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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sex is Alive and Well in San Francisco

I'm sure that comes as a big surprise.

The operative word here is WELL. I found a community of serious scholars, dedicated to the preservation of their freedom to explore the subject of sex on an academic basis. Many were therapists. Many were couples. All ages (over 18) were represented. I was humbled by the recognition and homage paid to the antique vehicle that rocketed me from oblivion to unanticipated notoriety in 1974: that enduring porno, The Devil in Miss Jones.

Oh Annie, Annie, Annie Sprinkle, my beloved Mermaid. How can I ever thank you adequately for instigating and facilitating this trip?
The stores: Good Vibrations (on Valencia Street in San Francisco, and in Berkely), and Jennifer Islas' wonderful, fanciful, emporium in San Rafael, Pleasures of the Heart, were clean, spacious, and tastefully appointed. My heartfelt thanks to Jennifer. And a big thanks to the amazing Carol Queen, who not only set up readings at the Good Vibration stores but a great screening, reading, and open forum at The Center for Sex and Culture - sort of a porn museum. Another such venue exists at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. My thanks to Dean Howard Ruppel for hosting me there for a reading and lecture. If you were present, I would welcome your comments and critiques at my email address And, of course, if any of you who purchased a book (which was, thankfully, just about everybody) have had a chance to read through it, and have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you, as well.

A special thanks goes to David Nahmod who got me to every gig on time and managed to give me a grand tour of the most fascinating city in the world inbetween gigs. He even managed to talk Henry Tannenbaum of KRON-TV into interviewing me. Henry confessed that he had never met a porn star before. That's hard to believe in that town, but I do - believe him. He strikes me as a totally honest man. AND an utterly charming one, at that. I was surprised that he was willing to interview me and promote my book, The Devil Made Me Do It. The appearance on his show Saturday morning brought a slew of interested parties into the lecture that afternoon and many more to the reading/signing event that evening at the Good Vibrations store in Berkley (2504 San Pablo Ave.) Though I didn't clock it that closely, I think just about everybody who came to a reading bought a book! Well, that was the idea, of course. Many, many thanks.

The highlight of the trip was having my co-star from The Dancers, Howie Gordon (Richard Pacheco) materialize in the shadows at the back of the auditorium during Saturday afternoon's lecture. What a great blast from the past! Fortunately, I had a disc with me of clips from old movies and our big scene was screened. He then appeared again at the bookstore that evening. Bless his heart, he sat through the reading a second time, then took us to his house - which is a work of his visual art. Jeremy, his wife, had been right on the set during the shooting of his and my sex scene, incidently, was as welcoming and warm as she had been when I met her that day long ago. What an amazing woman. She's been in practice as a family and children's therapist for years. Their oldest son was a babe in arms the day we first met. Their third and youngest, now a grown young lady, was down with a cold, but we got to say hello from a distance. After ogling open-mouthed at the wall to wall, floor to ceiling (and all over that), array of his creations, we were treated to a great Mexican dinner at a nearby restaurant. It was the best topper to a grand time anyone could have ordered.