Event Preview: Elsewhere, London 25 & 26 October
Ruby May, a former sex worker whose portrait was banned from the National Portrait Gallery because it featured her pubic hair, is bringing to London a festival that aims to challenge the divide between sex and the rest of human life.
Ruby was the subject of a controversial painting by artist Leena McCall that was removed from the National Portrait Gallery in July because the painting featured Ruby with her trousers undone and pubic hair showing.
Ruby, who is based in Berlin but travels the world leading erotic workshops, runs the sixth Elsewhere in London this weekend. It costs £120 for two days and those who wish to attend must undergo an application process.
The event is run on the principles of co-creation, sex positivity, self expression, play, elevation, connection and self awareness. The first day is a structured series of workshops that aims to bring the group together. On the second day participants can choose their own ways to express themselves, whether through sexual or other activity.
Ruby said: “The world is divided into places where it’s not OK to express yourself sexually – 99 per cent of everywhere outside of your own house – and spaces where it’s OK – one per cent, pretty much exclusively events with a strong focus on sex. I believe it is a very unhealthy and destructive divide and leads to increased shame, suppression and denial about sex and a lot of charge, pressure and expectation when we are in a sex-focused space. Combining sex with pressure to perform is super unsexy.
“With Elsewhere I wanted to create a sex-positive space that was not just about sex, but about all the different ways one can express oneself. With each Elsewhere that goes by – we just had our fifth, in Vienna – I am blown away by the potential when all these magic ingredients are thrown together.”
More information is available at www.revolution-elsewhere.com.