pro-SEX, pro-QUEER, pro-KINK

a free documentary film series for people who like sex
curated by Clarisse Thorn

+ Read the Press Release for a description of the film series and discussion group!
+ Join our Google Groups mailing list to receive updates!
+ Join our Facebook group, and invite all your friends!
+ Want to volunteer to help out? Join our volunteer mailing list!

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO RSVP BY PHONE TO HULL-HOUSE MUSEUM FOR EACH FILM: 312.413.5353. If you RSVP, we’ll save you a seat — and if the venue fills up, you’ll definitely be able to attend! In other words, RSVPs are not required, but they’re in your interest. Please note that we unsave seats at 7PM.

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JANUARY 27: “Kinsey” (2005)
Assesses famous sexologist Alfred Kinsey’s remarkable achievements, while examining how his personal life shaped his career.
+ Read the followup blog post!

FEBRUARY 10: “Sex Positive” (2008)
Starting in the 1970s, unflinchingly tracks the progress of gay activist Richard Berkowitz as he went from cocky S&M hustler, to angry AIDS activist, to broken but proud harbinger of a message too volatile, scary and true to be heard.
+ Read the followup blog post — including a comment from Berkowitz himself!
+ Read my interview with Richard Berkowitz!

FEBRUARY 24: “When Two Won’t Do” (2002)
Made by a polyamorous filmmaker, this film explores the alternatives — illicit affairs, swinging and polyamory — to a traditional monogamous relationship.
+ Read the followup blog post!

MARCH 10: “BDSM: It’s Not What You Think!” (2008) + “Leather” (1995) + “Cut & Paste” (2007)
#1: Confronts the stigma and stereotypes surrounding kink and fetish play through leading voices within the BDSM community.
#2: Members of the leather community discuss the freedom that surrender can provide, the trust implicit in the activity, and the quasi-religious ritual it can attain.
#3: Personal documentary that explores the historical contexts of race, gender identity and sexual agency.
+ Read the followup blog post!

MARCH 24: “Doin’ It: Sex, Disability & Videotape” (2008) + “Orgasmic Women: 13 Selfloving Divas” (2005)
#1: Tags along on a date between a woman with a disability and her able-bodied boyfriend, exploring their relationship issues over a candle-lit dinner.
#2: A rare gift of intimacy, a spirited sharing of erotic practices and a document of women’s authentic orgasms.
+ Read the followup blog post!

APRIL 14: “Bi The Way” (2008)
Attacks bisexuality from several angles: wondering if anyone is actually equally attracted to both sexes, if bisexuality even means that you’re equally attracted to both sexes, and asking ourselves … is everyone bi?
+ Read the followup blog post!

APRIL 28: “It’s Still Elementary” (2008)
Examines the incredible impact of the 1996 film “It’s Elementary”, which aimed to teach kids about LGBTQ issues. Follows up with teachers and students featured in the first film to see how those lessons changed their lives.
+ Read the followup blog post!

MAY 12: “Private Dicks: Men Exposed” (1999) + “Forever Bottom” (1999)
#1: Interspersed with clips from vintage sex education films and humorous cartoons, men — young and old, gay and straight, large and small, virgin and porn star — offer personal revelations that are honest, humorous and often poignant. Discussion ranges over puberty, power, impotence, circumcision, sexuality, myths and perceptions, growing old, and, of course, size.
#2: A clever look at the stigma attached to being on the receiving end in gay male relationships.
+ Read the followup blog post!

MAY 26: “The Aggressives” (2005)
Butcher than butch, these dykes of color have coined a new term to define their identity: Aggressive. Identifying as women, but looking and acting like men, from their haircuts to their suits to their swaggering behavior, the Aggressives have powerful personalities that buck traditional societal restrictions on women’s roles.
+ Read the followup blog post!

JUNE 9: “Boy I Am” (2006)
A look at the experiences of three young Female-to-Male transpeople addresses the way conversations about trans issues can run into resistance from the many queer women who view transitioning as a “trend” or as an anti-feminist act that taps into male privilege.
+ Read the followup blog post!

