Have been off the grid a bit. Celebrated Frances’, (the Salon’s nonagenarian)’s 98th birthday in Florida where she spends her winters. She sends all her love and promises to share stories about Vladimer when she returns in May.
Visiting Cuba for a brief stay, shall return to this site next week.
Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon Featured Presenter Max Appello Will Read from Prayers Through a Ball Gag – And Other Sordid Musings, Plus an Introduction to SEXx Interactive, Along with Attendee Readings, Tuesday, April 21.
The Erotic Literary Salon will be held Tuesday, April 21. Join Max Appello for a reading from his current work in progress: Prayers Through A Ball Gag – And Other Sordid Musings. After several years of composing “wank fodder” for publications such as Hustler Fantasies, Max now examines the deeper nuances of his exploits, mapping a journey colored by such sticky brushstrokes as personal faith, addiction and love (even while struggling to distinguish one from the next).
Approximately twenty attendees will also entertain with their 5-minute erotica, sex memoirs, rants, short stories and poetry.
PHILADELPHIA: The Erotic Literary Salon, unique in the English-speaking world has launched a growing movement mainstreaming erotica. Salons attract a supportive audience of 65 or more individuals. Approximately 20 participate as writers, readers, storytellers, spoken word performers of original works/words of others, the rest just come to listen, enjoy and applaud. Frances, our resident nonagenarian (97 years young) occasionally recites her original erotica.
Salons gather the 3rd Tuesday of every month at TIME (The Bohemian Absinthe Lounge), 1315 Sansom Street, Center City, Philadelphia. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (limited seating), for cocktails, food and conversation. Adult Sex-Ed between 7:00-7:30, readings begin at 8:00. Admission is $10, discounted for students and seniors to $8. Salon attendees must be 21.
Creator of this event, Dr. Susana, is Philadelphia’s best-known sexologist. She lends her voice to the Salon by offering relevant information to support the discussions that arise in the Salon and blog.
“…surprisingly comfortable….Salon devotees praise her for the space she has created….”
“I think Susana is doing a very brave thing.”
Philadelphia Inquirer, February 10, 2010
“There are laughter and tears along with the hot rush of blood – to the face.
Daily News, March 15, 2010
“I never knew such a life of honesty could exist. I finally found a home I can be comfortable in…this event changed my life.
Friday, March 20, 2015 Philly’s Poshest Burlesque Show!!!
Doors at 9pm
Show at 10pm Starring:
The Criminaly Cute, LIL’ STEPH
The Golden Throat of Burlesque, BROADWAY BRASSY
The Bronx Bombshell, LILY FAYE
She’s like Sugar and Spice, SOPHIE SUCRE
The intoxicating, HATTTIE HARLOW
with kitten AMELIA MON COEUR
Quench your thirst at the bar in true Rasputin style with one of our specialty cocktails at the pre show cocktail hour. Be sure to stay after the show to drink, mingle and dance with the glitterati!!
-General admission: $10: available at the door both seated and standing
21+ Only FOR VIP SEATS HERE http://www.lilsteph.com
Sunday, March 22 – Touch Me Philly’s Weird Ass Variety Hour… and a Half! 2! A FUNdraiser for ‘Reasonable Fear: A Theatrical Exploration of Rape Culture
Touch Me Philly Productions is back with another Weird Ass Variety Hour… and a Half! As always we’ll have music, comedy & more FUN! TMPP is bringing back a few audience favorites as well as welcoming some FABULOUS new faces to the Touch Me Philly Stage!JOIN! Mistress of Ceremonies and Satirical Siren Alyson Rodriguez Orenstein!
SEE! The Bikini Hooper as she dazzles the crowd!
LISTEN! To the musical stylings of Hayley Jane! She’ll rock your socks off!
LAUGH! With the comedy stylings of Rachel Fogletto, Vickie Fernandez & Hannah Harkness! These fierce funny ladies will have you rolling in the aisles!
BE AMAZED! By Philly Boylesque at it’s finest and funniest from The Amazing Brettzo!
ENJOY! Different takes on burlesque with the luscious Lady Lolita!
