Oh you guys – I’m not gonna pretend that it’s been easy. Putting together a festival in under 2 months, while moving and going through an extremely difficult time emotionally, has taxed all my resources. There were many times when I just wanted to give up and cancel the whole thing. “I’m not a producer! I’m a performer” I kept thinking. “Why do I do this to myself???”
Opening night was a kind of Christmas miracle. First of all, people showed up. That was amazing in and of itself. (I’m not gonna lie. My PR efforts have not been everything they could be. But operating with a tiny budget and limited time and energy, I did my best).
Rosie Bitts’ show Stories of Love & Passionwas beautiful. She is a powerful storyteller and chanteuse. She’s funny, sexy and authentic (all my favorite things!). Her stories were edgy and brave, her songs were erotic and delicious, her spirit warm and engaging.
And then afterwards, we had a panel discussion. “What is Sex-Positive?”
Nearly all of the people I asked to be on the panel SHOWED UP. Nearly a dozen participants. And where it might have been chaos, it was wonderful. Respectful, and deep and interesting. Sally Eck, a professor of gender studies at PSU, moderated the panel, and all of the participants had really thoughtful things to say. The questions from the audience were insightful and considered. One of the best post show conversations I’ve ever been a part of.
Sex-Positive Portland did a splendid job creating an opening reception. The audience mingled with one another, got to meet the performers, and talk about the show. It was everything I could have hoped for.
The following night, Tonya opened her show A Story of O’s. I have known Tonya for many years (she was a member of the original Inviting Desire ensemble) and I knew the show would be good. I just didn’t know HOW good. I was astonished at the nuance, the bravery, the vulnerability… I thought I knew what to expect from a show about phone sex. I was wrong. I laughed, yes, but I cried too. I was incredibly moved. The standing ovation both ladies received was so well deserved.
I think one of my favorite things that’s happened as a result of selling festival passes (as opposed to individual tickets, which would have been logistically easier) is seeing the same patrons at several different events. The goal of the festival – to create community around sex-positivity – has been helped enormously by this simple decision. People become invested. They want to get their money’s worth! The end result is that they start to feel part of something. They start to feel like they belong there. And THAT my friends is the reason I put together this festival.
Thank you for coming out and being a part of it.
P.S. And it’s NOT OVER! It’s only just begun! This week we have the play readings (Cherry Cherry Lemon on Tuesday night and CockTales on Wednesday) and Coming Out Kinky opens Thursday, followed by the erotic open mic, and then my show GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies opens on Friday! Come Inside my darlings!
is the first ever sex-positive theater festival in the United States. A curated collection of sexy shows designed to make you think, make you feel, and make you squirm in your seat!
The mission of this festival is to produce artists who are on the cutting edge of sexual exploration, who tell their stories with courage, authenticity and theatrical flair. We aim to arouse your senses AND your sensibilities! Dance Naked Productions is partnering with Sex-Positive Portland and Post 5 Theatre to bring you a festival that creates opportunities not only to enjoy sexy storytelling at it’s finest, but to meet other sex-positive people! There are panels and parties, post-show conversations, workshops and an erotic open mic (slots still available!)
WHERE: Post Five Theater(Milepost 5 at 850 NE 81st)
(*Workshops and the closing party will be held at Sex-Positive Portland headquarters: TheLotus Heart – 4124 N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR 97217)
HOW MUCH: Individual ticket prices for the mainstage shows are $12 online (a 2-show evening pass for $20) or $15 at the door. Festival Passes (which include preferred seating at all 4 main stage shows, play readings, and parties) are $50. Workshops are $40 ($25 for festival passholders!)
Come Inside: A Theatrical Orgy of Intimate Acts
Thursday Sept 11th
7:30 Stories of Love & Passion – Rosie Bitts
9pm Panel Discussion – “What is Sex-Positive and What Are The Resources in Portland?”
10pm Post Show Party (Hosted by Sex-Positive Portland)
Friday the 12th
7:30 A Story of Os – Tonya Jone Miller
9:30 Stories of Love & Passion – Rosie Bitts
10:45 Post-Show Discussion
Saturday the 13th
1pm- 4pm Workshop – Talking Dirty with Tonya Miller
7:30 Stories of Love & Passion – Rosie Bitts
9:30 A Story of Os – Tonya Jone Miller
10:45 Post-Show Discussion
Sunday the 14th
1pm- 4pm Workshop – The Art of Sexy with Rosie Bitts
7:30 A Story of Os – Tonya Jone Miller
9:00 Erotic Karaoke with Darklady
Tuesday the 16th
7:30 Play Reading - Cherry Cherry Lemon
9:00 Post Show Workshop – Toys for Every Body with A.J. Rogers of Shebop
Wednesday the 17th
7:30 – Play Reading – CockTales
9:00 – Post Show Workshop – The Art of Fellatio with Makael Newby
Thursday the 18th
7:30 Coming out Kinky – Jean Franzblau
9:00 Erotic Open Mic (all performer slots are filled, but come enjoy the show!)
