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.

 

  • Burlesque, Circus, and Sideshow Fans of the DMV: This Facebook group is dedicated to promoting all kinds of variety performance shows in the area. If you love Smut Slam, you’ll find lots more to your liking here!
  • The Metro Underground: A resource for all kinds of sexy nightlife– swingers, polyamorous meetups, play parties, kink, fetish, queer, goth. Also join their Facebook group to see posts for lots of different erotic events.
  • Women Uncorked: Founded by SSDC judge Jennifer Beman and co-run by SSDC bucket babe and judge Rebecca Hassell, it’s a monthly women-only discussion group aimed at creating a safe space for women to talk honestly about sex. There are also People Uncorked events for everyone!
  • 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! Fun fact: Their house rules around consent and safe space informed ours. You can also find them on FetLife‘s Groups under the name DC After Dark.
  • Nerd Nite DC: Get your nerd on with this outrageously funny show– learning was never so subversive! With regular shows at DC9, Nerd Nite (part of a national network of shows) features 3-4 guest lecturers who are experts in their subjects. But with hilarious graphics, irreverent styles, and lots of rowdiness, it’s less like your college courses and more like Drunk History. Diva did a well-received (so to speak) talk about butt sex for one of their shows.
  • 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.
  • 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 Dew Drop Inn, 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 every show– AND they produce Open King Nights that are great chances for newbie kings to take the stage. 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 judges Alice Darling and Callie Pigeon alongside the brilliant and sparkly Cherie Sweetbottom 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.
  • Yolks On You! by the DC Burlesque Breakfast Club: A comedy brunch at the Bier Baron featuring burlesque and variety performers at their funniest, created and hosted by SSDC judge Delilah Dentata and former Ringling Brothers performer Jim Dandy.
  • 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. CURRENTLY ON HIATUS.
  • 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. We are proud to say that we 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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, and we’ve brought Smut Slam to the weekend’s entertainment!
  • 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!

Storytelling Shows in DC

Did you fall in love with the art of storytelling at Smut Slam? Want more? You’re in luck– DC is a storytelling town with lots of wonderful regular shows that are open to newbies and experienced tellers alike. Note that while these shows might do sex-themed shows occasionally, their topics are general and their shows are not specifically about sex.

  • Story District: A leader in the local storytelling scene, Story District hosts First Friday Happy Hours for storytellers and producers to mix. They have regular shows at the Black Cat and DC Improv, and offer classes as well– they even have their own space! To be included in their shows, you need to pitch your story to them.
  • The Moth: One of the more famous storytelling shows, The Moth is a global community that does shows, education, podcasts, and community outreach. You can follow their DC shows easily on the DC Facebook page. Some shows are slams done open-mic style, while others are curated, and require you to submit your story pitch.
  • DC Storytelling: This Facebook group is for storytellers and fans of storytelling shows. It’s a great way to get notices about all kinds of shows, classes, and competitions in the area!
  • Perfect Liars Club: A brilliantly quirky and funny concept– four curated storytellers tell stories, and then the audience gets to interrogate them and vote on which one of the four is lying. A mashup of storytelling, comedy, and improv sure to delight! It’s an international show, but the DC franchise has monthly shows at the Bier Baron. Storytellers (including liars) submit stories to the show’s director and producer for consideration.
  • Health’s Angels: A relatively new show on the scene, Health’s Angels shares women’s and nonbinaries’ stories about health and receiving health care. Not surprising, the stories are often enraging or moving, but they’re also sweet and funny and all of them are from the heart. Their shows are at our old home, the Songbyrd. Pitch your story via the website. Diva has been in one of their shows, and found it to be a wonderful, inclusive, and supportive place!
  • Story Collider: Another international show with a DC chapter, Story Collider features curated stories about science, and they also have a podcast. They have a submissions form on their website for pitching your story.
  • Better Said Than Done: A Northern Virginia-based storytelling group that does regular shows and offers workshops as well as corporate events and event speakers. They require interested storytellers to have seen one of their shows before submitting, and recommend taking one of their workshops first.
  • Mortified: Another out-of-the-box concept with international chapters, Mortified’s performers share their stories by reading embarrassing diary entries, blog posts, letters, poems, and other written pieces from earlier in their lives. There’s a DC/Baltimore chapter with regular shows. They accept pitches on their website.

Sex-Positive Businesses In and Around DC

  • Lotus Blooms: Full disclosure– Mindi and Diva both work here, and they are one of our sponsors, 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!
  • Creamed & Sugared: Another of our sponsors, this new business makes beautiful hand-crafted wooden sex and kink toys and furniture. They’re an online business, but locally-operated, and usually hanging out in our lobby. Ask them about their crafting processes– they love geeking out about how everything is made, and it’s pretty fascinating stuff!
  • Syren Society: A women-owned business that produces social events for alternative relationship styles as well as offering coaching for those navigating non-monogamy. Diva found their events friendly and welcoming.
  • Funkit Toys: Local maker Kenton also primarily sells his toys online, but can often be seen vending at local events. He makes a range of colorful, body-safe silicone toys creatively crafted to be suction-cupped together or combined in other inventive ways for a wide range of uses and play. He takes custom orders, too!
  • 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.
  • 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.

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– and you can do so at most of our events, where HIPS has a table with information, merch, and a tip jar.
  • Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC: We’re also proud to say that Planned Parenthood is one of our partner organizations, with a table of swag and info at most of our events. Most people are familiar with PP’s work making reproductive and sexual health services accessible to everyone, but we especially want to point out that PPMWDC is able to distribute PrEP, a daily pill that reduces the risk of contracting HIV by as much as 90%.
  • DC Department of Health: Did you know that the Department of Health thinks that vibrators are part of sexual health? Or that you can get free condoms mailed to you from the DoH? If you have it in your head that government health agencies are all about finger-wagging lectures on STIs and celibacy, you need to meet our partners and friends from DC’s Department of Health! Their Sexual Being initiative is all about the right to a happy, healthy sex life for ALL adults, and their Sex Is… campaign promotes informed and open conversations about sex among young people.
  • 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. CASS also runs the Safe Bar Collective, which trains front of house staff in bars to recognize, respond to, and de-escalate situations of sexual harassment. Our venue, The Brixton, is a CASS-certified Safe Bar.
  • 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.
  • Community of Hope: Serving individuals and families in DC’s Ward 8, this wonderful organization provides a wide variety of aid and services, including reproductive and sexual health services. Social events for their clients include opportunities to talk openly about having a healthy sex life. We’re excited to begin exploring opportunities to partner with them to encourage creative approaches to sex education and open conversations about sex!
  • 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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