This caused the night to be one movement flowing freely from one port of call to the other as if we just discovered a different level of where we were just exploring. Usually I just keep throwing out bits and see what catches. But last night it was so smooth! Of course Tomek’s music lubricated everything. But that is always what I depend upon! Last night I may have had one or two or more great plants. That always makes my job a lot easier! But mainly it was the people who came. Actually we ran out of time to get into EROTIC FRICTION. This is why I in my younger days did forty-eight hour performances, and why I do series of performances. Last night people felt like we just had gotten started! Well, if they come to the Temescal performance next Saturday, we can go explicitly deeper into what we unearthed last night!
Soon we were loading all the stuff into the space, and getting our bearings! Hustling! There was a lot to do, and a lot to figure out in terms of how to hang things, etc., what to use where ... we needed at least another half hour -- can you say, "Stress!" -- but what a crack team! Amazing that we were able to get it together by the time we did ... people were waiting outside!
And now the doors opened, and folks came in, surveying the scene, taking spots on the mats on the floor ... Frank told them as they were getting situated that he was the show, so they knew which way to face! Once people were settled, Frank started talking to people ... how did they find out about this, what attracted them, what did they do? There were two women in front who were very familiar with the space itself, and that's how they heard of this ... Frank asked one of them to talk about the space, and she spoke very highly of what Carol and Robert do, and referred to a great library of books on sex, sex history, eroticism, etc. that was there in the space. The next girl Frank talked to said she had seen a flier for this at the space too, had been at a "girl sex" event there ... she said she came because it seemed very "off the wall", and Frank asked her if she was "off the wall", and how "off the wall"?? She said very! Frank asked her if she was a plant? She said she didn't think so ... she said she may be some kind of alien, but not a plant. Frank asked her, "And we have never talked before, you and I?" She didn't say yes or no ... she just said something like, "Talking can often be the most erotic experience ..." Frank said that it sounded like something he wrote .... She said, "Great minds think alike!" Who knew if she was a plant or not now!
Then Frank moved on to two guys who had come in together ... one had just returned from a trip to Peru, and had been attracted by the mention of shamanism ... Frank asked him to describe what a shaman is, and he said something like that you are never sure if they are God or the Devil ... they can be both or neither ... or somewhere right in the middle ... Frank said, "Well, I am a free agent." Everyone liked that! His friend worked in medical marijuana, "herbal smokeables", he said ... Then there was the girl who had seen a flier on Haight St. and was attracted by the drawings and the description of Frank from the quotes ... it was intriguing to her, and felt like something she had not experienced before ... and the way that the bodies in Mikee's drawing were all connected and melted together was really fascinating to her, attractive to her ...
There there was the girl who worked as an admin. at an art school, and was a photograper ... and next to her two who had come together ... Frank asked the first if she was willing to be uncomfortable? She said yes ... "How uncomfortable?" She wasn't sure ... fairly uncomfortable ... Her friend is a 7th grade biology teacher ... Frank said, "Now that's scary!" Then there was Lula ... who Frank said later was a plant, but you couldn't be sure if he was telling the truth or not. He said later he uses honesty to lie! (something like that?) A friend had given her a flier for the performance and told her that it was Frank Moore, and that she had to check it out. Then the very next day, she got a friend request on Facebook from Frank! So she had to check it out ..
It was really great to hear how everyone found out about the peformance ... the various online places, SF Station, San Francisco.com, Facebook, but then also fliers! One guy had seen the flier at the Actual Cafe on San Pablo, which we had only put up the previous Wednesday! Haight St. ... Linda said later that one was hard won!
The regular of our performances, who always takes off his clothes and puts on a mask, was there too, and changed out of his suit, and got naked and the mask went on! Frank said that he always does this, and Frank has never asked him why, and never will!
At some point in this first part, Frank asked the girl who was "off the wall", who we later heard had just moved from Nebraska, if she would play erotically with Frank? She said sure. And also, Frank asked Lula this as well, and also asked if Erika could put a see through blouse on her? She said sure ... and Erika took off her tops, and put on the net blouse ...
