Last week I saw Isabella Rossellini perform her show called Green Porno. It’s part evolutionary biology, part experimental film and all sex ed. Quite the combo!
Bella, as I like to call her now, explains in her one-woman show that she loves animals and has always been fascinated with biodiversity. The model, actor and child of film royalty, is working on her Masters in Animal Behaviour and now as a writer and director of films, biology is her main source of inspiration.
It is entirely without guile that she communicates about the topic. She entertains and educates about sex, courtship and mothering throughout the animal world. Bella thinks “society has made the mistake of seeing the act of making love or mating as an act of reproduction, when actually it is used for other things, too. Animals use it for social events, bonding, solving conflict and so on.”
She references orgies, sadomasochism, homosexuality and bisexuality as wonderous parts of nature. She is all scientist as she explains that “everything is always evolving and adapting according to whatever the environmental pressure. The more diversity there is, the more things are going to survive.”
I sat riveted and learned about sexual practices of sea horses and flies. I marvelled at the evolutionary explanation for short gorilla penises compared to very long barnacle penises. I discovered that dolphins masturbate and was strangely delighted by this 63 year old woman wearing a hamster suit and eating a few of her babies when there were too many.
The next day, with the program lying on the dining room table, I told my kids and their 18 year old cousin who is visiting for the week, about the show. What followed was a great conversation full of laughter and intrigue about the animal world and sex! I told them how limpets are sequential hermaphrodites and how bee penises break off inside the female like a plug. The 18 year old offered fabulous sex factoids about spiders, the preying mantis and other creatures. I asked where he learned these tidbits and he enthusiastically explained that the internet provides!
The internet! The internet! Offering a somewhat shy, 6 foot 4 inch 18 year old good sexual knowledge – about ducks! It struck me as pretty incredible that all together we talked about what differernt penises and vaginas can do. Not something I did as an 18 year old.
The follow up story that will make me giggle forever:
Last night, while eating dinner, I made mention to my kid that he didn’t eat the cherry tomatoes that had been offered in his lunch. While it’s entirely common for him to abstain from lunchtime vegetables, he said ‘I didn’t see them in my bag. To which I said, ‘Then you didn’t look very hard. It’s not like it’s a ducks vagina.’
What am I alluding to, you wonder? Would a person not find tomatoes if they were in a duck’s vagina? Find out more here. And then feel compelled to watch all of Rossellini’s short, funny and educational films.