Rated X-static

You know you’re a real San Franciscan when the term “deviant sex” barely ratchets your blood pressure. By this late date in this no-holds-barred town, “alternative sexuality” = mainstream sex. (Just remember your safe word.) So the annual anything-goes Cinekink film series, imported from sex-crazed New York, fits our burg like (ahem) a dildo in a velvet glove. An orgy of celebration more than titillation, the six programs shine a flattering light on real people and real sex, with an endearing splash of art and humor. Maria Beatty’s latest sumptuously erotic lesbian bondage fantasia, Silken Sleeves, launches the program tonight with star dominatrix Midori in attendance. The late show, Robin Franzi’s Susan for Now, offers extraordinarily frank interviews with members of Seattle’s BDSM community (though more action would have been nice). The shorts programs are strewn with gems, notably High Infidelity, an endearing look at sex and jealousy from Australia, and Who’s the Top, Jennie Livingston’s delectable portrait of liberated lesbian geekdom. A few of the films lose control and cross the line into self-indulgence, but that’s to be expected. After all, sex and narcissism aren’t exactly strange bedfellows.
July 10-12, 7 & 9 p.m., 2008

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