Tonight I finally got to see Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel.
Let’s talk about voyeurism.
According to Dictionary.com:
[vwah-yur-iz-uhm, voi-, voi–uh-riz-]
The practice of obtaining sexual gratification by looking at sexual objects or acts, especially secretively.
Not to give away anything for those who haven’t seen the show yet but the action plays out on various floors and in various rooms of an “abandoned hotel” and you follow (or don’t) the performers around to follow (or not) the story. While wearing a full face mask.
So you’re watching people have very intense moments, in various states of dress, while wearing a mask, surrounded by other people wearing masks. If you’re someone who thinks about voyerism in general it can be an exceptionally meta experience. Watching the show; watching other people watch the show; watching other people watch you watch the show; it just goes on.
It’s sort of like if every time you clicked on a link a little bubble popped up that told you all the other people in the world who were clicking on it at the same time as you.
It reminded me very much of this NSFW website which shows terms being searched on porn sites in real time. Watching other people watching.
It also reminded me of a section of Oh Joy Sex Toy’s review of Club Sesso where she describes the private rooms at the club and how the people involved use the architecture to convey how much exposure they want. In the show there were sections where you had to be invited behind a door- exclusive, sections in large open halls- public and sections in small rooms or hallways- don’t get too close. And then there was the roaming which you were invited to take part in. Walk around and check stuff out.
As I walked around I couldn’t help thinking “This is someone’s wet dream,” all this sexuality, vulnerability and voyeurism. It’s a beautiful experience and an even more interesting exploration of how humans choose to interact with each other given exponentially more choices than in any regular situation. I was pleased to see that most everyone was very respectful, even in large groups and tight spaces. That’s the thing about when people are given unexpected freedoms, sometimes they surprise you by not taking liberties.