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The Five Days of Eros 

Wednesday, Feb 11 1998
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NECCO, the company that manufactures the Valentine's Day candy hearts stamped with cute slogans like "Say yes," has thrown '90s-style messages like "Fax me" into this year's mix, but in San Francisco, where there are as many kinds of Valentine's Day events as there are loves, we're still waiting for hearts with messages that more thoroughly reflect modern love, messages like "Don't stalk me" and "Sheep are neat!" Local holiday-related events begin as early as Wednesday and cater to all kinds of passions, even the ones fueled by Oedipal yearnings or the whiff of leather uppers, like those in "Fetish," a group art exhibit using all media to convey the relationship between artist and fetish (opens 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Art Gallery, Cesar Chavez Student Center, 1600 Holloway, SFSU campus, 338-2580; free). "Klubstitute," meanwhile, stages the anti-Valentine's Day show "The Bummer of Love," where guests can pin pictures of old flames to the Whack-an-Ex-Dummy and take out some aggression; strippers and drag queens will also entertain (begins 10:30 p.m. at the Chameleon, 853 Valencia, S.F., 331-1500, ext. DIET; $2.98). Tarot card readers peer into romantic futures at the art party "Blazing Eros: St. Valentine's Celebration and Silent Auction" (begins 7 p.m. Thursday at ArtBeat Gallery, 3266 21st St., S.F., 452-1104; free), and the first annual Elf Hill, an evening of Morris dancing and "unusual activities" inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen tale, attempts to re-create a sparkly fairy underworld; costumes are encouraged (begins 8 p.m. Friday at SOMAR Gallery, 934 Brannan, S.F., 468-5466; $10). Some people are turned on by puppets, and that's OK: Puppet Love: A Mini Festival features adult-themed puppet shows by Wise Fool, Vile Jelly, the Lockjaw Puppet Cartel, and others (begins 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wise Fool Space, 395 Valencia, S.F., 905-5958; $7-10). And from the love potion to the pheromone-based Garden of Scents, love is all about chemistry at the Singles Heartbeat Valentine's Party, the place to dissect an actual heart or test a sweat detector (begins 7 p.m. Saturday at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, S.F., 563-7337; $10-20). Find out exactly how the birds and bees do it -- and the hippos! -- during the San Francisco Zoo Valentine's Day Sex Tour, a narrated Safari Train trip followed by champagne and truffles (begins 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the S.F. Zoo, 1 Zoo, S.F., 753-7165; $35). Lovers and the loveless may mingle in the Tunnel of Love at the Sea of Love: Big band Herb and a cabaret with burlesque dancers and a dating game aim for the heart, or somewhere in the neighborhood (begins 9 p.m. Saturday at SOMAR Gallery, 934 Brannan, S.F., 821-7774; $15). And finally, any loving couple can stick it to the United Methodists at a Service of Love and Re-Commitment, which defies the national church ban on holy unions, a type of relationship not recognized the way weddings are (begins 11 a.m. Sunday at Bethany United Methodist Church, 1268 Sanchez, S.F., 647-8393; free). For a complete schedule of Valentine's Day events, see the holiday box in Calendar, Page 32.

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Heather Wisner

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