Friday the 19th
7:30 GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies – Eleanor O’Brien
9:30 Coming out Kinky – Jean Franzblau
10:45 Post-Show Discussion
Saturday the 20th
1pm- 4pm Workshop – Welcome to S&M: A Gentle Introduction with Jean Franzblau
7:30 Coming out Kinky – Jean Franzblau
9:30 GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies- – Eleanor O’Brien
10:45 Post-Show Discussion
Sunday the 21st
1pm- 4pm Workshop – Sex and Creativity with Eleanor O’Brien and Gwenn Cody 7:30 Closing Party at Sex Positive Portland (Lotus Heart)
Stories of Love And Passion (Miss Rosie Bitts – Vancouver B.C.)
The Fabulous Miss Rosie Bitts mixes jazz and burlesque with raw seduction in these heart-breaking, hilarious and taboo tales of sex work, unplanned pregnancy, loss of virginity and more. With live accompaniment by Jeff Poynter, Rosie creates a night of entertainment that is a luscious pleasure to the senses while also being subtly subversive, perfectly frank and completely titillating.
Story of Os – (Tonya Jone Miller – Portland)
When Tonya takes a job as a phone sex operator, she has no idea how much it will change her life. Play voyeur as she learns the ups and downs of an in-and-out industry. Meet some of her more memorable clients and be possibly aroused (and likely disturbed too) by their unique fetishes. It isn’t long before Tonya discovers there’s a lot more to phone sex than just talking dirty, and some of her callers’ fantasies have become her own. Ride along on her hilarious, hot, and heart-warming journey to find out there might just be a little pervert in all of us.
Coming Out Kinky – A Grown Up Comedy (Jean Franzbleau – L.A.)
This comedy follows one adventurous woman’s curious exploration of her sexuality. When she was a little girl, Jean Franzblau believed that sex must be bad and made the impossible commitment to never be sexual. The show tracks her unusual path of exploration as she discovers that sex is a natural and wonderful part of the human experience. Franzblau portrays some twenty characters in this adventure story for curious and open-minded adults to enjoy.
GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies (Eleanor O’Brien – Portland)
By turns raunchy, hilarious and heartwarming, Good Girls’ Guide: Dominatrix for Dummies is far more than a simple guide to whips and chains. From the agony of junior high dances to the inner sanctum of a professional dungeon, enemas to ecstatic dance, GGG: D4D explores what it means to fall in love with yourself, and how everyone wants to be wanted. Come see the show that has inspired everything from “Surprisingly touching…beautifully tender and erotic” (Edmonton Journal) to “A spanking good time!” (The Seattle Stranger).
Cherry Cherry Lemon: by Seattle playwright Keri Healey – Two actresses and one male musician in a provocative comedy of the chaos of love and sex. The hour long play opens with stories of ex-lovers and small penises, orgasms, bad dates and the consequences of love gone wrong. An unsuspecting friendship blooms between a woman recovering from her break up and a professional party girl when they find that each other’s stories bring understanding and humor to their own. Starring Shannon Brazil and Jade Hobbs
CockTales: Created by Sean Bowie – CockTales is a show about cocks. Lots of cocks. Religious cocks. Academic cocks. Hard cocks & soft cocks. Young cocks and old cocks. Cocks in pain. Cocks on the beach. Cocks in the dark. Weeping cocks. Singing cocks. Cocks in pain and cocks in repose. Hilarious, fun and moving CockTales will teach you more about cocks if you don’t have one and if you do, it will serve as a reminder that you can stand tall … you are not alone. CockTales has garnered rave reviews, sold out houses and spawned a remount, a “Retooling” and a sequel. CockTales has something for everybody.
About the Artists:
About Rosie Bitts
During the day, Rosie is a demure housewife and mother, but by night she is a bawdy yet glamorous burlesque starlet, producer, teacher and pin up model. Known as ‘the Libido of Burlesque’ and named a ‘Notable Canadian Woman’ by the National Post, Rosie’s performance has has been called “… the real deal and the whole package – a smart performer with a killer routine”by award winning author Cherrie Priest. A native of Vancouver, B.C., Portland marks the first stop on the U.S. tour of Rosie’s Stories of Love and Passion.
