If you're anything like me, every once in a while, a blank spot appears on the social calendar: A few hours of free time here or there, perhaps a whole evening to do your bidding, whatever that may be. Or, (great rejoicing) even an entire weekend clear of commitments.
The question becomes: what to do with this very valuable personal time? Whenever in doubt or wonder of an activity to fill this unexpected leisure time, it's nice to be able to outsource that very important decision. "Honey, looks like we have a cabin-fever-slash-free-time combo this weekend. Whatever shall we do?"
A decent option is the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, which opens Friday at Seattle Center.
If ever there were a weekend to get out and do something different, this would be it. This may also be a good weekend to clear some time on that aforementioned calendar.
Now in its eighth year, the three-day event takes place at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and boasts a wide variety of erotic art from performances to exhibitions to exhibitionist performances. There's also workshops, presentations and parties.
The list of performance artists reads like a who's who of the Seattle burlesque community. If it were an album, it could be called "The Greatest Hits" and includes pieces by Miss(ter) Waxie Moon, the "gender-blending queer lady 'boylesque' performance-art solo stripping sensation," Sydni Deveraux, a towering kiss of radiant joy who some may recognize as the star of "Attack of the Golden Glamazon" and the Shanghai Pearl, whose radical racial re-stereotyping is a bold, mind-blowing, must-see.
Of course, we would be remiss not to mention Miss Indigo Blue, a three-time award winner at the annual Miss Exotic World competition and founder of her own burlesque academy here in Seattle, aptly titled 'the Academy of Burlesque" where one and all can get their burlesque training on.
This Royal Court of Seattle burlesque royalty would not be complete without it's clown: Queen Shmooquan, an absurdist yet endearing neo-buffoon whose social commentaries and thrift store ethos is always engaging if not outright hilarious. Out of town guests include Miss Dirty Martini, who in addition to being crowned Miss Exotic World in 2004 is also one of the best known names in burlesque.
Then, as if burlesque performed on the ground weren't enough, there's also Seattle's very own Elizabeth Rose, founder of the Aerialistas who combine acrobatics with awesomeness all of which takes place, you guessed it, up in the air.
Yes, it's true that seeing is believing but sometimes, hearing is just as titillating. Such is the case for Naked Girls Reading, who will be reading aloud from the Literary Art Showcase as well as their own favorite erotica… sans clothing. While NGR began in Chicago and has grown to include other cities, their events in Seattle are historically the best attended.
The festival is presented by Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, which according to their website, believes "that the appropriate uses of sex extend beyond reproduction. They include creating personal pleasure, bonding interpersonal relationships, promoting spiritual growth, and enhancing emotional and physical health. In a sex positive world, everyone has the freedom and resources to pursue a fulfilling and empowering sex life."