So we watched weird porn at the Yuchengco Museum on Valentine’s Day.
The performance troupe Deus Sex Machina dug up the most ridiculous porn introductions from the depths of the internet, created even crazier storylines that involves sharks and zombies, then read it to a live audience surrounded by priceless nudes by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo.
“Deus Sex Machina presents: Happy Endings” was hilarious—if you’re not easily offended.
Host Glerren Bangalan told the crowd: “Please inform us if you feel uncomfortable in any way during the performance, this is a safe space and we want everyone to enjoy the show.”
Deus Sex Machina shows are part of Fringe Manila arts festival ongoing until March.
The setup was simple: A porn clip (mostly vintage and visibly low budget) was projected on a screen. There was no nudity; the porn stars were still clothed, or blurred at the right places. Then the “erotica readers” took over the stage holding an original script, and went on with the graphic narrative.
There were eight 10-minute skits with minimal movements and basic props: “Lovers and Lemons” by Bangalan, “Going Down South” by Rob Cham, “That Burning Feeling Down There” by Ade Magnaye, “Wet with Your Wisdom” by Dustin Celestino, “The Dick” by Sabrina Schnabel, “Out from the Ring” by Angelo Esperanzate, “Sausagefest” by Titus Villanueva III and “Bathwatch” by Marco Sumayao.
The thirsty tales were graphic, some were gross, but everything was funny. We only wished that the lighting was better, and the group had more mics since we didn’t hear some of the punchlines.
Deus Sex Machina has been around since 2015 to advocate “sex-positive” storytelling, according to cofounder Sumayao.
“There has been a misconception that being sex-positive means having sex all the time” he said. “We want to promote a healthy attitude toward sex, so we also discuss consent, toxic masculinity, homophobia and gender equality through comedy.”
A collective of writers, artists and readers, Deus Sex Machina started out as a silly project among friends who write sexy fan fiction. Membership was a free-for-all, but Sumayao now hold auditions and background checks among applicants.
“We do interviews because we talk about a very sensitive topic,” he said. “We are breaking taboos here, and our members should be able to promote a healthy dialogue about sex.”
Do they ever get ultra traditional audience?
Sumayao said his mom watched him perform on stage with his girlfriend, sex noises and all, and that somehow made their relationship better.
“I know a lot of conservative people who are scared to talk about sex, and our shows are the perfect ice breaker,” Sumayao said. “We make better conversations about sex.”
Up next, “Deus Sex Machina 20: Woke Hard, Play Hard!” on Feb. 22, at Commune Café+Bar in Makati. The show will be a commentary on sex education in the Philippines, attitudes toward trans people, political alliances and frat culture—but will still be fun, of course.
Admission for the Feb. 22 show is P350. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit facebook.com/DeusSexPH.