About Tonya Jone Miller
Tonya Jone Miller is a lifelong lover, performer, and creator of theatre from Portland, Oregon. She is best known on the fringe circuit for her work in Dance Naked Productions’ Inviting Desire, and for her award-winning solo show, Threads, about her American mother’s experiences in Vietnam during the war. Tonya is a renowned phone sex operator and the owner of BayCityBlues.com, as well as being an openly kinky, sex-positive educator who teaches workshops on how to talk dirty and role-play. She has been featured in BUST Magazine, the upcoming full-length feature documentary Hotline, HBO’s Real Sex, Thrillist, Tits and Sass, and Forbes. Tonya is the proud owner of a dirty mind, a filthy mouth, and a clean conscience.
About Jean Franzblau
Jean Franzblau started off as a kid performer in Hollywood, Florida. She came to UCLA to pursue acting – favorite performances include Libby in Neil Simon’s I Ought To Be in Pictures and Darcy in the NBC Movie of the Week, Her Last Chance. Franzblau debuted on YouTube with her film, Internet Dating. She’s also a corporate training professional and has given presentations in six countries for up to three hundred people. Franzblau offers engaging performances, workshops and keynote talks and has a program especially for college students called Sexual Esteem with Kinky Jean.
About Eleanor O’Brien
Eleanor’s interest in sex-positive theater began at age 8, playing a young boy in the gay male fantasia The Jewel Box at Portland’s Storefront Theater. She went on to perform in the Planned Parenthood sponsored touring production Teens and Company, raising awareness about issues around teen sexuality. In 2005 she wrote and toured the award winning GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies, and in 2008 founded Dance Naked Productions, a sex-positive theater company dedicated to generating shows that celebrate and illuminate human sexuality. She devised the Inviting Desire series, and recently wrote and performed Lust & Marriage: a Polyamorous Love Story.
About the Workshops
(all workshops held at Sex-Positive Portland space: Lotus Heart – 4124 N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR)
Talking Dirty and Roleplay 101 (Tonya Jone Miller) SEPT 13th 1-4pm at Lotus Heart
Would you like your actual sex life to be as hot as your fantasies? Have you or your lover ever pleaded, “talk dirty to me!” in the heat of passion? Is there a role-play you’ve wondered about but are too nervous to try? Learn the tricks of the trade from a professional actress and phone sex operator! Renowned aural courtesan Tonya Jone Miller uses basic acting theory and improv games to help you get past your self-judgment and into a creative, erotic headspace. Unlock your deepest desires and learn how to safely explore them in the realm of fantasy. ATTEND WORKSHOP
The Art of Sexy (Miss Rosie Bitts) SEPT 14th 1-4pm at Lotus Heart
Sexy is a state of being.It is the core of your personal power, what sets you on fire, what draws people to you. It is something that already resides within you and only needs space and safety to fully bloom. In The Art of Sexy, Rosie teaches from her heart what she has learned during her practice as a burlesque performer and teacher. She has coached hundreds of women and watched their ‘sexy’ blossom. Let go of old limiting beliefs, love your body and be the passionate, sexy woman you want to be.Join Rosie for a fun and inspirational full day class where you will let go of old ideas, start to truly love your body and redefine Sexy to include the Fabulousness that you already are. ATTEND WORKSHOP
Welcome to S&M: A Gentle Introduction (Jean Franzblau) SEPT 20th 1-4pm at Lotus Heart
S&M (Sadism-Masochism) is one of the most misunderstood styles of sexual expression; this class provides a beginner’s introduction from an experienced teacher in a safe and fun learning environment. Participants will be introduced to bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism with an emphasis on the philosophy of “safe, sane and consensual.” There will be discussions, demonstrations and even opportunities to volunteer and participate. It’s an unforgettable workshop that will cover a lot of ground. ATTEND WORKSHOP
Sex & Creativity (Eleanor O’Brien & Gwenn Cody, LCSW) SEPT 21st 1-4pm at Lotus Heart
We all have stories. We all feel arousal. We all have vivid imaginations! What we often don’t have in time or space or permission to explore those part of ourselves, to pay attention to what our sexuality has to tell us. Sex and Creativity is a workshop designed to facilitate creative expansion for artists of all kinds. Whether you are a writer, performer, or simply interested in tapping into greater creativity, this workshop will give you access to a rich vein of material. Similar to the Artist Way, we will use different modalities to access the erotic imagination. Through writing exercises, games, and storytelling, you will discover the wealth of creativity you have inside of you, waiting to be unleashed! ATTEND WORKSHOP
What is Sex-Positive Portland?
Sex-Positive Portland is a local non-profit associated with Sex-Positive World, who’s mission is to improve the world by embracing the tenets of the Sex-Positive Movement. Most of our events fall into either the social, or workshop categories; others include festivals, fundraisers and field trips. We place a strong emphasis on community building. Sex positivity is a social movement and philosophy which regards all consensual expressions of sexuality as healthy, encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation, places an emphasis on informed consent and advocates sex education and risk-aware sex. Sex-positivity makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual expression, orientation or identification, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference. We are a community of like-minded people, and a non-profit education and advocacy group. Using Meetup as a platform we sponsor events that promote the forming of a strong and well informed community of sex-positive people who support each other in their endeavors to lead richer, fuller, sexier, lives.
