wild and untamed thing
The Rocky Horror Picture Show holds a very special place in my heart. In terms of not only exposing me to, but also allowing me to fulfill my own raw sexual and performative desires, but also in simply being able to be myself, RHPS has had the biggest impact on my life , bar none. The film brings out these raw desires. Some of them are simple, like a desire to wear a corset, heels, and feather boa, and just feel fucking sexy. Some of them are built on my desire to not dream it, but be it. And some of them, are honestly just built on me wanting to give myself over to pleasure. No other film, book, piece of music or play, has had an impact like that in my life.
The first time I encountered RHPS in terms of it actually having an impact on my life, was when I saw Glee have an episode in their second series in which they perform songs from the play. That episode came out in 2010, so I would have been 13 at the time. As it was Glee, a lot of what makes RHPS, the RHPS, was left out. However, one thing I remember from that episode was seeing Science Fiction, Double Feature being performed for the first time. That really stuck with me. I don’t know if it was the lips, or the song itself, or the dripping blood in the opening titles. But something about that song really resonated with me. I still can’t really put my finger on why it does, despite the fact it’s my favorite song from the movie. Maybe it’s the whole, “I wanna go-oh oh” bit, who knows. But either way, it’s a song I adore. Both the up beat stage version, and the slower film version. I love lip syncing to it in my room. I’d love to play the Usherette in a stage show of RHPS. I hope that’ll happen someday.
The next time I remember encountering the film in a larger sense, was when I was 16 or so. Me and two of my best friends had a shared love of the film. They had seen it more times than I had, but from what I had seen of the film (which, admittedly, was mostly just Sweet Transvestite and Science Fiction, Double Feature), I loved it just the same. Watching it when I was older though was different, as a lot of things had changed. Firstly, at the time, I was out as bisexual. While I now identify as pan, from around 2011-2016, I was out as bi. Which was a huge difference, as when I saw snippets of the film, and it’s cover in Glee, that was pre-my acceptance of my sexuality, and pre-my sexual awakening. Also, watching it when I was 16, was after me starting to be honest with myself about my gender identity, and what I enjoy. Even in things as simple as makeup. While I didn’t actually wear makeup properly until I was 18 and at university, seeing the film once I was honest with myself about wanting to take a sledgehammer to gender roles made me see it in an entirely different way. I didn’t see Frank N’Furter as just a camp character. I saw them as *me*. I really do relate to them. I wanted to be them.
I think that viewing of the RHPS, in my best friends’ living room, was probably one of the most important evenings of my life in terms of sexual awakenings. I didn’t see the songs as just songs. I didn’t see the characters as just characters. I really saw myself in that film. I wanted Frank N’Furters lipstick and eye makeup. I wanted to wear a corset and heels, with a big feather boa, and have sex in a swimming pool with a group of people. I wanted to be like Janet Weiss, and just feel released - and let out all of my pent up sexual frustrations. I really wanted all of those things. For the first time, I realized what I wanted. I realized my deeply suppressed desires. I realized how badly I just wanted to be fucked. I realized how badly I wanted to dress a certain way. I realized just how provocative these things could be, and I loved it. The Rocky Horror Picture Show made me realize what I wanted in a way nothing, or nobody else has ever done before. Deep down, when you take away everything I am out of necessity, I’m just a kinky, transgressive, corset loving, makeup obsessed, freak. And I fucking love that. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, why am I even talking about the RHPS in the first place? Well, I always wanted to talk about what I’ve just mentioned with you guys, as the film has clearly had such a prolific impact on my life. But the time felt right now. Last night, I had a new experience with the film. Up until last night, I’d only seen the film in two settings - watching it on my own in my room, and watching it with my best friends on occasion. However, last night, my cherry was popped. I went to a midnight screening of the film, with audience participation, and a shadow cast performing on a stage in front of the film. And it was the fucking best night of my life.
I’ve never been in an environment like that, where I truly felt like I belonged. Even LGBT+ activities can be divisive on the grounds of what your sexuality or gender identity is. But not RHPS. Everyone was in that theater for one common reason - to go fucking wild while we watched our favorite film. There was no divisiveness. No open disagreement as to who we loved most, or hated most. Everyone called Janet a slut, and everyone called Brad an ass hole. Everyone shouted at the cues, and stood up and did the time warp with one another. Everyone threw toilet paper at each other, and thew cards in the air. In some way or another, everyone was dressed up. Whether people were just wearing some over the top makeup, or a full on costume. It was the most fucking incredible atmosphere I’ve ever experienced.
What stuck out for me most about last night was the person playing Frank N’Furter. I’d never seen someone with so much confidence, or someone who exuded sexuality like that. They seemed just, so genuinely happy. So in love with what they were doing. It was almost like watching me, euphorically lip syncing to Sweet Transvestite in my bedroom, but in a packed theatre. Where everyone is in love, and encouraging you. Where nobody would care if they jumped on you, and dry humped you, and played with you during their lip syncing. It was an incredible sight. And it made me realize exactly what I want to do. It made me realize who I am, and what I want to be. It bought me back to one of my favorite songs in the film, which says the following, and says it all about how I felt last night, and really, how I’ve felt for a long time;
Whatever happened to Fay Wray?
That delicate satin draped frame
As it clung to her thigh, how I started to cry
Cause I wanted to be dressed just the same…
Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever
Can’t you just see it?
Don’t dream it - be it.
all my love, stay beautiful, and stay safe,