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Girl Scouts versus Scott Weiner versus Naked Sword: Here’s your week in sexy events


There are few things that San Franciscans love more than Thin Mints, and local Girl Scouts found out what those were on Sunday when a troop conviniently posted up in front of the deceased Diesel store at Castro and Market. The whippersnappers paid witness not only to another nude-y demonstration against the city’s new ban on public nudity, but also to said demonstration’s infiltration by dapper members (ahem) of local porn outfit Naked Sword [as Castro Biscuit reported.] They’re making a send-up of the nudity ban starring an ambitious politician, surname: Cox. Wink.

The flick will star Guardian cover boy Leo Forte, Dale Cooper as Cox, Christian Wilde as Officer Dick — who, we will note, was the only “cop” making arrests at the porn shoot-protest. Though there were six members of SFPD there by Castro Biscuit’s count and many exposed sets of genitalia, not a single arrest was made. If you’re going to have a nudity ban, might as well be a selectively-enforced one — all the better for climate-of-fear creating, amiright?

Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention 

Perhaps you were unable to attend the AVN porn awards in Vegas this year, or last weekend’s transgender version, the Tranny Awards in Los Angeles. How will you supplant the opportunities you forewent to rub elbows with your favorite adult stars in a vast, drafty hotel conference room? Might we recommend this peculiar, multi-day event hosted by porn critics Xbiz and sex-only Second Life-esque world Red Light Social Center. Now in its second year, you can prowl the halls of the convention avatar-like, taking in a Q&A with James Deen (Sat/23, 10am), daily industry networking hours, and expert panels on social media and branding for adult brands (Wed/27, 2pm) and online possibilities for sex work (Fri/22, 2pm).

Wed/20-Sat/23, free with online registration. www.adultvirtualconvention.com

Bawdy Storytelling: “One Night Stand” slam

It’s another edition of this XXX storytelling series’ amateur hour — not in a bad way! We’re just trying to say the field is open to all comers. Come at 7:30pm to sign up for a five-minute slot, all for you to lay bare your tale of one-off sexual shenanigans. The winner gets to compete in an upcoming championship round of some sort. Good luck, truth teller. 

Thu/21, 8pm, $10. Cafe Royale, 800 Post, SF. www.bawdystorytelling.com

Antique vibrator talk with Rachel Maines

Rachel Maines was actually researching a different kind of poke entirely when she came across the world of vibrator history — the scholar, who is currently a visiting scientist at Cornell University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, first saw mention of old school vibes in antique needlepoint magazines. Her interest piqued, Maines embarked on a study of the vibrator’s origins in private homes and as a tool used by doctors to treat “hysteria” among the female population. Today, she gives a talk surrounded by Good Vibrations founder Jodi Blanks’ formidable collection of vibrators throughout history — and of course, alongside some modern-day versions you can buy for your newly-educated self. 

Fri/22, 6:30pm, free. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF. www.goodvibes.com

Sex Worker Outreach Project meeting

Current and former sex workers are invited over to talk justice at SWOP’s regular meeting of the minds. The national organization fights for social justice for sex workers, working particularly on anti-violence issues. SWOP was behind a failed bid to decriminalize prostitution in 2004, and every year leads the way with the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers — check it out. 

Feb. 28, 6pm, free. Harm Reduction Coalition, 1440 Broadway, Suite 510, Oakl. www.swopbay.org

“Hard Day at the Office: Sex Workers on the Job”

… Speaking of SWOP, if you didn’t make it to that meeting — or aren’t a current or former sex worker, but still want to support the group’s work — or just like lit, get over to this evening of spoken word performances about the world’s oldest profession. Contributing to the program: Apaulo Hart, Carol Queen, Chad Litz, Cho Whoreingsly Prancypants, Daphne Gottlieb, Jacques LeFemme, Janetta Johnson, Miss Lola Sunshine, and Shelley “Muffie” Mays. 

Sat/23, 8pm, $10-20 sliding scale. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

When Christeene Vale plays you in the film version: ‘Fourplay’ screens this weekend at ATA


She wears a Guess Collection spotted lynx coat, Manolo Blahnik boots, Isabel Marant dress, La Perla lingerie. She has to figure out how to have sex with a quadriplegic. She is gentle, the most sweet. The Christeene Vale that stars in the “San Francisco” segment of Fourplay, a collection of sex-themed shorts that will screen in part at Other Cinema’s “Eros” lineup at Artist’s Television Access on Sat/16 is not the same filthy drag-terror I remember slapping and dredging her sweaty stomach over the faces of other front row admirers at her Public Works appearance last year. 

In part, this is due to the fact that in Fourplay Vale (or rather, Paul Soileau, her real world alter ego) is interpreting the cross-dressing SF sex worker who is sitting across the table from me in a SoMa cafe. Her name is Chloe, and she is explaining to me why her job is a lot like being a therapist.

Here is the plot of Fourplay‘s “San Francisco”: Soileau’s Chloe is called out to North Bay house with an unusual challenge. The wife of a quadriplegic man wants a professional to give him his first experience with a biological man. He’s not gay, the wife explains upon Chloe’s arrival. It’s just something he wants to do. 

The ensuing scene between Soileau and the prone man will convince anyone of the need for experienced, compassionate sex workers. It will also introduce you to ways of sexual pleasure you perhaps had not previously considered (spoiler alert, but: toe.) 

The story is loosely based on an experience that real-life Chloe recounted to director Kyle Henry when they were introduced by a mutual friend in San Francisco. They changed a things about the plot to make it simpler for audiences to digest. It was actually the quadriplegic’s mother who called Chloe. In the film version of Fourplay the disabled man is older — in real life he was 23 years old, having had an awful motorcycle accident at 18. The real-deal sex took place in Post Street hotel, one with adequate handicapped access so that the mother could position the man in the room, leave the money in an envelope on the desk. The next time real-life Chloe heard from mom, it was three years later. She had called to let him know her son had passed away in his sleep.

“All I could think was ‘god, this woman loves her son so much,’” Chloe tells me over tea at the new 111 Minna cafe. In person, it is easy to see similarities between the queen in front of me and Soileau that may have lead to the casting of the Fourplay short. Both of them have big eyes that look at you — Vale’s through freaky contact lenses, but you imagine the spirit is the same behind the plastic. In person, Chloe affirms, Soileau is actually quite gentle and Southern. Christeene hadn’t yet been born when the short was filmed almost three years ago, or when the two drag queens spent time studying each other before the short was shot. 

Chloe remembers that she was insistent that the tenderness she felt for the disabled man be apparent on screen, that Soileau bring back to life the humility she felt in that moment. 

“It wasn’t about getting pleasure,” she says of the quadripligic man. “It was more about him giving pleasure.” Which makes sense – a man who has to be waited on 24/7 for his own survival would fantasize, one supposes, about the moment when he could give happiness to another. “It changed my definition of what sex could be.” 

