Smut Around Town

At almost every Slam we do, people in the audience want to know where they can go for more sex-positive events in DC– and being the smutsters we are, we always have recommendations! Plus, our judges often run businesses, work with organizations, and produce events that our audiences will love. So here it is: Mindi and Diva’s hand-curated, personally-recommended list of all the best sex-positive stuff DC has to offer. It’s a work in progress, so check back now & then to see what we’ve added!

Sex-Positive Events Around DC

DC may SEEM buttoned-up, but you just have to scratch the surface to get your freak on! Some of these events are weekly or monthly, some come only once a year, but all of them are sex-positive and full of awesome people.

 

  • Women Uncorked: Founded by SSDC judge Jennifer Beman, it’s a monthly women-only discussion group aimed at creating a safe space for women to talk honestly about sex. We hear Jenn’s trying to create a Men Uncorked as well!
  • DC After Dark: Ready for the queerest, kinkiest happy hour in town? Every Thursday around 7pm upstairs at Dupont Italian Kitchen, the DCAD happy hour takes over the back room. It’s casual (street clothes and no scening), warmly welcoming to all, and queer AF! You can find them on FetLife‘s Groups under the name DC After Dark.
  • DC Gurly Show: DC’s longest running, queer burlesque troupe! Mindi and Diva debuted with DCGS in the same “apprentease” class (which was where we met!) and you’ve seen many members as judges, door people, and bucket babes. They have monthly shows at both the Pinch and the Bier Baron, with Bier Baron shows performed as fundraisers for a variety of great causes. If you’re looking for a starting place to do burlesque, they’ve also got mentoring and apprentice programs for new performers!
  • DC Weirdo Show: If you like your sexy with a side of sideshow (and music and vaudeville and all kinds of variety-style oddities), the Weirdo Show is for you! Monthly at the Bier Baron, this wild rumpus mixes burlesque, cabaret, and variety with all kinds of silliness. This is the show where Diva got lap-danced by an apathetic cupcake for her birthday. Recommended!
  • Pretty Boi Drag: The swoon-worthy drag kings of Pretty Boi sear the stage at their Bier Baron party nights, their Acre 21 monthly drag brunches (I mean…drag AND brunch?? come ON! do it!) and their ever-popular Sunday Service drag church show. You’ve also seen Pretty Bois among our judges!
  • Naked Girls Reading DC: Did you know that it’s a thing in cities across the country where you can go to the theater and see 3-4 beautiful and completely naked women read aloud to you? Well, it is! And fortunately we here in the capital are graced with our own monthly Naked Girls Reading show, featuring SSDC judge Alice Darling alongside the brilliant and sparkly Cherie Sweetbottom, Gigi Holliday, and Cherokee Rose. Based on the brainchild of Miss Exotic World Queen Michelle L’Amour, this is a definite contender with SSDC for “winning the water cooler ‘What did you do this weekend?'” contest at the office.
  • InDCent Arts Festival: Formerly the Capital City Burlesque & Vaudeville Festival, this new & beautiful event will titillate the city for the first time in October of 2018! There’s not much on the website yet, but you can also follow the InDCent Arts Facebook Page.
  • Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret: This amazing, fierce AF burlesque troupe is dedicated to preserving the art of Black burlesque, and features some of the best performers the city has to offer. Their productions are big and splashy, so they usually happen only a couple of times a year. Worth following to stay in the know! Our friends from CCBC have also been seen slumming with us as judges for SSDC.
  • Church Night: A cult classic comedy show at the Black Cat that has also performed around the country and internationally, this “alternative church service” features audience interaction, comics, burlesque, variety, and overall hilarious absurdity. As of November 2017, we are proud to say that we will have had all 3 founders as judges!
  • Smash!: Created by SSDC judge Michele Sometimes-Gray via her Brainy Girl Productions, you all should feel right at home: it’s a show where standup comics tell stories about their sex lives and audience members can contribute their own true confessions. The next one is December 9th at the Bier Baron!
  • OutWrite Queer Literary Festival: This weekend event is produced annually in August by the DC Center for the LGBT Community and features readings, panels, workshops, exhibitions, and entertainment. We were honored to present a special Smut Slam Cabaret show for 2017’s OutWrite that included a story told by keynote speaker Cecilia Tan! Check them out– they also do workshops roughly every quarter.
  • Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction: Normally, it’s available to us as a podcast on Nerdist where comedians compete by writing and performing erotic fan fiction, sometimes by audience suggestion, from a regular Los Angeles show. However, SSDC judge and comedian par excellence Brittany Carney was the 2016 winner of a CEFF show that happened here in DC at the Big Hunt, so we figure it counts. Plus, comedians and erotic fan fiction? How is that not already the soundtrack for your morning commute?
  • Hump! Film Fest: Founded by salty advice columnist Dan Savage, Hump! is a thing of beauty: a curated festival of short amateur porn films. Trust us, it is FANTASTIC. So whether you secretly long to live out the ultimate exhibitionist fantasy of starring in your very own porn, or you just think it would be amazing to take a night on the town to go watch radical porn with your friends, you should check it out. Each year’s festival tours the country and in 2018 it’ll land in DC at the Black Cat from April 19-21.
  • Capital Fringe Festival: We’re not sure you can really call yourself an arts lover in DC if you haven’t been to at least one Fringe show! One of the many worldwide offshoots of the original Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Cap Fringe has been serving up some serious DIY theater weirdness for the past 13 years. It’s always 2 1/2 weeks from roughly mid-late July and features around 100 shows in all disciplines and genres. There are always some burlesque or edgy sex-themed pieces– some of them produced or performed by Mindi or Diva (who is a hardcore Fringe regular, with six seasons under her belt and a seventh in the works).
  • Lotus Blooms workshops: Every Sunday from 7-9pm on King Street in downright romantic-as-hell Old Town Alexandria, you can find people from all walks of life gathered at the luxuriously lush, women-run adult boutique Lotus Blooms for workshops on topics ranging from sensual couples massage to BDSM edge play. It’s like taking gourmet cooking classes if you’re a foodie except it’s sex instead of food. Mindi and Diva both work for Lotus Blooms and Diva teaches several workshops in the regular rotation, including full-body oral sex, hot wax play, and femme dominance.
  • Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit: This annual August event is basically paradise for sex nerds! It’s a long weekend conference for people from all walks of the sex-positive spectrum, from policy makers to porn stars. Woodhull does incredibly important work for sexual freedom year-round, but this event is not to be missed for anyone ready for a deep dive into sex-related education and issues. Bonus: you might see Mindi hosting and Diva performing at the popular Saturday night burlesque show!
  • The DC Fetish Ball: Annually in October, organizer Richard AD of Metro Underground packs a nightclub with a dazzling cross-section of the mid-Atlantic kink and fetish communities for this wildly popular party. Featuring DJs, dance floors, live performances, a runway fashion show, and various play stations where you can have experts give you a taste of everything from fire play to violet wand to Sybian rides, it’s a night to dress up in your most lavish kink clothes to see and be seen. Not for the crowd-phobic, but huge fun for anyone who loves nightlife!

