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Lady Bunny’s Blowjob Etiquette (Interview) ::

Reported by Olly @ Trackitdown on March 19, 2007

“I am one of the only people I know who gives oral sex with a condom. People say ‘I couldn’t do never that.’ Well, do what you want. The fact is; oral sex is considered low-risk behaviour. I’ve only got one life and it takes only one contact to get infected with HIV. Plus, since the disease has a 12-15 year incubation period, infected partners can look completely healthy.”

Chatting to Skrufff from her New York pad, ‘actress, deejay, singer/ songwriter, comedienne, ho’ (her description) Lady Bunny admits safe sex is always on her mind.

“Sexperts say you shouldn’t floss your teeth beforehand but honey, a piece of pizza crust abrades the skin on my upper palate. As can toast! F**k low-risk! I want NO-RISK.  I’m a safe slut. So please purchase my new single ‘It's Tonight’-it'll keep this whore in condoms! DJs may present me with a receipt for a blowjob!” she laughs.

Dominating New York’s drag scene since she first arrived on the underground club scene in the 80s (with fellow Atlanta pals Larry Tee and Ru Paul) Bunny survived the dreadful first wave of AIDS casualties in the 80s though writing on her often laceratingly funny blog on her site last week said ‘It's been estimated that 1/2 of New York City gay men have HIV’.

“I don’t know how conscious people are of that statistic. But I’m fairly certain that infections are on the rise due to crazed behaviour caused by meth (or alcohol or any other drug for that matter) and also by a perception that the new AIDS drugs are a cure. I live right by St. Vincent’s (Hospital), which specializes in AIDS care, so I see a lot of yesterday’s club beauties dwindling away,” she explains. “Gay men’s infections actually decreased several years ago, but they are back up again, according to a friend at GMHC. I don’t have actual figures, though. This is based on my perceptions and hearsay,” she clarifies. Safe sex talk aside, Bunny’s main reason for chatting to Skrufff is to promote her afore-mentioned new single It’s Tonight, produced by the Boneheads (aka Per QX and Elliot J Brown. Released shortly on OhMy Recordings, the track features Bunny on vocals,  with various house, electro-house and funk mixes.

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): How did the It’s Tonight come about; how did you meet the guys- who approached who? Lady Bunny: “I met Per QX, one of the two Boneheads who produced it, in Miami at the Winter Music Conference (WMC) probably three years ago and gave him a demo. I can say that after 8-9 years of attending WMC, it’s the only thing to really come of it. I mean I’ve networked—ie gotten drunk--at the conference, but ‘It’s Tonight’ is the only tangible product to come of it. So if it’s very successful, I’ll feel a lot better about paying for those increasingly gouging South Beach hotels every year. Anyway, Per and Elliott J. Brown were working on a track which they felt needed a vocal, and mine fit in. I sent them the accapella and they chopped it up to fit into the track. I think it is the most current-sounding thing I've ever done and think they did a great job with the production--some really nice drum fills and chord changes in there.” Skrufff: The track has an electrodisco mix: have you changed your mind about hating electro (maximal, new rave, whatever it’s called?) Lady Bunny: “No, I haven’t and I much I prefer the song’s main mix to the electro one. I still love lush orchestration, so I’m rarely drawn to stripped down, hard, synth-y sounds. I do like funky 80’s tunes like I’m In Love by Evelyn “Champagne” King, but the 80s revival/electro movement never seems to revive the 80’s tracks I liked back in the day. If there is not a backbone of soulfulness, I rarely like the music. And electro seems to have a punk/post-punk/new wave/rock element which never appealed to me the first time around. I like a groove I can get into, not some whipped up, frantic mess I can thrash to.” Skrufff: When you recorded the vocal- did you perform dressed up? Lady Bunny: “My engineer has a small recording booth—I probably couldn’t even fit in there with one of my big ol’ wigs on. Plus, one is not really too relaxed or focused  when propped up on stilts with things glued onto one’s eyelashes and fingernails and in a girdle (Though I suppose tucking one’s genitals in might aid in hitting those high notes.) I don’t really perform out of drag, but I don’t live as a woman.  I can’t exactly say that I live as a man, either, though. A team of psychiatrists are still trying to figure out what the fuck it is.” Skrufff: What do you make of the rise of the metrosexual? Lady Bunny: “Well, as a transvestite freak myself, I encourage sexual experimentation and the blurring of gender roles. I was chatting with a gorgeous, masculine boy on Myspace recently who suddenly started posting pictures of himself in make-up. I’ve normally thought ‘Uh uh, queenie- I wear the make-up in this relationship!’ But with or without make-up, he’s very sexy and while I don’t traditionally gravitate towards painted men, this one was still turning me on. So I have to let my mind be as open as my legs. Plus, we can touch each other’s face up when we’re out on the town.”Skrufff: How about men in make up generally- any tips for successful dressing? Lady Bunny: “I’m trying to think of common mistakes I’ve seen-outside of my own mirror, that is. Occasionally, I’ll notice that men are wearing heavy eye make-up without foundation or powder. It’s a look, and I realize that the men don’t want a drag queen’s thick mask of spackle which we use to hide our beards and other imperfections, but men do sweat more, so a little powder wouldn’t hurt. And unless you like the scary, drippy Alice Cooper look, stick with water-proof liner and mascara.” Skrufff: Do you remember the first time you went out in drag?  Lady Bunny: “Yes, it was for Hallowe’en and I dressed as ;a woman’. My best friend went as ‘my husband’. How creative. He later went insane. Guess I’m just too much for some fellas. Another early appearance included winning a prize at a Hallowe’en costume dressed as Boy George by RuPaul. They called me Boy Bunny. Tragic.” : Larry’s Tee’s Wikipedia entry says of the early 80s ‘Atlanta was fabulous. We had a great time there. In our crew we had RuPaul and the Lady Bunny, who at the time were both just learning theft tricks. I really feel Atlanta was the birthplace of contemporary drag culture. We had some mean, nasty drag shows there”, what kind of thing went on at ‘mean, nasty, drag shows’: Lady Bunny: “Well, one queen named Amber Richards—she burned to death a few years ago and is now affectionately remembered as “Ember” Richards!—she once hurled a spike heel from the stage at a heckler and it whizzed an inch past my face. Between the hormones and liquor and coke, those ‘girls’ were quite crazy. And many of them were very country, from smaller towns outside Atlanta. And everyone carried on with trashy with pre-AIDS abandon.  Not the uptown sophisticates with whom I now associate, Dahling! Kidding! I’m still trash.” Skrufff: What tricks does a drag queen need to prosper? Lady Bunny: “Young queens often ask me this when I travel. If I feel that they are pretty or talented, I urge them to retire immediately—I don’t need the competition. Seriously, I tell them, you must hit upon something which is unique enough to make someone want to fly you somewhere and pay you to do it. You may be the best Cher impersonator in Birmingham, Alabama, but there’s one in every city. So I suppose my advice is ‘Come up with something uniquely yours which you do better than anyone else’." Skrufff: Did you ever have to physically defend yourself in Atlanta?  Lady Bunny: “Oh, Larry (Tee) loves to tell the tale of how I came home one night and found a burglar. Instead of calling the police, I slept with him. Not exactly true, but it makes a cute story. I rarely felt threatened in Atlanta—we were in the center of the gay ghetto and some of our gang were only one step above street people. We didn’t look like we had much (some of us still don’t). So we weren’t likely to be attacked. At one point, Ru liked to hang out in gay black clubs on the wrong side of town, whose patrons would literally flip at the site of our thrift store high fashions twirling to songs like Newcleus Jam On It playing on a jukebox. One toothless old broad was really incensed and kept repeating “Y’all cain’t come in here like that!” She was ready to fight because we looked so artsy.”

