IN subverting the exploitative nature of the pornography industry -- a

business founded on the supposed pre-eminence of male desire and the

subjection of all women -- you might suppose an explicit talk-in (with

slides) by a female ex-porno movie star would court prurience.

Actually, last night's show, the first of three given by Ms Sprinkle

as the latest instalment in the Centre for Contemporary Art's Bad Girls

season, was too human, too frank, too generous, and occasionally too

daftly American to be anything more than thought-provoking. Cheap

arousal on the plane of the physical? Sorry, bub. Honesty is the price

of admission; men in dirty macs can't afford it.

Annie's honesty extends to employing a gynaecological speculum and a

flashlight and inviting strangers to peer in at her cervix. ''Wow,''

said a woman in the audience. One man was unimpressed. ''Licked-over

lunch,'' he said, wrinkling with distaste.

''You don't like it? This is where you're from!'' Annie said. We

laughed. Annie continued her blame-free philosophy, to wit: sex

liberates and can earn you money; the whole world can be bound together

in a chain of pleasure; seek self-awareness; open your heart; expect

nothing; kneel before the sacred prostitutes of ancient Mesopotamia . .

. OK, it got sillier.

Most daring moment? The (female) Sunday newspaper writer who stepped

up at half-time to be Polaroid-snapped with Annie's voluminous breasts

framing her face (only #3.50). It'll make an arresting picture by-line.

How was it for me? Uh, nice. But not quite as good as it seemed to be

for Annie, who wound up naked and orgasmic. American women are a fifth

gender. Who said that? Dunno. Whoever it was, they meant Annie Sprinkle.