We bring you the winner of the 2014 Alternative Miss World competition: flanked by host and founder Andrew Logan (left) and co-host Grayson Perry (right), Miss Zero+, (Sasha Frolova), looks appropriately overwhelmed by the excitement and emotion of the crowning moment of this colourful event. Congratulations! (click on image to see more photos)
No, not that Vogue, Charlotte. Tricity Vogue, Ukelele & Burlesque Queen. Her hot news? She is to host this month's Ukulele Cabaret's Rocktober Horror, where The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Hard Rock - as if you needed an excuse to get your fishnets and your leathers out. Dressing up box fun aside, it's going to be an exciting one, she tells us, with an international visitation from Portland Oregon blues elder statesman James Clem, plus joyous sounds from The Zoobes, comedy wrongness from Eleanor Morton, and some authentic rock from Teri Reed. Tuesday 14 October: 8pm-11pm Lincoln Lounge, Kings Cross, London Entrance is free, which can't be bad, so see you there?
The Observer published on Sunday the findings of its 2014 sex survey and the report Jim Mann compiled from the paper’s data makes sobering reading. 16% of all the anonymous respondents (and 21% of some demographics) would have gay sex outlawed and 23% would not consider having sex with someone of a different colour. 37% of all respondents are dissatisfied with their sex lives but conventional catalysts for reigniting the spark are left well alone by the majority. Only 31% of those interviewed described their sex lives as adventurous and over half had never used a sex toy or turned to the delights of erotica. And to top it all off, 61% of respondents believe that it’s possible to maintain a happy romantic relationship without a jot of sex. Given that The Observer only surveyed 1052 people, their findings are best taken with a pinch of salt but that doesn’t mean there’s no truth behind them. It doesn’t mean that we’re not harbouring too much intolerance and too many inhibitions. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we should get complacent in the under-covers struggle for more satisfying sex.
Sandra Dick of the Edinburgh Evening News reports on The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity who have come up with a list of 10 ways to ascertain whether you are addicted to sex or not. The Athens of the North reporter cites another daughter of Auld Reekie, Gail Porter, as a bravely self-outed sex addict. The gorgeous alopecia-sufferer and TV personality Gail recently told The Daily Mail that she attended a sex addicts group, but that when she came out, “…it’s like, do we go for a burger afterwards – or back to someone’s home?” and consequently felt compelled to join a female-only group. Just as well that Gail and fellow-sufferers didn’t resist the ‘coffee at my place?’ offer and agree to go for a burger. Those burger joints aren’t as innocent as they seem. Take Copenhagen’s raunchiest fast food outlet, Hot Buns. Here you can order a cock ring with your side of onion rings. This burger-kitchen-cum-sex-shop could set back clinical research into sex addiction by years, because controversy is now raging at Erotic Towers – which is more addictive: a medium-rare burger with home fries or sex?
This Autumn Brooklyn-based performance artist Narcissister is coming to a theatre near you. Not super-near you (unless you happen to live in Coventry or Wolverhampton) but you know, on the same continent. This mysterious officer of the avant garde is flying over for Fierce, Birmingham’s international festival of live art (1-12th Oct). Armed with her trademark mask and merkin and a knack for disarming subversion, we’re backing her to deliver yet another spine-tingling show. See Narcissister in action, bringing together experimental music, photography and dance, on the first Saturday of the festival. She’s sure to be weird and disquieting and utterly wonderful. Photographs (top) by Kat + Duck (bottom) by Mark Abraham 8pm, Saturday 4th October, Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79-81 Cheapside, Birmingham B12 0QH For tickets (£10/7) click here
Earlier this week a toe-curling text exchange between one would-be Lothario and his unimpressed ex-girlfriend was released into the public domain. It begins with an appeal for belated ‘rough goodbye sex’, an expression of violent passion that (for some undisclosed reason) must be pencilled in to the busy texter’s diary comfortably in advance and at a very precise time. It ends with a definitive ‘bye’. Even after a quick lexical substitution (‘goodbye’ for ‘hello’) presented her with a more tempting offer, it seems that the lady was not to be wooed. Oh, if only you had studied the love-poems of your literary forefathers, young texter! Who wants ‘pretty fun’ if she can have what ‘makes heaven drowsy with the harmony’? Think about it, now. And when other men promise ‘two hundred [years] to adore each breast’, was a few minutes between 10am and 1pm next Monday ever going to cut the mustard?
…we'd hate you to miss it. First The Times of India, now the London Times. Is The Thunderer trying to rehabilitate the P-people by judicious use of humour? Good for them. We at Erotic Towers applaud a brave, if solitary, crusade. Misguided, perhaps, but after all, we're only human.
The elegant and intelligent Deepika Padukone, the Bollywood film star, has been having words with The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English newspaper, who asininely tweeted, "OMG: Deepika Padukone's Cleavage Show”. Finding this sort of line tiresome and crass, she re-tweeted, " YES! I am a woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??". ToI tried to justify their position in a rather lame editorial, boasting, “Deepika, just for the record, we do not zoom into a woman's vagina or show her nipples. As a newspaper, we take every care to ensure that we pixelate them if they show up in a picture…” So Deepka wrote a splendid rebuff to this and posted it on Facebook, asking the ToI to respect women off-screen and to behave with a little more sophistication: “It is not about breasts, penises, or any other body part being reported. It is a matter of context and how out-of-context the reportage is just to sell a headline. And more so during a time in dire need of an attitude shift towards women.” Bravo, Deepika, bravo!
SWOU (Sex Worker Open University), an online community of sex workers, has posted a guest blog on The F Word website, condemning the absence of any current sex workers on a panel discussing sex work at Feminism in London to be held on 25th October 2014. In their statement they insist that: 'For Feminism in London to include current sex workers on a panel about sex work should be non-negotiable […] the logic being that the people who are most affected by any given issue should play a significant role in conversations about it.' The very fact that they have issued this statement suggests that they would be keen participants and are eager to have their voices heard. With a heavy dose of irony, this panel was originally going to be called Suppressed Voices. They have since changed it to something more appropriately indirect.
We can see why the international media is all excited at the news that Andreja Pejic has made a documentary about her sex reassignment. Really, we can. But over at Erotic Towers, there’s another trans woman holding our attention this week. Unlike supermodel Pejic, Ruth Rose was far from a fledgling adult when she felt able to publicly self-identify as a woman: it wasn’t until she was into her seventies that Ruth stopped living life as a man called James. With sex reassignment surgery being so involved and so expensive a medical procedure, she could quite plausibly have continued to the end of her days living in a male body that didn’t feel fully hers. But proving that life really can start at eighty-something (and that this health service has got your back), Ruth has undergone NHS-funded sex reassignment surgery at the age of 81, making her the oldest person in Britain to have the procedure done. Here's to Ms Rose! And here's to letting your true colours show! Because as a wise Cyndi Lauper once said, 'your true colours... are beautiful'.