Sex-Positive Businesses In and Around DC

  • Lotus Blooms: Full disclosure– Mindi and Diva both work here, so we’re biased! Even so, this jewel of an adult boutique on the King Street drag of Old Town Alexandria is pretty objectively the Cadillac of sex shops. It’s education-based, women-run, queer- and trans-friendly, and dedicated to “Pleasure for Every Body”. Hosts workshops every Sunday evening on a variety of topics, and includes in-house brands for high-end corsets and BDSM gear. Corsets and lingerie are sized XS-4X to be as body-inclusive as possible. The staff educators include counselors, therapists, and people with degrees in human sexuality, so you’re in good hands with any questions you may have!
  • Yes Please More Please: SSDC judge Chef “Sassy Sarah” Massey offers aphrodisiac and 420-friendly cooking courses and “seduction suppers”. She’s been taking a break to focus on her new job with the LGBTQ Task Force, but we hope she’ll find time to offer “the art of seduction through food” again before long!
  • Tagg Magazine: Once DC’s queer women’s magazine, Tagg has gone national and we couldn’t be happier for them! Tireless rock star editor Ebone Bell has been a judge for us, and the magazine has contributed immensely to the queer community from scholarships to health podcasts to reporting on so many of the sex-positive gems in the city.
  • The Crucible: Finally established in its newest home and open again, the Crucible is a membership-based play space for BDSM, kink/fetish, and alternative lifestyle communities. There are parties and performances every week, with something to fit just about everyone’s tastes. It’s home to Black Rose’s meetings and events as well as to the decadent and sexy Haux Hive burlesque show.
  • Katie Shepherd: Katie, another of our wonderful judges, is a clinical therapist who specializes in sex and relationship therapy with an emphasis on queer, kinky, and poly lifestyles. She has been an educator at Lotus Blooms and is currently training to become certified as a yoga instructor as well.
  • OMGYes: Not a local business per se because it’s all online, but it’s so sex-positive and innovative we needed to share it anyway! OMGYes is a web-based education resource that offers access to a full “season” of their videos and modules for exploring and increasing pleasure for people with vulvas and clitorises. The truly innovative part is the touch-screen videos, where you can practice (and get feedback on!) a multitude of different ways to stimulate those parts. The work was based on research involving hundreds of ordinary women. Note: The currently-available first season does conflate the gender “woman” with having a vulva, vagina, and clitoris. However, we have it on good authority that the in-development second season is aiming to be more trans-inclusive in their approach.
  • Freed Bodyworks: A holistic wellness center that includes everything from massage to energy work to counseling to herbalism and more, its mission is to be a safe and radically-inclusive space for all bodies and especially those that are in some way non-conforming to the mainstream. If your sexual self needs healing around body issues in particular, this is a place you should consider.
  • Bier Baron: Don’t get enough sparkle in your life? Intrigued by this “burlesque” thing Mindi and Diva keep talking about– or are you already a fan but don’t know where to find shows? Well, friend, the Bier Baron’s got your six-pack. This is one of DC’s most dedicated venues to the art of the tease, as well as to sideshow, drag, and all kinds of variety you won’t see almost anywhere else in the city. Just about every week, there’s at least one and as many as three or four shows to choose from– plus it’s a seated venue with food and drink available.
  • The Black Cat: Coming in only a slight second to the Bier Baron in terms of sheer volume of burlesque and burlesque-adjacent shows is the Black Cat, a live music venue that also caters to its sizable nerd base with viewing parties and other eccentric events. It’s also home to the Hump! Film Festival each year (see the events section above). Note that it’s a cash-only venue when you get there!

