Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Standing on Her Shoulders, Staring Down at Her Cleavage

I love sex. I love kinky sex. I love the presence of Spirit in sex. I love prostitutes and sacred whores. I love my own amazing femparts, and all the fun things they can do. I love women who start strong and finish stronger, reinventing themselves at increasingly higher octaves as they live their own magnificent lives. I love smart women; nothing turns me on like a big ol' brain on a woman who knows how to use it. I love women who've done the work to discover who they really are inside, and bring that joyful, hard-won wisdom into the world to help others.

In short, I love Annie Sprinkle. And today is her birthday, which is cause for a day of celebration indeed!

Sprinkle is a prostitute and porn star turned sex educator and artist. Her best known theater and performance art piece is her Public Cervix Announcement, in which she invites the audience to "celebrate the female body" by viewing her cervix with a speculum and flashlight. She also performed The Legend of the Ancient Sacred Prostitute, in which she did a "sex magic" masturbation ritual on stage. She has toured one-woman shows internationally for 17 years, some of which were are titled Post Porn Modernist, Annie Sprinkle's Herstory of Porn, Hardcore from the Heart, and, currently, Exposed; Experiments in Love, Sex, Death and Art.

The first porn star known to have earned a Ph.D., Sprinkle received her Doctor of Philosophy in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. Her work, spanning more than three decades, is studied at many universities, in theater history, women's studies and film studies courses. She also is a faculty member at The New School of Erotic Touch.

Sprinkle's first porn movie was Teenage Deviate, released in 1975. Perhaps her best known featured role was in Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle which was the #2 grossing porn film of 1981.

In 1991, Sprinkle created the Sluts and Goddesses workshop, which became the basis for her 1992 production The Sluts and Goddesses Video Workshop – Or How To Be A Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps. which was co-produced and co-directed with videographer Maria Beatty. She later starred in Nick Zedd's experimental films War Is Menstrual Envy (1992), Ecstasy In Entropy (1999), and Electra Elf: The Beginning (2005).

She has appeared in over 200 films and many television programs, HBO's Real Sex among them.

Sprinkle's work has always been about sexuality, with a political, spiritual, and artistic bent. In December 2005, she committed to doing seven years of art projects about love with her wife and art collaborator, Beth Stephens. They call this their Love Art Laboratory. Their projects are all documented on their web site, Part of their project is to do an experimental art wedding each year, and each year has a different theme and color.

And that's the short, short, short list. Fetish model, comedienne, advocate, activist...the list is as long as her legs look in the picture I have of her in heels and a corset.

Dr. Annie Sprinkle's work is an inspiration to me. If she hadn't done what she did, me doing what I've done would have looked much different. She broke ground, she blazed trail, she offered me her hand across space and time whispering, "See? It's fun! And if I can do it, you must at least try!"

I stand on the shoulders of giants. In this case, the giant is Annie, looking just like she does in the picture of her I have in in my hallway: she's adorable in her bouffant flip hairdo, hands flared, balancing on the left foot while the right foot says, "Oooh, la la!" Her cleavage grins and winks at me; sometimes I swear I can see it jiggle tauntingly. As I stand on her shoulders, I'm looking straight down her voluptuous, corseted cleavage. Thanks, Dr. Sprinkle. Thanks for everything!

Visit Annie's website.

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