Chloe’s career began when a drag queen named Chocolate who worked the door at Trannyshack Tuesdays at the Stud asked baby-drag Chloe what her “price” was. Chocolate became her teacher, learning her the best way to work with clients. Judging from the way Chloe divined, diagnosed, and prescribed a cure for my Valentine’s Day anxiety, she’s definitely attuned to the needs of others — one of those “givers.”

“Very quickly,” Chloe remembers “the fear subsided when I saw how powerful touching the skin of another person, having them touch yours – how remarkable and transformative that can be.” Through the power of drag, she was able to take charge of each rendezvous and, she feels, really help people. “We’re not criminals. We’re artists, we’re shamans,” she tells me. Chloe was active in 2008’s defeated Proposition K, which would have prohibited the SFPD from using resources to instigate and prosecute sex work. 

“We live in a lonely world. People can go for days without speaking [in real life] to anyone.” She saw lots of self-identified straight men during those days of the first dom com boom in San Francisco, the kind of guys desired by the same burly gay men who the slight, nerdy Chloe felt rejected by in bars before she started sex work (“tranny’s revenge,” she laughs.) But when I ask how it felt to be so intimate with people who were in the closet, Chloe bridles. 

“As I understand, there’s a big difference between sexual identity and sexual practice.” Let them be straight if they say they’re straight, she avers. “I believe everyone should have the power of self definition.” 

Her caretaking spirit is evident in the short that Henry and the rest of his Austin-based collective created (Henry’s partner is one of Vale’s back-up dancers — the making of the “San Francisco” segment was somewhat of a family affair.) The partial screening on Saturday will be the second for Fourplay in San Francisco after last year’s Frameline debut. Who know, maybe Christeene will make an appearance — she was just announced as a guest judge for Fri/15’s Trannyshack Star Search pageant

Chloe’s excited that more of her SF friends get a chance to see the piece that they put together so many years ago. “It was so easy because Paul is so sweet, so fearless, he understood the complexity of the piece. And he fit perfectly in my clothes.” 

Yep, that fuzzy feeling wasn’t the only thing Chloe contributed to Fourplay – lady offered up the clothes off her back. 

Fourplay shorts at Other Cinema’s Eros Show

Sat/16, 8:30pm, $7

Artists’ Television Access

992 Valencia, SF



Suck on this: Guardian staff reviews aphrodisiac lollipops


Hey Valentines. Did you need a libido boost to buoy you through this week of boner-killing commercialized love-things? Meet Pandora’s Pops, then, a little venture headed up by Jena Chambers, a body worker who once ran a massage school and clinic in Asheville, North Carolina for six years. Chambers recently launched a Kickstarter to fund large-scale production of her pops, which are vegan, organic, herbal — all the things.

They also purport to give you feelings. Our focus was on Pandora’s aphrodisiac pops, since V-Day approaches and Chambers’ brand ambassador Mary Lollipoppins will be flitting about town distributing them. The line also includes mental stimulant pops, pops to help you quit smoking, pops to calm you down, and more.

How well do they work? The pops were thrust into the hands of Guardian staffers last weekend. Results are as follows: 

I’m going to give this one a solid “didn’t hurt.” Despite my bachelor’s degree in sociology I created a totally flawed sex pop experimental design: I ate my “Hot Professor” pop an hour before meeting a date for which no additional stimulant was needed. Did I giggle at his French dialetic thought jokes because of my pop’s unique herbal blend? Was Pandora responsible for the way I tolerated my companion’s meandering anecdotes or the effusiveness with which I cooed over his station wagon? Maybe? At any rate, unlike the other reviewers I thought my professor pop tasted dreamy (not too sweet, spicy, imparting the distinct sensation that I was eating something not free of nutritional value.) I’d do it again. Um, eat a Pandora Pop I mean. 

Maybe I’m biased because I met Chambers when she brought the pops by the office and she is adorable: 


Anyway, onto the Guardian staff peanut gallery:

I had the “Nurse Ginger” pop, which tasted OK but mildly reminiscent of potpourri. It felt a bit tingly on the tongue, but didn’t seem to have any effect on my libido.

— Emily Savage, music editor

When I heard that Pandora’s Pops would “amplify [my] natural, magnetic pheromones,” I thought: goodie. I can smell even stronger. How sexy will that be? Will my partner even notice over the odor of the dog and the unwashed laundry and the teenagers who don’t seem to understand the meaning of “regular showers?” What the hell; can’t hurt.

Except that: Gross.

The website described my “Flight Attendant” lollipop as “cinammon and exotic/familiar spice.” Actually, tasted like stinky socks. And I can give you all a basic dating tip: Nobody wants to kiss you when your mouth tastes like stinky socks. Trust me — I tried.

— Tim Redmond, executive editor

To put it simply: whiskey trumps aphrodisiac lollipops. I took one lick of my “Juicy Rose” pop and and half expected to turn into a lovesick puppy –- heart-shaped pupils and all. Sadly it seems any potential fireworks were masked by the stronger effects of multiple whiskey sours. But not all was lost -– my heart-shaped treat was defeated by alcohol but it still worked great both as a breath mint and a conversation piece.

— Cortney Clift, editorial intern

So perhaps Pandora’s Pops were too delicately herbal to stoke the fires of hardened journalist-folks. Perhaps your sweetie is more easily-influenced? Or just really into sucking on hearts. 

Nina Hartley mash notes, PETA gets naked, crafty vibes: Your week in sex events


Everyone survive the bused-in loads of pro-lifers prancing down Market Street last Saturday? Good. FYI, the Pope’s real happy with San Francisco right about now, so if you need to ask him for anything (to borrow clothes?) do it.

Real Talk forum: “Open Relationships”

Real talk: being happy in a polyamorous relationship doesn’t mean you don’t ever get jealous. Real Talk: a series of panel discussions organized by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation that explores the issues related to gay men having happy and healthy sexual lives. The last discussion focused on serosorting — this one’s for those interested in strengthening their open relationship by examining what makes us jealous, and how to work through the emotion. 

Wed/30, 6-8pm, free. LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market, SF. www.sfaf.org

American Apparel casting call/”Shop It Like It’s Hot”

Look pretty, sullen, and emaciated at this mega discount shopping event — in addition to slashed sales prices on lewks from Crossroads Trading Co., RoyalMint, Covet Boutique, Meggie, Violet Boutique, Thrifted and Modern, Alyssa Nicole, and Acrimony, American Apparel will be hawking their solid color essentials and looking for models. Enter IMCHICSF in when you buy your online ticket and you’ll get $10 off. Also: there will be a food cart.

Wed/30, 6-9pm, $20. 111 Minna, SF. www.111minnagallery.com

PETA jumps on Nude-In train

Really, the cwazy vegans over at PETA need little excuse to get naked, but we are glad that they chose this one: the cwazy nudiest are protesting cwazy Scott Weiner’s impending nudity ban (again), and they’re doing it on the steps of City Hall again, and PETA will be there drawing the correlation to the fur trade by hoisting protest signs in the buff. Of course! Insert some tounge-clicky, chuckling “only in San Francisco” condescension — then take your clothes off and join fray.  

