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SMUT STAND REPORT: August 9, 2015 (Edinburgh, UK)

WHEN: 3.5 hours (2:30-6pm), August 9, 2015. WHERE: On Grassmarket, Edinburgh, UK. OUTPUT: one full-length piece for an older gentleman who thought his girlfriend would fancy it, but had a REALLY hard time articulating what they liked to do. I ended up giving him a medium-core cowgirl scene, and broke my own rule about including proper names, because fuck it, I needed the money.

Out here in Edinburgh Fringe, Smut Stand usually goes one of two ways: lots of business and fewer flyers out, or lots of flyers and less business. This day was one of the latter. There are always people who are running off to try to catch a show, or eat some dinner—I cannot argue with people for custom porn over self-care, especially in the middle of the festival!—but when they tell me they will TOTALLY find me later, I kinda roll my eyes, even while I am grinning at them and thanking them. 95 percent of them will not make it back, and that's okay. They got one of my brochures anyway, and the remaining fanatical five percent? Will find me repeatedly, and bring their friends.

Yesterday really was a day to remember what the Smut Stand originally was meant to do: promote my shows and me. With the pull-up poster behind me, it cannot fail, at least in terms of public visibility. There are points, at about my 10:30/1:30 positions, as people are walking past me and they cross those lines, when they become aware of me, and look at me. It's a little cone of awareness, starting with me and radiating outwards, that affects maybe 90 percent of the passersby (and 100 percent of the people sitting out on the terraces). If they are by themselves they may smile or grimace, but if they are with someone else, inevitably they will read one of my signs out loud and start discussing it. When I'm out there, there's a constant hum, rising and falling—there on Grassmarket it depends a lot on whether the buskers have just wound up their acts, which means a bunch of people suddenly are out on the pavement again—but it's always there, a susurrus of "smut while you… abrupt erotica, what does that… smut… did you see that?… smut while you wait… I want that!... oh my god… erotica… smut while you…" It's funny to hear!

I met some fun folks out there yesterday, including a German woman who had seen slut (r)evolution the night before and was so excited to have seen a show that dealt with bisexuality at all. We talked about the feminist scene in Berlin, and she gave me the name of the most-read German feminist blog that she said I must get in touch with when I tour there in 2017. I also met two couples from Ludlow! (WUT.) I didn't recognize them, but they recognized me, said they had been volunteers there, so they hadn't had the chance to see my shows. (Of course they got a flyer. "Now's your chance to catch up!")

My one commission? He made me sad. Not the writing part or even the interview part, that was very straightforward. He was a simple man with simple pleasures: drunk sex with his girlfriend.

What positions?

"Uh…"

Okay, um, do you like cowgirl?

"That's where she's on top, right?"

Yes.

"Aye, that's good."

And what else?

"She likes my knob."

Does she? Excellent!

… and so on. I wrested the information I needed from him, got his money, took his mobile number so I could text him when it was time to pick it up, but when I texted him… no response. Twice I texted him, and then, after 45 minutes I had to leave and get ready for my show. I HATE it when that happens; I feel like that's confirming their worst suspicions about street performers, but DUDE, I read your number back to you! Either he was too drunk and switched a digit, or he just ignored my texts. <sigh> This means I have to carry around his piece in an envelope for the rest of the Fringe, in case he turns up and demands it.

Fucker.

*****

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