Orientalism to-do aside (who does she think she is, Gwen Stefani?), making eye contact with Dita Von Teese for an extended period of time is an experience I highly recommend.
Von Teese, after all, is "the siren of our times," as host Lady Rizo told the crowd last night at Big Daddy's Antiques, where Cointreau is hosting a few nights of cocktails and burlesque amid the whimsical, weird towers of Big Daddy's old things-for-sale. Last night, a performance by the Cointreauversial Von Teese headlined the event preview, which also featured a vast swath of cocktails shaken up the brand's "master mixologist" Kyle Ford. You can check out the show, minus Dita, for free with RSVP today Wed/14 and tomorrow Thu/15.
"Ask her if her shit stinks," whispered my escort for the evening.
I didn't. But the soft-spoken Von Teese and I managed to cover a few other topics during our brief chat next to a wall of glowing Cointreau bottles. For example, what the most over-the-top feminine woman today considers to be the most masculine thing about herself ("my ability to paralell park. No, my collection of vintage autos. I drive a 1953 Cadillac on a daily basis."), how she survived the vitriolic election season ("I have a girlfriend who keeps me informed. I fill out my ballot with her. Everything turned out fine in the end..."), and the sexiest thing she's seen in 2012 -- a question for which the seasoned star, surprisingly, had no pat answer for ("you mean, that I can tell you about?")
But eventually, she hit upon it. "I've seen a lot of sexy moments within my show [her revue, "Strip, Strip Hooray!" which features curvy burlesquer Dirty Martini and Perle Noir]. We have a lot of diverse body shapes."
Does she ever get blowback from fans for featuring fat girls in her shows? (We are talking about fat girls, amiright?) Not, Von Teese told me, from people who have actually watched "Strip, Strip Hooray!"
"But I have had them go, wow, I've never seen anything like that."
... Which was exactly what I was thinking from my front row spot watch Von Teese do her jaw-dropping thing, first in a sequined South Pacific-style two-piece, then a feathered fan, then nothing much of anything -- a string of sparkles, pasties, and a coy smile.
La Maison Cointreau Big Daddy's Antiques 1550 17th St., SF. www.lamaisoncointreau.com. Wed/14-Thu/15 6-9:30pm, free. RSVP for time slot
Bawdy Storytelling: Gender Bender
GenderFork founder Sarah Dopp created an online place to celebrate transgender, genderqueer, and androgynous folks, which is pretty much the perfect resume for a reader at tonight's Bawdy. The XXX storytelling series explores the nooks and crannies of gender variance. Dopp will be joined by sex educator Reid Mihalko, performer Lily Black, and more at this last Oakland Bawdy for the forseeable future.
1928 Telegraph, Oakl.
"Everyday Pervertibles: DIY Kink"
When Sister Eden Asp asks you to find pervy uses for a quotidian object, you do it. Porn stars Leo Forte and Element Eclipse may be particularly suited for the task, which means that tonight's event, at which they'll share their sexual imaginations, will be a must-attend for anyone who is looking to learn about kink play that's safe, sane, sexy.
Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission, SF
Q-Were calendar release parties
Chicagoan photographer Patience Meeks has pulled together this gorgeous 12-monther of queer women just in time for your early holiday shopping (you're doing that, right?) To celebrate, her team has organized parties on either side of the Bay at sexy hot spots, where they'll be selling the calendar and mingling with its fans.
Oakland: Thu/15 6pm, free
1703 Telegraph, Oakl.
San Francisco: Fri/16 8:45pm, free
3464 16th St., SF
Progressive International Motorcycle Show
Leather aficionados will vroom vroom for this weekend expo of the burliest, sexiest two- and three-wheeled numbers in the industry. Among the vehicles that will be available for you to cast your voyeuristic eyes all over will be: first person from this country to win the Grand Prix motorcycle racing world championship Kenny Roger's bikes and Honda's 2013 bikes, appearing for the first time in public.
Fri/16 3pm-8pm; Sat/17 9:30am-8pm; Sun/18 9:30am-5pm, $15 day pass
San Mateo County Event Center
2495 South Delaware, San Mateo
The Godless Perverts Story Hour
How many times has Jesus poked his meddling beard into your bedroom? We all know that God and his son have no place in your sexual doings. This fact will be celebrated at tonight's reading, featuring confirmed blasphemers Maggie Mayhem, Greta Christina, David Fitzgerald, Chris Hall, Dana Fredsti, Anthony O’Con, Simon Sheppard, and M.Christian. Earthly lechers, rejoice.
Sat/17 7pm, $10-20
Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission, SF