If it wasn’t so tragic, you could almost laugh about the idea that, having encouraged the destruction and abolition of London’s sex industry – from sex workers to strip clubs, from sex cinemas to… well, anything to do with sex – the capital’s hipsters and opportunists are now cashing in on a false nostalgia for a Soho that these people either never knew or actively campaigned to destroy. Bad enough that we have expensive bars in Soho that use sex-shop inspired neon lighting (even as the actual sex shops bite the dust under the weight of excessive licensing fees, gentrification and legal enforcement). Now, we hear about a Sex in London guided tour, where tourists can snigger like schoolchildren at the very thought of people getting naked and sweaty.
I’m not exaggerating there, by the way. Check out this quote from the webpage:
Yes, you read right. We’re going to visit some places in Central London somehow associated with, er, well, the thing, and I will be trying to make it as informative, entertaining and in good taste as I possibly can. And yes, among other places, we will have a few stops in Soho (don’t worry, we will not be going in anywhere). And also be assured, there won’t be any… practical side to the walk’s subject matter.
But even though, as I mentioned, the material will be presented in good taste and with only a moderate amount of silly jokes, giggling and being generally immature, I will be calling things by their names and using according (medical/biological) terminology that could upset you if you’re somewhat squeamish, so please only sign up if you know you will be OK with the subject matter.
Yes, you read that right. “The thing”… reassurances that no one on a Sex Walk will actually be confronted with anything so do with sex, warning about ‘medical’ words (like penis? Vagina? Coitus?). Good grief.
The organiser might mean well – it’s only a quid to take part – but this sense of sniggering nostalgia feels like a blow to the beleaguered sex industry in London. Still, if you have to go, it’s on April 3rd, 1pm, outside Westminster Station.