In the Flesh: L.A. (the West coast version of In The Flesh founded by Rachel Kramer Bussel) is a monthly reading series held the second Wednesday of every month at Hustler Hollywood, and features the city's best journalists, authors, scriptwriters and more offering their torrid tales for your entertainment and titillation.

From secret dirty confessions to unique sexual insights (and even the odd embarrassment or two), these writers get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Readers have included Willam Belli, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Maxim Jakubowski, Stan Kent, Shana Ting Lipton, Jenny Block, Regina Lynn, Rob Roberge, Eugene S. Robinson, Marty Barrett, Seth Greenland, Nina Hartley, Jeff Miller, Colleen Wainwright, Adam Grayson, Joanna Angel, Ernest Greene, Maggie Marr and BatSheva Vaknin. We've also been written up in Metroblogging L.A., LAist, Thrillist, Fishbowl L.A., Blue Blood and others.

Themed include Survival, Confessions, Madonna, Fears, Embarrassments and many more. Complimentary snacks and desserts from the Hustler Hollywood cafe will be offered. The event is free.

In The Flesh: L.A. debuted in May 2008. E-mail for booking, more information or interview requests.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Feminist Sex Rocks Hustler Hollywood

Almost 31 years to the month since the infamous Hustler Meat Grinder cover rocked the feminist world, Feminist Sex rocked Hustler Hollywood with the largest crowd we've seen for an In The Flesh Event. Eager listeners crammed every available Relax It's Just Sex space, sitting on chairs and the stairs, standing, leaning, moving about as over 70 people packed the cafe to hear fabulous examples of why Feminism and Sex can be hot - very hot - and very thought provoking - which is why we do In The Flesh - and a very special thanks to Hustler Hollywood and all the staff for providing the forum for an open, uncensored exchange where "fuck" and "cunt" can be said with artistic impunity.

As the crowd filtered in I played some appropriate music drawing from the obvious No Doubt's "I'm Just A Girl" to Garbage's "Sex Is Not The Enemy" falling back to classics like The Nun's "Do You Want Me On My Knees" to more contemporary fare in line with the bold women of the Feminist Sex evening using Peaches' "Casanova" to lead us into the words.
I began with the Erotic Review of the Month from the bold reviewers at Erotica Revealed . This month's review marked the two year anniversary of the site - which is an amazing accomplishment of bringing monthly, critical updates about all that's new in the diverse world of sex writing. This month's review of Maxim Jakubowski's Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica (Volume 8) was a fitting collection of erotica that showed how the dynamic of erotica has changed with the increase of female writers, but did come in for some criticism for not including more GLBT offerings. Reviewer Jean Roberta summarized the state of erotica and this book when she wrote "Desire, hope, mortality, greed, generosity, deception and illusion all mix together seamlessly in these stories, as does the comedy of sex and the tragedy of human loneliness. This is a book to be dipped into again and again.

And so began our dipping into stories with the return of Jillian Lauren to In The Flesh reading from her upcoming memoir "Some Girls". Jillian read an amazing tale of how she almost became a slave girl, and we're not talking in a SM dungeon in San Francisco where safe words end the session. She was talking about becoming a harem girl to a Saudi prince which could easily have been construed, given the environment as slavery.

Jillian's tale was captivating (every pun intended) as she described waiting for her interview in a small room and how she feared for her life, thinking that she might become one of those stories we hear about and wonder, "how could that happen."

What was amazing to hear was how the dynamic between them worked and while there was an element of contempt and complacency from the Prince, Jillian worked it to the point that once her stint was over, and she had returned to the US, she went back for another round in the harem. Now that's Feminist Sex by any definition...

Our next reader was the delightful Michele Matheson who describes herself as a recovering child actor having had roles in Mr. Belvedere and Life Goes On. She is the author of the enticing "Saving Angelfish" and read from her upcoming novel, "The Failed Suicide of Cooper Tin." Michele was nervous but quickly found her stride in the classically gorgeous heels she wore for the evening. The excerpt she read demonstrated the same clever prose of Saving Angelfish with an otherworldly atmosphere that was part child-like fantasy tinged with a heavy dose of adolescent reality with dialog that zoomed off the page courtesy of Michele's skilled delivery. It was a beautiful read that teased the audience with the promise of a great book to soon read.