Then Frank turned to the photographer ... would she compose a nude photograph of any people there who were willing to be nude? Sure, she would ... but she didn't have her camera ... Frank pointed out that we had a photographer, Mikee and video, Corey, so that part was covered ... but would she create the shot, set people up ...? Frank was willing to be nude, and everyone else there was wiling too! As soon as people had their clothes off, they were wanting props ... and they found the layout of Betty's jewelry and the costumes ... people put on bracelets and beads, and Frank had Linda tell everyone about Betty!
The photographer had everyone get together around Frank in a huge group shot ... like a big family reunion, but all nude! Talking later about it, Linda was saying that it was the perfect way that Frank transforms things ... you could feel that to a large extent, people came into the performance in a sexual context, with their own particular "fetishes", and there was an edge that you could feel ... But as soon as everyone was up there, being posed for a big group nude picture, like a big family, getting goofy, all that other stuff was all gone! She posed the group in various ways, and got into the shots herself too ... one shot was all asses in the camera! It was really fun!
Then Frank asked the girl from Nebraska if she would dance erotically with him? Sure! She came over and danced around him, and then all over him ... at the same time, he had Linda group people together for Gestures ... Just about this time, two young women who had come to the door early on, before 8 even, when we were still setting up, came back, and came in, followed by an older man ... Linda asked the girls if they wanted to do Gestures? She described it to them ... One of them would do it! But the other declined, and sat off to the side by herself. The guy joined gestures too ... he later told Alexi as he was leaving to say hi to Frank for him, he was Jim Riggs and knew Frank from a long time ago, from Debbie times ...
Gestures was great! There was so much to take in, you couldn't see it all, and Corey said later that the camera just wanted to linger on various groups and pairs, and wanted to take all of them in for each gesture, but then another gesture was read! There was so much to take in ... Frank had several different people come up and do gestures with him, the Haight St. girl, Lula ...
Tomek was the only musician who showed up, and he was amazing!!! He created this ongoing musical jam with his own set up and some of the other keyboards which was beautiful and followed/was one with the performance as it moved along ... he was really great! Really enjoyed the performance ... we loved how he kept bringing back his sample of Lula reading the warning sign from early on in the performance ... Early on, Frank had responded to the girl who he had asked about being "uncomfortable" ... she had said something along the lines of, "as long as she was safe" ... So Frank talked about how it was his job to take people beyond or through uncomfortable, and to bring them back safely ... but then that it was everyone's personal responsibility afterward whatever happened. This is when he had Lula read the warning sign.
One of the gestures was to rock together, and Frank asked Lula to rock on his lap, and asked the girl who had declined to join gestures, and had even said something like she wished she could be as adventurous as that, if she would read his poem, "Wrapping and Rocking"? She did, and put all of her passion into it .. an amazing reading. You could feel that she put everything into the poem, and that it really meant a lot to her for Frank to have asked her to do that. Tomek said later that he was watching her and could feel how much she was affected by the performance, and how it felt like she wished she could have participated more. When she left, she said to Alexi at the door, "Thank you so much!" and had tears in her eyes.
After wrapping rocking, Frank asked Lula if she would read from the binder randomly, and asked the photographer if she would rock with him. She did, and it was really amazing the pieces that Lula picked to read ... "I Hate Nice People", a surreal fragment from Time Seeds, and then a long piece from Cherotic Magic ...
Much earlier on, Frank asked Lula to create an erotic piece with him, and she played with Frank, played with his hands, crawled over and under his legs ... Frank told her about Mike and Ike, his left and right hands! At some point, Frank said, "Now this is real 'comfort'"
As Lula now read through the binder randomly, and the photographer rocked on Frank's lap, the rest of the group cuddled together in their groups and pairs ...
Now, Frank started asking people what they thought so far of the performance? The girl from Haight St. said that she really liked it, that it was a great way to get to know each other ... she talked about how she finds it hard to get close to people in the city, that there are walls up ... but that we were all "technically strangers", but were quickly close ... Other people echoed this feeling ... When one of the guys talked about the nudity again, Frank said that he often says that it is not the nudity or eroticism that freaks people out, but the intimacy. Frank and Linda told the story of the performance in Chicago with the stripper/hooker that the space had lined up for him, who would have sex with him, but not rock intimately on his lap! And then Mikee had to splash himself with glitter and oil and chocolate because she was also going to be doing that!
The guy who had just come back from the trip to Peru wondered why there weren't more opportunities for this kind of thing? This is where we think Frank talked about how people don't take responsibility, to explain why there were not more opportunities like this, and how everyone there tonight took responsibility and did what they wanted to do ...