Thu/31, noon, free. Outside City Hall, SF. www.peta.org

“Letters to a Porn Star: Nina Hartley Fan Mail”

First off, the Center for Sex and Culture has a Nina Hartley collection and that’s really exciting. Secondly, selections from said collection will be on display, in all their fawning/questioning/pervy glory, at the Center until mid-March. Tonight, take in the letters, gifts, and trinkets sent to the classically amazing pioneer feminist porn star — and check out a talk by Ingrid Olsen, a CSC fellow who has been elbow-deep in Nina land. 

Through March 18. Opening reception and talk: Fri/1, 7-10pm, free. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

Feelmore Fresh Fridays

Every last Friday, downtown Oakland adult store and sex culture hub Feelmore510 hosts an evening of naughty film at the recently-opened New Parkway. We guess tonight’s showing could be sexy, but in a deeply disturbing way: the film is 2010’s Venus Noire, a bio-pic of Saartjes Baartman, a woman from Southern Africa who was trotted about imperialist Britain billed as a Hottentot. Scientists examined her anatomy and proclaimed her the missing link between humans and apes, and she wound up dying from STDs and pnuemonia at 27. A valuble lesson about psuedo-science and sex, but you’ll probably be using that tissue to wipe away tears rather than any other bodily fluid.

Fri/25, 11:30pm, $10. New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakl. www.thenewparkway.com

Good Vibes vibrator bling contest

You’ve gotta buy a Good Vibes vibe to play the game (not end of world), but then with a little peacock feather, ornamental zipper, and g-l-i-t-t-e-r you can enter this Good Vibes sex toy crafting contest. The fancified vibrators will be on display at the Polk Street sex shop location during March, and winners of the competition will win gift certificates for the store. Deadline to enter your little friend (we assume they want them to be unused, but don’t let us impose our Puritanical values on your creativity)

Deadline to enter Feb. 28. Deliver by hand or mail to Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF. www.goodvibes.com

Sandra Fluke’s in town! As are the pro-life crazies! Your week in sexy events


40 years ago, a historic ruling gave us control over our own reproductive health. This week, a female state representative in New Mexico proposed banning abortions after rape to preserve police evidence. Shiver. Feel like a protest?

You’re in luck because this weekend, various groups all claiming to represent the best in women’s interests will be marking Roe vs. Wade’s historic judgement. But wait, will you attend the pro-choice carnival, the pro-choice flash mob, the anti-choice rally and march, or the pro-choice, anti-porn counter-demonstration? They are all happening this Saturday morning and early afternoon in Justin Herman Plaza. (Rebecca Bowe broke this story on our site over at the Politics blog, BTW.) We suggest being there, at least to watch the drama unfold. Happily, at least for the moment, choice is alive and well when it comes to weekend activism! 

Here’s the breakdown: 

Women, Life, and Liberty rally and celebration

Cuteness personified. This family-friendly gathering organized by 25 Bay Area women’s and reproductive rights groups will feature balloon artists, face-painting — and an address by Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University grad student who stared woman-hating Republican assholes in their beady eyes and emerged victorious, with the President on her side and a nation of newly-galvanized feminists sharpening their talons on her behalf. Rose Aguilar of KALW Radio will emcee. Come out, show up for your rights.  

Sat/26, 10am-noon, free. Justin Herman Plaza, SF. www.oursilverribbon.org

Her Rising Flash Mob

Of course there’s a flash mob — Magalie Bonneau-Marcil, director of Oakland’s Dancing Without Borders told Bowe that she expects 400-500 dancers for the event, part of a worldwide call for women to speak out against violence against them on this particular day. Practices are already over, but the mass of bodies in motion should be a gorgeous sight, one that will steel you for the next item on our list… 

Sat/26, 11:30am, free. Justin Herman Plaza, SF. www.herrising.org

Walk For Life rally and march/Stop Patriarchy counter protest

Shiver. For the ninth year, San Francisco pro-lifers are organizing so that busloads of social conservatives from all over the West Coast and Mid-West will be converging on San Francisco. This from the Walk For Life website: “We are thrilled and honored to be able to announce that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States will be attending the Walk for Life West Coast on January 26 and reading a message from Pope Benedict XVI!”

Bay area group Stop Patriarchy is organizing a counter-protest, but big-ass asterisk on that one because that group, which does fight against attacks on abortion rights, includes the existence of pornography in its definition of the war on women and we are obvs not down with that characterization. Porn and reproductive agency for all! 

Sat/26, rally 12:30-1:30pm, walk 1:30pm, free. Justin Herman Plaza, SF. www.walkforlifewc.com 

And yes! There are other, sexier sex events happening this week too! 

Kinky Speed Dating 

Sponsored by the all-knowledgable BDSM education group Society of Janus, this session still has space for female bottoms who are looking to pair up with a male top (it’s part of an SOJ series that focuses on different genders and orientations during different sessions.) You’ll have the opportunity to meet 15 potential playmates, and receive the FetLife handle of those who are interested in you at the end of the speed rounds of sexy chit-chat. Conversation starters will be provided for those not well-versed in pervy small talk. 

Sat/26, 3-5pm, $10-15. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

“Pleasure Yoga For Women” workshop/Naked Yoga at Eros

It’s all about the breathe — during yoga, obviously, but perhaps proper respiration is the key to healthy sensuality as well? The concept is explored at this one-off seminar for women, meant to promote sexual confidence and the ability to recognize what turns you on and fulfills you for real. Men folk, we don’t mean to leave you all tense and unflexible on this one: males of all sexual orientations are invited every Tuesday to Castro sex club Eros for naked yoga class — the class isn’t supposed to be a place to cruise, but rather a place for the menfolk to connect on another level of sexual health. 

Workshop: Sun/27, 2-6pm, $65. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org. Naked Yoga For Men: every Tuesday, 6pm, suggested donation. Eros, 2051 Castro, SF. www.erossf.com

Dirty Talk and Roleplay with Chloe Camilla

I just went to see the drag production of Sex and the City currently playing at Rebel. In it, the voluptous Lady Bear presents a Miranda that is momentarily bewildered by a lover who demands she talk dirty in bed. After chatting it over with the girls she gives it a go. Lo and behold! Miranda finds that sensual verbosity is a huge turn-on, and that she’s really good at it. You just have to take the plunge, which is exactly what the pervy-adorable Chloe Camilla will be aiding and abetting at her Kink.com workshop next week. Look, discuss with Carrie over lunch and give it a go. 

Jan. 31, 7:30pm, $35. SF Armory, 1800 Mission, SF. tickets.armorystudios.com

Clergy summons sexy undead (local Episcopalian priest pens racy vamp novel)


It is perhaps indicative of my professional scope that I was nervous to talk to Amber Belldene, Bay Area author of a “racy romance” vampire novel (her words.) But be advised, my anxiety was due less to her literary pursuits and more with the fact that she is an ordained Episcopalian priest. Religion, it would seem, is a harder passion to penetrate for me than undead sex scenes. 

