Guest Blog: Where does asexuality fit into a festival of sex? by Red Queen Theatre

Ahead of their performance as part of Big Bang #2, Red Queen Theatre give an insight into asexuality and how they approach the topic in their latest work A Speaks.

You can catch A Speaks as part of Big Bang #2 on Monday 1st May, 7:15pm. See the full line-up and book here

Where does asexuality fit into a festival of sex?

It’s a question that has come up repeatedly while preparing A Speaks for CPT’s Hotbed: A Festival of Sex. The Hotbed festival is very explicitly focused on an activity that asexuals tend to want very little to do with. And yet CPT has been kind enough to invite Red Queen Theatre to present A Speaks; to sit at the table and join the conversation.

A Speaks juxtaposes two strands: a standup set by A, joking about how sex infiltrates their life, and a series of interviews between Virginia and her doctor as she ages. The nature of the subject has meant that sex has constantly been something alien; something that other people do and occasionally force upon the characters.

This has meant that A Speaks has to explore the topic of sex from the outside; through A’s jokes about all the adverts, films, and social conventions where asexuals have to tick the box marked ‘not applicable’; through Virginia’s life, trapped in the social roles available to those ticking that box.

Doing this at Hotbed has allowed us to explore how asexuality can fit into a more sexually open society. We want to share A and Virginia’s feelings about our sexual-by-default society with the audience, reaching out to people who are unfamiliar with asexuality, as well as discussing it on its own terms. We have accepted that some people who hear this will always take it as a personal attack, but A Speaks only asks for a place at the table.

Who sits in that place? Asexuality is broad-ranging, including greysexuals, demisexuals, romantic and aromantic asexuals. (At the time of writing @Sweden has been Tweeting beautifully about life in the last category). A Speaks cannot hope to encompass the full range of experiences that might appear in a longer work. We cannot pretend that its characters speak for every asexual out there.

But we hope they have a place at the Festival of Sex.