Monday, November 2, 2009

Gateway Drug.

My gateway drug was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I watched it for the first time when I was maybe 13, at home in the middle of the day on a VCR, but with friends there who knew the callback lines. Pretty soon after that we went to see it live and I played the "virgin games," deep-kissing a girl I didn't know and moaning out a fake orgasm in front of a packed theater. Before I was 18 I was on a shadow cast (backup Tranny, whoo) and drunkenly took my clothes off mid-performance and promptly lost them altogether, walking home in sub-freezing temperatures in my underwear. (I'm still not embarrassed of that. I was free dammit.)

Rocky is a terrible movie, but for me it represented a wonderful world. Inside and outside the frame, Rocky is all about fluidity and openness of sex and gender, a polymorphous perversity that says you can play with these things. Men are sexy in garters and the flamboyantly gay and flamboyantly straight can fuck side-by-side and with each other and let's all of us roll around in a pool together for the sake of nothing but pleasure. Sex doesn't have to be defined and controlled, you can be amorphous and promiscuous and that's wonderful. Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh. Don't dream it, be it.

(Of course this is naïve, and it's true that Rocky--and unfortunately a lot of our cast--didn't give full thought to safety and consent issues. We don't live in a world where everyone can literally roll around with everyone and have it be fine. But it's a beautiful ideal. Just recognizing that ideal existed as opposed to the "meet a nice boy, settle down, do it to seal your love" ideal was a watershed moment for me at 13.)

Even the callback lines, as silly as they were, were part of the personal evolution that led to this blog. Those words you're not supposed to even say? At Rocky you can scream them.

Rocky is also a great way for a geeky young girl to meet kinky people and learn that such things exist outside porn--and that for all the black leather, most of them are surprisingly nice and laid-back about it. That lady with a flogger on her belt isn't a "dominatrix," she's a person and you can go talk to her. Ditto that man in a dress and that girl with a collar and leash on. You might have more than you'd ever expect in common with them. You might realize there's nothing stopping you from being one of them.

And Rocky is a great movie for doing really dirty things in the back aisles and up behind the screen. I'm just saying.


  1. I loved this.

    RHPS Berlin - Director

  2. I first saw Rocky around the same age you did. My mother rented me the movie in middle school (cult movie education phase) and told stories of going to some showings back in the 70's, complete with props, responses, and some patrons in costume. She found it fun/amusing more than anything. The movie apparently changed the life of a co-worker though, who started going to viewings in full costume religiously.

    Mom later took me to a midnight showing my first year of high school. Since I was there with Mom (and underage) I got to skip the virgin experience, which was fine by me at the time. I didn't feel very adventurous until I was a little older.

    Definitely a gateway drug, I blame it for my men-in-stockings fetish. And women-in-stockings fetish. And maybe a few others.