After Dark shows sexual positivity is a dish best served hot

MADISON TAYLOR

adult poetryA candlelit tribute to all things carnal, After Dark steamed up the windows of Louis’ Loft on Feb. 7.  As the cherry on top of the University of Saskatchewan’s second sensational Sex Week, the event’s title does not do it justice as merely an evening of art and poetry.

A delightfully witty banter between the emotional and the physical, After Dark tackled every topic along the spectrum of sexuality from issues of gender identity to lost love. Featuring the talented voices of local poets Ryan Bradshaw, Danielle Altrogge, Themis Ewert, Brendan Flaherty and Sara Waldbillig, the spoken word portion of the evening consisted of a brilliantly balanced mixture of wistful odes and dirty limericks.

The event quickly transformed from a room filled with strangers to an intimate gathering as the poets divulged accounts of their own escapades, ranging from hysterically awkward encounters to steamy erotica that would put even Fifty Shades of Grey to shame.

Though it consisted of everything from an X-rated remix of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to a cautionary tale of Snapchat nudes gone hilariously wrong, the overall theme of the writing was one of sexual positivity and acceptance. The artists encouraged the audience to strip down the concept of sex and examine it with a critical yet optimistic eye.

A picture says a thousand words however, and the art featured at After Dark spoke volumes. Thanks to the talented work of local artists Avery Cochlan, Sara Hoiseth, Natasha Kooy, Andie Palynchuk, Joanna Speed and Tyler Wruck, nearly every form of artwork was on display — including painted canvases, collages, drawings, and even a knitted replica of a uterus. The pieces beautifully represented the event’s promotion of sexual positivity, using the tools of creativity to tear up the idea of sex as a conversational taboo.

In addition to art and poetry, After Dark showcased a snippet of the upcoming play Stop Kiss by Diana Son, which will begin showing in Saskatoon in late March. True to the spirit of Sex Week, Stop Kiss details the love story of two women that meet in New York City. If a night of laughter and creative inspiration interests you, be sure to add Stop Kiss to your agenda.

A delightfully saucey and unflinchingly honest look at sex and love, After Dark is likely to become a fixture in Sex Week for years to come. Through the combined effort of the U of S Students’ Union Help Centre, Pride Centre and Women’s Centre, the evening invited the student body to celebrate sexual positivity and diversity in the greatest way possible — with wine, beer, art and dirty poetry.

After Dark is made for a perfect figurative post-bliss cigarette after another incredible Sex Week.

Stop Kiss will be showing from March 27-30 and April 3-6 at the Refinery at 609 Dufferin Avenue. Visit livefive.ca for more ticket information.