Bisexuality is the misunderstood goth teenager of the sex world. So many false assumptions and stereotypes are attributed to bisexuality, and it's often dismissed as "indecision," "in denial," or "college." With that in mind, here are 10 fun facts to shed light on the topic, to impress your friends at parties, or to convince that hot on-the-fence person to come home with you.
Local film historian Matthew Kennedy's forthcoming book, Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, recounts in juicy, gory detail how bloated bombs like Doctor Dolittle, Paint Your Wagon, Star!, and Finian's Rainbow torpedoed the venerable genre as well as the Hollywood studio system. Just a few years later, however, the mainstreaming of pornography (thank you, Deep Throat) opened the (back)door for a burst of low-budget musicals with a fresh come-on: Nudity and fornication.
Last Thursday was National Coming Out Day, which I spent ooh-ing and ahh-ing over other people's coming out stories and riding public transit a lot. Somewhere along the way, this list was born.
Coming out is a really thrilling process -- the kind of thing they could have a reality show about, called Extreme Closet Exits or something -- because it can utterly transform your life while leaving many of the day-to-day realities untouched. It's that dichotomy that keeps people from doing it -- they believe their lives will either change too much, or not enough. They ask themselves, "Why bother?"
Here are a few of the many reasons you should:
I was the emcee for SlutWalk last year. As I stood there in my torn fishnets and red lipstick looking out over a large crowd, I didn't see any familiar faces. Oh sure, my business partner was there as, of course, were the people whom I had met in the organizing process, but of all the thousands of people I thought I'd recognize -- there was not a trace.
As I go gallivanting about my life, people have said to me, with a charmed but condescending pat on the arm, "Oh Ginger, you and your support of the sexual revolution." It's true, I have worked on feminist erotic films, I have raised funds for St. James Infirmary, and I have been the ear that has heard many revelations of a secret fetish. I want, well and truly, the free expression of orgasmic and soulfully sensual desire -- without shame -- for everyone.
Did you know August is Anal Sex Month? That's right, while fisting gets a mere day, anal sex gets an entire, glorious month. Stand aside Asthma Awareness Month (or should we say bend over? Sorry!), it's time to take a ride on the Dirty Caboose.
Since it's August 3, we're behind (sorry) in breaking this breaking news to you. But (sorry) we felt we'd be remiss not to tell you about the unofficial San Francisco holiday that celebrates backdoor knocking.
We think about anal sex fairly often. Partially because our Smart phone always tries to autocorrect "texting" with "rectum," but also because this is San Francisco. We believe in fairness. And is there a more equal opportunity orifice than the asshole? We think not. We've also, (unfortunately?) seen some pretty strange anal sex toys in our time, and in the spirit of giving, we'd like to share our top six, all-time WTF toys.
Without further a doo-doo:
"It is not clear in the Bible what Jesus thinks about lesbians, but it is pretty clear that he is okay with prostitutes." That is a rip-roaring line indeed, but writer and performer Maura Halloran already had me at Pussy, the title of her one-woman show that is part of DIVAfest, a theatrical festival that celebrates the work of established and emerging women writers, directors, and performers.
The show, which tells of the love "triangle" between three women and a cat, is not subtle in employing metaphorical and actual explorations of "pussy" in all its forms. As one audience member said of the show, "It was meow."
The amorous conflicts of a soft spoken, Christian woman who likes girls is a sweet story but the show also defies what many have come to expect from a one-woman show: therapy masquerading as art. The writer's sexuality is not the issue here, the details are not factual, and there are no torrid tales of childhood abuse.
Says Halloran, "In the post-Mike Daisey era, it seems imperative be totally transparent about solo work, so I feel I should state outright: I am not a cat. I also don't ID as lesbian. The story is inspired by true events and fleshed out by my own experiences of romantic love, but it's not autobiographical or documentary. It's just a story."
Are you afraid that people are judging your paltry, boring home library? You know those barren shelves need more of everything: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, magazines, and periodicals. But where can you find replenishments, volumes that might be rare and maybe even a little racy? Saturday marks the first Library Spring Smut Sale at the Center for Sex & Culture.
If you think the offerings consists of cast-offs, the likes of which you spot haphazardly displayed on someone's front steps or outside a BART station entrance, you're mistaken. The center's library boasts an impressive collection of mostly donated materials, and it seeks to maintain items shunned by traditional booksellers, libraries, and museums. Saturday you have the chance to look through items it chooses to sell.
It's hard to overstate how much the politics of sexuality have changed in the past 20 years. In the 1980s and '90s, coming out of the closet was a radical act. In 2011, gay men and lesbians are so cute and cuddly and downright marketable in popular culture that even Archie and Jughead hang out with their very own gay pal, Kevin Keller. Riverdale's inhabitants may be so perpetually virginal that they would slap a triple-X notice on a slide show about cellular mitosis, but gayness is now safe enough that Kevin can be counted on to be as impeccably chaste and dull as any other All-American lad.
Writer, editor, and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is like the anti-Kevin Keller. Notoriously flamboyant, brazen, and radical, Sycamore would make the good citizens of Riverdale plotz. She's even been known to have that effect on both straights and gays in the real world. For Mattilda, the current agenda of queer politics, which promises gays and lesbians the right to be just like everyone else, is intolerable. (Notice that promise does not extend to populations such as bisexual and transgender people. Some in the gay-rights movement have long considered them dangerous, self-hating, delusional, or nonexistent.) With anthologies including That's Revolting! And Nobody Passes, Sycamore has established herself as one of the most outspoken critics of the gay mainstream. Her latest anthology turns the volume of criticism up to 11 with the title alone: Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?
The former S.F. resident is back in town, appearing Saturday (Feb. 25) at Viracocha for the Radar Book Club, to promote this book before continuing to Portland and points beyond. We talked with Sycamore about assimilation, queerness, the Occupy movement, and whether it actually does get better.
Are women who work in porn being exploited? That question has come up more than most since I've been writing about people who work in the adult industry. While it is a valid question, it is also grossly incomplete. Women are not the only gender that works in this industry. Men do, and transgender folks do as well. We never talk about men as being exploited. We don't even ask the question of whether it's possible for men to be exploited in adult videos.
It's the greatest job on earth right? Have you ever see Boogie Nights? While fiction, it was loosely based on real life. I attended a panel while I was at the AVN Awards earlier this month. The discussion moved around to male models and how hard a job they have. First of all, your dick has to be a certain size. Unless you're well endowed, there's a good chance your cock will not be seen on the screen.
Men have been called "dildos with a pulse" in this industry. Most male actors only exist in pornography to make the girl look good. Let's add to that! They need to get hard at the drop of a hat, and they need to cum on cue. Men are well aware of how disposable they are in this job. Unless you have a huge following and know how to market yourself, your career will not last long. The pay is not that great either. At times a man will be paid as little as $100 for a shoot.
In the Aurora Theatre's upcoming comedy Body Awareness, a male photographer of female nudes is a guest artist during Body Awareness Week at a small college in Vermont. He stays with the professor who has organized the event, as well as the professor's partner and the partner's son, who may have Asperger's syndrome.
The play, written by Obie Award-winning playwright Annie Baker and directed by Joy Carlin, is a production in the Global Age Project (GAP), an Aurora Theatre Company initiative that "encourages playwrights and directors to explore life in the 21st century and beyond." The play is in previews starting tonight (Jan. 27), and it opens Feb. 2.
Director Joy Carlin has been an actress, director, and teacher in the Bay Area since 1969. We talked with her about what the play has in common with the movie The Kids Are All Right, how families are evolving, and academic humor.