John Bingham, Artist To “Lose His Sexuality” In Performance Art Piece, Will Film His Parent’s Reaction

image (1)We first learned about London-based artist John Bingham this week, when he claimed to be the originator of the Art School Stole My Virginity concept, widely reported to be the original idea of 19-year-old Central Saint Martins student Clayton Pettet, last October.

Pettet announced that he would “lose his virginity” in front of a gallery full of spectators last year in order to “stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject,” insinuating that he had conceived the “ultimate once-in-a-lifetime performance” on his own.

In response to Pettet, 24-year-old Wimbledon College of Art student Bingham released a statement to the press claiming that Pettet’s performance had been inspired by his idea, which he shared with Pettet back in 2010.

“I won’t go as far to say that Clayton stole my idea for a show,” Bingham said, “but I will say that he was aware of my plans (when I shared them with him in 2010) and did well to add that flamboyant ‘Clayton Twist’ to get tongues wagging about his new performance.”

Pettet’s performance, in which he intended to lose his anal virginity, was originally scheduled for January 2014. It has been tentatively pushed back to April.

Bingham plans to move forward with his performance art piece, entitled Art School Stole My Sexuality, this April as well. In it, he will engage in a public threesome with a male art dealer and a female assistant.

In an exclusive interview with Queerty, Bingham also reveals that he will consistently play the role of “the bottom” during his performance, he will be penetrated both by the male and by the female (using a penis attache, or, a strap-on dildo), and he will film his parent’s reaction to the performance. Checkmate.

Queerty: You told us that a female will be penetrating you during Art School Stole My Sexuality. Will the male in your piece will also be penetrating you?

John Bingham: The male will be penetrating me as well as the female. They will most likely penetrate each other.

Q: Are there any sexual acts other than penetration (oral stimulation, masturbation, etc.) planned for the piece?

JB: No sexual act is out of bounds and I anticipate these will happen organically.

Q: Your parents will essentially be watching you have sex with a man and a woman. Have they been supportive thus far?

JB: My parents are coming round to the idea, they should be making an appearance. I think it will introduce an interesting dynamic to the performance. They are supportive, they let me get on with the work that I am extremely passionate about.

Q: Do you mind us asking if you identify as gay, bisexual, or heterosexual?

JB: I’ll be disclosing my sexuality to press after the performance.

Q: Anything else we should know?

JB: I’ll also let you know that celebrities Ivan Massow (the gay entrepreneur) and the owner of Gaydar and hit shows Survivor and The Big Breakfast Charlie Parsons have backed my performance and have said that they’d like to attend.

Bingham also says a firm date has not been scheduled, but he’d “like it to go ahead either a day before Clayton’s or the same day.” As it stands, the performance is scheduled to happen at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair.

Bingham’s first official statement regarding Art School Stole My Sexuality, released exclusively to Queerty, is below:

imageI believe that if Sexuality exists, then it is our sexuality to embrace in whatever way we choose. I present to you Art School Stole My Sexuality. A performative piece, I seek to share my intimate explorations of my body and sexual consciousness. Thus the private becomes the public, the intimate the open. I seek to unravel the foreskin of our psychosexual limitations.

A singular thread runs through this piece: the reclaiming of an individual’s sexuality from heterogeneous views of what it is to be male. By deliberately choosing two additional “cast members”, a male and a female, I intend to subscribe to no established sexual convention – homosexuality and heterosexuality become redundant in this new psychosexual sphere.

The only consistent role I play will be that of the bottom/ the “penatratee”/the “receiver”/the “fucked”/ the “ridden”. My role, both a performative and sexual one, embodies not subjugation but rather, a freeing of sinews; an embracing of external entrants so often neglected by the masculine.

Using a penis attaché, conventionally referred to as a “strap on”, the female performer/player/lover will enthusiastically penetrate me.
This undermines conventional gender roles, and exposes a sexual exploit normally confined to the privacy of one’s home or pornography.
Again, the foreskin unravels.

Crucial to the piece will be the filming of my parent’s reaction; the visualisation of gender and sexuality norms being ripped apart before our very eyes.

I may be young and inexperienced as both a visual artist and sexual artist, and if this is the only work of mine that leaves a cultural imprint, I accept.

