John Greenleaf Whittier 9 p.m., Nov. 22
San Francisco Dirty Storytellers Debut at Space 4 Art
“I want to hear San Diego’s stories,” says Dixie De La Tour, curator of San Francisco-based Bawdy Storytelling, a monthly showcase of sexual (mis)adventures that Dixie started five years ago after finding inspiration at a Burning Man storytelling night.
“I had expected something called storytelling to be stiff and boring. But those stories from city dwellers in their 20’s and 30’s made me realize personal narrative storytelling is a different animal, and that I had so many stories of my own worth telling. I walked outside the café the event had been in, and I stopped passersby on the sidewalk to tell them dirty stories,” says the former sex-party producer who spent years welcoming guests at the door of San Francisco’s largest underground sex club.
“They were taken aback and wondered why I wasn’t inside, telling stories with the others. And I said, well this is a café, it’s not appropriate – a child could walk through, people drinking tea might not have been prepared to hear a story about hooking up on Craigslist or ending up in a puppy pile at a sex party. After a few months of going to this event and feeling frustrated with not having a place to tell my stories, I started my own.”
Bawdy Storytelling – “Real People telling their True Dirty Stories”
Originally held at a Burning Man warehouse in the industrial Bayview neighborhood, Bawdy Storytelling has since blossomed into San Francisco’s premiere night of true anecdotes from authors, poets, comedians, actors, sex educators, and sex workers. The ten-minute stories are told without the aid of cue cards, and are always true.
“What we want is a real connection between the storyteller and their audience,” Dixie says. “I want the cities I visit to realize that we all have a story that’s worth sharing, whether it’s about your sexual identity, opening up your marriage or narrating the details of your first threesome. And I want to give San Diegans a venue to share those stories because there is nothing more thrilling than getting onstage and recounting your well-told secrets in front of a few hundred people you don’t know.”
To make the event more accessible to new participants, Dixie provides personal coaching for storytellers who may be unaccustomed to Bawdy’s brazen honesty and voyeuristic flair.
“I help people craft that anecdote they tell at cocktail parties into a stage-worthy performance,” she says.
Though initially attended mostly by burners and the sex party community, Dixie says a huge part of the audience now is “people who are just curious about other lifestyles. You learn a lot about yourself - and about what’s available for anyone who wants it – by listening to tales from people just like you who dared to ask for what they wanted.”
Her expertise as a sexuality-based raconteur draws on her Ph.D. in sex-positive culture, writing for the zine SanFranSexy and blogs like SheLovesSex.com, and a former full-time gig creating content and serving as Community Manager for an adult dating site.
She recently took Bawdy Storytelling to Yale for Sex Week 2012 to perform and to teach a workshop on sex-positive storytelling to Yale students.
“Sex is completely story worthy,” says Dixie. “Unfortunately, there just aren’t places to tell those kinds of stories. Bawdy was created to give you a place to share your most off –the-record adventures.”
On Saturday, February 25, Bawdy will be curating their first San Diego showcase with several local storytellers and a handful of Bay Area bards:
Reid Mihalko is a “sex educator and relationship coach who has a story for any theme you throw at him” and a background in tantra.
Comedian Morgan fell from a high-rise structure while working as an ironworker in New Jersey and was told she would never walk again.
“After almost dying, she decided you only live once and decided to change her sex,” says Dixie. “She walks now, in heels much higher than most of us wear - she’s all woman, but still talks like a New Jersey iron worker.”
Ms. Maggie Mayhem creates her own grassroots porn with her partner Ned at MeetTheMayhems.com. This hot brainiac and her mad scientist partner have also created the award-winning PSIgasm Project where they geek out on sex machines, orgasmotrons and teledildonics.
Allison Moon is the author of Girl Sex 101 and Lunatic Fringe, a fantasy novel about lesbian werewolves.
“Listening to stories makes people want to tell their own stories. They make you feel like there are others who feel the same way you do – I’m convinced that storytelling is the antidote to loneliness and social anxiety,” says Dixie.
“When I announce the break at a show, people go crazy. After hearing the tales onstage, they turn to the person closest to them and just start sharing their dirty secrets. All of sudden, they’re interacting with everybody, anybody, and they’re learning so much more about each other than just what they do for a living. We're all looking for sex, love and connection, right? Besides, what fun is it to do all those wild things if there’s no one to tell it to?”
Bawdy Storytelling’s Dirty Minds Tour in San Diego
Space 4 Art - 325 15th Street – East Village
Saturday, February 25
Doors open at 7 p.m. - Stories start at 8 p.m.
$10 advance tickets at BawdyStorytelling.com
18 & up
More like this:
- Bedtime Stories — Feb. 29, 2012
- The OB Hostel? — July 31, 2009
- If There Are Families Here in San Diego, I'd Like to Find One — April 9, 2008
- Dusty Mother — Aug. 5, 2004
- Thirty-Year Love — May 29, 2003