"Welcome, ladies," he says with a flourish.
"Nice shirt," they say, indicating the bold "Lesbian Sex" lettering across his chest. He smiles and nods as the women make their way up the stairs, which are covered in schoolhouse linoleum. They giggle at a small sign in the hall that says "This way to Bay Area Girls' Center" and wander up a second set of stairs to the Luna Sea women's space. A glittering placard outside the "Booty Boudoir" announces "Fairy Butch's XXX Party." Aphrodisiacs, caffeine, vitamin C, and Calistoga are offered at the door -- no booze and no guys at the Triple X. The women gulp down a couple of aphrodisiacs and grab their copies of Karlyn Lotney's (aka Fairy Butch's) new book, The Ultimate Guide to Strap-On Sex, before winding their way past an overhappy dolphin head hanging on the wall (a suggestive homage to those disco-era dolphin dildos Lotney enjoys gently mocking). As usual at Fairy Butch shows, the theater is packed, and the women are packing.
From "Packing: Taking Your Show on the Road" (Chapter 8): Packing is simply the act of wearing a dildo underneath one's clothing. ... When you pack hard, you signal a variety of intentions to your partner. First, you convey that you were thinking about sex before even leaving the house. ... Second, you indicate that your sexual interests include penetration. ... Soft packing involves the use of a pliant device, or a harness and flexible dildo, to convey the feel and appearance of a penis and scrotum in repose.
Well, not all the women are packing. For a proper orgy, one would hope for a somewhat even distribution of strappers and receivers, and there are a good number of receptive partners in the house, though you wouldn't know by a show of hands.
"Lesbians tend to be a little on the shy side," explains a well-seasoned butch with a barrel chest and a bearlike laugh. "They'll come to a sex party and then act demure if you ask them if they are planning to have sex. You have to loosen them up, if you know what I mean."
Like with an evocative show? Lotney takes the stage wearing your basic Johnny Cash black.
"Who wants to get laid tonight?" shouts Lotney like a good-old-boy auctioneer from Ohio. The crowd roars with high-pitched trills but only a few hands go up.
"See what I mean?" says my new butch pal. "Seductive reluctance. It's part of their charm. Their coquettish ways. Little white lies and yielding eyes. It's enough to drive a guy fucking bonkers." My pal is definitely packing.
Lotney, whose dildo expertise is known by anyone who has shopped at Good Vibrations in the last decade or sought sex advice from one of her various columns, jokes about not having had sex for the last two years while she's been slogging away at the book.
"But I got a letter from someone today saying, "With the help of your book, my girlfriend had her first orgasm through penetration.' And that's exactly what I was after."
Lotney pulls a sweetly bashful femme named Amy from the audience to sit on the stage bed while she draws audience members' questions from a box. The answers are delivered onstage, as in the book, with homespun warmth and practical honesty.
From "Care and Feeding: Lubricant, Latex, and Toy Cleaning" (Chapter 5): Dear Fairy Butch, I'm not sure how I feel about using artificial lubricant. Shouldn't I be able to get wet enough on my own? -- Golden Gate Granola Girl. Darlings, Some gals feel that if they can't produce sufficient vaginal fluids to enable their favorite activities, then they are in some way inadequate to the task. ... I say, au contraire, my Pet! Though arousal is indeed a function of lubrication, there are many elements which can influence the process as well: age, menstrual cycle, and diet, to name a few. ... Whatever the situation, there are few occasions which couldn't benefit from a soupcon of the wet stuff. ...[And to Dried Up in Dallas:] Try this handy dandy tip next time, Sugar. Put some Velcro on two lube bottles, and a bit more on each bedpost, or on each side of the bed frame.
Lotney picks a question from the box and reads it to her live audience: Do lesbians like anal sex?
"I guess we have a non-lesbian in the house," chuckles Lotney. "An anthropologist, perhaps?" Lotney turns to Amy: "Do you like anal sex, my dear?"
Amy reddens. "I'm a bit of an anal sex virgin." Lotney smiles and digs around in her Samsonite suitcase until she finds a small black butt plug called The Spade. "Perhaps you'll want to try tonight," says Lotney, gently placing the toy on the bed next to Amy.
From "Dildos: The Long and Short of It" (Chapter 3): Anal bacteria should never be introduced into the vagina, even the anal bacteria and vagina of the same woman. Silicone [dildos] can be fully disinfected rather than merely cleaned.
Lotney introduces the dancers for the evening: Diamond, an African-American beauty who, failing to light her fire-swallowing torch, strips down to assless chaps and grinds on nearby crotches; Shania Spice, a flirtatious baby-butch in a mechanic's jacket who strips down to a cleavage-revealing slip and G-string; and Goldie Locks, a white-trash fantasy who sprinkles Pixy Stix powder on her breasts and offers free licks to the tune of "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Between sets, Lotney invites women onstage to make out on the bed with other audience members, which they do, with some cajoling.
"Sometimes young lesbians need a little coaching," says Lotney, directing a kissing couple to the bed.
During the "Singled Out" dating game, a blindfolded Goldie Locks has her toes sucked, her tits licked, her neck stroked with ice, and her vagina penetrated with latex-ensconced fingers. She seems happy. As does the crowd, whose members enjoy a bout of lap dancing from a throng of barely clad gals before making their way into the "Booty Boudoir."
The Naughty Nurses -- including a scarcely uniformed Goldie Locks, who is a real-life nurse practitioner at a nearby learning institute of some note -- stand at the ready with small tubs of lube, common kitchen plastic wrap, gloves, condoms, and cleaning materials. In the lap-dancing booth, a studly butch in a black fedora demonstrates the many uses of a saddle horse to a prim femme in a silver cocktail dress, by gently bending her over and grabbing a handful of her hair. Pam Dore readies "Pam's Porno Lounge," a half-dozen video monitors surrounding a configuration of blow-up mattresses and pool pillows.
"I don't promise it will be good porn," says Dore with a toss of her bleached-blond hair, "but it will be women fucking."
The group of pretty, young lesbians edges into the room, standing nervously on the lip of the mats, watching the porn tapes with wide, shy eyes. Two older, more comfortable women slip onto the mats to make out. One of the baby-femmes sits on the edge of a mat and waits delicately. Nothing happens. She gets up and looks around embarrassed.
"Sometimes it takes awhile for things to get going," says Dore. But not for everyone. On a long car seat in a darkened corner of the room, a dominant femme with long blond hair and a harness already in place pushes her dark-haired lover onto her back and begins to slap her ass. They kiss and a nearby dyke lends a hand. On the mats surrounding the car seat -- brought in to heighten those Midwest fantasies -- other women begin to pair up, sliding their hands up each other's thighs. Hard packing is definitely le dernier cri at "Fairy Butch's XXX."