ArtsSeptember 22, 2011 at 4:54 am

Review: Erotic Literary Salon

The Erotic Literary Salon kicks off its fall season with a night to climax all others.

The Erotic Literary Salon
TIME Restaurant
1315 Sansom St.
Third Tuesday every month, 8 p.m.
$8 for students and readers, Ages 21+

I wasn’t sure if I was facing new–age sex therapy or a pseudo–slam poetry reading for perverts. Even before the first sultry words were purred — “I shouldn’t. I must. My lovely, dissolve into a puddle of cream” — I felt a wave of liberation entering the low–lit upstairs room of TIME restaurant, a self–proclaimed bohemian absinthe bar.

The evening began with a welcome from the Salon’s founder, sex therapist Susana Mayer. After a call for submissions (no erotic undertone intended), she listed the readers — Emerald, ApathyKiss and a Reverend, among others — each with five–minute pieces of original erotica to share.

Surpassing my expectations of absurdity, a 90–year–old woman in conservative pastels recounted tales of her youth, stories of 1950s office lust and flirtation. Though she kept it mostly PG, I couldn’t avoid feeling hot and bothered listening to sexual fantasies read aloud like Walt Whitman poems.
Then another author read a piece titled “Gotta Have It.” Hyper–physical, tongue–tantalizing words were not simply legitimized, but proven to be the only appropriate utterences in the low light. As the shock value of hearing aloud what I had previously read on the most explicit pages of Cosmopolitan wore off, I started to grow more comfortable. I was in the midst of losing my Erotic Literary Salon virginity, and I admit I was beginning to like it.

Faces in the crowd revealed that everyone else was feeling it too. 40–some audience members were participating in a one–sided sexual endeavor in which the performer’s satisfaction pended on the reaction of the crowd. Facial expressions ranged: eyes closed — I’m not looking, be yourself; eyes open and rapt — I’m curious, don’t stop; intense, almost tortured eyes — our love is primordial, timeless, so powerful that I’ve ceased filtering my expression.
“Can’t you respect me and treat me like a whore?”

Unanimous laughter. The room lets out a sigh knowing that pent–up sexual tension was acknowledged and thankfully emancipated at once.

There’s a reason why a niche of Philadelphians eagerly awaits the third Tuesday of every month. More than art, the Salon serves as a meditation on power and desire, as well as a strangely cathartic release of those past sexual encounters you can’t believe are true. For amateurs, the experience diminishes a vulnerability that we feel when we first walk in the door; one of the only things excluded from the walls of TIME Restaurant is the concept of shame.

Perhaps, for these reasons, we should all open our minds (and our legs?) to XXX performers at least once during our college careers. But, just like sex in the back row of a dimly lit movie theater, The Erotic Literary Salon may be too sticky for me to try it again.

Which spoken word poetry line from the Erotic Literary Salon are you most likely to use in bed?

2 People have left comments on this post

By Susana Mayer, Ph.D. on September 22, 2011 at 4:54 am

Truly appreciate the write-up, thought you definitely described the pulse of the Salon. I was however saddened by your last statement, “But, just like sex in the back row of a dimly lit movie theater, The Erotic Literary Salon may be too sticky for me to try it again.” Thank goodness you are an exception, otherwise the Salon would not have lasted almost 3 1/2 years and going stronger than ever. Lots of regulars and irregulars attend monthly, a community of Salon followers has been created making for a most enjoyable evening.

Do come back, since every month has a different flavor of presenters. The stories vary, the features are different. November you will be able to experience the ropes from a world renowned master of kink – Graydancer. I don’t know of too many safe and comfortable settings where this can be done. He will also be reading from his published erotica.

Thank you for this article, and introduce yourself the next time you visit the Salon. Keep in mind each Salon is so very different. My best, Susana

By Martin Lochner on September 22, 2011 at 4:54 am

In you I deliver myself.

In you,
I deliver myself,

a freakish excitement,
the less fortunate only talks about,

In you I deliver myself,
Struggling to contain,
An expanding spirit,
The flesh shattering- aching ,

Crazy Night,
hot mountain breath of wind
the swimming moon in your eyes,
Hot crazy night,
slipping off each others

Everything is poetry tonight,
Everything dances to the curtains,
your body,
A henna tattoo of shadows,

To you I deliver
the anatomy of waiting agony,

A Soft tiger,
to your every
mating growl,

Four branches of arms and legs,
Swaying to a deliverance of passion,

Worries perish on each breath,
I am close,
you brittle up in pleasure,

Crashing down on me,
I let go,
collapse into you and cry.

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