Photo by Erika Lust
This fall’s Good Vibrations–sponsored Short Erotic Film Competition, at the Castro Theatre, signaled a new era for this feisty event, which started six years ago as a small local affair. For the first time, international finalists outnumbered domestic ones—and to toast the excitement, the crowd was in full-Castro form.
At the pre-party upstairs, this reporter mingled with 200 guests—many in fishnets and corsets—and was treated to a full menu of pornographically titled cocktails (Loosey-Juicy), impromptu advice from a professional fisting coach (“If it hurts, honey, you’re not doing it right”), and the chance to spin a carnival wheel for prizes, including a DVD whose cover alone would guarantee arrest in at least six Alabama counties.
But the real party was downstairs in the theater, where 800 attendees voted for the best Indie Erotic Short Film of the night. Highlights included an uproarious domination parody starring a top, a bottom, and a hamburger; a sweet, touching animation about the tension between mind and member, by San Francisco’s own Lev Yilmaz (of Tales of Mere Existence fame); and Room 33, a disconcertingly hot threesome scenario by filmmaker Erika Lust. Of course, the toughest competition came from the irreverent and often scatological onstage banter of a trio of drag queens, led by the legendary Peaches Christ and moderated—or rather, refereed—by the equally legendary Carol Queen.
If you missed the festivities, fear not: You can find Yilmaz’s work on his website and purchase Lust’s award-winning videos at Good Vibrations stores. Lust’s oeuvre in particular is a form of cinema most effectively enjoyed in the privacy of one’s own home.