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Arts Metropolis 2008 August

Latin Lover: Pop singer, erotic actress, lingerie model, pro-sex activist—Aya Sugimoto is a one-woman cultural phenomenon

by Robert Michael Poole

Aya Sugimoto’s name is synonymous with all things sensual. Since her ground-shaking 2003 divorce, in which she famously (and very publicly) left a “sexless” marriage, Sugimoto has become a flag-bearer for women’s rights—particularly when those rights involve sex and relationships. Her sensational views are backed up by edgy performances in film and on stage, and she lends support to causes ranging from animal rights to female independence. Sugimoto’s new project promises more of the same: an adaptation, using the sensual Argentinean dance form tango, of the true story of Sada Abe, the notorious Meiji-era prostitute who asphyxiated and castrated her lover.