Ever want to take a peek under the covers of the Exotic Erotic Ball? Well, now's your chance: the East Bay Express has an exhaustive backstory on the event's history and its evolution into this year's bash, October 22 and 23 in Richmond. Yes, Richmond as in the other side of the Bay Bridge.
It hasn't always been smooth sailing for the sexy-time festival. After bouncing from venue to venue for years, it's finally landed at a pavilion just north of Berkeley. The new location is smaller, cheaper, and more secure than past venues -- and also, as organizer Perry Mann puts it, "classy." High-rolling attendees will arrive at the venue by yacht.
Ticket prices are higher this year to make up for hundreds of thousands lost last year. But where else are you going to go for a wall-to-wall celebration of flesh? Aside from Badlands, of course.
The ball was born sometime in the 70s, and for its first few years of life existed merely as a party. Then it started to grow, with booths and performers.
There have been plenty of growing pains. In 2008, for example, a snafu with transportation to the venue on Treasure Island resulted in cold waits and packed shuttle buses. Contest winners have accused the event of withholding prizes, and Treasure Island briefly sued them for defaulting on a permit. Ball organizers have also done public battle with Ticketmaster and the Cow Palace.
Apparently, whether you're an attendee, a venue owner, or a business partner, tangling with the Exotic Erotic Ball requires a certain level of daring.