For this will live with me as I age, not as a burden, but an early awakening to the fruits of sexual freedom.

I am sex. Sex is me.



John Bingham.

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  • tookietookie


    – Eric Cartman

  • Zodinsbrother

    Clearly just an exhibitionist fantasy rather than any actual statement on sexuality.

  • tardis

    I’m sorry, but this is stupid.

  • Large Marge


    Art or not, he’s got some really messed up parents if they are going to watch him getting f*cked.

    “What shall we do tonight dear?” “Oh, I was thinking we’d watch our son take a dick up his arse.”


    But really, for both these ‘performers’, they should just bang each other.

  • tookietookie

    “And here’s your ‘B’, Mr. Bingham.”

    Doesn’t seem worth doing that to your parents for, lol.

  • Snapper59

    It seems all this crap is a year old. So it was “scheduled for January 2014 and pushed back”. Yeah yeah and they’ll drag it out again past April until these two are 40 year old virgins. Why would they have cancelled January? Intestinal flu?

  • jckfmsincty

    Peculiar doesn’t necessarily mean important and interesting art.

  • Kram1990

    This is not art. Just a live sex show

  • lancemullholland

    Wow – like getting a really cheap, bad tattoo with drunken frat brothers on a border junket to Mexico: you’ll (eventually) be sorry you did it.

    Oh – family bonding at its best. Shock ’em. Mmmmm….. right ! Remember what happened to ‘Lil Orphan Annie in that old poem: “She mocked them, and shocked them, and she said she didn’t care.”

    The days of painting yourself pink and white, walking down the street in only a jock strap are so over with…

  • Vman455

    I don’t see how this challenges or “unravels” anything when I could walk into a theater in Amsterdam any day of the week and see the same thing.

  • BrokebackBob

    All he’s got going for him from what I glean from the article is his dark looks and out of control narcissism. Yawn. Why is this important to announce in Queerty? We should be laser focused on getting equal rights in -all- areas of life and the punishment of those who commit violence on LGBT people. This guy is a douche-bag.

  • seaguy

    A Queen desperate for attention is not art!

  • EdWoody

    @Large Marge: It wouldn’t be the first time. I was at a gay porn awards ceremony in LA where a friend of mine had brought his mother as his plus-one, and she sat there and applauded while he was awarded for getting fucked better than other people.

  • thatguy

    This makes me very mad, and an cruel punch in the face to all the gay men who work their asses off everyday to earn another morsel of respect by our conservative, heteronormative society. In a truly liberal world, without prejudice and homophobia, he could do this every day of the week and no one would care.

    But can we please hold off from this kind of behavior until society. Homophobes and religious people will not hesitate to seize this obvious opportunity to use this guy as an example of “the gay lifestyle”-

    Can someone please stop him, please!

  • viciouslies

    @thatguy: I am very impressed with your ability to type while simultaneously clutching your pearls so hard.

  • Ben Dover

    “Art School Stole My Virginity” would be one thing but why does he call it “Art School Stole My Sexuality”? That sounds almost like he’ll be castrated in public… well maybe that’s not a bad idea.

  • TM

    1. If you’re “unravelling” a foreskin, you’re doing it wrong.
    2. Your poor parents!
    3. Only way this could be better? If the artist was also an emo.

  • keepcalm

    @thatguy: We’re not working our asses off to get society to accept us. Perhaps you are, but the majority of us with self-respect aren’t looking for people to love us. We’re working our asses off to get equal rights, rights that we’re entitled to. We get them through the courts/legal system, not through public opinion. Mob rule when it comes to civil rights is un-American and illegal. People can hate us all they want. That’s their problem.

  • lancemullholland

    @Ben Dover: That’s exactly the impression which that title had on me, too!

    Like making steers on the ranch with the burdizzo – OR being turned into a Chinese court eunuch (having genitals shaved off with a sharp blade). Sheeesh !

    Delete “sexuality”, insert “virginity”. Journalism standards today!

    My mamma would snatch me bald-headed for even thinking about doing this, rest her soul +

    – end –

  • Cam

    The parents real reaction is most likely each trying to blame the other for paying for their kid to go to art school.

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