DELIGHT! Gina Leigh and Aaron Lathorp share a piece of puppet perfection!
WIN! Raffles! Trivia! Win prizes including tickets to future Touch Me Philly Shows, t- shirts, and 1 lucky winner will receive a $100 Gift Certificate to Philadelphia Eddie’s Tattoo Shop!
All that AND MORE for just $10! Join us for a 6:00 cocktail hour and 7:00 show!
Amazing! You’ll enjoy a spectacular show AND be supporting a good cause!
This event is a FUNdraiser for TMPP’s series Reasonable Fear: A Theatrical Exploration of Street Harassment & Rape Culture running April 16-25 at The Luna Theater. (www.TouchMePhilly.com) ALL monies raised at this event will go DIRECTLY into making that show the best it can be so you can feel awesome knowing your money is making meaningful theatre happen! Most theatre is funded more by donations than ticket sales! So we need YOUR help!.
If you can’t make it to the show but want to help, GOOD NEWS! You can donate safely online to our Indiegogo Page- and even earn perks for your contribution! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/reasonable-fear-a-series-on-rape-culture-more/x/2292989 (Click that link! Share that link! Enjoy that link! Yay, link!) But we want to see you in person too!
Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Erotic Literary Salon, tonight in Philadelphia.
VIRTUAL-REALITY PORN IS COMING, AND YOUR FANTASIES MAY NEVER BE THE SAME by Peter Rubin
AS A KID, Ela Darling fell in love with the idea of virtual reality. This was the late ’90s, early 2000s; Johnny Mnemonic and the Nintendo Virtual Boy had already come and gone, and VR had moved from brain-busting sci-fi concept to schlocky punch line to faded cultural footnote. But still, Darling was an avid reader and D&D player, and the idea of getting lost in an immersive world—“making visual what I was already losing myself in books for,” as she puts it—was something she found not just exciting but romantic.
Not surprisingly for an active reader, Darling went on to get a master’s degree and become a librarian. Perhaps more surprisingly, she then stopped being a librarian and started acting in pornographic movies. (Yes, that means she officially became a sexy librarian. Fun fact: She has the Dewey decimal number for the Harry Potter books tattooed on her back.) And after a few years of bondage scenes, masturbation videos, and girl-on-girl movies, Darling attended the E3 videogame trade show and tried an early version of the Oculus Rift, the headset that jump-started the current VR revolution. “The first thing I think of when I hear of new technology,” she says, “is ‘How can I fuck with it?’ or ‘How can I let people watch me fucking on it?’ Usually there’s one or the other application if you think hard enough.” With Oculus, Darling didn’t have to think too hard at all; now, at 28, she’s busy forging a future as creative director (and star performer) of VRtube, a nascent online studio and distribution center for VR porn.
It’s not just enterprising actresses who think this way. Call it Rule 34a: Whenever a new media technology appears on the horizon, someone pops into a comment thread to say, “I can’t wait to see what the porn industry is gonna do with this.” And indeed, from VCRs to CD-ROMs to streaming video, nearly every home entertainment platform of the past 40 years was either popularized or downright pioneered by companies that could help people watch other people getting freaky. It generally works out well for everyone: If half of all videotapes for sale in the US in the late ’70s hadn’t been X-rated, it might have taken VCRs a lot longer to reach critical mass in the early ’80s.
Yet no visual technology has ever been so perfectly suited to sexual applications as VR. Yes, video brought sexually explicit content from theaters into homes, but virtual reality promises to eclipse even that shift. Historically, we’ve found titillation at a remove. In erotic woodcuts, DVDs, even streaming webcam shows, there’s a frame—whether a book, a Polaroid border, or a screen—through which we experience whatever it is that turns us on. VR is more than just another iteration. It doesn’t just change the frame. VR erases it. It allows us to exist inside the environment. The NSFW possibilities are endless. Yes, we’re at the dawn of this thing, and all the easy points of reference—Star Trek’s holodeck, the Matrix, Community’s Dreamatorium—are years of refinement and R&D away. The real question is what we’ll do in Year One.
