Friday, 23 March 2012
Alternative Sex Education
Posted by Sebastienne
So, the OxFringe programme is out, and it's official - Lashings are performing a show called "Alternative Sex Education" on the 8th and 10th of June. It's at the Old Fire Station, an incredibly central & accessible venue which we are totally chuffed to have secured - ten minutes from Oxford train station and one minute from Oxford bus station. (Londoners: by train you can get from Paddington to Oxford quicker than you can get from Ealing to Barking.) See more details & book tickets here.
Development is well underway for the show that we're calling "alt.sex.ed" - bouncing off from a review we got which said "if only Lashings could end up on the national curriculum", and also the desire that many of us have to do a schools' tour one day, we're developing a show that's based around the types of sex & relationship education that we wish we'd received.
We're super-excited about some of the things that this is going to let us talk about! Titles are being thrown around like "The Consent Song", "Bad Romance", "Professor Galatea's History of Eurocentric Queerdom"... (by the by, Professor Galatea would love to hear your suggestions for historical figures to be included on this list, particularly in the 1550-1850 bracket).
But it's also tough.
Previously, a lot of our work has been about deconstructing social/cultural trends, where generalisations are not only necessary but part of the analysis (the existence of one mainstream happily-ever-after for a queer female couple does not make a lie of the trends we mock in "Dead Girlfriend").
When we're talking about something as deeply personal as sex & relationships, it becomes much more difficult. A lot of things that come up, which seem like good ideas at the time, get slowly deconstructed until we are left with the message, "just talk to them!!". This, while good advice, is not enough to entertain an audience for a whole hour.
So, it looks like we're asking a lot from you this week - as well as hoping that you'll consider funding us for this ambitious project, we're also going to ask for your experiences. What snippets of sex/relationship wisdom do you wish that you had learnt in school?
I'm going to start us off - I wish I'd known what queer meant. I spent so much time trying, in a terribly teenage way, to find the right label for myself; cycling through "lesbian" (until I went to gay clubs, and saw all the pretty boys in eyeliner), "bisexual", "pansexual", "omnisexual", "femsexual" (which, apparently, meant that I fancied all types of women and femme people of any other gender..), "trysexual" (I'll try anything once), even (in a complete absence of understanding of ace issues) just plain "sexual"... to the extent that my catchphrase in my Sixth Form yearbook was, "and my sexuality today is..."
Now, maybe that was an important voyage of self-discovery. Or, maybe, if someone had just sat me down and explained that it didn't matter, I was just queer, I could have spent my time worrying about other things?
So, what do you wish you'd learnt at an earlier age?