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SMUT STAND REPORT: July 17, 2015 (Manchester, UK)

WHEN: 4.5 hours (3:30-8pm), July 17, 2015. WHERE: On Thomas Street near Kelvin Street (across from Cane&Grain bar), the Northern Quarter, Manchester, UK. OUTPUT: two pieces of microsmut and two full-length pieces.

I set up too damn early, for starters. The shop fittings store that I had picked as "my spot" was still unloading things out of the other door, and the first hour of pedestrians was still obviously stuck in business/travel/gotta-catch-my-train mode. (As someone pointed out to me the day before, Thomas Street is a major channel for people on their way to and from Piccadilly Station.) But, I had committed, so I just pounded away for an hour. There were already some dedicated young drinking lads at Cane&Grain across the way; they had the veneer of hipsters, but they were definitely lads, they weren't blasé enough to be hipsters. Their determined regard gave me that nice zoo-specimen feeling, as they just sat there and looked aggressively at me, but as I always say about situations like that: FUCK 'EM. If they can't get off their asses and bring their impertinent questions and lifted eyebrows 25 feet across the street, then they deserve to be permanently befuddled for the rest of their active sex lives. (This is the Sidewalk Pornographer's Curse.)

I would have to be superhuman to not let the vibe of a slow Smut Stand affect me, though. When it is slow going, or the wind keeps whipping up the signage to get in the way of my typing, or I'm just getting a lot of attitude from a table of gawkers… yeah, I feel that. But I got a nice moment of uplift after an hour of emotional trudging when a straight couple bounced up to my table: "What are you doing here?" These people had ordered a piece of microsmut from me last year in Edinburgh, when they had only been going out for two months! Oddly enough, I didn't remember them, but I remembered the microsmut.

They wanted to get another little bit—"this time I'm going to frame it," said the woman—and while we were talking, a young lady walked up and was listening in. "I walked by here yesterday and wanted to talk, but you were busy," she said. "I write for an online magazine, and I am totally curious!" I got her number and texted her later, when I was free. Quick little interview on the pavement, some photos, and she even bought herself a full-length piece of smut. I hope you're making the magazine pay for that, I said. "Hell yes I am," she said and laughed.

Anyway, hopefully the interview comes out on Monday (Manchester Confidential), in time for it to do me some good in terms of promoting my shows in Manchester this coming Wednesday through Friday. Hopefully even a quarter of the people who take my flyers from the Smut Stand will come out to the shows. I mean, that's basically why I started doing the Smut Stand in the first place, lo these 4.5 years ago.

Got one more commission for microsmut--doggy-style with some neck-biting--and then there was another empty hour. Not entirely empty. I had a couple of nice encounters with curious passersby, one of whom was a feminist former theatre professor, who was immediately intrigued by the title of my show, and then when she learned that I was going to Edinburgh, stood there on the pavement reminiscing about taking student groups to EdFringe 25 years prior. She was a SUPER sweet older lady, and didn't blink an eye about my content warnings, and I _really_ hope she comes to my show.

People are funny about commissions, let me say. Some people need to walk by me two or three times before they work up enough nerve to stop and ask me what the hell I'm doing; other people pass me, go 10 feet, stop and turn around, and then march right up to me and say, "I'll take it, whatever you're selling, whatever the price, I'll do it." My last customers for the night, a straight couple, were the latter types. They were surprisingly shy as I started into the interview, considering how quickly they had decided to get the smut in the first place, but they warmed up and I got a nice sloppy 69 scene done up for them, completely with a subtle ass-play reference. Hooray, ass-play!

I wanted to stay out a little later, I was definitely starting to get more folks approaching toward the end of the shift, but it was actually getting a little cold AND the people approaching were getting more confrontational. When I publicize my smut stand hours, I usually say something like "6pm until it starts getting weird," which isn't helpful to other people, but it's a good internal guideline for myself. I mean, I can tell when it's getting weird enough to quit. So I did.

******

So much Sidewalk Smut, but I can't do it year-round! Become a patron of mine over on Patreon and support me during the winter, when typing on pavements just isn't possible.

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