The London Launch of Art Wank happened last night, and what a happening it was. Curated and hosted by the talented, funny and damned sexy Ophelia Bitz, Art Wank is the perfect night for lovers of classic, retro porn, the curious and those of us who like a chance to dress up, have fun and be enlightened to our kink history. Yes, a pornucopia of entertainment was had by all!
Ophelia Bitz, photo by K. James for Coffee, Cake and Kink
Art Wank was held at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, a wonderfully intimate venue that felt just right for the occasion. Ophelia Bitz, our hostess with the mostest and wearing a stunning outfit to boot, welcomed a glamourous capacity crowd who had also dressed for the occasion. The night itself was a glorious mixture of showings from very early porn films (from the silent era up to early 70s ‘lost’ classics), entertaining acts, music, comedy and an insightful mini-lecture on ‘Why sex is fun’.
Kitty Stryker, photo by K.James for Coffee, Cake and Kink
Ophelia has spent days, nay months, researching early porn films (so you don’t have to!) to delight a very appreciative audience. From early (mostly French, ooh la la) films, that seemed to have a penchant for outdoors threesomes, up to early 70s football themed gay male porn, with a witty, specially selected (by Ophelia herself) and apt music accompaniment , the films showed how both the aesthetics and content of porn have changed over the decades. The innocence, naivety and lack of camera awareness of the early performers was a refreshing joy, and the audience happily laughed along to the films. Mr Tom Baker provided wonderful musical accompaniment on the accordion to these very early classics, which seemed especially fitting for the French films, in particular.
Kitty Stryker, sex worker and sex educator, who you may know from Kinky Salon London, gave a thought-provoking, amusing, empowering and well researched mini-lecture on ‘Why sex is fun’. Challenging the audience to think about how we view and consume porn, how we should bring the fun and pure joy back to it, even encouraging us to take control and make it ourselves; Kitty reminded us that sex is both fun, and often funny. She is also probably the reason why there were so many clowns in the audience (you should’ve been there).
Crimson Skye, photo by K.James for Coffee, Cake and Kink
Ophelia Bitz held the night together with both wit and aplomb. Charming all who were there, she added her amusing asides to accompany and introduce the films, performed a very funny take on the song ‘Falling in Love Again’ (with an apt change to the lyrics) and held a competition that had the crowd hooting with laughter. Performance artiste, Crimson Skye, also entertained the crowd with her sassy, sparkling (in more ways than one!) act. She had the audience whooping for more, and added to a brilliant night’s entertainment.
Ophelia and contestants, photo by K.James for Coffee, Cake and Kink
Art Wank is a magical amalgam of a night out. Educational (though not in the way that our education system works. If only school was like this, I would’ve paid more attention!), fantastic performances, fabulous films, humour and the chance to socialise with a charismatic crowd, it was all very enjoyable. There will be another Art Wank next month, and if the popularity of last night’s event is anything to go by, I recommend you get your tickets early. Trust me, you will love it!