Thursday, 5 January 2012

Chris Ashford on Cottaging

I've previously mentioned that last year I took part in an interview for a documentary film project entitled The Strange Decline of the English Cottage -you can read more about that project here and join their Facebook page here.

I'm hoping it will get finished at some point this year as it's an amazing project but given it's a hobby project for the director and those involved, it's seems to be taking a while.

Anyway, you can see some edited highlights of my day filming.  Unfortunately for me, my hair suggests I have been dragged through a hedge before filming, I have no neck and my accent goes on something of a gripping journey.  All of which should give you some sadistic pleasure in watching, if the fascinating content on this aspect of public sex - specifically sex in public toilets - does not enthral you.  Enjoy!

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Elly said...

I just watched the first couple of minutes it's really great. You come across very well!

Chris Ashford said...

Thanks Elly. This is just 10 edited minutes of (I think) around 4 hours of filming. I did have a giggle fit at one point but so did the Director :-(

There's apparently a lot more stuff they might use but these were the 'highlights' edited down so I could share them now :-)

Elly said...

I watched a bit more and one thing I noticed that I liked was how you mentioned how there was 'heterosexual' graffiti and images in the 'cottages' and how men who have sex with men often don't identify as gay but - and you did say it without questioning them - as straight.

I think that you are nuanced and critical about sexual identity. But maybe sometimes when you are putting blogposts together quickly from media sources you use their language and the 'gay' thing comes out more strongly than I (and maybe you) would like.

I thought I'd mention that so I don't keep moaning on about 'gay' men and so maybe when you see media stories you have a double check before posting.

Chris Ashford said...

Fair comment Elly. It probably would have been better saying 'straight', and explaining the nuance but it's hard in the setting of these sort of interviews.

The nature of it meant that things had to be far more sweeping than I might have been in say a peer reviewed article. Had I said 'heterosexual' and visually put inverted commas, most viewers wouldn't have a clue what the significance was. There are other bits that listening back I think "oh that could have been more nuanced" or "that's a bit misleading" .

On the blog, sometimes it's deliberate, sometimes it's as you say the imperfect consequence of getting stuff out there whilst doing a zillion other things.

However, whilst it's been 'imperfect', that's not the same as if I'd been misleading so I think I've (generally) stayed the right side of the line - and when not, corrected things.

On balance (and at the risk of sounding an ego-maniac) I think it's better to get this stuff out there than not, and I shall continue to try and up my game in terms of being on the nail with stuff, but I don't want to lose more general readers either who are drawn in and engage with issues that they might not otherwise have done so with.

Elly said...

Oh sorry what I meant was - I thought the nuance did come across in the interview!

I was comparing that favourably with some of the posts that use more shorthand.

Chris Ashford said...

Oh, in that case - thank you! lol

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