In 2013, Coho Theater filled the void of a summer season filled with outside Shakespeare and not much else with an ambitious line-up of solo shows. The Solo Festival was such a success that Coho is bringing it back this year – 4 weekends, 4 amazing artists, and 4 extraordinary shows!
The festival opens with Eleanor O’Brien’s latest solo show Lust & Marriage (O’Brien is the artistic director of Dance Naked Productions and the curator of last year’s festival).
Lust & Marriage premiered at this year’s Fertile Ground Festival, where it played to sold out houses and critical acclaim (“engrossing” says the Willamette Week). O’Brien has toured the show to Santa Fe, Los Angeles and Seattle, and brings it back to Portland for 3 NIGHTS ONLY. Running July 3-6 (no show on the 4th) this is the last time this show will appear in Portland.
Does hot monogamy exist? Can polyamory save the happily ever after? #WWDSD? (“What Would Dan Savage Do?”) In this revealing solo performance, O’Brien examines cultural beliefs around monogamy, monotony, jealousy and polyamory from a highly personal perspective. With heaps of humor (and advice from sex-advice columnist Dan Savage) O’Brien creates a nuanced fairy tale that celebrates ALL the options of modern relationship.
Tickets are $15 ($50 for a 4-show pass) and can be purchased online or at the door. All shows start at 7:30 at Coho Theater (2257 NW Raleigh St). https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=45511
Lust and marriage, they go together like … electricity and porridge? Dance Naked Artistic Director Eleanor O’Brien explores the search for love, lust and life partners in this candid look at modern marriage. Does hot monogamy exist? Can polyamory save the happily ever after? #WWDSD? (“What Would Dan Savage Do?”) O’Brien is known for edgy, authentic stories that illuminate aspects of sexuality often labeled private. In this revealing solo performance, she examines cultural beliefs around monogamy, monotony, jealousy and polyamory from a highly personal perspective.
O’Brien has worked with renown solo show director and coach Tanya Taylor Rubinstein to create a show that celebrates ALL the options of modern relationship. With heaps of humor (and advice from sex-advice columnist Dan Savage) O’Brien creates a nuanced fairy tale of sex, love and what happens when there is more than one Prince Charming.
Show running time: 80 mins
Available for tour – please contact Eleanor to discuss!
Reviews for Lust & Marriage
Engrossing…. O’Brien recounts it all with verve and zip and generous heaps of humor… moving easily from autobiographical anecdotes to broader musings about sex, love and marriage. With a presence that’s sympathetic and engaging—and a refreshing lack of preachiness—O’Brien poses questions that transcend her particular experiences. And it’s that ability, even as she’s describing a threesome with her husband and a Bettie Page lookalike or a near-epileptic fit at an ayahuasca retreat, that makes this show stick. -Willamette Week
At the core there is a truth about O’Brien’s own awakening…..As far as expanding consciousness and entertaining, oh yeah, mission accomplished. It was a fascinating show, to watch her trace this path and her ideas about having multiple partners. She is luminous…. and totally riveting to watch.” - 5 Useless Degrees and A Bottle of Scotch Theater Reveiw Podcast
Lust & Marriage, they go together like … electricity and porridge?
Dance Naked Productions Artistic Director Eleanor O’Brien explores the search for love, lust and life partners in this candid look at modern marriage. Does hot monogamy exist? Can polyamory save the happily ever after? #WWDSD? (“What Would Dan Savage Do?”) O’Brien is known for edgy, authentic stories that illuminate aspects of sexuality often labeled “private.” In this revealing solo performance, she examines cultural beliefs around monogamy, monotony, jealousy and polyamory from a highly personal perspective.
Creator of the fringe hit GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies, O’Brien has worked with renown solo show director and coach Tanya Taylor Rubinstein to create a show that celebrates all the options of modern relationship. With heaps of humor (and advice from sex-advice columnist Dan Savage) O’Brien creates a nuanced fairy tale of sex, love and what happens when there is more than one Prince Charming.
Engrossing…. O’Brien recounts it all with verve and zip and generous heaps of humor… moving easily from autobiographical anecdotes to broader musings about sex, love and marriage. With a presence that’s sympathetic and engaging—and a refreshing lack of preachiness—O’Brien poses questions that transcend her particular experiences. And it’s that ability, even as she’s describing a threesome with her husband and a Bettie Page lookalike or a near-epileptic fit at an ayahuasca retreat, that makes this show stick. Willamette Week
This show runs 80 minutes and is designed to tour easily. Want to see Lust & Marriage in your neck of the woods? Get in touch!