Next up was our phone sex segment. This is where we dial up and out of town author and have he or she talk dirty to us as a nod to that good old tradition of letting your voice do the talking so your fingers can do the walking. Our guest this month was Michelle Tea, who would have been at Hustler In The Flesh but a family obligation thing prevented her journeying south, so we and she jumped at the opportunity to use modern telecommunications so she could be a part of the event that her writing has pioneered. After answering the obligatory "what are you wearing?" question with the titillating answer "panties."

Michelle read from Valencia and all we can say is she held a room of 70 people transfixed to a small cellphone feeding her voice through the PA system.

It was sultry to the point of being smoldering hot, and I can tell you that with May as National Masturbation month there were more than a few people considering giving up an offering to the power of Michelle's sexy delivery.

Following such a titillating tale wasn't easy, but our next reader fed off Michelle's delivery and gave a live increase of the sexual energy and striking imagery filling the Hustler cafe. Jessica Pauline is an example of what makes In The Flesh special. She saw the announcement of events and noticed the subject was Feminist Sex and contacted me with a topic and an offer to speak. Even though we were quite full we squeezed her in because at In The Flesh we believe in giving writers the forum to speak and it is our experience that listeners don't mind a full program when the enthusiasm to perform exudes from every pore. And that was Jessica.

She read from an upcoming book about her experiences being a feminist stripper while working at Planned Parenthood. She took the stripping gig like so many others - because she needed the money and why wait tables when you can wait on lapdances. She told how she wrestled with her convictions, keeping secret her "night" job and how she evolved into the totally nude lapdance backroom side of the business. Having a personal knowledge of strippers and stripping I must say Jessica was spot on in her descriptions and delivery, including the priceless moment when she described rubbing her crotch on the outstretched leg of a patron, thinking that her mucous membranes were leaving their traces on his wool trousers for all the rest of Los Angeles to enjoy for free. It was in-your-face and in-your-crotch reading.

Jessica epitomized the take-charge sexuality of feminist sex when she then took what she learned from that experience and learned to hover a tantalizing short distance above the next lap, not giving it up while making it better for her and her audience. Jessica finished her reading to a thunderous applause and more than a few willing laps desiring her to come out of retirement.

Our final scheduled reader was the organizer of the event - Shira Tarrant. Shira teaches at California State University, Long Beach, and helped pull together the readers. Many in the audience were her students who were getting some credit for attending as well as a bit of a thrill.

Shira read from her varied essays about Men and Porn, challenging the audience to not get stuck in the porn rut. Her point was that sex in all of its forms doesn't have to be exclusive of quality of life - which can sometimes happen. It was a thought-provoking ending to a great evening - which didn't end there.

We had an impromptu reader - Bradford - who had been invited to the event by a guest and was so inspired he took the opportunity to read a piece of erotic poetry that came from a post-first date ode he sent to a well-know erotic poetess.
Bradford wrote the piece as an offering to his date after their first night together and it was full of adulation imagery and male worship of the goddess form that served as a fitting ending to an evening of celebrating all that is Feminist about sex.

I played some more music spinning out with Lily Allen's "Fear" and the Pussycat Dolls' "When I Grow Up" ending it with the Eurythmics' "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" while we took photos of all the authors and enjoyed some truly tasty sweets from the Hustler Cafe - those lemon tarts were to die for.

Here's Shira, Jessica, Michele, Stan and Jillian under the Hustler Hollywood sign, and then one of Stan, Jillian and Michele in the magazine racks.

Our next In The Flesh is Wednesday June 10 at 8pm where the subject is Hot Summer Sex with readers Jolene Hui giving us something from her book, Patrick Julian and Alison Tyler by phone wearing something very hot, summery and sexy, I'm sure.

On a related note to the subject of Feminist Sex - all In The Fleshers should come by the Hustler Cafe next Wednesday - May 20 where I'm hosting a special event called "How To Make Your Own Porno (and do it well!!!) with acclaimed feminist porn director Nica Noelle and director Kevin Moore with adult stars Elexis Monroe, Kylie Ireland and Satine Phoenix. The evening will show you - with hands on instruction, how to make your own erotic video. We'll get into details like lighting, camera angles, editing and of course, acting and how to look sex and your best in front of the camera. We'll act out a few scenes and invite audience member to participate with the stars (clothed of course...) And in addition to Hustler Merchandise giveaways we'll be giving away a grand prize of the opportunity to be an observer on the set of an adult video in production to whomever gives the best performance.