Phone Whore

We all think that we’re pretty open-minded and accepting. Generally, especially the people I know, are accepting of most people’s sex activities.

We’re the generation that’s coming out, or are allies to those who are. We watch Sex and the City marathons and buy vibrators.  We giggle at tuxedo condoms and go see strippers – female and male – for fun.

Watching Cameryn Moore enact her first phone call of the night, the audience was laughing. Being that it was a heterosexual encounter, we were in familiar waters. But not for long.

Moore (Larissa to her customers) takes us through a night at work. Her calls range from narrating inter-racial gay porn to playing parts in incestuous fantasies.

This show is not for the faint of heart. I could see that most of the audience was uncomfortable. But I feel that we need to be confronted with the realities of sexuality. How else can we begin to understand it?

In a Women’s Studies course, we once talked about the tiers of sexuality. Think of it as a pyramid: at the top, we have the most acceptable kind of sex – heterosexual, married and with the purpose of procreation. At the bottom, we have sexual activities that are vilified: pedophilia, bestiality, etc. What we forget, though we criminalize these activities (and in my opinion, rightly so) is that these are the sexual orientations of certain people. And it’s part of who they are.

It’s hard to say if Larissa’s callers are the kind of people we would put in jail. It’s clear they enjoy it (“you can’t argue with a turn-on,” she says), but is there a line to draw? Are thoughts and desires separate from actions?

That’s where Moore and I disagree to a certain extent: I think it’s important to have an outlet for your sexuality, and to be able to talk about it. But my worry would be that someone might begin to act on these fantasies. And with some fantasies, this could mean someone else gets hurt.

All in all, I thought this was an important show. It’s one thing to see the names and measurements of girls in the back of Monday, and another to meet one.

And in a society where we are simultaneously aroused by cartoonish, patriarchal fantasies – and at the same time completely terrified of sex, this was  a show to help open people’s eyes what goes on behind closed doors, and on private phone lines.

 Phone Whore plays at the Victoria Event Centre (Venue 2).

Cameryn Moore’s website can be found here.

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