Frank asked the girl from Nebraska if she felt comfortable? She said she did feel comfortable, but a little shy ... and others echoed this too. Her friend talked about the naturalness of all of them being naked together, that he felt that this really was a natural way to be together, and he said again that "technically" they were most of them strangers to one another, but that he felt a spiritual connection to everyone there that went beyond that ... We were blown away by everything everyone said ... one of the women who had been paired with one of the latecomers (the two latecomers had left already, early), talked about feeling a little sad that her partner could not seem to sink into the gestures ... that her partner was really nervous, talking and laughing a lot ... but that in general she really liked it. Corey said later that he really saw the latecomer sink more and more into the gestures ... that she was really talkative and nervously laughing at first, but by the end of them, she was cuddled together with her partner, and really dove into doing even the most intimate gestures!
Lula talked about having gotten cold as they were all talking, and cuddling up to one of the guys, Eric, hoping he would get the hint that she was cold, and then just asking if he would put his arm around her because she was cold, and he was happy to do it, and the feeling of being warmed by another human together, and that this was something very basic and profound that she never has experienced in a performance before.
Eric asked why Frank doesn't like nice people, referring to his poem that Lula had read ... Frank and Linda described the history behind that poem, about Louis and the poetry community ... Frank said that he himself is a bastard! At first, it seemed like some didn't get this, but the girl from Nebraska talked about it as being "fiercely loving" vs. being nice. People got what Frank was saying ... he was not polite, he was direct. Frank said that liberals thought of themselves as the "nice people", and often were the most repressive ... and Frank had Linda tell the story of Linda Burnham, a really neat slice of history. At some point too Frank had Linda talk about the last two performances at Temescal ... the one where everyone was very willing, followed by the one where it was all "no's"
Everyone in the room had relaxed into a very quiet and warm zone ... it was very soft. In some context which we can't remember, Frank said that it felt like they had just scratched the surface, that there was a lot more to explore ... and he said come to the Temescal performances, and encourage Carol and Robert to have him back! He asked the Haight St. girl if she felt that too about just scratching the surface? She said yes, she did ...
So that was the "end" of the performance, and people clapped, but Frank/Linda said that Frank did not really like clapping, because it created a false sense of something ending, when in fact the performance really didn't end, it continued on ...
People stayed for a long time afterward, talking with each other and with Frank ... Tomek talked about how much he enjoyed the performance, and that he really loved playing at Frank's performances because there is no "wrong" ... he can try anything, and it gives him a freedom to explore musically things he wouldn't normally explore ...
Tomek could be heard also encouraging people to come to Temescal next weekend!
We started packing up the room, talking about the performance and what a great space it was ... and how we would be much better prepared next time for setting up. We already had ideas of how to do things differently ... The popcorn came out, and we talked about the new popcorn method ... Carol and Robert were great when they came back to lock everything up ... they ended up doing the sweeping, and were happy to have Frank back to do more performances!
It was a long wonderful night ... it was already past 2am when we got back. We were talking more about the performance when we were in the PH unloading stuff ...
