On the net
story by Gordon Bowness /
Mar 11 1999
AA Bronson, the surviving member of the celebrated Canadian pop art collective, General Idea, has been named editor of Squirt, a new gay sex site on the web (to be launched this summer as part of Pink Triangle Press, which publishes Xtra).
"Squirt will be a community of men who enjoy public sex with each other," says Bronson, "sex in bars and baths, on beaches, in hot springs, at clubs and gyms, in parks and campgrounds, in the woods and the ocean, in washrooms, video arcades and sex shops, at truck stops and gas stations, in libraries and supermarkets, in resorts and guest houses, in sex clubs and at home."
Xtra publisher David Walberg, who's also the publisher of Squirt, is excited by the prospect. "It's the Press's first attempt at engaging an international audience since the demise of The Body Politic more than a decade ago," he says, adding that the site will "be a participatory project, designed to make the best use of the web's organizational and interactive possibilities."
But why would an artist of Bronson's stature - who, along with his General Idea cohorts, created such glamourous mayhem as File magazine, the Robert Indiana-inspired AIDS logo and the on-going series of fornicating cartoon poodles - be interested in wired sex?
"As an artist in the '60s," says Bronson, "I was always transfixed by the idea of media as an extension of man - that old Marshall McLuhan thing - and by the idea of media as an electronic nervous system joining us together in a global organism.
"And that idea always seemed to me inherently sexual, the idea of being one node in a larger body convulsing in orgasm, for example, had a special appeal for me and still does. When telephone sex arrived it was like the first whisper of McLuhan's theories come true, and sex on the web, whether virtual or real, I perceive as the first real moan of electronic pleasure."
"In my experience, sex is transformative, and therefore, anonymous sex is transformative. Over and above the pure pleasure and the entertainment which sex provides, it has on occassion taken me by surprise, propelled me to some profound place with a man I did not know, and given me something I was unaware of needing, but needed deeply. Sex is deep connection. It is communion."