For those who are not familiar with the term that rose in popularity from Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” column, “pegging” is defined by Wikipedia as “a sexual practice in which a woman penetrates a man’s anus with a strap-on dildo.”
A penetrating act
For those who are not familiar with the term that rose in popularity from Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” column, “pegging” is defined by Wikipedia as “a sexual practice in which a woman penetrates a man’s anus with a strap-on dildo.” The term has become common slang since its first appearance. A theatrical show began two years ago that focuses on the subject of pegging. Titled Peg-Ass-Us, the show has its Portland debut at Someday Lounge this weekend.
Sophie Nimmannit and John Leo comprise the cast of Peg-Ass-Us. Nimmannit is a co-founder of the New York City-based theater company that started the show Pack of Others. In addition to writing and acting in the company’s shows, Nimmannit and Leo are real-life lovers.
The idea for Peg-Ass-Us evolved alongside their relationship. Nimmannit had acted in Fluid, a one-woman show about bisexuality, and Leo was interested in making a show about his own sexuality. The topic of pegging is both personal and political for them.
“I consider myself straight,” Leo said. “But the sex that we have is gay for both partners…the norm in our society is we see a woman with a strap-on as gay and a man receiving it in the anus as gay.”
The show raises questions about sexuality and how sexual acts are viewed in our society. The subject of pegging starts the audience giggling, which tends to open doors for learning.
More than a political statement, though, the show is educational. It’s a fun how-to on pegging.
“It’s vaudeville-esque mixed with sex-ed,” Nimmannit said. “We do some song and dance and present the educational aspects…there are sing-alongs and some audience participation, as well.”
The two characters approach pegging in different ways. Leo’s role considers it in a wholesome, personal sense, but Nimmannit’s role is more detailed and to the point. They argue over how to present the subject matter and hilarious drama ensues.
Theatrical and fun, the show uses creative and absurd ways to convey what pegging is and the down-and-dirty of how it works. It’s also a show intended for everyone, though it would be best to leave the kids at home.
“Anyone is going to laugh at this,” Leo said. “The show is constructed so that it’s edgy and then it’s funny. We’re opening everything up, so to speak.”
Nimmannit said that while audiences can sometimes be nervous in the beginning, they quickly open up and the show usually leads to eye-opening discussions.
“That’s really the prize for me,” said Nimmannit. “It starts people talking about their experiences.”
Peg-Ass-Us premiered at the 2008 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, where it won Best Comedy. The duo has since performed in New York City, N.Y., San Francisco, Calif., and at Bard College. Its Pacific Northwest tour ends in Portland this weekend after visiting Juneau, Alaska, and Seattle, Wash.
This is the first time Pack of Others has come to Portland. A small theatre company of six people, they are currently touring two shows—Peg-Ass-Us and Fluid—and hope to put together a third show soon.