Sex and sexuality are so prevalent in political and social discourses today, but the protests, the policies, and the executive orders so rarely come from the actual bodies in question. Purple Sex, Western’s only annual creative writing show, is here to give those bodies the chance to share their own thoughts, experiences, and feelings in a safe space. That particular space happens to be The Wave from 7-10pm on February 4th. Admission is free, all ages/sexes/bodies are welcome, and there will be food and a cash bar.
This event is so important not only because it celebrates the self, the community, and art, but also because of the example Creative Director Alero Ogbeide sets in handling the very personal, and often sensitive, stories that students submit. The criteria for the submission-based event actually requires that the pieces—poems, monologues, songs, prose pieces—are personal and that they relate to sexuality, with the freedom to intersect with gender, liberation, race, class, oppression, courage, strength, or love. Ogbeide took the time to meet with each performer, getting to know a bit about their stories and making sure they feel comfortable and prepared to share their work with an audience. She is attentive and perceptive to the tender nature of first times, first loves, traumatic experiences, mental health issues, and questions of identity, and she’s the reason this event has gained such traction this year.
Ogbeide has only one rule for those participating in Purple Sex: give the performers your full, undivided, attention. In other words, refrain from using your phone while your peers divulge intensely emotional and carefully crafted material—but we don’t have to tell you that, since anyone going to Purple Sex is probably an educated, logical, open-minded, respectful, non-discriminatory, and inclusive member of society (and if you aren’t, why are you still reading this? are you still hoping for something naughty?)
This year’s theme is catharsis, and everyone attending the event will get to share in a positive emotional release and a purging of pent up feelings in a safe and supportive environment. The goal of the event is to allow students to explore concepts of, and around, sexuality in a way that starkly contrasts the bombardment of propaganda students are faced with in other social and political spheres.
In addition to a cast of 15 diverse performers, Western alumna Sarah Botelho—also known as Poesy—will be gracing the stage with her hauntingly beautiful melodies, and Writer-in-Residence Margaret Christakos will be sharing some of her own work, hopefully from her latest non-fiction book Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Blood/Sex/Loss & Selfies.
If all of that isn’t enough, there will be a free raffle at the event for two packages, courtesy of Spot of Delight, which include edible grape massage oil, a flavoured dental dam, a feather tickler, a pass for a free workshop at Spot of Delight, a vibrator, and a purple thong.
Sex and sexuality are fun, exciting, emotional, physical, devastating, fantastic, terrifying, and liberating parts of life, so come out to Purple Sex on Saturday February 4 from 7-10pm to support, share, and celebrate the conversation you have always deserved to be in.