Peace in Bed

Peace In Bed

Part of my job being in theater has been to do lots of marketing and promotion. Generally I work on my own press releases, and if I’m not way too busy, I get involved in the publicity process to promote an upcoming show. I want as many people to see the show I’m doing as possible. It’s a lot more fun to perform for a full house, it pays better, and people want to know about the show they can come see it. I’ve joked that my guardian angels are excellent press agents, because I have been incredibly lucky getting publicity, even when many of my peers couldn’t.

For years I made myself available to the media. The arrangement was mutually beneficial. They got some provocative, titillating stories. I got to disseminate my “propaganda” which bottom line is to decriminalize and destigmatize sex work, to promote sex positive attitudes and encourage more and better sex education.

The idea of publicity stunts and media events has always intrigued me, ever since1969 when I heard about my favorite Beatle, John Lennon, getting married to conceptual artist Yoko Ono, and inviting the press into their honeymoon suite. John and Yoko utilized the enormous media attention their marriage was getting to protest the war in Vietnam. They stayed in bed for one week in an Amsterdam hotel, and again in Montreal. Naturally when the press expected to Mr. and Mrs. Lennon make love, or to at least see them nude. But instead they were wearing white pajamas buttoned up to their necks. Bed Peace was brilliant, and it definitely contributed to the war ending.

When I was on tour in Australia I came up with the Peace In Bed concept. I was booked to appear in the prestigious Adelaide Theater Festival. Their publicist was planning a press conference to promote the show, and lots of media had shown interest in attending. I had just gotten married to my girlfriend Kimberley Silver. Our resemblance to John and Yoko was uncanny! I was a misunderstood conceptual artist with long hair and a white button up nightgown. Kim sang and played guitar, wore John Lennon style granny glasses and was pretty butch. And we had a message; There is a war going on in people’s bedrooms– people are ignorant and confused about sex, unsatisfied, lying to their spouses, there is rape, abuse, unwanted pregnancy, too many sexually transmitted diseases, etc. etc. and we must have better sex education.

March 11th, 1996 we did a two-hour long Peace in Bed performance. Originally we were booked to do it at the Hilton Hotel, but when they heard it was a press conference for a “porn star”, they said no way. We moved to the more slut positive Hyatt. We made the front page of all the major Australia newspapers and were covered on all the national news programs. Our thirty-show-tour completely sold out. We didn’t even show our tits.

We did Peace in Bed again in Zurich, Hamburg, North Hampton and Montreal. (It was a long honeymoon.) We were really excited to have booked the exact same hotel room that John and Yoko used for their Montreal Bed Peace, but the hotel wouldn’t allow us to do it when they heard we were two women. The same day that we did Peace in Bed, Sinead O’Connor and the Premiere of Quebec also had press conferences. We got ten times more and better media coverage than they did. The Premiere of Quebec was quoted in the press the following day as saying “I should have been in bed with Annie Sprinkle.”

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