Rooster’s Coffeehouse, a favourite weekday hangout for students at Carleton University, got a little sexier with the first annual “Oh Ya! Consensuality: Nuit Erotique” coffeehouse, Monday.
Carleton student Beau Welter, was one of the organizers for the event.
“We’ve been working on it for pretty much a month and a half,” said Welter. “A lot of planning has gone into this.”
Part response to Carleton’s recent string of sexual assaults and part celebration of sexuality, the coffeehouse was an ambitious project for a first time event. The show aimed to dispel some of the myths surrounding sex positivity and present sexuality as a natural part of being human.
“It’s not about telling everyone to have sex. It’s more about having a positive relationship with sex,” said Welter.
“Whether you choose to have a non-monogamous relationship or if you’re abstinent, it’s a valid choice because it’s yours.”
Jennifer Evans, a Carleton history professor who spoke at the show, noted that there is a pointed difference between erotica and pornography; a distinction that many people likely don’t recognize.
“Erotic photographs are suggestive and provide an opportunity for reflection.”
Nuit Erotique, as the names suggests, is much more about the sensual side of things. The show started with an excerpt from actress Luna Allison’s play “Falling Open”. In the piece, Allison played several characters including a young victim of abuse, the boy who abused her, and the girl’s worried mother.
Following the excerpt was a performance by spoken word artist and musician Jenna Tenn-Yuk. She recited a poem about her experience being a minority, both racially and due to her sexual identity. She then performed an impromptu musical performance featuring mash-ups of popular songs “Bad Romance”, “My Girl”, and “Single Ladies”, which she altered to make more inclusive.
Carleton journalism student Riley Evans introduced his poem about self-love by exclaiming, “I love masturbation!” The poem was Evans’ effort to combat the stigma against masturbation by touching on its many benefits. “Who needs help when my hand can be Anne Hathaway?” said Evans in the poem.
In response, Luna Allison rushed to the stage to perform a piece of her own on masturbation, “in solidarity” to Evans.
Poet Brandon Wint was also called to perform at the last minute, reciting three very sensual spoken word pieces.
Last but certainly not least, much anticipated drag performer Cherie Blossom danced a fiercely sexy burlesque routine to Ke$ha’s “Cannibal”. Blossom stomped up and down the makeshift runway, commanding attention and garnering a huge applause throughout the performance.
Following the show, people were not quick to leave; pausing to look at artwork, chat with the organizers, and congratulate the talented performers.
“I hope people take away that sex positivity is not just about telling people to have sex,” said Welter.
“It’s about respecting people’s choices and understanding that sex is not a bad thing.”
– Files by Jack Lawson
The writers with Cherie Blossom!