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Heartbreak Hotel 

Tired of Internet porn and Joe Millionaire? Try these Valentine's sweethearts instead

Wednesday, Feb 12 2003
In a perfect world, we'd all be involved in fabulously functional relationships, instead of cruising Internet porn and culling dating lessons from Joe Millionaire and The Bachelorette. In this world, however, hope springs eternal. So whether you're happily single, romantically attached, a permanent member of the Lonely Hearts Club, or something else entirely, this Valentine's Day is the ideal time to revel in whatever stage you're at. In our fair city -- that is, a point of convergence for freaks and one of the most romantic places in the world -- there's no shortage of ways in which to observe Feb. 14 (see also our Valentine's Day box on Page 42).

If you don't love yourself, why should anyone else? That's the motto of so-called "quirkyalones," women who resist "the tyranny of coupledom" because they have high expectations. (Men can identify themselves as "male quirkyalones.") If that's your style, consider Sasha Cagen a role model. The 29-year-old publisher of the zine To-Do List, Cagen coined the phrase in the September 2000 issue. Since then, the expression has sparked a grass-roots movement, popping up in college classrooms and church sermons as a way to discuss alternative approaches to love. Now there's "Be Yours: International Quirkyalone Day," where folks can receive guidance on affairs of the heart at the "Been-There-Done-That Advice Booth" or play the "Name That Quirkyalone" game (a ploy to "promote interaction," Cagen admits). Readings (think Little Women) and music (Frank Sinatra's "My Way") set the mood. Love is in the air -- or not -- starting at 7 p.m. at the Atlas Cafe, 3049 20th St. (at Alabama), S.F. Admission is $5-25 sliding scale; call 648-1047 or visit

At "A Black Valentine's Day," an evening of "anti-romantic" jazz tunes, listeners are reminded that love is just another four-letter word. Vocalist Eleonor England and her trio (Eddy Sambuaga on piano and Steve Fowler on bass) tell us why fools fall in love with a tongue-in-cheek repertoire of melodies in which "someone is left, forgotten, denied, neglected, jilted, or (preferably) shot by their lover," according to the press material. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Bobby Ryder's Restaurant and Bar, 312 Harriet (between Sixth and Seventh streets), S.F. Admission is free; call 934-1655 or visit

While married couples resign themselves to the missionary position and sex in the dark, singletons go hog wild at the First Church of the Second Thursday's monthly nightclub, "Sin." The event doesn't guarantee you'll get laid, but the odds are much greater with red-blooded gals in tit clamps and Catholic schoolgirl uniforms flouncing about. At "Lust Redux," the V-Day installment of the party, reprobates seek repentance and punishment in several "playspaces" or indulge their transgressions by dancing to naughty videos in the downstairs "Sin!ema." Professor Fez reads X-rated stories from his book of Fucked-Up Fairy Tales; during Reverend Gladhand's Midnight Mass, all hell breaks loose. Doors open at 9 p.m. at the Rawhide, 280 Seventh St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $5-15; call 626-4561 or visit

About The Author

Lisa Hom


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