In her soon-to-be-released look at the Bay Area BDSM scene, Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality (2012, Duke University) Margot Weiss raises some tough questions for those that would tout the pansexual “new guard” scene – the techie, mostly white, mostly hetero clique in the Bay's BDSM panoply – as subverting societal norms.
In its reliance on expensive classes and even more expensive gadgetry as condition for entry, she sees silent class division. When familiar societal situations are re-enacted on the kink stage, Weiss sees not a refutation of incest, slave auctions, and male dominance over females, but instead a neoliberal refusal by the practioners involved to accept their position in society.
Weiss would probably be down, then, with this week's Arse Elektronika tech-sex syposium (Thu/29-Sun/2). The event raises tough issues like whether having the lifestyle that allows one to enjoy kink is a luxury, class struggle among perverts, and the fossil footprint of a technologically-assisted orgasm. There will be talks and workshops, inventions and performance – go to question the meanings of desire.
A hint of Barbary Coast class, please: this is Mission Control's cigar club night. Regardless of the gender you walked in with, tonight's an opportunity to go dapper dandy (ascots and pinstripes), or va-va-voom (backseams and lace straps).
Thu/29 8 p.m.-midnight, $20 free membership required
This symposium on issues surrounding the politics and point of alt sex takes place from the Center of Sex and Culture to Chicken John Rinaldi's Chez Poulet. Check here for a full schedule of events.
Various locations, SF
"An Afternooon Delight with Reid Mihalko and Susie Bright"
What don't you know about sex activist Susie Bright's work? The woman's done more than most for sex-positive feminism -- even writing woman-friendly erotica reviews for Penthouse in the 1980s. Today, she sits down with sex educator Reid Mihalko (who, by the way, submitted a rambunctious threesome story to our call for Bawdy Storytelling's greatest hits).
Sun/2 1-3 p.m., $10-40 sliding scale
Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission, SF
Rites of Love and Math
Last time we wrote about Berkeley math professor Edward Frenkel and the erotic movie he made and starred in, the film played to a packed house. “We had to turn away more than 100 people,” Frenkel wrote to us in an email announcing his next Berkeley screening, which is coming up on Sun/2. Inspired by Yukio Mishima's samauri movie Yukoku, this skin-heavy film has scared up its fair share of controversy in radical-prude Berkeley.
Sun/2 7:05 p.m., $15
Landmark Shattuck Cinemas
2230 Shattuck, Berk.