Ahead of the SOLD-OUT Erotica Electronica: Victoria Edition XI show at the Sunset Room this Saturday February 13th, Betty & Kora contributor Lauren DeGaine caught up with co-producer and DJ of the night, AppleCat to discuss all things sexuality, music, and how the event combines the two to influence the community and the attendees.
Erotica Electronica blends together two “subcultures”: underground bass music and alternative sexuality. Why do these things go together so well? What is the link between sexuality and music?
Erotica Electronica is it’s own creature all together, but that being said I have always had an affinity for building bridges and breaking down the walls of social scene segregation; and EE is the product of just that.
I found myself integrated in the Burning Man scene, the Kink Scene, the Underground music scene and the Circus/Performance Arts scene…. each of them I saw being able to benefit from each other but for some reason there was an odd trepidation of passing much over the lines of division. Erotica Electronica I have been told is a healthy blend of all of these scenes with a little added “je ne sais quoi”. Kind of like a Sexy Circus Snuggle party with Bass…. lots and lots of bass.
There is a certain aspect of music that has always touched me on sensual level, it’s non verbal, archaic and potent. To be able to collectively feel that in a space that doesn’t encourage the social lubricant of alcohol is a unique and powerful experience to behold. There is a certain stigma surrounding both; how we are told we should dance, and how we are told should be sexy – and when those binds are removed the act of dancing as ones true self, and fully embodying what it means to be sexy on a personal level; the two tend to flow naturally as if our bodies and souls had been asking for it all along. Dance is the hidden language of the soul – the key here is to throw out what I call “The Book of ‘Shoulds’ ” because honestly that damn thing has only kept us down.
In your opinion, how does Erotica Electronica create community and awareness for alternative sexuality/relationship styles?
What I really try to strive for is acceptance and love at EE, rather than seeing different types of people and lifestyles as adversarial we offer the concept of a robust diverse community that supports and learns from each other because of those differences. We are not advocating any one type of Alternative Relation or Lifestyle but in fact encouraging a non-discriminatory subculture that thrives because of it’s multifariousness. We thrive because of our ability to communicate and express ourselves (mostly) without fear, and that encourages a lot more personal truth to emerge from the shadows. When that shame and oppression fall away; you’d be fucking amazed what is underneath it all – Pure god damn art in it’s rawest form. That has been one of the beautiful blessings on this journey so far, both seeing the lush interconnection of peoples and the artistic expression and collaborations that tend to follow.
Do you have a specific story you can share about how the event has positively affected an attendee or other person involved? How it has influenced your own awareness or understanding of your sexuality?
This event has influenced so many, and overall given me personally a sense of worthiness and a place in this world. I had always felt lonely in that right, like my ideas, sexuality and dreams were too radical and perhaps borderline erratic – for me this community gives me a purpose and reason to stay grounded and committed the causes that we are all together passionate about.
I have always been a lone wolf – but these incredible people make it so damn hard to proclaim any sort of permanence in my sovereignty.
After every event in both Vancouver and Victoria myself and my Co-Producer Mel Mariposa are contacted with the most touching of testimonials – consistently having a wide range of ages, genders, and people from all walks of life telling us how we have helped change their lives for the better. How they now love and accept themselves more than they did previously. Honestly if I died tomorrow that would enough, I would have made enough of a difference to make my short life worth it. (but don’t worry I wont, I have a hell of a lot more to give 😉 )
What does EE offer that makes the event feel safe, inclusive and non-intimidating for people who are curious but new to the kink/BDSM scene?
EE offers a safe space on a variant of levels. First and foremost we are highly consent based and will always have BC’s Consent Crew trained ambassadors on site. The Consent Crew is a grassroots not-for-profit community organization whose primary purpose is to engage, educate, inform, and empower conversations around Consent Culture. They offer a place to inquire deeper on the many aspects of what consent means, as well as learned friendly people to approach if someone at the event is causing concern. Plus “Got Consent” buttons, which I think personally make people 10x more attractive.
Another way we offer a different type of comfort is being a non alcoholic event, which I note when people are highly inebriated the lines of consent in-particular with acts of BDSM and dance floor dynamics tend to blur. This also lets us go later than bars, as well as offer a place for 18+ adults rather than 19+. I very much try to make it a appealing experience for curious newbies as well as seasoned kinksters. We tend to call it “Kink-Light”.
I am curious how it feels to share your art in a space where free expression (specifically erotic expression) is so encouraged. What is the most rewarding thing about performing, DJ-ing, or sharing a workshop at EE?
For me consistently sharing my art at EE are always the most fulfilling and prideful performances that I have experience. I feel seen and understood in the art of musical storytelling and weaving of sound – I feel I am able to confidently express what it is that I do without holding back or having to adhere to any sort of scripted “party vibe”. basically I am allotted the space to get as weird, melodic, insightful, heavy, cinematic, dirty, cosmic and carnal as I naturally am (I am also proud to provide a space where other Musical Artists can do the same.) This has taught me to be that unabashedly expressive now in most other areas of my life, musical and otherwise.
Many people go their whole lives without being seen, and this is the tragedy of which most don’t even know they are living – I have been gifted and we offer the ability to both see and be fully seen at Erotica Electronica – and as such I will never step down from my dedication to this project and those of whom we are devoted to.
As Friedrich Nietzsch said “Without music, life would be a mistake.”