Photo by: Amy Audrey; Art Direction: Leslie Barany
Wearing lilies and feathers in her hair, decolloté, and a radiant smile, prostitute/porn star turned performance artist/sexologist Annie Sprinkle, PhD spoke on the opening night of the Women's Visionary Conference at Wilbur Hot Springs in Northern California on July 27, 2007. For her talk that drew insightful parallels between drug experiences and sexual ones, Sprinkle stood before a screen showing clips from her films. The difference between the early films in which she appeared and the later, psychedelically inspired ones that she directed was apparent.
Sprinkle said she began smoking pot at the age of 13, when her family moved from Los Angeles to Panama. "Panama Red" and LSD "set me free," she said, and she soon experienced sex, mescaline and peyote. On peyote she described having a sense of "making love with the universe." Feeling inclined to try each drug she could, Sprinkle afterwards invariably "came out a better person" because she would "work out whatever came up." Her experiences informed her sexual healing work and her art. Her most powerful experience was an ayawasca trip taken while her father was dying, leading to a film where she dies an orgasmic death. A ketamine experience (in Hawaii on John Lilly's 80th birthday) inspired a scene basking in the afterglow of sex, feeling an inner peace.
She didn't find mushrooms much of an aphrodisiac, but said they were helpful in problem solving and building intimacy. While doing Ecstasy alone and masterbating, "I fell madly in love with myself," Sprinkle said, and it was her introduction to tantric sex, which she depicted in her film "Rites of Passion." Her film "Sluts and Goddesses" is about consciousness, and she said she has entered psychedelic states spontaneously without taking any drug.
In 20 years as a sex worker, Sprinkle said she saw a lot of drug addiction, but not to LSD or other hallucinogens. Noting that both sex and drugs are often tabooed, and that people often do the two together, she would like to see an anthology on the subject of sex and drugs, because in her experience they inform each other. A world traveler who visited the oracle at Delphi, Sprinkle has made her first film in 17 years, "Annie Sprinkle's Amazing World or Orgasm." She reports she isn't much of a "pothead" today but said she is grateful to the "guiding light" she has found with entheogens.
Keep up with Annie and read about her experiences in her own words at How Psychedelics Informed My Sex Life and Sex Work
Changing the Face of Cannabis