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ANNIE SPRINKLE via email some days before her performance in Oslo, oct 2002

Babes in Boyland : Can you introduce us to Post-Porn Modernism ? and Sex-Positivism ?

Annie Sprinkle : Post Porn Modernism is a term that a dutch artist made up, to describe sexually explicit media, that isn't necessarily erotic. It can be humorous, political, feminist, artistic, experimental, weird, etc. I adopted the term and it was the title of my first one woman show, which I toured for four years around the world. Sex positive simply means that you basically feel sexuality is healthy, fun, beautiful, etc. as opposed to sinful, dirty, evil, etc.

BIB : Would you compare your celebration of the body with pagan philosophy ?

Annie : In what way do you think it's empowering for women ?I have learned a lot from pagan philosophy,  which is basically sex and body positive. I get a lot of very positive feedback from women that my work helped to liberate them, educate them, made them feel better about their genitals, gave them the courage to be the sexual beings that they are. It gives them a role model of what a sexually experienced and knowledgeable woman can be. Because I had sex with thousands of people and came out of it all a winner, not a mess, as we're brought up to believe will happen if we are sexually pernicious.

BIB : How and when did you come up with your idea of demystification of the female body' ? I personally understand its artistic value as a contemporary version of the painting 'The Origin of the World'. Would you say your are pushing the boundaries of gender, as a female artist using your

body ?

Annie : I never used the term "demystification". I wanted to share a great mystery with the world. You can never demystify a cervix really. It's like a magical universe. Always will be a mystery. But I also wanted to teach people about it, and it's basically really fun to show it and to look at it. The art critics gave my "Public Cervix Announcement" lots of meanings. The overall good effect it had was to relieve women from shame of their genitals. If I could show the inside of my pussy to thousands of people, maybe they could let their lovers look at their pussies, or maybe they could take a mirror and speculum and look at their own, and learn to love it.

BIB : Do you feel like the artistic community around you treats men and women equally ? Do you feel like you are challenging gender oppression in your work? Do you feel the need to do so ?

Annie : There is certainly male privilege in the art world. However the most powerful and well known performance artists are all women. It's a good time to be a woman artist. Yes, I do think my work challenges gender oppression, but it also challenges peoples prejudices and judgements about whores, and sexually free women--'hophobia’.

BIB : I understand your art as Nina Hagen's performing masturbation on German TV to show girls how to touch themselves. The shock tactic is similar, in my opinion, only less violent, maybe. Don't you feel like some people in the audience take it as mere provocation, though ?Annie : I'm a lover not a fighter. And my work has a lot of heart and a lot of humor. I'm very gentle, somehow. But sometimes people are a bit shocked. But they are usually surprised that they aren't so shocked by what normally might shock them. My show, Annie Sprinkle's HErstory of Porn, which I'm doing in Oslo and Bergen, is very feminist. It is shocking if you haven't seen much porn. But by the end, you've learned a lot. You don't have to like porn to love this show. Mainly it's good theater. It shows many different kinds of porn, but it's not meant to be titillating. It's meant to make you think and feel, and ponder your own sexual evolution. Many people relate their own sexual lives with my story. Particularly women. It's a women's show, for sure. Please please come see it, because it's the only chance you'll have in Norway. It's a one shot deal. I'm retiring this show. Which by the way, I've taken to many countries over the past four years. It's my first time performing in Norway. And from what I hear, these issues about sex and art are very timely there.

BIB : Are your performances always understood as being an educational experience?  What would you tell people who'd say it's a vulgar freak show ?

Annie : Yes, it is educational. People think if they've seen one porn film, they've seen them all. But I show many different genres of porn. This show utilizes clips from films I made over about 25 years. It's an education about film. And personal evolution. By the way, I have several books out. Check them out at my web site at

BIB : Can you explain your position on feminism and pornography ?

Annie : If you find that porn degrades women, and you hate it, and you don't think it's erotic, rather than suppressing it, get out there and make some that you find that you like, that empowers women. I am a feminist. I am also a PhD sexologist. Sometimes our desires are not always politically correct. And sexuality is a complex issue. In order for us to grow, to become more sexually satisfied and aware, then we need to look at sex under the microscope, examine it, and we can learn and grow from that. It's been secret, porn has been for men only until recently. It's been hidden from women. Porn is a reflection of who we are and what we do sexually. It can be changed, and made better. Our sexuality is a treasure trove of gifts, of possibilities. Sexuality is a way to become more healthy, happy, powerful, satisfied in life. It's a way to give and receive love, and get the touch and affection that we all so need. A sexually satisfied woman is a happy woman. And we can all learn how to be better lovers, no matter how great we are. Making and looking at pornography can be a way of learning, teaching, and growing. However, yes, we need to speak up about what we don't like in porn too. It’s a misogynist world, and that's going to be reflected in porn as well. There's a lot of porn I really don't like at all. But people need to have the freedom to explore sex in the media, because sexuality is something that is important to everyone, in one way or another. So I hope people in Norway will come to my show. I think they will enjoy it, and then perhaps there can be more artists that explore sex coming your way. Think about how people viewed sexuality 100 years ago, and how far we have come from that. Think about how far we can go in another 100 years. The potential for change and improvement is enormous! Ultimately it's about LOVE, that we love ourselves and each other more.


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