JUNE 23: “On The Downlow” (2007)
Creates a portrait of Cleveland’s underground black gay scene including coming out to one’s parents; black homophobia; and the persisting rumor that only gay people spread AIDS.
+ Guest facilitator: Lisa Junkin, Education Coordinator at Hull-House Museum

JULY 14: “Filming Desire” (2000)
Female directors talk about the reality of an explicit women’s point of view, the desire in their films to “fantasize and dream a new image of themselves”, and how their depictions of sexuality and relationships are correctives.
+ Guest facilitator: Aspasia Bonasera, blogger at La Libertine’s Salon

JULY 28: “Hot & Bothered: Feminist Pornography” (2003) + “Bill and Desiree: Love is Timeless” (2008)
#1: A rare and empowering look into the pornography industry and feminist community to see how they intertwine within the politics and poetics of female sexuality.
#2: One of Comstock Films’ award-winning erotic documentary films about real couples having real sex. Bill and Desiree’s story starts in the second half of life: a chance meeting, a powerful attraction, a carnal connection, and a deep, sensual love. Pleasure is ageless, and love is indeed timeless!
+ Guest facilitator: Serpent Libertine, vlogger at Red Light District: Chicago

AUGUST 11: “Liberty In Restraint” (2005)
Profiling the life of fetish photographer Noel Graydon, this film gives Graydon’s perspective on the BDSM community, describes some BDSM practices, and shows how he creates his photographs.
+ Guest facilitator: Balthasaar

AUGUST 25: “Equality U” (2008)
Follows a group of 33 young activists on the Soulforce Equality Ride, a first of its kind, two-month, cross-country tour to confront antigay discrimination policies at 19 conservative religious and military colleges. While most of the young Riders identify as Christian, not all of them do so in the same way, if at all.
+ Guest facilitator: David M.

SEPTEMBER 8: “Yellow for Hermaphrodites: Mani’s Story” (2003)
Intersex activist Mani Bruce Mitchell tells her poignant story of growing up in rural New Zealand. Subjected to genital surgeries at an early age, Mani takes viewers through her life, discussing both the difficult times she considered suicide and her path to healing, reconciliations, and service.
+ Guest facilitator: Ben Graham

SEPTEMBER 22: “Queens of Heart” (2006) + “All Women Are Equal” (1971)
#1: The first psychological study of drag performance, set in the oldest surviving female impersonation club in the United States, shows how the work of drag requires a deep understanding of human psychology.
#2: We see Paula, an early 1970s transperson, fixing her make-up and discussing the difficulty of living as a woman and meeting other transpeople. Offers incredible insights into both the time and Paula’s individual psyche.
+ Guest facilitator: Rae Wright, from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

OCTOBER 13: “We Are Dad” (2005)
Two white HIV-negative gay men have a family of five kids. Four of the kids have AIDS, three are black, two come from a backwater cult in Oregon, and one of the children has been in the middle of one of the most hotly debated issues in this country: gay adoption.
+ Guest facilitator: Steve C.

CONTINUED: Amazingly, the film series was continued!
Clarisse initially programmed only 9 months of films, and went to Africa in the middle of the series. After she left, though, a group of community members who had been regular attendees volunteered to continue Sex+++! So, the film series was run by this committee for over a year, and films were scheduled month by month. When Clarisse returned in late 2010, she and the committee created new themes and a whole new film list.

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2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 7PM

beginning January 27, 2009

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 South Halsted
All are welcome!
Hull-House Museum is wheelchair accessible. To request accessibility accommodations, please call the museum two weeks prior to the event.

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This series is supported by …

+ Early to Bed Feminist Sex Toys
+ Women and Children First Feminist Bookstore
+ Galleria Domain Two: The Center for Expressive Roleplay
+ Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
+ Polyamory Weekly Podcast
+ Comstock Films: Real People, Real Life, Real Sex
+ EdenFantasys SexIs Online Magazine
+ We’re seeking more Chicago sponsors — please get in touch if you’re interested!

+ Center on Halsted: Chicago’s LGBT Community Center
+ Sex Workers Outreach Project, Chicago Chapter

+ Picture This Productions
+ Erin Palmquist, filmmaker
+ Seventh Art Releasing
+ Sensory Image Pty, Ltd.
+ Cinema Libre Studio
+ Women Make Movies
+ Sam Feder, filmmaker
+ Beyondmedia Education
+ Regent Releasing
+ Indie Pictures
+ Marianna Beck, filmmaker
+ Comstock Films
+ Becky Goldberg, filmmaker
+ Frameline Distribution
+ Accord Alliance

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For more information, contact Clarisse Thorn: clarisse dot thorn at gmail dot com.

UPDATE: There is now a Sex+++ FAQ! It will hopefully answer any questions you might have. Also, it will help you start your own sex-positive film series, should you be so inclined!