We had the great opportunity to spend Thanksgiving weekend at a porn show in London. We managed to find a TEX-MEX restaurant that was serving turkey and the team took in a great meal. Craig and his family, Brandon Piety, Clint McManaman and Rachel Collins were all on the trip. There were others such as Stephen, Jonathan and Lucy that volunteered their time as well. Each of these people were just fans of XXXchurch and live nearby London. It was great having some locals there. Below is a write up from Jonathan and Lucy.
From Lucy-I’ve been looking forward to Erotica UK for months. That is a sentence I never thought I’d write! Having found out about XXXchurch and it’s ministry about a year ago, I decided that I would go out of my way to be involved in such an amazing project. When the opportunity came up to volunteer I jumped on it.
As the time drew nearer for the exhibition I began to get really nervous. I just couldn’t work out what I was going to do or say when I was there. I just didn’t know how people would react to the stall, to the idea. I was worried the visitors would think we were being patronizing or trying to push Christianity on them.
My experience was quite different. Yes, some people were offended. Yes, some people refused to talk to me because the stand had the word ‘church’ on it but that was only the minority. It was incredible to see the positive response to the idea and the website. People were taking cards for their friends, coming back for more bibles (“can I have one for my sister?”) and talking openly about their lives and experiences.
What an incredibly diverse range of people. I have met 60 year olds who like to wear funky costumes, pole dancers, page three girls, lap dancers, porn stars, a foot fetishist called John (he taught me how to massage feet. Fay’s feet. She’s a porn star), two dominatrixes, fetish models, burlesque artists, dancers, sexual health experts and many more. All of them happy to talk, all of them friendly and kind.
Dave’s friend would rather watch porn than sleep with his girlfriend. He took a card.
Julia said that she was “the product of a Catholic education” she’s a dominatrix and felt the need to add that she’s also bisexual. We had a great chat about boundaries, really love, acceptance and God seeing you for who you really are, not just your job.
Her friend Ayla is a porn star. She wants to be a youth worker but can’t because she’s been in porn. She had a kid really young, has been through drug and alcohol abuse and just wants to move on.
What made me break down mid afternoon on Saturday was the girl in the cage. It was a small cage. People were paying £1 (about $2) to poke her with a stick. I asked her if she was ok in there and she said yes. I asked her to rate her time in their on a fun scale of one to ten. She made a face (a kind of ‘yeah, not great’ face). I left her and just could not stop thinking about what kind of people pay to abuse a human being in a cage. And think it’s fun. Kinky. What price on human dignity? Where is our respect for other people? She is worth so much more than that.
I sat down and cried. A man from an erotic art stall came and literally wiped away my tears, asked me what was wrong, told me I was an angel and got me on my feet. So humbling. He was so compassionate. I am now challenged to live a live of compassion, kindness and acceptance to a degree I would never have thought possible a week ago.
Thank you X3. I think my life might have been changed. On the video after being at the show for ten minutes I said I wanted to see what God was doing in that place. He was everywhere. It was a privilege to be there too.
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From Jonathan – The show in London was altogether a surprise, but probably not for the reasons you think…
What surprised me immediately was how normal it was. In retrospect it makes sense. If the organizers are going to encourage the middle of the road consumer to fork out £25 they don’t want it to be too in-your-face. Don’t get me wrong, it was strange, but not a freak fest!
The team was the second surprise. The whole atmosphere was so laid back (I suspect jet lag and heavy travel may have had a slight sedation effect!) But it worked very well. Instead of pouncing on every person that walked past the guys were happy just to sit and chat-spending time to share stories and experiences. It had a strong taste of ‘The Real’. The reality is that we don’t just want to shove a bible in every hand like our consumer culture tells us we should! We’re the real deal and these guys act like it! Massive inspiration!
Lastly, the people were very surprising. Some were imaginatively dressed and that was fun! More surprising though, was the average person who walked past. Many of them had quite a vacant look on their faces! It may have been that they cottoned on to us and didn’t want to make eye contact as only the British can. Whatever it was it made them seem pretty lifeless. It’s amazing that people can pay £25 to wander round a building looking totally uninterested! It was a powerful image of how the whole industry sucks the life. It seems to me that the whole idea of making sex into an industry makes it really…Un-sexy…
Our next stop-Las Vegas in January. If you would like to read about how to support the porn show outreach please log on and check out this document at www.triplexchurch.com/jlps.pdf