Sex-Positive Organizations in DC

  • HIPS: This fan-fucking-tastic organization provides a wide variety of direct services to help those engaged in sex work, sex trade, and drug use to live healthy and self-determined lives free of stigma, violence, and oppression. HIPS works within a harm reduction model and advocates tirelessly for the rights of some of the most stigmatized communities in our city. If you are truly sex-positive, you should consider supporting their work.
  • CASS: Collective Action for Safe Spaces is a volunteer-run organization that works to end public sexual harassment and assault through a variety of approaches to mobilize the community. If you’d like to be able to walk down the street without being cat-called, followed, or menaced due to your gender or orientation, CASS is your thing.
  • Cultures of Consent: This is an education-based nonprofit dedicated to ending rape culture and promoting healthy, positive sexuality and intimate relationships, encouraging youth and adults to be empowered by embracing and expressing their healthiest sexual selves.
  • Black Rose: If you’re getting into the kink community and looking for social and educational connections within the BDSM, kink, and fetish communities, you should check out Black Rose. This incredibly-active, volunteer-run organization has multiple meetings every month for a wide variety of special interests and demographics, does 101-level events to welcome and educate newcomers, and offers workshops and talks in an incredibly rich variety of topic areas. It’s a great way to plug into the community.
  • The DC Center for the LGBT Community: Offers a wealth of resources to DC’s queer community. Not a sex-focused organization per se, but offers a number of sexual health programs as well as social/peer support for a wide variety of queer identities. Produces the OutWrite LGBT Book Festival and the Ignition queer spoken word/poetry series (formerly Capturing Fire).
  • The National LGBTQ Task Force: Although national, it’s based here in the capital– one of our favorite judges, Sarah Massey, works there! It’s the country’s oldest LGBTQ advocacy group and they are training and mobilizing activists across the country.
  • Reframe Health and Justice: A consulting organization that uses the principles of harm reduction and anti-oppression to improve public health and social justice initiatives. Included here because the founders collectively have a rich background in sex worker advocacy and activism.
  • SMYAL: Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) is a direct service organization that supports and serves youth across the LGBTQ spectrum. They offer everything from a safe space for queer youth, to leadership training and activism, to education in a range of life skills.
  • Casa Ruby: Provides direct services to the most vulnerable LGBTQ teens, particularly those without homes or living under the poverty line. It is multicultural, bilingual, and provides resources and services including hot meals, clothing exchange, housing referrals, and case management.
  • OPEN (Our Polyamory Enrichment Network): Founded by, among others, polyamory activist and educator Anita Wagner Illig, OPEN is a Meetup group that shares a wealth of local poly-focused events, workshops, and other gatherings. Also check out Anita’s website PracticalPolyamory.com for more resources!
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