Pic by Matthew Stone
Last month I was invited to participate in a round table discussion about SEX. My initial reaction to the unusual request was, “Like, totally!” I mean, duh, I talk about sex all day as it is, obviously I’m going to agree to do it in a situation where there will most likely be free alcohol involved.
The discussion was organized by Bon International—a global fashion and culture magazine based in Stockholm—with the intention of recreating a series of famous surrealist conversations. See, at the end of the twenties, the Paris surrealists began their research into sexuality. Led by André Breton, a group of artists and poets sat down to discuss their own and other people’s sexuality. The conversations, which were held over twelve sessions, were known as the Recherches sur la Sexualité, and were graphic, honest and at times really funny. The results of the discussions were never published in their day, but were later released in English in 1994 in the book Investigating Sex.
I was asked to take part in the discussion by Francesca Gavin, an art writer and friend of mine. In her email she wrote, Eighty years after the surrealists’ conversations, Bon International invites the UK’s most interesting artists and intellectuals to talk about sex. So like obviously once I read this I knew why I was asked to take part. I mean, come on: “The UK’s most interesting artists and intellectuals.” Clearly that includes me.
The discussion was held in an underground cantina, and led by the artist and self-described dandy, Sebastian Horsley. Horsley has famously slept with over two thousand prostitutes (impressive), and was once voluntarily crucified in the Philippines (stupid). I walked into the dimly lit room to find Horsley sprawled across a velvet armchair in a top hat and sparkly red nail polish. Next to him were more elegantly dressed participants, most of who were already half drunk on champagne. Other members of the round table included Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton, world famous psychotherapist and writer Susie Orbach, French fashion designer Charles Anastase, artist Matthew Stone, and some other random people who I didn’t bother to Google. Oh yeah, and me—the non-celebrity squat blogger with a doctorate in K-holes and giving head.
Over the next two hours the dialogue that took place covered everything from the role of sex in modern society, to our preferred sexual vocabularies (twat vs. cunt, etc), to detailed stories of drug-fueled orgies and glory holes. Overall I felt pretty confident talking about my sex life/fantasies/experience, although at times I have to admit I was sort of intimidated. Like seriously, compared to most of those freaks I was a total prude. For example, when asked how many sexual partners we’ve all had, I felt like a virgin compared to Horsley’s twenty-five hundred, and Charles Anastase’s six thousand. (I’m being serious, the guy literally said he’s sucked over six thousand cocks.) And though I really enjoyed the talk, at times it felt more like a competition than a conversation. Who’s fucked more whores, who is into weirder shit, who is most immune to intimacy, etc. It’s like yeah, I like the idea of being semi sexually deranged or whatever, but I’m also not ashamed to admit that sometimes when I have sex I feel an emotional connection with the other person, and occasionally maybe even love them, and think of them as more than just a human dildo, ya know? I don’t know…. the whole thing made me wonder whether true sexual confidence actually exists, or whether that it’s completely reliant on the inferiority of those around you. Athough I have to admit the convo did make me mega horny, so much so that I actually briefly attempted to sneakily masturbate underneath my jacket on the bus ride home, but stopped after I spotted an old man staring at me.