Philadelphia's Erotic Literary Salon
It's the third Tuesday of the month, Erotic Literary Salon night.
We walk past the host who is informing a party that there are no tables and they would have a wait. Up the worn, wooden stairs we head, to what I have no idea. I have read a bit about the salon, checked out Dr. Susana Mayer’s information. It’s been going strong for nine years. I intentionally don’t research too much. I wouldn’t want to influence my opinion before I even set foot over the threshold.
We arrive, pay our entrance fee ($12 pp, $10 students/seniors, $24 reserved seating), and receive a raffle ticket and a quick overview. The place is pretty packed. By the time the readings begin, it’s standing room only. Fortunate for us, we arrived early enough (after the start time of 6:30 but before the safe sex tip time) and grab a seat at the periphery. The room is full of an assortment of characters. There are both men and women represented. The youngest in the room hovers around the minimum 21 and the oldest in the room was a fantastic 98. Race and ethnicity are less diverse but still assorted.
There are people milling about. A bar in the corner is serving food and alcohol. The food runner struggles to dance around the people sitting and standing as he delivers meals. People chat amicably over burgers and fries. As an observer, you can clearly discern the easy friendships and comradery of the literary salon. Along the back wall there are pamphlets and information.
Dr. Mayer calls the room to attention and begins by laying the rules—what happens at the salon stays at the salon. She requests that no personal identifying information be shared, no pictures, no recordings etc.
After the formalities she speaks briefly with pride that the event has recently celebrated its nine year anniversary (as of 2017). She also mentions other similar sex positive meetups in the area. This salon’s mini-lecture feature presenter is our very own Dr. Susan Mayer. The 30-45 minute mini-lecture focuses on different erotica or sexuality topics and often times is delivered by a feature presenter. Dr. Mayer’s discussion tonight focuses on touch. She reads through a series of comments and information about touch followed by an open platform to further explore the topic. She encourages the audience to share feelings, experiences, questions, etc. about the topic. She wraps up the discussion to ensure a healthy break before the readings commence in fifteen minutes. People shuffle around a bit but for the most part, have settled in for the evening.
Before the readings begin Dr. Mayer again explains the ground rules for the night for those new comers who weren’t here earlier and the first reading commences. Many of the readers have read before and provide updates to the audience about their story, their status, as if a soap or mini drama were unfolding before their eyes. The writing styles ranged from what I would consider romance to erotica. The topics covered the spectrum from the sweet companionship of old age, to hints of passion, to solo acts of satiation. The readers represented the group, mixed age, race and gender as well as expertise from novice to a well-known erotic author. The group was heartily supportive and applauded everyone. There was even a mention of the final soliloquy in Ulysses by James Joyce
“…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish Wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
On the path to pushing boundaries and limits and dreaming to be DesireBound, my final words for the literary salon mimic that final stream of consciousness- ‘yes, I will yes.’
If you enjoy trying new activities check out my post on the local sex clubs in Philly. Kink more your cup of tea, consider attending the monthly Pleasurecation party. Intrigued by the idea of an Erotic Literary Salon, read a story I crafted from the experience, My Muse.