Here’s what we’re not going to do: pull a Lawnmower Man. That is, we’re not going to put on full-body haptic suits, climb into gyroscopes, and transform ourselves into shimmering posthuman forms that overcome our bodily shackles and merge with one another in a transcendent liquid singularity. A huge part of the reason VR has finally tipped into mainstream consciousness is that it’s lightweight and low-footprint: a headset display, some sort of input controller, and sound. Sure, the libidinally aspirational can shell out for omnidirectional treadmills and mo-cap harnesses to facilitate Peak Air-Hump. Japanese sex-toy company Tenga has even helped design a complicated prototype that syncs a virtual sex simulator with … well, you can imagine with what. But for the foreseeable future, VR will be aural and visual only; if localized tactile feedback is what you’re after, you’re gonna need to handle that yourself. (Good riddance, “teledildonics.” You’re the worst word ever, and you’ll be despised long after your passing.)
WITH VR, YOU’RE NOT WATCHING A SCENE ANYMORE.
YOU’RE INHABITING IT.
We’re also not going to lose ourselves in a panoply of CGI flesh calibrated to our every kink and whim. Not that people haven’t tried: The past two years of VR game development are littered with the husks of abandoned projects with names like Sinful Robot. The problem is, as their developers learned, creating a fluid 360-degree videogame is already difficult—and making it stereoscopic and photo-realistic complicates things exponentially. Players can handle the janky facial animations in an action game like Far Cry 4 because they’re secondary to the purpose of the game (i.e., Shoot Everything). Certainly, depictions of sex can be arousing at low fidelity, as erotic comic books and vast swaths of hentai anime suggest. But obliterate the proscenium the way VR does and suddenly those lossy signals lead straight to the uncanny valley, that very unsexy place where things look sorta real but not real at all. The vast majority of VR-capable “adult games” are Second Life–like knockoffs with graphics that look like waxy (and waxed) blow-up dolls. While a VR version of phone or FaceTime sex isn’t tenable yet—even if you could see each other, you’d have headsets on—the most promising avenue appears to be 360-degree 3-D video, like the kind some people are using to produce VR concert experiences or the projects showcased at Sundance’s New Frontiers program in January.
Regardless, what we are going to do is find something virtually (sorry) unheard-of in pornography: intimacy. The thing that’s going to take us there is “presence,” that phenomenon that occurs when head-tracking latency, screen quality, and processing wizardry combine to trick your brain into thinking that you’re existing in a virtual space, rather than just watching a screen that extends past the edges of your vision. If your brain believes it, your body reacts in kind—with all the responses that come along with that.
So if you’re standing at the edge of a skyscraper in VR and you lean over the side, you experience vertigo. If you’re in a darkened corridor on an alien spaceship and you hear a rustle behind you, you freak the fuck out—full, heart-pounding fight-or-flight response. If you’re sitting in a musician’s apartment while he noodles on a piano, his dog sleeping behind you on the hardwood floor, you feel serene. (This isn’t speculation; I’ve done all those things in various VR environments—some CG, some video—and I’ve had all those reactions.)
The big question is whether sexual content in VR will induce the same reptile-brain response. Ela Darling would certainly like to know. She found like-minded colleagues last year when they posted on Reddit about wanting to make VR porn. They flew her from California to Maryland last April; in true tech startup fashion, they turned out to be 20-year-old college students. (“It was very Weird Science,” Darling says.) Nonetheless, they shot a test scene in their dorm room. Rather than invest in an array of pricey high-end Red cameras like many other fledgling VR video companies, they went decidedly DIY, taping together two GoPro cameras to create a stereoscopic 3-D image with a wide field of view on the cheap. (Again in true tech startup fashion, Darling initially wore an R2-D2 swimsuit.) After she flew back to LA, one of the students emailed her; he’d finished processing the test scene and was so blown away by the result that he wanted her to be a partner in the venture. “This is unlike any porn I’ve seen,” he wrote. “It’s like I’m watching an actual person.”
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4 Videos Below
Monica Day performance/reading two poems: The Fifth Year and This is My Body for January 2013 Erotic Literary Salon
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Frances' reading,“Go the Fok to Sleep”
Dr. Susana Mayer’s NBC10 interview of “50 Shades of Grey”