Annie Sprinkle, performance artist, 'post-porn modernist' and ex-porn star, worked for years as a prostitute in Manhattan. She formed PONY, an organisation fighting towards decriminalisation for prostitutes, and PPSS, set up to encourage pornographers to use safe sex in films. She herself appeared in over 150 X-rated films. In 1983 she left the porn industry for burlesque clubs, where she began to develop performance pieces.
Most burlesque focuses on the woman stripping silently to music. Annie encouraged spectators to interact with her performance - most famously with the piece "Annie's Cervix," where she led the audience through a diagram of a woman's sexual anatomy, and then inserted a speculum and invited audience members to examine her cervix with a flashlight. In her autobiography, 'Post Porn Modernist', she gives her reasons for the piece as follows:
- To demystify women's bodies.
- To create a reality where there is no shame about genitalia (which is breaking a taboo).
- Because the cervix is beautiful, and I am more than happy to share mine with everyone who wants to see it.
- Because it's fun (a very important reason).
- And I admit, it's a way of saying to some men, "You guys want to see pussy? Fuck you, I'll show you more pussy than you ever wanted to see."
To read more about Annie:
Her autobiography 'Post Porn Modernist' available on amazon.com. Annie's own web site: http://www.heck.com/annie/