On her end, Belldene sees no conflict between the two. “Romance novels are really about love, and so is being Christian,” the neatly-attired writer, who “fell down a slippery vampire slope” when she was a young thing told me during her visit to my office. The tagline on her website reads “Mystically Sexy Paranormal Romance…because Desire is Divine.” [sic]

Blood Vine, Belldene’s debut novel, does present a few conflicts with the Christian faith, however. For one, the protagonist is undead. What would Jesus do? 

Though she came to her calling via a mystical experience in her early teens, the priest is far from one of those religious types who seek ban Harry Potter as a tool of the devil. “For me, fiction is just fiction,” she explains. And when she was bedbound pregnant with her twins, she felt the renewal of the connection to vampire novels she had as a child — so much so that she began to devour blood-based books at rates of one to two a day. (For the record, she started with Discovery of Witches and has never read the Twilight series, although she is fond of True Blood.) 

“It was a gut interest,” she says of this affinity for fanged folk. Vampire lit, she felt, “turns our hunger and longing for things into something visceral. [Vampires are] our exaggeration of our human traits.”

And longevity makes for some interesting plot lines. Belldene (her pen name — to protect those she works with, she also won’t reveal the place where she serves as priest) says she banged out Blood Vine rather quickly, and was able to get women-owned, indie publishing house Omnific to print the book on a per-order basis. The day of our interview she still didn’t have a copy of the thing, a fact that she shrugged off in a rather confusing, if charming manner.

She was inspired by some grapevines at a winery she visited in Sonoma County upon discovering that the vines had come from Croatia. The vines, as is obvious from the title, play a starring role in the book. “I think it sounds sillier than it reads,” the author half-apologies as she explains the plot. It is: hunky Andre Maras the vampire lives on a Sonoma vineyard. Far from his homeland, he is wasting away — a common vampire trait when separated from one’s birthplace, Belldene tells me. He hits upon grafting vines from his native country onto plants in California in the hopes of deriving ancestral pep from the wine made from the berries. 

Since Andre wants the best for all his fellow vamps, he starts producing the wine on a mass scale. And since that of course entails a cohesive publicity campaign, he hires a PR firm — a PR firm who assigns a rep, Zoey Porter, to his account that he finds quite comely. The rest is neck bites. (Figure of speech, I haven’t read it and you know how these undead novels go, surely it’s not that simple.)


The plot is far from X-rated, Belldene tells me, but “this is solidly romance. But on the spicy level, not sweet and sensual.” 

What’s been the reaction from those who know her as a holy woman? Mainly positive, the priest of seven years says, and she counts among her supporters prominent members of the Bay Area Episcopalian scene, although many “appreciate the fact I have a pen name.” And for those who have been a bit more confused by the unholy Andre and crew, Belldene has practiced tolerance as any good Christian would. “I have been supportive of their questions,” she says. 

Belldene has two sequels to the novel in the works, 

Time’s a wastin’, but Craigslist Casual Encounters can help you go out with a bang


Think you’ve outfoxed the apocalypse because it’s almost noon on 12.21.12? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Mayan armadoomsdaypaclypse may still be on.

The land of the ancient Mayans, which lies in present-day southeastern Mexico, is subject to the -6 UTC time zone (same time as Chicago and Houston.) Which means for us in the Pacific realm – probably the most dangerous place to be considering the fault lines and tsunami vulnerability – 10:00pm will be the moment of truth. So spend your last moments with loved ones, reading what could possible be the Guardian’s last cover story ever, or getting some of that sweet dirty Craiglist sex that you’ve heard so much about but were too afraid to try.

Time is obviously of the essence, so we picked out five possible sexual encounters that we believe will be worthy of your last moments on earth. Interestingly enough, some ads require you to be disease free.

– These guys don’t even want sex, they just want to see some boobs! 

– He genuinely wants to be with you for the company, though you’ll have to be the host because he has roommates. 

– It’s end times, so go on — hook up with someone from the Marina.

– Finally! A reason to visit Redwood City! (NSFW)

Local blogs fumble story of sex worker activist named legislative aide


We were thrilled to bits at the Guardian when St. James Infirmary’s longtime program director and former Harvey Milk Club president Stephany Joy Ashley was named Supervisor David Campos’ new legislative aide. Ashley was a speaker on our “Feminism in the Bay Area Today” panel discussion and worked on a number of political campaigns, from John Avalos’ bid for mayor to Rafael Mandleman’s 2010 run for District 8 supervisor. 

However, local blogs read her primarily as a former stripper. “Lusty Activist is the New Campos Aide,” read Misson Loc@l’s headline. “David Campos’ New Aide Is a Former Lusty Lady Dancer,” read the headline on SFist. Way to focus on the important stuff, guys.

Of course, Ashley was a stripper at SF’s amazing worker-owned strip club — six years ago. And we think it’s awesome that we live in a town that doesn’t separate sex workers from the political world. And actually, the Mission Loc@l headline isn’t really indicative of the article’s content, which does focus on Ashley’s impressive qualifications.

But, the fact of the matter is that “Lusty activist” and “former Lusty Lady dancer” are really insufficient descriptors for someone who has continued to play really important roles in the community since her days at the Lusty. It’s hardly the most unique thing about Ashley either, given her achievements since. 

We get it local bloggers, we’re all looking for clicks. But let’s not sensationalize sex work — not to mention completly legal sex work — anymore. This story was already awesome without it.

Hot sexy events: Queer calendars, hot bikes, and Dita


Orientalism to-do aside (who does she think she is, Gwen Stefani?), making eye contact with Dita Von Teese for an extended period of time is an experience I highly recommend.

Von Teese, after all, is “the siren of our times,” as host Lady Rizo told the crowd last night at Big Daddy’s Antiques, where Cointreau is hosting a few nights of cocktails and burlesque amid the whimsical, weird towers of Big Daddy’s old things-for-sale. Last night, a performance by the Cointreauversial Von Teese headlined the event preview, which also featured a vast swath of cocktails shaken up the brand’s “master mixologist” Kyle Ford. You can check out the show, minus Dita, for free with RSVP today Wed/14 and tomorrow Thu/15.

Ask her if her shit stinks,” whispered my escort for the evening. 

I didn’t. But the soft-spoken Von Teese and I managed to cover a few other topics during our brief chat next to a wall of glowing Cointreau bottles. For example, what the most over-the-top feminine woman today considers to be the most masculine thing about herself (“my ability to paralell park. No, my collection of vintage autos. I drive a 1953 Cadillac on a daily basis.”), how she survived the vitriolic election season (“I have a girlfriend who keeps me informed. I fill out my ballot with her. Everything turned out fine in the end…”), and the sexiest thing she’s seen in 2012 — a question for which the seasoned star, surprisingly, had no pat answer for (“you mean, that I can tell you about?”)

But eventually, she hit upon it. “I’ve seen a lot of sexy moments within my show [her revue, “Strip, Strip Hooray!” which features curvy burlesquer Dirty Martini and Perle Noir]. We have a lot of diverse body shapes.”

