Just got sent this wonderful piece written about our November show by local writer and actor Tavish Forsyth. Have a read:
Re-Printed here with permission
Creative Alliance Talks Sex
By Tavish Forsyth
Last night Creative Alliance engaged in 4-Play. This is the part where I’d usually say,“get your head out the gutter,” but you’re probably not too far off. For over a year, Creative Alliance has hosted a monthly, comedic, sex-education show called 4-Play, previously hosted by the Theatre Project. Produced by two local improvisers, Ti Coleman and Prescott Gaylord and the owner of Sugar in Hamden Jacq Jones, 4-Play is a show for an adult audience who wants to learn more about sexuality and intellectually engage in today’s sexual renaissance, amidst laughter and refreshments. Each show Prescott and adult business owner Jacq Jones are joined by two guest panelists, a local comedian and a sex expert.
Last night’s guests included Jessica Henkin, producer of the Stoop Storytelling Series and Ashley Manta, host of the podcast Carnal Copia. In the first half of the show, the panel discusses the month’s topic. After intermission an artist opens the second half of the show. In the past those artists have been burlesque dancers, erotic storytellers and musicians. This month a local improv troupe performed a short set which used information gleaned from the panelists’ discussion as inspiration for their comedic scenes. A night of 4-Play concludes with a Q&A. Past months’ topics included gender non-conformity, polyamory, and orgasm. This month’s topic: butt stuff.
The show began with a brief introduction from producer Ti Coleman. “Loosen your butts,” Ti told the audience, and keep an open mind. Ti, who admitted he wasn’t crazy about the idea of a butt-themed show, prefaced the night by saying he was humbled by all the research, misinformation, and joy surrounding anal play. Of course butt stuff isn’t for everyone, but it is widely appreciated by people of all genders and orientations. When Prescott took the stage to introduce the panelists he joked, “We waited a year to do this show because we weren’t sure if people would come.” Despite the production team’s trepidation, the small theatre located in Creative Alliance’s Patterson center was nearly full.
The panel’s witty banter in the first half of the show addressed numerous subjects including toys, terminology, stigmas and myths. Myth: anal sex is the only kind of backdoor pleasure. Myth: it’s supposed to hurt. Myth: numbing ointment is a good idea.
Some of the more colorful vocabulary included terms like pegging and milking, words which I will let you look up on Urban Dictionary right now. Welcome back. Interesting and bizarre, huh?! Remember, “It does not make you gay, if you’re a straight guy!” says Jacq Jones.
Some of the more entertaining moments of the discussion used rhyme and metaphor to address taboo subjects. “Once it’s brown, put it down,” cracked Jessica Henkin, a huge source of comedic relief, in response to a question about whether it was safe to “play in the front yard” after “playing out back.” “Without a base, not a trace,” said Ashley Manta in regards to the importance of adult toys with flared bottoms. The panel reinforced Ashley’s statement by
comparing the vagina to a culdesac and the butt to a highway. A long, curvy, mountainous highway. The panel gave special focus to health and safety. They encouraged participants to be patient, prepared and listen to what their bodies, or their partner’s body, might be telling them. They recommended using non-porous sex toys, condoms, dental dams and disavowed popular sugar-derived lubricants such as KY and Astroglide, citing their tendency to dehydrate, wear away cells and possibly increase the risk of infections. The panel’s favorite lubricants included Sliquid, Uberlube, silicone-based lubricant, and coconut oil. They added that oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex.
After intermission, Lekker, a resident team from the Baltimore Improv Group, performed a hilarious set. Scenes featured a landscaper who was only taking care of the “backyard,” but wanted to “reach around” to the front; a British noble who wished to try a new mechanical apparatus on an unwitting friend; and a telethon to bring over-priced, x-rated toys to low-income, inner city neighborhoods. The show concluded by giving the audience a chance to ask their questions, many of which revolved around preparation, which apparently is paramount for this particular aspect of sex. The panel suggested high-fiber diets, body hygiene, practice and perhaps an enema 2-3 hours before partaking, provided the enema is not medicated with a laxative.
What were the takeaways? In brief: butt stuff is fun, varied and nuanced, but it’s not for everyone. That being said, sex is ubiquitous. If you like sex, I highly recommend you keep 4-Play on your radar by subscribing to their facebook page or by visiting Creativealliance.org. The next 4-Play show is on December 9, just in time for the holidays, and the theme is toys. Ho! Ho!