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Scotland's cultural body to review €100k public funding for 'hardcore' sex art project

Scotland's cultural body to review €100k public funding for 'hardcore' sex art project

Scotland's cultural development body is reassessing its decision to allocate nearly €100,000 (£85,000) of taxpayer funds for an arts initiative featuring explicit, "hardcore" sex performances.

The project titled "Rein", directed by Leonie Rae Gasson, is described as "fantastical 45 minute, multi-screen, moving image installation". It offers participants €320 (£270) per day for engaging in "non-simulated" sex, including "hardcore" acts.

The casting call specifies that actors must be over 18, with a preference for those with previous sex work experience, particularly in "porn contexts."

Audiences are invited on the project's website to "come see the daddies lurking in the woods," followed by a climax involving a secret cave sex party. Various sexually charged visuals are also described as "exploding onto the screens" during the event.

Following public outcry and criticism, Creative Scotland has said in a statement that it is reassessing the funding due to the project being “considerably more explicit than was indicated in the application”.

A close up shot of a neon sign that says sex
A close up shot of a neon sign that says sex - Credit: Canva Images

Gasson, the “multi-reality director” behind the endeavour, previously received €27,190 (£23,219) in lottery funding in August 2022 to support the "research and development" phase of the "Rein" project.

With the financial backing she created a nine-minute teaser film featuring three characters “riotously hump, languidly lick, and shake their manes”.

Following this, Creative Scotland granted an additional €100k (£84,555) in lottery funds in January of this year to further develop the project.

The project is currently scheduled for its premiere in August 2025.