Everyone sat down on the cozy mats with fuzzy fabric over them and Frank said to come closer. He started talking to everyone. There were a couple of women who came together who said they come to other events at the Center for Sex and Culture. They talked about what a great library they had there with lots of good information. Frank asked one of them why they had come to the performance. One of them said that she came because she is perverted, that she likes to be the student, to be examined. Frank said, "oh...". There was another woman who had seen the flyer for the performance up in the Height. She was really attracted to the images on the flyer. There was a woman from Nebraska who it turned out had just moved to SF who had come to the Center for Sex and Culture for a girls sex event and saw the flyer when she had come to that. She said that it looked really off the wall and that is why she had come. Frank asked her how off the wall she was and she said, "Very." He asked her if she was a plant and she said no but that she might be an alien. She had brought a friend with her. Frank asked if he had ever talked with her and she said that talking can be one of the most erotic experiences. Then there was a couple of men who had come together. One of them said that he was really drawn to the flyer as well. He said that he had had experiences with Shamans and he had also had sex but had never met a sex shaman. Frank asked where it said that on the flyer and the guy said that it didn't he just thought that's what Frank was. His Friend had just come back from Peru and he said he sold herbal medicine. Frank said, "Pot". He said that Shamans either came from God or from the Devil and you could never tell which. Frank said that he was a free agent. There was a woman who worked in art administration and was a photographer and a guy who could not or did not want to talk. One of the guys who has shown up at performances over the years and always gets naked and wears a mask came and sat in the back. Lula said that someone handed her a flyer and she looked at it and then the next day she met Frank online as a Facebook friend. After two days in a row of learning about Frank she decided she must come! Frank asked her if she was a plant and she said that she had just been planted. There were a couple of other friends who came together. One of them was a 7th grade biology teacher. Frank said, "Now that is Scary." Frank asked Lula if she would read the warning sign that was posted up on the wall about how people might be effected by the performance days after the performances ended. Frank said that his job was to lead people through uncomfortable and to bring them back safely. Tomek recorded her reading it and then looped it back throughout the music that he was playing. Linda talked about the last two performances that we did at Temescal and about how people who were coming to the series kept talking about their comfort zones so Frank changed the name of it from Reality Playings to Uncomfortable Zones of Fun. The first time after the name change everyone who came was really willing to jump in, take risks and be uncomfortable and it opened things up, opened up possibilities and people were able to move beyond limitations. Then the last time we did a performance everyone wanted to stay comfortable and did not want to take risks. That didn't create an opening for much to happen so Frank ended the performance early.
Frank asked Lula if Erika could put a see through blouse on her and she said yes. Erika undressed and dressed Lula while Linda told about the last two performances. Frank asked the woman who was a photographer if she would do a photo shoot with those who were willing to take their clothes off. At first she wasn't sure because she didn't have a camera and she didn't feel like she was good at directing people. She would set people up without a camera and people came up with ideas for the photo shoot together. Almost everyone took off their clothes and was ready to be in the photo. A couple of people who didn't want to left the performance at this point and some new people came when we were in the middle of the photo shoot. We all gathered around Frank naked for our photos. Someone asked if we could wear the costumes and jewelry that we laid out on the stuffed chair and the photographer said only jewelry, not costumes. The woman who was the photographer set us up for the photos. One a "family" style photo, another one with our arms in different poses and then one with all of our butts. Mikee took photos of each shot.
Frank asked the woman from Nebraska if she would come up and dance erotically with Frank and she said yes. Then Lula went up and did an erotic piece with Frank. She explored and lay on top of Frank and then intertwined her body underneath his legs and rested there. Frank said that this is real comfort. Linda paired us up into groups of two or three and read gestures that we did together. Several women went up to do gestures with Frank. We hugged and rocked, explored each others faces, touched each others knees lovingly, lay on top of each other, touched genitals for body comfort, hugged and rocked. While we were rocking, Frank had one of the women read "Wrapping and Rocking," and then Lula went up and read randomly from Frank's poetry. She read "I hate nice people." Eric asked why Frank did not like nice people and he asked Eric what a nice person was. Eric talked about being polite. Linda talked about meeting people time and time again who considered themselves liberal but in the end they were not willing to take real risks.
At the end of the performance people talked about their experience of the performance. Some people said that they felt comfortable but a little shy and could have gone further. One woman said that we all felt very close and it felt really good to feel that, we hardly knew each other but we felt very close. One guy said that he didn't know why there weren't more opportunities like this. Another woman said that the woman that she was doing gestures with seemed really uncomfortable and was not really fully there and that made her feel sad. There was a guy who said that he really enjoyed being naked with everyone and that being naked with people is just natural and human. He said that we are all strangers and we came together in a closeness, a spiritual connection with everyone. One woman said that she felt very comfortable being with everyone in the performance, feeling close to everyone and that it was hard living in the city to connect with people on this level, on a real level and that felt really good. Lula said that she was feeling cold so she told Eric that she was feeling cold and snuggled up with him on the floor. She said that it felt really good to feel warmed by another person and that she had never experienced that at a performance before. It was a cozy night. Robert and Carol who run The Center for Sex and Culture were great and said that we could come back again anytime. The people who came to the performance jumped in for a night about being close and being physical in deeper ways than they said they often find living in the city. It was a beginning and some who were there expressed that they could feel that it was a beginning, that things could go deeper. The woman from Nebraska said that she would definitely be at the performance next weekend in Oakland. Many people said how amazing the night was as they were leaving.
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Last modified March 20, 2014