Whore's Eye View

BATS Theatre, Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

20/02/2024 - 24/02/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Dunedin Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Writer & Performer: Kaytlin Bailey
Director: Vanessa Morosco

Old Pros

Whore’s Eye View is a mad dash through 10,000 years of history from a sex worker’s perspective.

Weaving history, comedic storytelling, and the wisdom of lived experience, Kaytlin Bailey artfully unpacks the complex, age-old stigma underpinning a status quo designed to keep women in their place.

“The solo show mixes erudition with earthiness. It flows from unfiltered divulgence to impassioned thesis, all leavened by a parade of well-honed zingers.” Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle.

“Bailey’s terrific writing and comic delivery made this review engaging, and her reflections upon connections between history and her own identity—including awareness of her privileges—elevate Whore’s Eye View. The show connected history to personal experience in relevant and meaningful ways.” Melissa Strong, Broad Street Review.

“Kaytlin Bailey is super talented and smart. Her brilliant show gives me hope for the future.” Annie Sprinkle.

Sex worker rights advocate, comedian, and writer, Kaytlin Bailey is the Founder & Executive Director of Old Pros, a non-profit media organization creating conditions to change the status of sex workers in society. She hosts The Oldest Profession Podcast where each episode focuses on an “old pro” from history, contextualizing that figure in their own time and connecting their story to the ongoing struggle for sex worker rights. Her first one woman show, Cuntagious, enjoyed sold out performances.

A globally recognized leader in the sex worker rights movement, Kaytlin Bailey has been quoted in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York Post, The Village Voice, The Nation, and on NBC. She has written op-eds for Huffington Post, Reason, The Daily Beast, and Vice and has been invited to speak on Fox Business, Sirius XM, at Yale Law School, Penn University, and UCLA. Kaytlin’s views are backed by Amnesty International, The World Health Organization, Human Rights Watch, and UNAids who all agree that the decriminalization of sex work is the only policy that reduces violence.

BATS Theatre, 9pm February 20 – 24

Dunedin Fringe Festival at the new Athenaeum Theatre (Knockabout Studio) 21 – 23 March, 6pm

Bookings: https://www.dunedinfringe.nz/events/whore-s-eye-view

Old Pros is a non-profit media organization creating conditions to change the status of sex workers in society. Changing minds is critical for driving the cultural and legislative breakthroughs required to secure human rights and opportunities for sex workers. Media, art and storytelling are powerful levers for shifting beliefs and breaking down taboos. Old Pros produces persuasive content and compelling events. We bring people together and we change people’s minds. Old Pros produces a weekly newsletter, The Oldest Profession Podcast, the Old Pros Show in NYC, and Founder & Executive Director Kaytlin Bailey’s live show, Whore’s Eye View.

Follow @oldprosonline on Instagram and Twitter. Stay in the know with the Old Pros weekly newsletter, featuring sex worker rights related news, new podcast episodes, and resource guides to make you a more informed ally.

Dramaturg: Stephanie Alvarado Prugh
Producer: Leah Moon
Executive Producer: Old Pros

Theatre , Comedy , Multimedia , Solo ,

60 minutes

Salted with humour and expressive pauses

Review by Hannah Molloy 25th Mar 2024

10/10, no notes. ….

That’s not really enough for a review I guess but Whore’s Eye View, by Kaytlin Bailey, doesn’t really need much more. Still, here you go.

For her last night performing in Aotearoa, Kaytlin welcomes her sell-out audience to the … umm … deconstructed(?) basement which is the Knockabout Studio. She starts us off with a rehearsal of our possible emotional responses to her narrative – I don’t think we collectively pass with flying colours exactly, but that’s often the way with audiences who book tickets for interactive performances. She explains that she’ll be talking about sex workers throughout history – and because we bought tickets, we’ve given implied consent. She goes on to say it’s going to be an aggressive lecture and now we have informed consent. No one leaves, so she begins. 

Salted with humour and expressive pauses, Kaytlin takes us on a journey from the beginning of humankind to the present day, describing the normality of sex work, from prehistoric women who, like those of us with uteruses today, were probably always a little bit iron-deficient, and traded sex for meat, to the movements advocating both for and against sex work, during a backdrop of 20th and 21st century Christian morality and patriarchy. There are juicy facts sprinkled throughout (the Catholic church was the biggest owner of brothels for 400 years – do not as I do, but as I say, anyone…?), provocative summaries – the Malleus Maleficarum is just 276 pages saying bitches be witches – and observations that gently twist needles under our fingernails – if you hate people doing gross stuff for money, you hate poverty, not prostitution.

Kaytlin has a beautiful way with words – she talks about the slipperiness between ‘whore’ and ‘woman’ and our transition from deity to demon, from vermin to victim. She weaves threads of comparison between the glorification and sanctification of the extreme violence of the military and the demonisation of sex work. There are implicit gender roles at play here, borne out through her historical references and the evolution of the patriarchy framed in the arms of the courtesan.

There’s a lot to make any objective, open-minded or compassionate human angry, but Kaytlin describes so many incredibly powerful women that no one knows much about that there’s somehow a sense of hope that we might get back one day to a society that treasures women as their own beings, and also values equitable access to pleasure and bodily autonomy.

She mentions a few times that as an audience we seem to be unresponsive or not getting what she’s giving us, but I think we’re all just mesmerised. 

June 2 is International Whore’s Day – put it in your diary now. 


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Historical, comedic, personal, engaging and informative

Review by Shemaia Dixon 22nd Feb 2024

Kaitlin Bailey emerges from the audience in BATS Theatre’s Stage space and begins her show by taking the audience through a deep breath. She then makes it clear that most of the stories she will tell are similar to her own experience and, being a western woman from the USA, they are mostly about people who come from similar backgrounds. 

Bailey explains the word whore originally described a ‘woman who desires’, and spends the next 75 minutes explaining how whores went from being praised and worshipped in the form of goddesses to being vilified as witches. She also raises our awareness of the current movement to reclaim the dignity of the word and the women who are, and have been, labelled as whores. 

As someone who holds a history degree, I can confidently say Whore’s Eye View is one of the best history lectures I have ever received. Bailey takes the audience through 10,000 years of sexual history. Making use of her own history degree, she intertwines the lesson with hilarious comedy, saying the things that most of us think but are too scared to say aloud.

The show is filled with details that everyone should know but the majority of the audience was not aware of. Bailey also uses her own experience as a sex worker to inform the discussion. The combination of the historical, comedic and personal elements creates an engaging and informative experience.

Bailey is charismatic and confident while also exuding a comforting vibe that puts the audience at ease. Her straightforwardness is refreshing and breaks down any tension the audience feels about discussing sex. The show includes references to Aotearoa which help the audience feel closer to the topic and relate what we are hearing to our own surroundings. Bailey is also notably inclusive of transgender and non-binary identities.

Bailey shows that at the forefront of every major development in history there have been sex workers, and provides the proof to back these claims up. She also shines a light on the hypocrisy of the world by pointing out that the same society that cares about exploitation and individuals being sold for their bodies when it comes to sex work, has had no qualms about sending young men to war to fight in battles that leave them traumatised. She illustrates this hypocrisy by once again using personal examples.

Kaytlin Bailey is a storyteller and a comedian, but as I leave the theatre my lasting impression is that she is a fantastic advocate. She has brought Whore’s Eye View from New York on the show’s world tour, offering a show that everyone, regardless of their personal views on sex work, simply has to experience. 


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