Exotic Erotic Leaving the City

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Josh Keppel
    Sukhee Alves (right) and Shelby Thompson from Santa Cruz went to the Exotic Erotic Ball for their first time this year and said "We're not so much about the naked men... it's too much... leave a little to the imagination."

    Looking for a good time? Well, you might have to do some traveling.

    The Exotic Erotic ball is moving to Richmond this year, a departure from its longtime home in and around San Francisco.

    The reason? The aesthetics of the waterfront beat those of the previous location in the Cow Palace, according to producer Howard Mauskopf. "When you're in a sexy mood ... it helps to be surrounded by natural beauty. You don't get much natural beauty in a building named for a cow."

    The sexy festival traces its roots back to the late 70s, when it was organized as a fundraiser for a nudist's presidential bid. He failed, but the nudism continued. A 1989 article described a man named Larry who came to the event with only his name and his phone number written across his chest.

    Since then, it's grown into a popular magnet for tens of thousands of locals and tourists alike, with repeated proclamations of "Exotic Erotic Day" from the city of San Francisco. It also earned the ire of Republican lawmakers who tried to ban it, and a few years ago the city balked at issuing a proclamation when controversial musician Snoop Dogg was involved.

    The Exotic Erotic Ball is set for Oct. 23 this year and will run shuttles to the event from Berkeley hotels to its new home at the Craneway Pavilion, but if you're coming from San Francisco, get ready for a long commute. From downtown BART stations, it takes about an hour and a transfer from BART to AC Transit to get to the venue. And depending on your costume, you might get some funny looks on the bus.