Sex Play

‘Sex is fucked. Sex is badly broken. Some days it’s not even worth having sex, because sex is in such terrible shape.’

Human intimacy is always fraught. Structural inequality and the ten thousand year history of the patriarchy means that sex is never just sex – it always carries the weight of history.

How does a man fuck properly in the patriarchy?

In one hour, Sarah Walker, Anthea Williams and David Finnigan hash out the rules of intimacy, love-making and sexual experimentation.

How should sex be?

Sex Play explores the science of sex, from its biological origins to the psychology of how we form our sexual identities. Scientific research comes up against the subjective reality of our lived experience, in a complex conversation between the three artists.

Armed with 25 how-to-sex guides, 41 rom coms and an overpriced digital camera, the project throws together scientific research, systems-based learning, personal narratives and a hard drive full of original erotic photos.

Sex Play is a high-speed multimedia desire map, smashing together 10,000 years of history, a century of Hollywood and fifteen minutes of sweaty skin on skin.

I began working on this project as a rom com, a playful jaunt through an absurd online sex quiz.

When I brought on Sarah and Anthea as collaborators, the work began to change and shift. The conversations took on a deeper resonance as we began to ask: what are the rules of intimacy in a world of deep power imbalances?

Sex Play has been developed at the Battersea Arts Centre (London) in 2017 and the Darebin Arts Centre (Melbourne) in 2018.

All pics by Sarah Walker.