Skrufff: Have you ever owned a gun?  Lady Bunny: “No, I’d never own a gun. I’ve lived in NYC for over 20 years and only been mugged twice. Once, when I first moved here, I had gotten off work go-go dancing on the bar of the Pyramid and was so proud of my $50 wage. A Puerto Rican kid popped out from between two cars as I drunkenly staggered home and shoved a gun in my face. I ran from a gun. My life was worth less than $50. And it’s depreciated considerably since then.” Skrufff: Fellow New York drag performer Kevin Aviance was attacked on the street in the East Village last year, how much did that knock your own confidence walking round Manhattan after dark? Lady Bunny: “First of all, there is a lot of speculation over what really went on the night Kevin was bashed, so don’t assume that an isolated incident with fuzzy details indicates a new, dangerously anti-gay New York City. Of course there is homophobia, but my style of glad rags imply that I’m going out to a party and that I want attention—I’m not a sex change trying to pass in sedate secretary drag. So people are more likely to shout “you go, girl!” than “F**k you, faggot!” Of course I get some of that, too, to which I generally reply “When and where?” But a lot of the attention is positive. I walked to work at Cielo recently and met one guy on the way there and one on the way home. Oink. (The meat market was once known for tranny hookers—now it’s upscale shops like Stella McCartney). I will say that most of the negative or frightening attention comes from black and Hispanic males. I’d like to think that minorities should stick together, but over and over I see this behaviour. (Maybe it’s because I’m drooling over them while twiddling my nipples before dropping to my knees in front of them on the street.) It’s really sad, because it proves quite plainly that these minorities only cry out against prejudice only when it’s directed towards them. They have no problem with exhibiting prejudice towards gays, Jews, Asians, etc. There’s a jewelry district where Linda Simpson and I were shopping there recently. Many black males from Africa and the Caribbean work there, and two mimicked shooting us with their hands as fake guns. Another spouted off at us—all within 5 minutes! Thanks, Beenie Man and Elephant man. Your anti-gay lyrics are working. Of course, as any queen knows, these guys are the first to hit on you when no one is looking. Just like the "Muslim" cab drivers. South Beach has become more threatening, though. The gays have largely moved to nearby Fort Lauderdale, and you rarely see men holding hands or drags on the street. Spring Break occurs during the Winter Music Conference, and it’s a real shame that thanks to rap, America’s youth see themselves as thugs. So just imagine thugs, drunk and on vacation. Real sweethearts, they are.” The Boneheads featuring Lady Bunny: It’s Tonight, is out shortly on OhMy! Recordings.

Jonty Skrufff (