand is one of the best ways to make deeper connection.

Well, deeper connection than just handing people cards, but it's still a fucking challenging space. The lighting was bad, off and on, and the music could be loud in ways that interfered with my ability to communicate with customers. They were all happy, though, and laid down 2 quid per piece without hesitation. (I think I'm moving the microsmut rate here to £3, when out on the pavement, and also raising the standard rate from 10 to 15 quid.) Microsmut interviews go by so fast that it's hard for me to pull out a favorite customer of the evening, but I will say that one of the clients, there with her male partner, owned up to liking to be spanked so early and enthusiastically during our intake interview that that had to go in, and she loved it. I think he liked it, but he was blushing so hard, I couldn't tell. 😀

I'm glad I got a chance to get out yesterday. Had hoped to hit my Brick Lane spot today and tomorrow—it's a bank holiday, which means lots of tourists—but forecast says rain. Gonna keep a close eye on it and see if I can get out. Because a) money and b) I FUCKING LOVE INTERVIEWING STRANGERS ABOUT THEIR SEX LIVES AND MAKING SOMETHING THAT MAKES THEM SMILE AND/OR BLUSH. Still such a rush!

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If you are a fan of my Smut Stand reports, consider becoming a patron of mine over at Patreon. Keeping up with these reports on tour is really hard work, but it needs to be done!

 

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