You could be mistaken, in certain moments of Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens' ecosexuality activism, into passing it off as woo-woo nonsense. In a trailer for Goodbye Gauley Moutain, the two wear "mountain" costumes while trekking through streams, passionately lick the bark of slender trees -- one hopes, consensually. They go on hikes with Sprinkle's large, shiny purse, an accessory far better suited for the couple's hometown San Francisco, which they have dubbed the "clitoris of the world."
At her and Stephens' upcoming performance series at the Center for Sex and Culture (June 13-16, 20-23), Sprinkle tells me "we talk dirty to plants, get naked in piles of dirt, and we do group wedding vows to the Earth."
But ridiculous times call for equally ridiculous measures. My amusement quickly cycled to fear and then anger when the purpose of the partners' trip to Stephens' childhood home was revealed by Goodbye Gauley Mountain: mountain-top removal. A gent in an American flag button-down (didn't those used to be for hippies?) proclaiming "global warming is a hoax," shots of mountains literally being blown up for mineral extraction.
Goodbye Gauley Mountain, Stephens' and Sprinkle's feature-length crusade against mountaintop removal
Suddenly, no amount of single-hued art weddings seem to be enough, because what else is working against environmental degradation (certainly not our President.) Why not activate our erotic selves, when our rational selves have done all of nothing to stop our unceasing progress into Waterworld?
"We are serious about our environmental activism, but have a lot of fun with it," feminist porn pioneer and general force of good in the world Sprinkle wrote to me about the upcoming "ecosexual bootcamp" at CSC, entitled Earthy.
You might want to join them -- they've proven in the past that they can do this kind of thing rather well. The partners put a ring on their engagement with the earth seven times over the course of 2005-2011, getting married to each other and to Gaia, each time in a different location with a different, extravagant color palette for their artistic nuptials.
Sprinkle hopes that the eight-night run will give San Franciscans a chance to discover their own ecosexuality. "Bottom line we want people to have more pleasure in their lives," writes Sprinkle. "And at the same time, get the Earth more love. I know that sounds hokey. But it's true."
The performances will feature audience vows to the earth, a bonfire, lots of naked, and interactive opportunities. Sounds better than reading another depressing Internet article, and might resonate somewhere deeper than your RSS feed.
Earthy: An Ecosex Boot Camp Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org June 13-16, 20-23, $12-25 sliding scale
MORE SEX EVENTS
Sex Worker Art and Film Fest
As mentioned in last week's paper, the fun continues this week at the biennial fest celebrating and raising awareness for our beloved sex workers. This week you can catch a full day of sex film programming at the Roxie (Sat/25), a spa day for sex workers (Sun/26), and much more.
Various times, venues, prices. www.sexworkerfest.com
Cunt *an opening
Graphics by Boy Young
Tbh, SF drag's quiet storm hasn't told me that there will be sexual happenings at the debut of their new performance piece at The Lab. That being said, nothing Dia Dear does -- whether it's luxuriating thisclose to nude dressed in a wig and Frank Ocean's "Pyramids" at Some Thing's Tiara Sensation pageant or minimalist, guttural interpretations of R&B jams on video -- is not beyond sexy. Tonight is a performance, tonight is a party. Whatever, it's Dia so it's gonna be cute.
There are times when I think it would be more direct to title this column "what is happening at the Center for Sex and Culture this week", such is the high-quality output coming from that particularly well-connected sex institution in town. This week is no different -- the lauded, long-running annual public masturbation event raising sex-ed awareness takes place allll over the Center. Last year, Courtney Trouble made a movie about it if you're looking for jack-off inspiration.
Sat/25, 7-11pm, $30. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.masturbate-a-thon.com
She's a certified emergency room sexual assault counselor, has appeared on MTV, and explores the meaning of race, gender, and class within sex activism with her spot-on writing. This week, sex educator Ducky Doolittle will also be offering her knowledge at the Bay Area's various institutes of sensual ed. Sat/25 and Mon/27, she hits the Armory for a class on pleasuring the him's of the world. Sun/26, she'll be at the Center for Sex and Culture (see?) expounding on the art of girlgasm.
Sat/25-Mon/27, Various times, venues, prices. www.duckydoolittle.com