Prudence? Or prurience? When porn becomes an addiction.
Sex seems to have lost its power to shock anymore. Though obviously limits do still exist, you only have to look through the pages of a magazine or visit a gossip website to see the "sex sells" mantra oozing through every image and advert you see. But there is one subject still very much taboo. Regardless of how much someone might share about their sex-life - the partners, practices and anecdotes - one thing you're very unlikely to hear is "I watched some great porn last night and had an AMAZING wank." But yet masturbation happens several times more regularly than sex for every person from every demographic across the whole of society. So why do we still have problem with talking about it? ...
Haus of Phag reviews:
DV8 - John ****
The secretive world of a gay sauna isn't something you see often represented on stage or screen. Most people barely know of their existence, but in cities up and down the country, hidden behind unassuming and mostly unmarked doors, are these worlds of low lights, wipe-clean surfaces and casual (but continuous) sex. This is the world that DV8 explores in John, its latest piece of verbatim physical theatre that arrived at The Lowry in Manchester this week.
Lloyd Newsom wasn't expecting his piece about gay saunas to become so biographical, but upon meeting John, an ex-addict, ex-convict and ex-husband, his extraordinary story led to a focused piece, exploring John's past and the world of the sauna where they found him. John's story is a compelling one...
Old, but not past it! And still definitely having sex. - Lois Weaver
Believe it or not, older people do have sex. This is the message Lois Weaver is shouting loud and proud through her new show, presented by alterego Tammy WhyNot. Making its UK debut at Z-arts as part of Sick! Festival, the show is part performance, part chat show, developed in collaboration with older people in Brighton. 'What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex' draws on personal stories and experiences, showing that sex isn't just for the young and photogenic. As it comes to Manchester next week, Haus of Phag caught up with Lois to chat about the project, and to talk sex and the over 50s...
Oscar Predictions 2015
So it's that time of year again! The Oscars are finally here and after the snubs and surprises of the nominations in January, it's time for Hollywood to crown its winners. So let's take a look at who will, could and should win the awards, as well as those whose omission from the shortlist stung back on nomination morning.
American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory Of Everything, Whiplash
Will win: Boyhood
Could win: Birdman
Should win: Whiplash
Should have been nominated: Nightcrawler, Pride, Gone Girl, Foxcatcher...
Haus of Phag reviews:
Love Is Crazy
Haus of Phag reviews:
Comedy Playground ****
"Don't ever talk to me about assimilation!" - Justin Vivian Bond
Trans-genre artist Justin Vivian Bond has long been a personal icon of mine. A fixture of the New York circuit, v has become a cabaret legend since the days of Kiki and Herb and Shortbus, both in the US and around the world. For LGBT History Month, Vivian is bringing v's Love is Crazy show to the UK. Appearing at Manchester's Queer Contact festival with British cabaret icon David Hoyle, the show promises to be a seductive evening of songs and stories about love. With excited anticipation for the night, Haus of Phag caught up with Vivian to talk about it...
Are we damaged by this hyperactive twat-in-a-box?
This series of Celebrity Big Brother has been its most controversial yet. Though the Jade Goody vs. Shilpa Shetty race row in 2007 burned bright and burned fast making headlines around the world, the snowballing pressure cooker ofCBB this year has been due to the seismic volatility of intolerable man-baby Perez Hilton, fuelled by the Queen of Controversy herself, Katie Hopkins. But as the series drew to a close...
Remembering the Homocaust
This year marks 70 years since the end of World War 2. The subsequent liberation of the concentration camps exposed the world to the true horrors of The Holocaust, which we now commemorate each year on Holocaust Memorial Day, which fell this week. While the day focuses most of its attention on the six million Jews who were its victims, it's easy to forget the other peoples who fell foul of Nazi persecution and found themselves the prey of malicious regime. Slav, Roma, Inti and disabled people were sent to the camps, along with between 50 and 100,000 LGBT citizens who suffered alongside the Jews...
"Sometimes people need to be offended" - Shazia Mirza
Shazia Mirza has spent much of her career dealing with her reputation for being a "controversial comedienne". Rising to fame off the back of a divisive joke made in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, she has often been treated with derision by both the public and the comedy circuit for her resultant notoriety. But more than a decade on, Shazia has proved that she is far more than just a shock-comic...
