All photos by Benjy Feen
I had a blind date with Dixie De La Tour, but I wasn't nervous. If all else failed, at least she would bring stories to tell. And how – De La Tour is the founder and emcee of Bawdy Storytelling, a randy live series with two events next week (Wed/6 and Sat/9) that will bring writers, comedians, and normal folk-like to the stage to share corset-busting sexcapades with an audience of vicarious pervs.
“I don't know how this got to be my life,” says Dixie, now installed across the restaurant table from me behind a glass of sweet tea, wearing a dashing fedora and magnetic waves of dyed red hair. Her blue eyes have the intent gaze in them that you can see on people that know how to hold the attention of the room. “I don't have a degree in it like every other pervert in this town.”
It is true that De La Tour seems to have lucked out on the manner in which she makes her money. By day, she scouts scammers at Fling.com, a national dating site for casual hookups. Perhaps she's a natural fraud-finder – the woman's spent a life facilitating honest, fun sexual encounters. She's also a contributor at She Loves Sex, a collection of blogs about all things sexual related to women, told in a knowledgeable women's voice. For the site, De La Tour recently interviewed Rebecca, a soccer mom from Florida who has started a successful chain of swinger's parties in between PTA meetings and classes towards her master's in public relations.
Bawdy Storytelling, started four years ago, runs through a different theme each month. Adderall Diaries writer Stephen Elliott and that webmaster savior of the perpetually broke gadabout, Johnny Funcheap will be spinning yarns at next week's Litquake edition of Bawdy (Wed/6), which actually is not themed at all, but rather a collection of the all-star lineup's “best true stories.”
Maybe she's got no degree, but Dixie does have a history in the psychology of human sexual relations. Over her rum cake -- and to the passing interest of our server -- De La Tour tells me that she got the party started at the first Kinky Salon XXX edition. Well c'mon Dixie, story time. She obliges.
Dixie De La Tour fires up the Bawdy crowd
Having transplanted from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and an unsatisfying heterosexual monogamous relationship with a bookie, De La Tour was in her element in late '90s San Francisco. “You know that girl whose always down for the sex party? People would call me up and I'd be like, I'm there!” She became the doorperson for the original Kinky Salon parties at Mission Control, back in the days when the get-togethers were more “salon” and less “kinky” – there hadn't been sex, at least as acknowledged by the party planners, for the first few Kinkys.
But one month, founders Polly and Scott decided to change the nature of their get-together. De La Tour recalls a woman arriving at the party who told her “I'm from New Hampshire and this is my first San Francisco sex party!” Well, by the time De La Tour had gotten off her shift and into the mix at Kinky, there was talking, there was certainly drinking, but at least explictly, no sex.
“There was a bullhorn by the stage,” she remembers, fully in the swing of her tale.
It is at this time that I should explain that Dixie has explained that she is herself, “not that big of an exhibitionist.” De La Tour is a facilitator, the person at the swinger's party who loves nothing more to make introductions and get the fucking going... for others. That's what she likes.
So back to the bullhorn. Having made the most of her time off door duty, she is a bit inebriated at this point. She takes the bullhorn and, having installed herself on stage in front of the party, booms to New Hampshire woman “Connecticut! Go have sex with that guy!” -- or some such thing (having told me she is “much more interesting after two beers,” I am obliging her and my notes are a bit sparse from this point in the evening). She remembers them immediately going to have sex, although others from the night remember it differently. Good storytelling is all about the broad strokes.
But regardless, the rest is undisputed. Dixie soldiers on with the bullhorn, roaming about the club until she actually does encounter a couple copulating in the Pink Room and begins to shout very, very dirty things into the bullhorn at them. “Say my name, say you like my big dick” she shouts (“really, things that were not making very much sense,” she tells me, looking through that deadly scope of hindsight). Suddenly, couples rush into the Pink Room, and Dixie has officially started the orgy. Er, party.
Later, she runs into the original fuckers in another room utilizing a fucking machine. She is stripped of her bullhorn, installed on said machine, and is chagrined (remember, not a big exhibitionist) when the tables are turned and the woman from this couple begins to yell her name into the bullhorn. “Yeah, you like my big dick, Dixie?” Partygoers rush into the room to see the performance, and aid in her enjoyment of machine. She is eventually brought to climax when a woman Eskimo kisses her.
This is told with a smile, and by the end of it, we notice our server is frozen in her rounds of filling water glasses. “What on earth are you two talking about?” she says, giggling. But this is San Francisco, and as she is clearly intrigued, Dixie hands her a card that has all the Bawdy Storytelling events inscribed on its back.
After our (professionally inclined) date, I feel as though I have met someone very special, someone who has the cojones to nurture a community that often stays behind closed doors. De La Tour tells me you can learn a lot from hearing a person talk for ten minutes, perhaps more than you can learn having a good time with them at a swinger's party.
And the connection is contagious. De La Tour started Bawdy Storytelling as a “coffee klatch for pervs,” where people would gather about the table and talk about how last night's Kinky Salon went for them. Soon others wanted to sit in on the talks around the table, which led to Bawdy's current public incarnation. And then everyone wanted to share a story, which led to Bawdy's set program of four to six speakers a night, “so that people could see there was a set lineup and they weren't on it,” De La Tour tells me. “Somebody's always walking up to me and saying hey I got one for you!” This last line enunciated with a pointed finger and an intensification of that blue-eyed stare.
How nice to get sexuality out into the open. How nice to find meaning and simpatico in our sex. How nice to be Dixie De La Tour.
Bawdy Storytelling Graphic Confessions
Wed/6 8 p.m., $10
The Blue Macaw
2565 Mission, SF
Lit Crawl: Bawdy in the Alley
Sat/9 8:30-9:30 p.m., free
Clarion Alley between 17th and 18th St., SF