Incoming from Ed: the “Mistress Contract“, a play at the Royal Court Theatre:
She and He are the pseudonyms of a real-life couple who live in separate houses in the same city on the west coast of America. She is 88. He is 93.
For 30 years he has provided her with a home and an income, while she provides ‘mistress services’ – ‘All sexual acts as requested, with suspension of historical, emotional, psychological disclaimers.’
They first met at university and then lost touch. When they met again twenty years later, they began an affair when She – a highly educated, intelligent woman with a history of involvement in the feminist movement – asked her wealthy lover to sign the remarkable document that outlines their unconventional lifestyle: The Mistress Contract.
Was her suggestion a betrayal of all that she and the women of her generation had fought for? Or was it brave, honest, and radical?
It seems odd to me that the term “radical” is applied. That is word belonging to politics, and this seems like a personal story, what relevence is it to politics? Nevertheless, it seems essential to many to discuss the issues arising from this agreement. The Royal Court is hosting a panel discussion on March 12th:
Chaired by broadcaster, journalist and theatre critic Libby Purves, the panel debates how and why we form sexual partnerships. The panel includes playwright Alecky Blythe, anthropologist Professor Sophie Day (Goldsmiths, University of London), academic and activist Lynne Segal and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
I’m not sure what angle they’ll take [...] but contracting generally has a pro-liberty flavour? I’ll be interested to see how they interpret it.