Does she ever get blowback from fans for featuring fat girls in her shows? (We are talking about fat girls, amiright?) Not, Von Teese told me, from people who have actually watched “Strip, Strip Hooray!”

“But I have had them go, wow, I’ve never seen anything like that.”

… Which was exactly what I was thinking from my front row spot watch Von Teese do her jaw-dropping thing, first in a sequined South Pacific-style two-piece, then a feathered fan, then nothing much of anything — a string of sparkles, pasties, and a coy smile. 

La Maison Cointreau Big Daddy’s Antiques 1550 17th St., SF. www.lamaisoncointreau.com. Wed/14-Thu/15 6-9:30pm, free. RSVP for time slot

Bawdy Storytelling: Gender Bender

GenderFork founder Sarah Dopp created an online place to celebrate transgender, genderqueer, and androgynous folks, which is pretty much the perfect resume for a reader at tonight’s Bawdy. The XXX storytelling series explores the nooks and crannies of gender variance. Dopp will be joined by sex educator Reid Mihalko, performer Lily Black, and more at this last Oakland Bawdy for the forseeable future. 

Wed/14 7-10:30pm, 

The Uptown

1928 Telegraph, Oakl.


“Everyday Pervertibles: DIY Kink”

When Sister Eden Asp asks you to find pervy uses for a quotidian object, you do it. Porn stars Leo Forte and Element Eclipse may be particularly suited for the task, which means that tonight’s event, at which they’ll share their sexual imaginations, will be a must-attend for anyone who is looking to learn about kink play that’s safe, sane, sexy. 

Wed/14 7-9pm

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


Q-Were calendar release parties

Chicagoan photographer Patience Meeks has pulled together this gorgeous 12-monther of queer women just in time for your early holiday shopping (you’re doing that, right?) To celebrate, her team has organized parties on either side of the Bay at sexy hot spots, where they’ll be selling the calendar and mingling with its fans. 

Oakland: Thu/15 6pm, free


1703 Telegraph, Oakl.


San Francisco: Fri/16 8:45pm, free

Lexington Club

3464 16th St., SF


Progressive International Motorcycle Show

Leather aficionados will vroom vroom for this weekend expo of the burliest, sexiest two- and three-wheeled numbers in the industry. Among the vehicles that will be available for you to cast your voyeuristic eyes all over will be: first person from this country to win the Grand Prix motorcycle racing world championship Kenny Roger’s bikes and Honda’s 2013 bikes, appearing for the first time in public.

Fri/16 3pm-8pm; Sat/17 9:30am-8pm; Sun/18 9:30am-5pm, $15 day pass

San Mateo County Event Center

2495 South Delaware, San Mateo


The Godless Perverts Story Hour

How many times has Jesus poked his meddling beard into your bedroom? We all know that God and his son have no place in your sexual doings. This fact will be celebrated at tonight’s reading, featuring confirmed blasphemers Maggie Mayhem, Greta Christina, David Fitzgerald, Chris Hall, Dana Fredsti, Anthony O’Con, Simon Sheppard, and M.Christian. Earthly lechers, rejoice. 

Sat/17 7pm, $10-20

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


Election got you all hot and bothered? For you, the week in SF sex


Yesterday morning I dug up my Obama mix, the CD that I made at this time four years ago when I was a wide-eyed political organizer and played for my team of adroit, grandmotherly union member-canvassers. Gah, my dislike for Will.i.am is well-known but this song gets me every time. Which is why I found myself on Election Day 2012 wearing a Moveon.org Obama T-shirt I donated $5 for, all abuzz with Obamastalgia. It’s like a drug, this resurgance of a younger, less jaded president — even if it’s only for the time it takes for all that confetti maelstrom to settle to the stage. 

If similar feelings of Oval Office lust have got you all hot and bothered (or just immensely bothered, in the case of some of the California races BOO LA’S PROP B BOO PROP 35), here’s a week full of sex events to help you blow off some steam, SF style.

Aural Sex: Seduction by Voice

Besides being skilled in the art of Japanese rope bondage, local sex educator Midori is skilled in the art of vocal seduction. Whether you are a sex writer gearing up for a spoken word event  (perhaps yesterday’s Bawdy Storytelling inspired you?) or merely looking to begin seducing your prey before they even see any skin, her class today promises to teach you the tricks of sultry 

Thu/8 7-9:30pm, $20

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


Bawdy Storytelling: Who You Calling a Dirty Whore?

Boldly dubbed the night of “sure things” by Bawdy founder Dixie de la Tour’s press announcement, tonight’s pervy storytelling event explores the “appallingly erotic and emotionally appealing” lives of performers Carol Queen, Ginger Murray, Bunny Von Tail, and Dixon Mason. 

Wed/7 8pm, $12-15

Verdi Club

2424 Mariposa, SF


Brunettes are the masters

“It’s done for charity, now do it for love” is not the least problematic website title we’ve heard — particularly as, in the case of WhatsYourPrice.com, what you’re “doing for love” is deciding whether you are “attractive” or “generous.” Such semantic acrobatics for good old fashioned sex work we’ve ne’er seen. Nonetheless, when the site sent us the results of its recent survey among members (over 5,000 SF hetero men surveyed!), this is what we read: 

Based on the results of this study, San Francisco’s perception of “The Perfect Woman” is brunette (+$140.54) with blue eyes (+$43.79), a social drinker (+$19.60) who doesn’t smoke (+$16.28), who is a college graduate with a Master’s Degree (+$35.31). Overall, San Francisco males are willing to spend an average of $255.52 to go on a first date with their definition of “The Perfect Woman.” 

We do love smart… 

Sex workers’ writing workshop

Gina de Vries, local sex worker scribe, SF State master in writing, and previous SFBG sex columnist offers this class for sex workers every second Saturday of the month at the Center for Sex and Culture. If this year’s election, with its doleful condom mandate in LA and likely-to-pass Prop. 35, which will further marginalize sex workers, is any gauge, then this is one sector of society that needs its voice heard at higher volumes. Pick up the pen (stylus, whatever), start writing. 

Sat/10 2-4pm, $10-20 sliding scale

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


Playing Well With Others whistle stop tour

After reading Mollena and Lee Harrington’s user-friendly guide to joining the BDSM/kink community — and interviewing Mollena about it for this fall’s Sex Issue — I was convinced they’d written the practical counterpart to 50 Shades of Grey’s inspirational, if somewhat incomplete, smut story. Today, the duo post up to talk about some bonehead beginner’s moves that get made — and how to deal with “douchebag deviants.” You know.

