words nicci talbot
Lots of naughty goings-on in Brighton this month for the Festival Fringe, which runs alongside the main arts festival from 7th – 30th May. It showcases a mix of independent and innovative artists and performers – cabaret acts, dance, comedy, visual arts, workshops and talks. It took me a good hour to read through the brochure online last night, which just goes to show how it has evolved over the past five years. Here’s a round-up of sexy happenings…
Ship Street Gardens, Brighton – hidden lanes, nooks and fannies
I love Ship Street Gardens, a twitten that runs between Ship Street and Middle Street in the Lanes. It’s full of 19th century cottages and home to two of my favourite places in the city: Brighton Bodycasting studio and She Said Erotic Boutique. BB’s owner, Jamie McCartney, is premiering The Great Wall of Vagina, a sculpture project that has taken him five years to complete. It is a 9m polyptych featuring 400 casts of vulvas (mine included) arranged in 10 panels. The age range of the women who participated is 18 – 76, and Jamie’s aim is to educate people about what a normal vagina looks like in the day and age of nip ‘n’ tuck. It’s a wonderful project and one I’m honoured to have taken part in it.
Across the alleyway at She Said Boutique, Nic Ramsay is hosting some Erotic Salons:
- Friday 13th May – Introduction to Japanese rope bondage with Bruce Argue. Shibari is performance art and beautiful to watch. Bruce will demonstrate some of the classic ties, and how to communicate with the rope in new and sensual ways. He trained in Japan with rope masters and now runs his own workshops and classes. If this captures your imagination there’s a Japanese rope bondage festival in Bethnal Green this September.
- Thursday 26th May – Just For Women with Vena Ramphal. A chance to ask questions about men and why they do what they do. Vena is a passion coach, speaker and writer on intimacy and romance. Her work as a coach has given her an insight into men’s thoughts, desires and strategies around love and dating.
- Friday 27th May – The Principles of Tantra with Vena Ramphal. Tantra is a fusion of flesh, sex and soul but there are lots of myths about it. This Salon will explore the history of Tantra and how it can enrich your life: physiology, erogenous zones, different ways to touch your partner, and how to use your breath to increase sensation and pleasure.
Impure Art is a naughty little gallery at 13 Ship Street Gardens, which represents over 100 local, national and international artists. It deals in art described as ‘anything from nude to rude’. This month it features the work of local pin-up artist Jerry Rulf, whose work is inspired by 50s glamour artist Gil Elvran. He paints gorgeous pics of Brighton belles in saucy vintage attire. The Private View is on Thursday 12th May, 6 – 9pm.
Tuesday 17th May – Mooncup is hosting a documentary on menstruation called The Moon Inside You at the Duke of York’s Cinema. Filmmaker Diana Fabianova on her international journey exploring how men and women experience menstruation. This is followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker, psychotherapist Alexandra Pope, and author Sjanie Hugo.
Tuesday 17th May – Free Doctor talks on Sexual Health and HIV by Drs Yvonne Gilleece and Daniel Richardson. A look at the past, present and future of sexual health and HIV treatment. How medical staff plan to reduce STI rates, and how diagnosis and treatment has changed over the past decade.
Thursday 19th May – Les Petites Parisiennes – different interpretations of femininity from the French new burlesque.
Saturday 21st May – Unleash Your Creative Power with Women’s Quest. A workshop about how to work with your menstrual cycle to unleash new ideas, stop procrastinating, and be more productive. Miranda Gray has written on this topic in her book: The Optimized Woman.
There’s tons to see so let’s hope the weather keeps up. Enjoy the festival.
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