Queer As Cucumber
There's no doubt the effect Queer As Folk had on both Manchester and the UK. As a result of the Channel 4 drama, the city's Gay Village became a booming tourist destination and the nation had its first real exposure to the Gay Community, lifting the lid on a previously taboo and unseen world. Life couldn't be more different now. Manchester has become an inclusive and diverse city...
A School for Gays?
If you'd asked me aged fifteen whether I'd have liked to have gone to an LGBT school, I would have grasped the opportunity with both hands. I, like many young gay people, suffered greatly at the hands of homophobic bullies and having the option to remove myself from them would have greatly improved both my self-esteem and my attainment...
February will be a Queer (Contact) kinda month...
February is LGBT History Month. Each year, the month aims to highlight and tackle homophobia, increase the visibility of LGBT people and raise awareness of issues affecting their community. In Manchester, to coincide with this nationwide initiative, Queer Contact is presenting its annual festival to celebrate LGBT arts and culture. Throughout the year, Contact Theatre presents and produces events in its spaces and elsewhere, which showcases established and emerging LGBT arts and culture, but this festival is its climax. Running from 5 - 15 February...
An open letter to Vladimir Putin
Dear Mr Putin,
As a road user, I would like to personally thank you for undertaking the ground-breaking research that will keep me safe. After all, any reforms that keep the public safe will definitely spread around the world as we follow in your trail-blazing footsteps. I've often wondered why there are so many accidents on the roads, so thank you for finally being able to categorically prove it to be the fault of transsexual and transgendered people...
We are ALL Charlie
Every time a person speaks, he/she express themselves in some way. They may be speaking honestly, telling the wildest of lies or heavily censoring their real opinions, but whatever they say is an expression of thoughts and ideas formed in their own minds. Whether these are influenced by others, heavily indoctrinated or pure innovation, everybody has the right to say what they are thinking. This is the fundamental definition of Freedom of Expression...
That time a movie caused an international crisis
Nobody has ever claimed that The Interview is a good film. By all accounts, critics and audiences all seem to be giving it a vaguely half-hearted "it's alright", but the artistic quality and/or entertainment value of this James Franco and Seth Rogan screwball comedy is not what seeing this film is about. Never before has it been more important to be able to watch a film...
Haus of Phag's Top 20 Films of 2014
The wasteland between awards seasons (aka. summer) is usually populated with blockbusters and action franchises to keep the public entertained when it rains constantly from April until September. Except where were the big hitters of any actual quality this year? Where were the record-breaking opening weekends and the “essential next chapters” in those oh-so-important tentpole franchises that keep movie studios solvent? It’s as though each studio was relying on another to release something, hoping that the public wouldn’t notice the big hole in their release schedule, before eventually pretending Guardians Of The Galaxy was what they were all building up to. What an anti-climax...
Haus of Phag's Top 40 Singles of 2014
Arguably 2014 has been one of the weakest years in music in a generation. With the majority of established popstars on hiatus or limping through with featuring spots, the charts were dominated by techno-lite one-hit-wonder dance acts featuring singers who can sing and do little else. Where last year was dominated by infectious pop tunes, this year has seen Jess Glynne and Jess Glynne-alikes take centre stage. How very dull it’s been...
"Back then I didn’t pick up a camera and document what was going on, but I wish I had. This time round, I’m not making the same mistake” - Lee Baxter
If you go out on the Queer Alt scene in Manchester, chances are you will have come across photographs by Lee Baxter. Frequently in attendance and photographing the performers at Cha Cha Boudoir and Drunk At Vogue, as well as the revellers themselves in all their Technicolor feathered-and-glitter glory...
"This booty wouldn't survive if I was on meth" - Pam Van-Damned
Flamboyantly dark performer Pam Van-Dammed is stepping away from the now dissolved Tranarchy. Like other members of the collective, she is focusing on new projects and heading in new directions. With her own music project on the way, plus appearances at nights like Mother's Ruin this weekend, she caught up with Haus of Phag and explained why she doesn't like to be referred to as a faux queen, or a drag queen full stop...
"We want you to come, dance all night and go home with someone you didn’t come in with." - Hot Space