Sun/11 5-7pm, $15

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


Make an Impact: Pleasing Your Bottom with Impact Play

Last we heard from Kink.com actor and sex educator Chloe Camilla, she was doing a tear-jerking performance piece at the ASQEW Festival at YBCA on her parents’ reactions to discovering her life as a sex worker, her discovery of true love, and ensuing decision (based on her family’s feelings) to quit sex work altogether. That’s why we were so pleased to hear that the cheerful queer femme will be returning to sex ed — at least, partially

“[My parents would] much prefer I abandon the identity completely, of course,” Camilla told us via email when we contacted her to get the update on her work “but as my website and educational work is politically important to me (and the main way I get to be more complex than an object others control the images of), I’ve kept it up on a very part time basis. I mostly do other things at this point, but sometimes I’ll teach or perform when the opportunity presents.”

We’ll take it! Celebrate her conviction by signing up for this class in impact play for tops, in the depths of Kink.com’s porn palace. 

Sun/11 2pm, $35

Kink Armory

1800 Mission, SF



SFBG TV: Arse Elektronika brings new meaning to “grab my joystick”


It was Saturday before Folsom Street Fair 2012, and I found myself standing in Kink.com’s recently-opened Armory Club, sipping on a well-crafted cocktail and waiting for people to arrive in the bar’s private backroom area. 

As I gazed about the bondage scene portraits on the walls, I think of San Francisco’s history as an extremely open, sexually-progressive city. Only more recently have we seen the proliferation of a tech industry fueled by the Silicon Valley, the city’s high-functioning contado. 

Given our epic confluence of sex and tech, it’s no wonder Monochrom’s Johannes Grenzfurthner created Arse Elektronika, a conference focusing on sex and technology that’s now in its fifth year of existence. This year’s theme of “Fucking Polygons, Fucking Pixels” underlay a focus on procedural representations of sex and gaming, with various speakers, seminars and performances taking part in the event. 

“People actually do this?” asked a bar patron, who was hearing about Arse Elektronika for the first time. “You’re not from here, are you?” I said, chuckling a bit.


This week in sex events: Free Internet anti-porn and sex nerd heaven


What to do when Halloween rolls around, but you’re already slutty 365 days a year? Up the ante with one of this week’s sex events, because you’re more than just an awkwardly-gender-coded bag of crap from Spirit.

Quickies Indie Erotic Short Film Festival

Once a year, locally-born sex toy behemoth Good Vibrations gives us an opportunity to don a Halloween costume, kick back in a historic theater, and watch ourselves have sex. This would be Good Vibes’ annual erotic short film competition, which welcomes sensual submissions featuring sexualities of all stripes, vanilla and kink alike, and all manner of core, rock-hard to whisper-soft. This year, sexologist-about-town Carol Queen and drag cinenova Peaches Christ host the affair, whose audience-selected winner will take home a cool $1,500.  

Pre-party 7pm, $10; screening 8pm, $10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120


Australian animated genitals await you at Quickies

Good Vibrations Sex Summit

And the fun need not end in the Castro. “Sex nerd” is becoming one of those that’s-so-San-Francisco identities, right up there with “proud wearer of cock rings.” Bawdy Storytelling based an entire show ‘n’ tell session around the concept this year, and now you can spend an entire Saturday (bonus if it’s bright and sunny out) getting into the nitty-gritty of desire, lecture style! Good Vibes hosts this day of panels and keynote talks by all kinds of sexperts. Topics up for discussion include “Regulating Pleasure: Sex, Politics and Censorship,” “Outspoken/Unsaid: Sex and Media,” “Pills, Profits and Pleasures: Sexual Health and Pharmaceuticals,” and “Sexual Stargazing: Sex and Pop Culture.” Attendees get in free to Friday night’s erotic film festival at the Castro. Make a weekend of it, nerd!

Sat/27 8:30am-9pm, $69-99

Marriot Marquis Hotel


XXX Apocalypse Funhouse 

This Halloween season, hightail to the one haunted house where you don’t have to be embarassed about getting the pants scared off you (and yes, this is the perfect opportunity to look at those photos again.) Kinky Salon hosts a spooky, two-night edition of its vampire kink orgy (all orientations, all the time.) This weekend look for zombie strippers, Satanic rituals gone sexy, and tunes by DJ Fact 50.

Fri/26 Sat/27, 10pm, $25-35

Mission Control

2519 Mission, SF


Poetry class for sex workers

Poet Zhayra Palma is teaching four sessions (they started Oct. 23) of writing workshops for people in the sex industry, because really who has better stories than them? (Sorry, Muni drivers.) Come if you’d like your poetry demystified, your voice unleashed, your writing workshops taking place in the most amazing library of sex lit in San Francisco. 

Tuesdays through Nov. 13, 4-6pm, free 

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


As this trailer of Somebody’s Daughter clearly shows, when women become sex workers they become mice.

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week

Through some odd vagary in conservative PR-think, I am on the press list for Morality in Media, a batshit crazy anti-porn organization who sends me important tidings like the fact that adult filmmakers are voting for Obama. Thusly, I have been alerted to the fact that next week will be chockful of free livestreams of sure-to-be-hilarious-if-you’re-not-terrified anti-porn flicks (like this documentary of a real-life pastor’s son who “felt a call from God” to marry a sex worker. Lucky her), seminars on how to spy on your child/limit their ability to access information, and psuedo scientific talks on porn addiction. I suggest masturbating to all of it. 

Various online events, Sun/28-Nov.4, free


Protest the Weiner bill

Though public nudity is currenty legal in our fair city, your right to strut like a peacock may be in danger — Supervisor Scott Weiner has submitted an anti-nudity piece of legislation that woud make everyone put their clothes on. Should that rub you the wrong way, join this protest in the middle of the city to show your true colors. Clothing very much optional. After the chanting, head to the Center for Sex and Culture to estatic dance the night away with Seattle DJ Jules O’Keefe. 

Protest: Tue/30, noon, free

City Hall

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett 

After-party: Tue/30, 7pm, free (all-ages)

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


Tiny hats and Trannyshack: this year’s Masquerotica has something for everyone


What of the the sex expo? Hundreds of new pairs of fishnet stockings await this weekend’s Masquerotica at the Concourse Exhibition on Sat/13. They languish in their packages, yearning for the convention center-sized strut between rooms of Kink.com performers, contortionists, fetish wear booths, Trannyshack vamps, and Hard French DJs. For months now, we at the Guardian have been receiving tidings of the second annual Masquerotica’s impending onslaught, which, event PR folk assured us, was to be a true representative of SF sex culture. 

To fully prepare ouselves for the scantily-clad melees, we turned to event co-organizer Scott Levkoff for answers. Levkoff is the founded of Mission Control, that pansexual playground here in the city that hosts such swinger’s balls as Kinky Salon with his partner, Polly Pandemonium. He gave us an idea of what to expect, and unexpectedly extolled the virtues of tiny top hats and sexy nurse costumes.

SFBG: After Exotic Erotic went down in financial flames, why do you think it’s important to have these large scale sex events?

SL: Its one thing to explore freedom behind closed doors, to express and explore in small circles or at invite only events- but if you have ever participated with any of the larger events such as Folsom Fair and Pride, there is a feeling that you are amongst a majority and no longer a minority. 

