Hot air balloons.
What do those three things have in common?
If you’ve been involved in the world of sex culture, you probably know exactly who Polly is, if not, read on …
Polly Whittaker (aka Polly Superstar) is a sex culture icon and revolutionary. I first heard of Polly through my ‘sister from another mister’, Bawdy Storytelling creator, Dixie de la Tour. Polly co-founded a project (for lack of a better term) called Kinky Salon in 2003 with Scott Levkoff, a series of sexually expressive events in San Francisco, meant to be a place to socialize with the versatile, sexual sodality of San Francisco. Kinky Salon became a sort of glittery, magical clubhouse for anyone seeking asylum, or just to be a part of a community where one could feel accepted and appreciated for who they are, not what they are. It was Polly and Scott’s vision, that we should all have a safe and comfortable place to express ourselves and build community. Kinky Salon morphed into a twice monthly sexually free and open speakeasy, where you could either dress up and participate in the theme of an event, or just come to make-out in a corner, play at some of the kinky stations, mingle with the citizenry, or just let your hair down and engage in sexy-fun-playtime.
There’s no judgement at Kinky Salon. EXCLUSIVE EXCERT! Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary
Dixie regaled me with fantastical and dazzling stories of her adventures at Kinky Salon, and explained its integral importance to the sexual community and culture at large, it made me sad that I didn’t experience it with her. Polly now oversees Kinky Salon chapters all over the world, making certain that we all have a safe, sexy and fun place where we can express and explore our creative sexual energy.
The following is an exclusive excerpt from Polly’s memoir, Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary. It is a hot, hilarious and moving account of her brazen and unique journey to define herself, and thereby, in the process defining a culture … ‘sex culture.’ Her delicious, gutsy and intrepid journey of self realization is only punctuated with the birth of Kinky Salon … there are a lot more stories to tell. Rollicking, emotional, titillating and always inspiring, Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary is a tome you won’t be able to put down.
Just to prove it, here’s a special, exclusive excerpt! Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary – one of my favorite reads of the year:
Another Level of Strangeness | by Polly Whittaker
There are many allegories in our culture about understanding the truth to be a bad thing: Curiosity killed the cat, Pandora opened the box, Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. We’re not ready for the truth. We can’t handle the truth. In our strange and beautiful culture, which has so many influences and complexities we will never truly understand, the story that people should stay stupid has held fast for centuries.
The truth about sex is a double whammy. Danger. Stay back. The tradition of interpreting mystic sexual awakening as demonic possession has discouraged any but the most stalwart explorer from adventuring down that disreputable path. The raw power of human sexuality is undeniable, in my experience. The energy pouring off the play spaces at Kinky Salon is enough to charge a battery. One time it actually blew my circuits.
It started in the hallway at a Kinky Salon. A cute triad experimented with a three-way make-out, wordlessly negotiating which lips moved back and forth, keeping all three equally engaged. Adventurous hands went up skirts and down shorts, as the tryst became more risqué. People walked past smiling, whispering words of encouragement and appreciation, and before long, one of the three dropped to his knees to explore what could be found with his mouth at that height. The sexual energy crackled up and down the hallway as the party continued around them with playful conversations coexisting as the scene unfolded. I looked around to see how people were reacting, and apart from a few appreciative glances, everything seemed normal. Well, normal apart from a ménage à trois happening right there in the hallway. I didn’t gawk at them—I had no desire to join in—I just paused a few feet away and enjoyed the moment.
As I stood there smiling to myself, appreciating the sense of liberation and openness, something strange happened. An odd sensation overcame me—a flood of energy rose in my body. I breathed deeply as a flush of blood turned my face pink. It wasn’t embarrassment—I had seen this kind of thing before—I didn’t understand why I blushed. I put my hand on my chest to try to calm the sensation. A chaotic swirl descended on me, and I was suddenly incredibly anxious and overwhelmed.
A little flustered, I found solace in the bathroom, closing the door behind me to gather myself. I lowered the seat of the toilet and sat down, and held my cool hands against the hotness of my cheeks. The volume of the music outside made the bottles on the shelf rattle with every beat. A sensation pulled at my chest, part longing, part bliss, part confusion. Outside I could hear the triad giggling. I experimented, closed my eyes, and surrendered to the sensation in my chest, and as I did the longing and confusion slipped away. Bliss filled my body, pouring into me—warm honey filling a jar. When it reached capacity I found my head spontaneously nodding in affirmation, as if puppeteered.
As I opened my eyes I realized a glow had settled on the edges of everything. A fairytale sparkle. I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror, blinking back. Did someone spike my drink? I had experienced just about every kind of high in my rebellious youth, but this didn’t feel like a drug. My senses heightened, but there was no jangly toxicity in my bloodstream. I was just very aware, and very…awake.
What the fuck is happening?
I gathered myself, took a deep breath, and stepped back out into the party. Information flooded my senses. I scanned the rooms and realized that I had become intensely empathic. I always had a good sense of people, but this seemed different.
Some people were relaxed and happy, but I can also sense that some were scared, overwhelmed, or frustrated. I had gone from being hooked into a low battery in need of a charge, to being plugged into a high-voltage power supply. I didn’t even realize that this kind of resolution was possible.
I saw Scott and whisked him into the office. “What’s up?” he asked, looking concerned.
“I’m just really…feeling this crowd.” I tried to gather my thoughts. How could I possibly describe this sensation? It was imperceptibly different. The windscreen had been cleaned, and now I could see, but in an instant the memory of my previous state melted away. I had no reference points to compare it to.
“I get it,” he said, reassuringly. “There’s a lot of energy here tonight. I’m feeling it too.” He took my hand. “We’re conduits for all the kundalini being generated; those play spaces are really firing up the grid.”
I wrinkled my nose at him—I’ve always been a little resistant to his New Age language, but he just laughed at me and cocked his eyebrow comically. “It’s science, missy, .” He took me in his arms and held me very closely, and we stood in silence, heartbeats synchronized.
I heard of kundalini for the first time at a rave in London. A friend of mine guided me through a kundalini-raising meditation while we were high on E in a chill space. I sensed the energy, but just put it down to the drugs.
My second encounter was with a dakini—a teacher of sacred sexuality—who helped me tune into my sexual energy when I first started exploring my orgasm more consciously. She taught me breathing exercises and showed me how to tune into the energy of sex.
“Kundalini is the creative energy of the cosmos,” she had told me. “It’s personified as a sleeping serpent at the base of the spine, which can be awakened and tapped into using techniques humans have known about for centuries. Ancient cultures weren’t afraid of sex. They perceived divinity, creativity, and sexuality as inextricably intertwined.”
I had never experienced anything like this before—a spontaneous blast of energy that rocked open my senses. I didn’t know why it happened, that life force blasting through my consciousness. That uncontrollable nodding of my head. Was I saying yes to something I didn’t even understand?
Suddenly it seemed I had lived my whole life in a haze of numbness. A self-protecting bubble I created to shield myself from a pain of life. I guess I needed those defenses when my father was dying, to stay functional—to be able to face school and my teenage life. But that was more than fifteen years ago.
I shed it like a snake.
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The comedian Margaret Cho called it: “Raw, untamed, emotional beauty–Polly is a true supernova. This memoir is as touching as it is hot, as moving as it is a masterpiece.”
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