When a slowly unfolding tragedy strikes the young and energetic, fate seems especially cruel, a notion I haven't been able to shake since learning that my friend Hollie Stevens, a 30-year-old porn star, died this week after a year-long bout with cancer that had spread from her breasts to her brain.Read more »
After a hectic Pride weekend, it’s about time to slow down. A Sat/30 performance-workshop (part of this week's stellar This Is What I Wantperformance art fest -- read Guardian theater critic Robert Avila's enlightening interview with artistic director Tessa Wills here) should fit the bill nicely. Introducing “Slow Sex Symposia” and its curator, internationally-acclaimed writer and dancer Doran George. George is planning an afternoon exploration into alternative sexual practices, lifestyles, and unique relationships. Slow sex is a term the artist coined to serve as counterpoint to today’s fast-paced, commercialized notions of sex. Last week, George and I spoke about what it was like to work with a blockbuster lineup of artist, “the economics of queer desire,” and a childhood solo of “Yankee Doodle.” Read more »
Typically, the afterparty is the thing for Sunday Pride fashion. But if you weren't at the big parade this year, you might have missed out on one of the more striking ensembles of the weekend. Leather co-marshal Leland Carina sent us photos of her eye-popping latex gown -- not to mention what it was like to wear the thing on one of the more hectic days in San Francisco. Read more »
“I have to tell my grandma I make clothes for rock stars.”
The Tenderloin neighborhood's vivid street culture and its residents' bold use of alternative sexuality makes it a perfect home for fetish designer and performer Seven Mitchell. Mitchell, a six-foot tall beauty, is a latex designer at Mr. S Leather, not to mention the host of Ice Queen Sundays, a weekly drag and performance night at Truck.
It was almost Pride Week, I've had two leather luminaries hanging out at kink coffeeshop Wicked Grounds – it just seemed like an opportune time to start waxing philosophical about the possibility of a kink renaissance in San Francisco.
“There just seems to be this general coming-out,” said Leland Carina, who as a member of the SF girls of Leather has done her part to increase the inclusiveness and malleability of her kink community. She likened this expansion to the capital-R Renaissance, which happened after the threat of bubonic plague had been mitigated. Likewise, she said, the kink community in San Francisco is finally hitting a point where the fear of AIDS no longer rules people's sexual encounters.
Race Bannon, Carina's co-leather marshall in this Sunday's Pride parade, hadn't thought of it that way – but Carina's theory resonated with him. “We've figured out how to deal with [AIDS], and we've moved past it. I call what's happening a kinky renaissance.”
I have to apologize for not frothing up the waters with my own account of everyone's favorite (and only) worker-owned strip club the Lusty Lady being in peril of having to shut its doors. I was gallivanting about on a world tour -- find my list of illegal places in Berlin to trespass on here -- and re-emerged on this side of the bridge to hysterical accounts that the classic, unionized titty joint was going under.
It's no secret that the Guardian has a tawdry, longstanding affair with the Lusty -- so I made a quick call to long-time Lusty Lorelei. Upshot: the club is kind-of safe for the moment, but it's ready to grind it out for your singles. Read more »
“My job is really weird. I think about that all the time.”
The Mission is a neighborhood accustomed to eccentric individuals. One would think Brande Baugh’s key lime hair and vintage Misfits t-shirt would make her fit right in. Yet her presence in a neighborhood cafe still elicited several stares when she walked in -- with her perfectly-curated face, pastel pink lipstick, and evenly-powdered face, Baugh looked like one of Warhol’s Marlyn Monroe silkscreens. Though Baugh stays pretty busy living and working in Los Angeles, she also has regular gigs at Kink, a San Francisco-based pornography website that specializes in bondage and BDSM.
“People at sex clubs are looking to hook up. It’s usually my safe sex practices that get me turned down more and not the fact that I’m transgender”
I thought it would be cute to conduct today’s interview in a bathhouse sauna. Instead I found myself sipping a soy milk latte in one of the Mission’s many hip coffee shops -- not as intimate of an option, but probably better for my note taking. For once, I was on time, and I patiently awaited San Francisco sex educator Niko Kowell.Read more »
You have to have communication skills if you're going to responsibly wield the amount of sexual power that Princess Donna holds in her sexy little hands in the depths of the Mission District's very own porn palace, Kink.com. The director-actor of such sites as Kink's Ultimate Surrender, Bound Gang Bang, and Public Disgrace knows about expanding sexual horizons -- which is why it's so rad we've tapped her for this new love and sex advice column.