The first time I went to events such as Folsom Fair, and even the now-defunct Exotic Erotic Ball, I marvelled at the sense of freedom and elation that I experienced. There is a weird sense of belonging that I feel at these large scale events, a sense of rightness regarding your choice to live and love the way you wish that is amplified by the sheer numbers present. In a practical sense, large scale events can model the behaviors necessary for the adoption and acceptance of progressive attitudes if done right.

SFBG: How do you think Masquerotica would be as an entry point for someone who is looking to explore their kinkyness?

SL: Masquerotica has been intentionally curated as a sort of smorgasbord of SF’s sexiest and most creative communities — think of the party like a sampler buffet of many sensual delights and treats. Guests newer and perhaps a bit timid in exploring these worlds will also find the party a great introduction. They’ll be welcomed by our trained event hosts courtesy of Mission Control, dubbed Masqueteers. They will greet guests at the front gate, present our basic house rules, such as: Be nice! Consent is sexy! No aggressive cruising — even if they are really cute! Please ask before touching! Etc.

SFBG: Can you tell me about some of the fashion that will be at the expo? 

SL: One will see a lot of Dark Garden corsets, Burning Man fashions, the ever perennial ‘tiny top hat’, animal costumes, and clothing from SF establishments such as Costume on Haight, Distractions, Piedmont Boutique, Fantasy Makers, Mr. S Leather, New York Apparel, Idol Vintage, Multi-Kulti and one of my faves-Decades of Fashion. We’re encouraging guests to put on what makes them feel sexy and playful, whether it’s Venetian carnival couture, leather, shiny latex, lingerie, corsets, uniforms, gothic Lolita, steampunk, high Victorian, Phantom of The Opera tuxedos, lace masks, see-through fabrics, bubble wrap — get creative! As always, I predict Legs Avenue costumes will make a strong showing as well. You can never have enough sexy cats, sexy nurses, and sexy witches at a party.

SFBG: I’ve gotten a lot of emails from the organization promoting Masquerotica as a sex-positive event, as compared to other massive sex expos that the city hosts. What about Masquerotica is different from XO Expo, etc.?

SL: There really is a science to creating sexy creative events where everyone feels safe and free to express themselves. Empowering guests to ‘step up their game,’ and following through with them when they don’t, is hugely important. Just saying that you support freedom and self-expression can unleash a Mardi Gras, free-for-all mentality. Foster creative community engagement, participation, and hearty dialogue with your brand. Also important: choosing good music, erotic art, and playful visuals that brings a good vibe. Embrace true diversity whenever possible and communicate your vision to your public constantly. And make sure your space smells good! Nothing says sexy like the scent of cow dung and wet asphalt! [editor’s note: sarcasm and the Internet have few happy meetings]


Sat/20 8:30pm-3am, $55–$125

Concourse Exhibition Center

635 Eighth St., SF



Guess who pornographers are voting for in November


Surprise! It’s Obama, by a whopping 55 percentage point differential.

Porn PR conglomerator Xbiz conducted the poll of adult filmmakers (details are hazy regarding when and by what method the poll was administered), whose results says that only 13 percent of the XXX-ers asked would be voting for Mitt Romney, compared to Obama’s 68 percent.

The news here being that 13 percent of pornographers would vote for a guy who signed an anti-porn pledge and appears to be deadset on curtailing access to adult material by the “promotion of parental software controls” and “strict enforcement of our nation’s obscenity laws.”

Said Morality in the Media president Patrick Trueman in a press release, “the porn industry is flourishing because the Obama Administration has given it a green light to distribute hardcore porn to every man, woman, and child in America.

[h/t Morality in the Media (scary ones!)]

Fierce, forceful, amazing: remembering Robyn Few


Robyn Few, innovative sex worker revolutionary and a part of the soul of San Francisco, passed away Sept. 13. 

Robyn was a mother, a grandmother, and a wife. She was a leader. She died in her hometown of Paducah, KY after a long battle with cancer.

Robyn ran away from home when she was 13, and started survival sex. When she was 18, she became a legal sex worker. In a 2008 interview, Robyn remembered how much she loved stripping: “I loved it so much; it was so empowering to be able to get up on the stage…I came alive, and for me being paid to dance and to show my body [that] I was so proud of anyway…it was just an amazing experience.” She worked in massage parlors, as an escort, in an illegal brothel. She got married and had a child. After her divorce, Robyn moved to San Francisco.

Here, she got immersed in activism to legalize marijuana, and continued to do sex work, although she wasn’t out about it to most people she knew. But when she was arrested in 2001 in a nationwide sting, she couldn’t hide it anymore.

“When I was arrested, of course, everybody found out about me, and they treated me differently. They absolutely treated me differently. And here I was, the same person before I was arrested as I was after. I mean nothing had changed about me. Yet I was treated differently because people thought that I shouldn’t be a sex worker. So that made me very angry. And I became a major activist,” Robyn remembers in the 2008 interview. “Just because you’re a sex worker doesn’t mean you’re not a great community citizen. And that’s what I proved. And once I proved that, people began to trust me. And being a sex worker wasn’t so bad for them.”

After her arrest, Robyn remained dedicated to marijuana activism and dove into sex workers’ rights activism. She founded the Sex Workers Outreach Project, which now has chapters all over the US and around the globe. She helped create the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, observed annually on Dec. 17. She spearheaded campaigns to decriminalize prostitution in Berkeley, Measure Q, and San Francisco, Prop. K. She consulted with members of the New Zealand Parliament during a successful bid to decriminalize prostitution there. 

Yesterday, a loving ceremony in honor of Robyn took place outside City Hall, and people from throughout her family and community shared their memories of her. Here are some of the stories.

“Robyn was one of the only people I’ve ever met to turn every party into a political rally and every political rally into a party.” 

“She always brought whores to the stoners and pot to the hookers. And as you can imagine both parties very much appreciated the matchmaking.” 

“She was fierce, forceful, amazing.”

“My mom was a really amazing person, and I will always miss her so much…She was so vibrant and amazing. She always was ready to do whatever she could. She was just an amazing person, and I will miss her.”

“The one thing that Robyn blows me away with more than anyone else on this planet is her ability to love absolutely anyone. Somebody a long time ago told me that the sign of a good sex worker is to be able to love absolutely anyone. And Robyn had that down more than anyone else. I have never seen someone give the same respect to every single human being she met. She had a light that shone through her eyes. She was an angle on the planet, and we’re all very, very blessed to have known her.”

“We were having a panel on coming out, should you or shouldn’t you. And she stood up and she proudly said, ‘I’m a whore!’ and I was just so shocked. And she just started screaming, ‘I’m a whore, and I’m proud! I’m a whore!’ It looked like she had just gone through chemo. And I was just so shocked and touched by her….In honor of Robyn, I would like to stand on the steps of City Hall today and declare my whoreness! There’s nothing to be ashamed of. And she was really inspiring. She was a really inspiring person.”

“She taught me so much, especially about the power of people of color in activist movements.”

