What of the the sex expo? Hundreds of new pairs of fishnet stockings await this weekend's Masquerotica at the Concourse Exhibition on Sat/13. They languish in their packages, yearning for the convention center-sized strut between rooms of Kink.com performers, contortionists, fetish wear booths, Trannyshack vamps, and Hard French DJs. For months now, we at the Guardian have been receiving tidings of the second annual Masquerotica's impending onslaught, which, event PR folk assured us, was to be a true representative of SF sex culture.
To fully prepare ouselves for the scantily-clad melees, we turned to event co-organizer Scott Levkoff for answers. Levkoff is the founded of Mission Control, that pansexual playground here in the city that hosts such swinger's balls as Kinky Salon with his partner, Polly Pandemonium. He gave us an idea of what to expect, and unexpectedly extolled the virtues of tiny top hats and sexy nurse costumes.
SFBG: After Exotic Erotic went down in financial flames, why do you think it's important to have these large scale sex events?
SL: Its one thing to explore freedom behind closed doors, to express and explore in small circles or at invite only events- but if you have ever participated with any of the larger events such as Folsom Fair and Pride, there is a feeling that you are amongst a majority and no longer a minority.
The first time I went to events such as Folsom Fair, and even the now-defunct Exotic Erotic Ball, I marvelled at the sense of freedom and elation that I experienced. There is a weird sense of belonging that I feel at these large scale events, a sense of rightness regarding your choice to live and love the way you wish that is amplified by the sheer numbers present. In a practical sense, large scale events can model the behaviors necessary for the adoption and acceptance of progressive attitudes if done right.
SFBG: How do you think Masquerotica would be as an entry point for someone who is looking to explore their kinkyness?
SL: Masquerotica has been intentionally curated as a sort of smorgasbord of SF’s sexiest and most creative communities -- think of the party like a sampler buffet of many sensual delights and treats. Guests newer and perhaps a bit timid in exploring these worlds will also find the party a great introduction. They'll be welcomed by our trained event hosts courtesy of Mission Control, dubbed Masqueteers. They will greet guests at the front gate, present our basic house rules, such as: Be nice! Consent is sexy! No aggressive cruising -- even if they are really cute! Please ask before touching! Etc.
SFBG: Can you tell me about some of the fashion that will be at the expo?
SL: One will see a lot of Dark Garden corsets, Burning Man fashions, the ever perennial ‘tiny top hat’, animal costumes, and clothing from SF establishments such as Costume on Haight, Distractions, Piedmont Boutique, Fantasy Makers, Mr. S Leather, New York Apparel, Idol Vintage, Multi-Kulti and one of my faves-Decades of Fashion. We’re encouraging guests to put on what makes them feel sexy and playful, whether it's Venetian carnival couture, leather, shiny latex, lingerie, corsets, uniforms, gothic Lolita, steampunk, high Victorian, Phantom of The Opera tuxedos, lace masks, see-through fabrics, bubble wrap -- get creative! As always, I predict Legs Avenue costumes will make a strong showing as well. You can never have enough sexy cats, sexy nurses, and sexy witches at a party.
SFBG: I've gotten a lot of emails from the organization promoting Masquerotica as a sex-positive event, as compared to other massive sex expos that the city hosts. What about Masquerotica is different from XO Expo, etc.?
SL: There really is a science to creating sexy creative events where everyone feels safe and free to express themselves. Empowering guests to ‘step up their game,’ and following through with them when they don’t, is hugely important. Just saying that you support freedom and self-expression can unleash a Mardi Gras, free-for-all mentality. Foster creative community engagement, participation, and hearty dialogue with your brand. Also important: choosing good music, erotic art, and playful visuals that brings a good vibe. Embrace true diversity whenever possible and communicate your vision to your public constantly. And make sure your space smells good! Nothing says sexy like the scent of cow dung and wet asphalt! [editor's note: sarcasm and the Internet have few happy meetings]
Sat/20 8:30pm-3am, $55–$125
Concourse Exhibition Center
635 Eighth St., SF