The Liberty Love Boat Event

Liberty Love Boat

After my having not been in Manhattan for a couple of years, I was returning to do a three week run of my Herstory Of Porn show at Performance Space122. Since I had left the city, several of my good friends in the sex industry had been run out of business by Mayor Guiliani. The sleazy charm of 42nd street was totally squeezed out. Popular porn theater, lap dancing and peep show doors had been padlocked closed by police. I was worried that maybe my show at PS122 would get shut down. I wanted to see and support my New York City friends, celebrate what was left of our freedom, make a political statement. And I’m always up for a nice boat ride. So I created the Liberty Love Boat event, which PS122 helped me to produce.

It had rained for a week straight. The sun came out just in time for our cruise. About 200 artists and sex workers showed up, most dressed in clothes and costumes which never before been seen at a family tourist attraction in broad daylight. Altho there was no nudity, as soon as we arrived we were surrounded by police cars, police boats and police helicopters. They video taped our every move and really harassed us. It seems that they automatically assumed we were going to bomb the Statue of Liberty, I suppose because we looked sexy. Altho we had a permit to gather and to do a photograph, they said if we held up our signs, they would arrest us. (We would need a different permit for that.) We explained that our signs were “photo props” not “protest signs”. That didn’t work. We opted not to get arrested hence were relatively cooperative.

At the base of the Statue of Liberty, we made a big circle and I passed around a megaphone. We all took turns doing our performances/speeches/rituals. Tourists from all over the world were surprised and delighted by our presence. Many asked if their families could pose for a snap shot with us. The Goddess of Freedom smiled down upon us.

Liberty Love Boat

Ahoy! Artists and Sex Workers Unite!

Annie Sprinkle & Performance Space 122 invite you aboard… The Liberty Love Boat Columbus Day Cruise to the Statue of Liberty To Celebrate Freedom of Creative Sexual Expression.

Join us on a Tit-tanic journey to the isle of the Goddess of Freedom.

Our message this day: Let it be known from sea to shining sea, that we utilize sexually explicit words, pictures, and performances to communicate our ideas and emotions, and contribute our love to the world. We are decent, caring citizens and we will be free to explore and share our bodies/ourselves. We denounce sexual censorship–including Mayor Guiliani’s new zoning laws–as anti-art, ignorant, mean and inhuman.

At the statue we will take turns sharing our statements/performances/actions/meditations/dances/ speeches/prayers/poems about censorship and freedom.

Then, for posterity, our group will pose with the Statue of Liberty for an herstoric photography by renowned photographer Dona Ann McAdams.

Columbus Day. Monday, October 12, 1998

  • 1:30 Gather in Battery Park.
  • 2:00 Take public ferry to the Statue of Liberty. ($6.)
  • 3:00 Performances and group photo.
  • 4:30 Return to Battery Park, or visit Ellis Island if you wish.
  • Bring signs, flags, props, propaganda, performances, energy, etc.

Dress as: Magic mermaids, slutty sailors, super-strippers, art pimps, chocolate and blood smeared performance artists, erotic fish, sexual healers, scandalous politicians with interns, happy hookers, avant-garde octopussy, kinky conquistadors, or???

Your shipmates will be artists, sex workers, Betty Dodson, Quentin Quisp, Shelly Mars, COYOTE (Sex workers rights organization), Kate Bornstein, Barbara Carrellas, MOSEX, Ducky Doolittle, Caterina Bartha, Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Robert Lawrence, ISWFACE–International Sex Worker Foundation for Art, Culture and Education, Martha Wilson and Franklin Furnace, Diane Torr, Porn Free Magazine, Spider Webb, Angel’s Home of Burlesque, Toys In Babeland, Erospirit Institute, Jennifer Blowdryer, Hell Fire Club, Alicia Relles, Gates of Heck, Grand Opening’s Kim Aires, Don Shewey, Veronica Vera’s Academy for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, N.Y. Body Archive, Tristan Tormino, and many others.

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