“I first met Robyn because she was one of the original bitches of ASA (Americans for Sex Access). That’s what they called us, because all the drug policy groups were mostly men. And they were all very single-issue.”

“I, like a lot of educated women, like we like to call ourselves, thought I was a feminist until I met Robyn Few. Then I realized how full of shit I was. I always thought, well, sex work is exploitative right?… Violence against women is constantly tolerated and legitimized by the whole idea that what somebody chooses to do with their body- right, pro-choice- that what somebody chooses to do with their body is the purveyance of the state. Why do you think that the state should be able to tell you what you should do with your body?”

“I grew up in a very conservative place in Idaho, and Robyn has had a huge impact on my life, in just a mindset of things. And the biggest thing that I’ve learned from her is that all my preconceived notions about the way people should behave and the way things should be have been learned. And they can be learned again, or unlearned.”

“I had been arrested for prostitution, and because I was also a teacher at Berkeley High, it made the national news…. Even though I really just wanted to wear a big, enormous hat, huge glasses, and sneak in and out of court to avoid the whole thing…the activist in me said, OK, well the fucking cameras are on me, and they’re wanting to talk to me, so I need to say something and make use of this opportunity….so my life’s falling apart, I’m never going to be able to teach again. I can’t work because my clients are afraid to come see me, I’m all over the fucking news. I’m totally depressed…and Robyn! Every time I see Robyn she’s like, we’re going to take it to the Supreme Court! Because it was right after Lawrence vs. Texas had settled in the Supreme Court. So Robyn was like, the precedent’s been set, the language is there, we’re going to go for it, this is the case!…Robyn was just so happy. She was so supportive, so happy and so fun. She had sign making parties for my press conference, and every time I saw her she was so happy. OK, but here’s the thing. I eventually found out that she was in the middle of her own court case, a federal case, where she was facing time in prison, and didn’t know yet if she was going to prison. Her sentencing hearing was coming up….And here she is, she’s just this ray of sunshine and positive energy, and so happy and buoyant and supportive. And she never mentioned that she was possibly going to be going to prison for her own case.”

 “As you all know, her laugh is one to treasure, and  her charisma pulls in strangers….When Robyn and I talked about her opting out [of continuing treatment], it wasn’t a gamble on life. It was to choose an end to life, filled with travel and friends and love rather than life’s end governed and shaped by treatment and sterile institutions.”

“She was proud of her whore sisterhood, pleased with what had been accomplished, and confident that the younger SWOP members would continue what she started.”

“She’s created a whole movement. And her tenacity and her drive and her fight and her inspiration is so contagious. It was so contagious.”

“I dedicated a good month trying to help Prop. K pass. And so the day that the decision was going to come down, she rented a limo regardless. She was like, I’m renting a limo, we’re going to party, it’s going to be great. And then I’m hoping, hoping, hoping, I’m all come on Prop. K. We’ve worked so hard on this. Blood, sweat and tears, blood, sweat and tears. And then we hear on the radio the result. And I’m about to cry, and here’s the miracle part. Robyn Few jumps out the top of the limo and she’s all, ‘Yeah! 41.2 percent motherfuckers!’ And that is the miracle mindset…because you did lose the proposition but we won so much….we didn’t lose anything, we gained.”

“Robyn Few died on the same day as one of my other favorite activists, Tupac Shakur. On September 13. And people still remember Tupac’s legacy. And there’s certain activists like that, like Robyn, like Bob Marley. They’re all pot smokers. And I just feel really, really fortunate to have met her, because she is a special activist.”

Robyn Few will be missed.

Werewolf beats all: Interview with the CEO of fantasy sex toy site Bad Dragon (NSFW)


At this point, the dragon dildos have become a personal archetype. Since Bad Dragon came onto my Internet psyche, the Arizona company’s vividly colored sci-fi/fantasy sex toys have lingered around the corners of my mind. The mental exertion that designers had spent on what a cockatrice’s penis might look like and on how an orca’s vagina would feel to stick yourself into. The craftsmanship (made in the USA.) The lovingly-written, exciting character bios and comic illustrations that let you know that your Moko the Liger toy is embodied by a feline dojo master who favors wearing revealing tunics.

At some point, we realized it was perfect for this week’s Sex Issue and we made a flow chart in celebration. (You can check the chart in our digital edition, page 29.) Once again, the Bay Area has cause to fulminate on which characters from LOTR, Brian Jacques’ Redwall, and outer space it’d most like to meet outside the pages of their fan fic. 

But Bad Dragon’s a slippery slope. Make a flow chart, and you want to know the whole story behind the company. Hence, this email interview with Varka, the mysterious CEO and founder of the company, who dips occasionally into third person in a way we found endearing. Read on for office catfights, and about the supremacy of the werewolf race. 

SFBG: Who started Bad Dragon and why?

V: The initial idea to produce fantasy-themed adult toys happened in 2007, when Varka was first learning to sculpt in clay over Skype with other fantasy enthusiasts. These accidentally created fantasy cocks were amusingly well recieved when photos were posted online. At this point Varka realized that if these toys were to become available for others, significant help would be required to turn the prototypes into a viable business.

As a result, Bad Dragon was founded in June 2008 by Narse, Raith, Varka, and Athus, out of a shared love of all things fantasy. At the time there was a very poor selection of fantasy-themed toys available, and so they focused their enthusiasm and talents towards filling that niche. Since the very beginning Bad Dragon has grown at an astonishing rate, starting with just four people and growing to nearly 30 people, all working towards the goal of making fantasies real.

Varka is a computing science graduate and systems designer from Scotland that loves to tinker with prototypes, produce proof of concepts, and pursue new ideas.

Narse is an esteemed fantasy artist whose love for his favorite characters knows no bounds. His art can be seen today in the character art that accompanies most of the products that BD sells.

Raith is a talented craftsman, whose contributions in mold making and model finishing were instrumental in BD’s success.

Athus was a talented and driven illustrator and 3D sculptor, who created some of BD’s finest designs. He sadly passed away in 2011, and is missed by all.

SFBG: What is the most popular model?

V: Our most popular model is David the Werewolf, closely followed by Natascha the Anthro Husky. Bruiser the Fusion also gets a lot of love from customers.

SFBG: Who came up with the idea for the liger edition?

V: It was a team effort; we got a lot of requests for something feline-ish through our forums, and that combined with a lack of decent anthro feline toys on the market persuaded us that it was about time we developed something to meet that demand. We ended up deciding on a tiger-lion hybrid — mainly because there was no clear winner in the tiger versus lion versus panther “catfight” that took place via staff emails!

SFBG: Does the Bad Dragon community exist offline? Are there gatherings for the fantasy-sexual?

V: The community exists in little pockets offline. We sell at conventions, but often our customers will meet up with one another and host their own small-scale gatherings, particularly at conventions. So far we’ve not seen many large gatherings mostly because of the wide geographic dispersion of our customers. We’re hopeful that with wider exposure and awareness of the fantasy-sexual community (as well as other events which draw in new people such as fantasy/sci-fi conventions) that there’ll be more in the future!