In December 2016, Love Matters put on the Pleasure Portal exhibition to portray sex from many different perspectives. Each room in a Victorian house had a different speaker. Guests would walk into each room and experience a vignette about sex. Among other things, guests were able to speak with survivors of female genital mutilation, and to participate in sensory deprivation for pleasure.
Porn4PrEP had its own room: a portal into being a newbie to the porn industry. We had three performers: Jason Domino as a porn actor experiencing electro play, Tegwyn teaching guests how to use tools like the violet wand, and Jason Moon filming and directing the ‘scene’.
During our exhibit, guests had a conversation with the performers about what it’s like to start off in the porn industry. The focus was on sexual health and protection, allowing guests to learn in an experiential format. At the end of the performance, guests were sent to the next room of the house and told to ‘prepare for their own scene’.
When initially asked by Love Matters, it struck us as sex through the lens of poetry and art, rather than the reality that people experience. We suggested running an explicit scene to keep the focus on sex, but the original venue took issue with the idea. This shows that censorship can obstruct transparent conversation about sex, even in an exhibition dedicated to the topic. Love Matters found a new venue, and changed the scene to electro play, allowing guests to be more involved without the need to show something as explicit.