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This weekend-Raw Sugar and Erotic Photos

July 24, 2009

Image by Mike Butler

Image by Mike Butler

“Its not every day that I get the chance to share my inspiration and passion in this manner. Sensuous curves, tasty nipples & creamy delights.”-Julie K.

Yes indeed, sensuous curves and tasty nipples, life’s simple pleasures. From munches to masochism, polyamory to play parties you really can’t get much more sex positive and simply pleasurable than the Bay Area. But after a while it’s hard not to notice that the kink rainbow is often missing a few shades, even in this sea of diverse debauchery.

This is one of the reasons that Nenna, the Oakland based director, producer and sex education activist behind Sugar in the Raw, began the annual visual art show last year.

Hoping to expand the erotic arts dialogue to better represent communities of color, last year’s show featured a wide range of tasty nudes, brown boobs and tan hides photographed by artists and activists including Jim Dennis, Refa1, Kimara, Henry Young, and Lisa Martinez.

Photo by Refa 1

Photo by Refa 1

A veteran of the Bay’s nightlife and arts scenes, Nenna has a history of spreading the word about spreading them thighs. In addition to the Sugar in the Raw exhibits, she’s produced a Monday Night Kink film series and is the director of the short film “She Ejaculates” which is about exactly what you think it is, featuring exactly the kind of details and close ups you’re thinking of.

When I interviewed Nenna last year (check the story at the end of this post) she said it was part of her mission to “bring what’s really going on with urban black communities and people of color to a wider audience.” We hear ya sis-Equal Kink for All. And while I’m not sure if everyone in the POC community gets down quite like this, it’s super crucial that we hear the voices of those who do. I mean diversity is good right? Even with all this post racialism goin’ on, Neapolitan is still my fave flavor.

This year’s exhibit features paintings, photography and installations by Dawn Warfield, Mike Butler, Demarquis Lamare Johnson, Lemonte McLemore, Julie K. and others along with dub and dance sounds spun by dj fflood. Come sample the treats and see if any of these particular confections get your mouth watering.

Sugar in the Raw: An Erotic Photography Movement
July 25 2009
$5-$20 Sliding
BridgeHead Studios
2516 Blanding Ave; Alameda, CA

Monday Night Kink

Originally published in The Oakbook

For most of us, Monday nights aren’t particularly eventful-borderline kinda suck-and we crave something that’ll snap us out of the first day back to work blues. Well, if your nights have become a couchfest of fast food, presidential coverage and early bedtimes, then my friends, this Monday will be different. And for most of us, nothing says different quite like mingling, munching popcorn and watching a cast of hotties sexin’ it up on a 50 foot high screen. Take a break from the ordinary and Step Behind the Red Door.

Step Behind the Red Door
is a night of erotic films screening at the Parkway this Monday. The event’s producer Nenna, an Oakland based artist, filmmaker and sex education activist says she hopes to open up a dialogue not just about sex, but specifically the sexual imagery surrounding people of color. The latest in a series of events, the films – the full length “Afrodite Superstar” and a teaser for “Kink” a documentary on people of color in the world of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadomasochism) – show a side of the kink community Nenna says often gets distorted beyond the point of reality. Porn, not realistic? Who knew?

“I’m trying to bring what’s really going on with urban black communities and people of color to a wider audience,” she said during a recent interview.

It’s not often that sex comes with an explicit social agenda, but taking into account current STD statistics and longstanding sexual stigmas, Nenna says this is exactly what the industry and the local community need to move forward. “It’s interesting how these films are not the normal soft core porn that you would see. They do some different things.”

While not shy on skin, both films are modest when it comes to sexual stereotyping. Aphrodite Superstar offers a feminist’s take on the music industry, referencing bell hooks and Gloria Steinem in between money shots, while interviewees in Kink discuss issues of objectification and prejudice as candidly as they do flogging and rope bondage.

Herself an experienced player, Nenna says she grew tired of “traveling to San Francisco for events and hopes to make Oakland a destination for kink.” In addition to the films, she recently curated a show of erotic photography at an Oakland art space and is planning a tour of San Francisco sex clubs, where Oakland residents will be invited to explore the spaces, ask questions and become more comfortable with the usually secretive kink community.

Asked what she wants to achieve with the Monday night screenings and “Kink 101” style events, her answer is direct as a swat on the backside: “I want people to watch more porn.”

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