Neil Bartlett (above) is an exemplary British man of letters — novelist, playwright, performer, stage director, adaptor, and Shakespeare scholar, to name his best-known talents. On the occasion of publishing his most recent novel, The Disappearance Boy, he has mounted an art installation at the Wellcome Collection in London called “Excuse Me, Would You Mind If I Asked You a Few Personal Questions About Sex?” The installation is part of a larger survey of the history of sexology, including such giants in the field as Sigmund Freud, Margaret Mead, Masters and Johnson, and Alfred Kinsey. At the end of the gallery, visitors are invited to fill out a questionnaire and drop it into a locked box. Each week Bartlett reads and analyzes the results. In this entertaining article for the Guardian, Bartlett discusses some of his findings so far. Check it out and let me know what you think.
His questionnaire asks things like:
- Would you say you are generally frank about sex — while you are doing, when you are talking about it, or both?
- What do you think your life would be like without sex?
- Would (or could, or should, or does) being a feminist make you have better sex?
- Which would you say has had the greatest influence on you, your best sexual experience or your worst sexual experience? And what was that experience?
- What’s the biggest problem you have with sex these days? Would you say this is your problem, or a problem caused by Society in general?
At the end, visitors are invited to submit the questions they would like to ask others or answer for themselves. Any suggestions?