Sexy storytelling, performances, and anonymous audience confessions. Sex, (almost) everybody does it and (almost) nobody talks about it — except at Tipi Confessions.
Tipi Confessions is a live storytelling show on sex, sexuality, and gender, featuring performance and anonymous audience confessions. We highlight Indigenous, decolonial, political, humourous, creative, feminist, queer, and/or educational perspectives. Our shows have showcased spoken word, personal narrative, erotica fiction, burlesque, live musicians, and short theatre performances.
Tipi Confessions is produced by three Indigenous women: University of Alberta professors Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) and Tracy Bear (Nehiyaw’iskwew from Montreal Lake Cree Nation), and Native Studies PhD student Kirsten Lindquist (Cree-Métis). We are an offshoot of the popular Austin, Texas show, BedPost Confessions, founded in 2010.
Tipi Confessions is not only sexy. Our audiences are reminded that sex is always political. The Tipi Confessions enterprise also serves as a “research-creation laboratory” at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Native Studies. This is a space of creative experimentation and action research, both informed by and furthering existing research and teaching in decolonial and critical sexualities.
History of our parent show, BedPost Confessions, Austin, TX
When sex bloggers Julie Gillis and Sadie Smythe met sex podcaster Mia Martina in the fall of 2010, they envisioned a new kind of show for the Live Music Capital of the World: one that explores sex and sexuality through lenses of humor and vulnerability (without sparing any racy details). That show is BedPost Confessions, which merges entertainment, ethics, and education.
The title was fitting, since it was the confessions—written and submitted at each show by anonymous audience members, then read by the producers—that stole the show and the audience’s heart. If the confessions are the heart of each show, then the featured performers are the soul. At both BedPost and Tipi Confessions, we hear from the hilarious, heart-wrenching, and titillating souls of standup comedians, musicians, magicians, memoirists, academics, sex educators, storytellers, and dancers.
“decolonizing sexuality, and sex positivity and healing more broadly, is key to curbing violence in our society in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities”.