When sex bloggers Julie Gillis and Sadie Smythe met sex podcaster Mia Martina in the fall of 2010, they envisioned a new kind of show for the Capitol of Live Music: one that explores sex and sexuality through lenses of humor and vulnerability (without sparing any racy details). That show is BedPost Confessions, which merges entertainment, ethics, and education.
The title was fitting, since it was the confessions—written and submitted at each show by anonymous audience members, then read by the producers—that stole the show and the audience’s heart. If the confessions are the heart of each show, then the featured performers are the soul. At BedPost, we hear from the hilarious, heart-wrenching, and titillating souls of standup comedians, musicians, magicians, memoirists, academics, sex educators, and storytellers.
The featured performances range as widely as the confessions. Well-known writers and comics have graced the BedPost stage—including Rachel Kramer Bussell, Giulia Rozzi, Dana Rossi, Selena Coppock, Brooke Van Poppelen, Holly Lorka, Jay Byrd, Ebony Stewart, Wayne Allen Brenner, Adam Sultan, Mo Daviau, Andy Campbell, and Daniel Webb—but most of our storytellers are ordinary people sharing extraordinary moments.
As the show has grown, so has a community, of folks questioned and questioning, out and outcast, curious and listless and wanting to share the power of storytelling and confessing. In 2015, Julie, Mia, and Sadie created (un)Spoken for stories that, though harder to share, offer catharsis and emotional justice in the telling. No topic, from birth to death and everything in between, is off-limits for these courageous storytellers, resulting in a night of humor, poignancy, daring, and, above all, honesty.
Taking the BedPost Confessions format to indigenous communities in Edmonton, Alberta and upcoming shows across Canada, Dr. Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) created Tipi Confessions. As Kim notes, “decolonizing sexuality, sex positivity and healing more broadly, is key to curbing violence in our society in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities." We couldn't agree more and are thrilled to see BedPost Confessions sprouting across the country and beyond.
If you'd like to produce a BedPost show in your city, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Julie Gillis is an artist, storyteller, and activist focused on social justice and community who produces events that merge artistic expression and cultural change. A proud co-founder of BedPost Confessions, Texas’ singular storytelling event on sexuality, Julie has also helped produce 14/48 Austin, The World’s Quickest Theater Festival and was the producer of Ladies Are Funny Festival for six years. Julie has presented at SXSW Interactive, TEDx Great Hills, MomentumCon, HATCH, The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, and Testify, as well as hosting numerous events in Texas and beyond. More at Julie's website.
Mia Martina is a writer, podcaster, and ex-New Yorker. She has presented at conferences about podcasting, sexuality, and feminism and moderated the topic "Sex on the Web - The Sabotage of Relationships?" at SXSW Interactive. Mia loves getting feedback about people taking bold steps in their sexuality, whatever that means for them. Her ubiquitous feminist lens serves her in raising two young boys in Texas.
Sadie Smythe is a writer, author of the memoir Open All the Way, an advocate for sexual freedom, owner of the event bartending company Drink Slingers and mother of a teenager. Sadie holds degree in psychology, speaks on the subject of sober sex, and consults with couples in open relationships. She is a fierce advocate for people designing relationships that are right for them, irrespective of what others’ expectations are.