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Author: camerynmoore

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SMUT STAND REPORT: Edinburgh Fringe (Aug 3, 2018)

WHEN: 4 hours (3-7pm), Aug 3, 2018. WHERE: Grassmarket, Edinburgh Fringe. OUTPUT: three full-length pieces, including a romantic, gender-fluid, outdoor threesome up against a tree; a passionate fingering in an overheated tent; and a voyeuristic group-sex party on a houseboat with lots of nautical puns.

It has been nearly six months since I went out for a hardcore work shift on the Smut Stand. I’ve been trying to find a productive location in Berlin since the spring, but NOTHING. I cursed the lack of income and dearth of smut in my life, but consoled myself with the knowledge that I would be coming to Edinburgh in August and here I would find my people.

It is more accurate to say that my people find me, and here in Edinburgh they always do. The poster banner goes up and I start typing away, and they just step up and ask. I don’t do any persuading or selling, soft or hard (heh heh). I just explain the service and the process and the price, and they either go for it or they don’t. Sometimes peer pressure or begging from a partner persuades someone who might be on the fence. But some people know; they have some intuitive sense before I even open my mouth.

During this particular shift, everyone was fully down. No hesitant customers, I didn’t have to drag anything out of anybody. That’s another great quality of the real eager beavers: their interviews are FULL and COMPLETE. If anything, I have to tell them to stop overthinking, but I'm happy to let them ramble for a bit, because it gives me all the material I need. I was worried about the bridegroom whose buddies chipped in for his piece, but he was actually the most sensitive, considerate bridegroom that I’ve ever encountered out on the stand. It was sweet.

I found myself particularly challenged—in a good, writerly way—by the customer who wanted a romantic piece for herself and her partners, one of whom used “them/they.” Since I don’t use proper names in these stories (I think it gives it a Mad Libs feel), pronouns actually are REALLY important, and third-person singular pronouns in a three-or-more situation can get confusing if I’m not careful. It turned out really well though—reminded me that I’m ALIVE!

The customer was from a city in Germany that is on my target list for taking Smut Slam to, and when I told her more about Smut Slam, she was like, “Hey, I know someone there who would want to help with this.” GREAT. Networking is soooooo random sometimes.

The paying customers aren’t the only things that make doing Smut Stand rewarding. I get to meet ALL KINDS of people. Yesterday’s Passerby of Note was a young woman, mainstream attire, mainstream makeup… she looked young and conventionally pretty and mainstream, the kind of girl that would normally be walking with friends and pass me with lots of giggles. But she was by herself, and she stopped and asked about the smut. And then she asked for one of my brochures and studied it for a few moments.

“Are you a feminist?” she said. “Because you say ‘slut-shaming’ here, I just figured.”

- Yes, I am a feminist, and so is my show, basically.

“Oh.” <pause> “This is a pretty unpopular opinion,” (I braced myself) “but I think that convicted rapists should get the death penalty.”

- Um!

“It’s because in the UK rapists don’t get long prison sentences, they just get out of jail and go free and most of them go and do it again, so I think it would be better, you know, for society.”

- I see. I personally don’t think anyone should get the death penalty, but I can see why your proposal is attractive.

She further went on to say that assault weapons should definitely be banned, but she thought concealed handguns for women would be a good idea, “to defend themselves.”

- I would prefer a less deadly defense, I said, like cat-ear keychains or pepper spray.

“Pepper spray is illegal in the UK, unfortunately. But there are youtube videos on how to make your own! You just have to boil down a handful of really hot papers, and let it soak for a long time…”

And then she went into really detailed recipe mode, and it was slightly terrifying how specific she was.

By the end of our conversation, she said she wanted to bring her cool mother to see Terrible Sex Tips. I hope she does. I also hope she can talk with her cool mother, because something is clearly going on there in this young woman’s life, or most likely already has. It was a weird combo: she was noticing the fucked-up things, but was being drawn to strangely anachronistic solutions.

Watch out, Edinburgh straight men. There is a very pretty young woman out there who has had enough of your bullshit, and she will not hesitate to shoot you, chop your balls off, and/or douse you with homemade, organic pepper juice. And probably laugh while she’s doing it.

*****

Ah, my lovelies, it has been too long since my last blog post. But trust me: I'm out here working my ass off in theatre, storytelling, and other media to make space for authentic sexual stories. If you like the work I do, consider becoming a patron of mine on Patreon!

FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “I’d like to try sex with other men. Where do I look and should I explain myself?”

I consider myself mainly hetero and want to get to know how sex with another man is. How do I meet somebody and should I explain my situation or just pretend I am into men?

Online dating was MADE for people like you: you know exactly what you want, but you lack access to what you want in “meat space”/”the real world.” In your case, you may not know clubs that cater to man-on-man action—although I assure you, those spaces are out there, especially in large cities like Berlin, and if you decide you do like getting it on with dudes in the occasional not-gay way, you might want to investigate those clubs.

Right now those spaces may feel a little out of reach for you, and I think slightly anxious newbie energy is not going to show you to your best advantage in the clubs. There is a vast amount of space between “I am curious about dick” and “I wanna go dry hump a stranger to some heavy techno beats!”

So, start with the online thing. A lot of people have success with OKCupid; I don’t know how it is for gay guys, but you could just sign in and take a look. Remember, however, that they have a real-names policy, so if you are feeling like keeping this exploration period under wraps for whatever reason, tread carefully here. Grindr is an app for men specifically looking for sex with other men, with more a focus on hook-ups, which it sounds like what you want.

If digital stuff leaves you feeling a little cold, you could supplement it with the old-fashioned approach: ask close friends to help you look around. I don’t mean put it out on Facebook or anything, but if you talk about sex already with friends, and if you feel comfortable opening the door, you could let them know what you’re looking for (something casual and more experimental) and let them put it out there for you. They will have your best interests at heart, so you know they’re probably not going to set you up with anyone scary.

Whichever paths you choose for your search, I think you will be better served and more at ease by letting people know a little bit about your truth. You don’t have to say O HAI I’M A VIRGIN AND I’M CURIOUS, I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU, JUST YOUR COCK. That feels a little objectifying, as if all your options out there are potentially interchangeable, as far as you are concerned.

To be fair, there are definitely men out there who are into gay-sex virgins, so if you don’t mind being a little objectified in return, go for it. Otherwise, I think it’s enough to say “I’m pretty inexperienced, but I’m keen and willing to learn.” That’s the sort of spirit that goes well in the bedroom!

And, if you really don’t want to worry about coming off like a dick in terms of exploring gay sex? Save up and hire a male escort. With sex workers, you can say exactly what you want here and they aren’t going to be hurt or act weird. It’s actually another thing that is made for your situation. Good luck!

*****

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