Two Chicks, True Adventures (Part Two)
What is sexy?

Everyone knows the only reason you go to a press party or any sort of dot-com soire is for free food and booze. The Erotica-USA 2000 Pre-Press Advisory Party a few months back was no exception. We sat down with our first of many free drinks and began to read from our press kit.

See also...
... by Annalee Newitz
... by Cara Bruce
... in the Crave section
... from July 24, 2000

Turns out Erotica 2000 is using the slogan "What is Sexy?" - a rather vague question which nonetheless translates well into a URL ( We quite willingly buy in and begin meditating on the question, hopeful that, even if the riddle isn't answered fully (what would be the point in living another day if it were?), we'll at least witness some smutty action.

Having helped ourselves liberally to the free libations we sat down to talk to Fred Barry, one of the Erotica 2000 planners. Fred's life is mostly devoted to being an insurance broker, and it showed. We wanted sex, but he seemed to be selling us some kind of lifetime retail plan.

"OK, so are we going to get to see live sex at Erotica 2000?" we queried Fred.

"Well, no. There's no nudity at all. We're focusing on romance, fashion, travel, videos, and toys."

We were instantly reminded of suburban malls, and wondered how this show would be different than a stroll through Ikea. Here is what we, as San Franciscans, would get at Erotica 2000: retail booths, fashion shows, dance shows, and many of our (of course beloved) local sexperts. After trying to make Fred answer the question, "What are you giving San Franciscans that we don't already have?" Fred admitted that it's hard to shock San Francisco.

So we're hard to shock – does that mean you don't try, Fred? We do, after all, want to be shocked. Fred tried to distract us with the fact that the Playboy Playmates "working" the door did it because they liked him. He then ruthlessly cut off the free booze. Note to selves: a person can be shocked in many ways, not all of them desireable. We were left scrambling for drinks, and ended up scrounging off the dot-com booze-fest that was going on in the next room.

Then we tracked down the aforementioned Playmate, who was Ms. 1970-something. She looked great, very tall and leggy and cool. We didn't think she was there just because she liked Fred. Wasn't she getting paid or something?

"I'm here to promote my book and video," she answered. Unfortunately the Bunny had never been given a class in marketing - she had neither a copy of said book, nor her video, nor a business card.

When asked if she was getting paid, she hedged, "Not much, but it's good for me." Whatever. She was still foxy.

Somehow we managed to miss the press conference, which was being held in some impossibly dark corner of the bar. Luckily, by this time the dot-com party which was on the patio had started to fill up and we could now effectively mingle with them, sipping their free drinks cavalierly.

We chatted up some random marketing goof, who seemed impressed to discover that we actually understood the term "encryption." He kept saying smugly to his buddies, "Hey, these are two girls that I just met." We responded by talking really loudly about cock and ball torture.

At this point (about 7:30 p.m.), more then a little drunk, we stumbled outside to find a fake trolley car tour bus waiting to transport us to a new strip club in North Beach, compliments of the "What is sexy?" crew.

We, having watched countless inebriated frat boys yelling at people on Kearny Street as they rode packed in these trolleys, had promised ourselves that we would never do this. As further proof of our drunkenness we climbed on board and were taken to a club called "Boys Toys." Who in their right mind would name a heterosexual strip club in San Francisco "Boys Toys?"

The place was practically empty but the dancing girls - especially fetish and pinup model Dita Von Teese bathing herself in a giant martini glass - were decidedly sexy. Men kept looking in the door, but once they discovered that women were on stage, they backed out with confused frowns on their faces.

On the one hand this sexual liberation is great, wonderful, outstanding; but on the other, it's fucking disappointing sometimes. Someone please bring us an expo that won't be afraid to shock us. Even better: an expo that isn't afraid of us.

Cara Bruce is the editor of and Viscera: An Anthology of Bizarre Erotica. Annalee Newitz is currently frustrated because the porn video she rented didn't have an enema in it.