Sex and love

Writers’ choice

Best place to top off your date

Capitol Park
After a tasty feast of sensual delicacies at a downtown sushi restaurant where perhaps you had something that put you in an immediate mood for luv, take your date on a walk over to Capitol Park and enjoy the beautiful grounds there. Listen for the nocturnal sounds that permeate the air. Is it rabid squirrels you hear? Owls holding parliament? Maybe, or maybe it’s others like you who also had stirrings of lust suddenly come upon them in their after-dinner mood. Your love life needs a bit of excitement, right? Find yourself a place tucked between the maze of rose hedges or under the sprawling branches of a Weeping Lawson Cypress and let nature have her way. I recommend staying away from the cactus patch, and avoid grabbing the roses for support. Afterward you can pay homage to the vets who are memorialized there and who’d love to have the freedoms you enjoy. 15th St. between Capitol and L sts.

Best stimulation—intellectual and otherwise

CSUS Campus
Arrive on the tree-abundant campus of what is affectionately called Sac State and you will be seduced. Ahhh! The squirrels! The birds! The lingering young bodies sprawled across gently sloping lawns discussing the important stuff. Art! Music! Literature! (And that’s just outdoors) Go inside and take an exploratory journey deep into the caverns of the library, into the dark recesses of forgotten theses, and you’ll smell the collected years of graduates’ dreams and unrequited loves. Catch glimpses of hands feathering books, which present grand ideas before flipping pages crush them silent again only to be discovered by another. Emerge temporarily satiated from the library, and pursue the halls of bustling classrooms. Watch closely the sweaty brows and pursed lips of virgin students who passionately plunge into the moist endless sea of the mind: Who am I? What am I doing here? Will you be grading this? California State University, 6000 J St.

Best place to make up

First, forget the notion that arguing is a bad thing. It is as natural as the Sierra Nevadas, which, after all, wouldn’t be the Sierra Nevadas if the occasional mountain didn’t blow its top once in a while. With that in mind, Silverlake is a good spot for you and your volatile sweetie to work a few things out. It’s two hours of backroads from Sac, hardly an ordeal and just far enough off the beaten path to offer some seclusion. As you walk and talk (or don’t) you might notice the landscape is an unusual mix of granite boulders and jagged volcanic outcroppings. It’s a good quiet spot to reflect on how both pyrotechnics and slow, steady metamorphosis make for a beautiful world. Take Highway 50 east to Mormon Emigrant Trail, south to Highway 88 east.

Best place to break up

Sacramento City Cemetery
What could be more telling? It is where old romances go to die. You’ve been thinking about ending it, so why not put the finale in the context of headstones? “Bobby met Diane, 11-27-2000. Mercifully, this relationship was put to rest on 9-26-02.” Even though the plots are all sold, it might also be a place to put your old flame to rest, if he’s been the bastard that you claim he has been. The lovely public area is actually a nice place to visit and meditate among the trees and flowers. Think back and try to remember what the hell you saw in this person in the first place. The grounds are well-kept with the help of the sheriff’s work crews, and since those people are your type, maybe you’ll find a new romance with a crewmember. 1000 Broadway, (916) 264-5621.

Best place for boys to meet boys - Midtown Athletic Club

Best group to get your freak on with

Sacramento Area Kinksters
Are you a switch—or would you like to wield one? The Sacramento Area Kinksters have the meetings for you. Formed in 1992, SAK seeks to let you be naughty whatever way you’d like in a safe and accepting environment. From meetings to “play parties,” SAK members know that being bad can be very, very good. Ouch! Forbidden fruit is like candied apples for the Kinksters, and they welcome newcomers to take a bite.

Best local pay-for-peep

Odyssey Enterprises
For today’s busy pervert, nothing beats the convenience of online peep shows, some of which even offer the chance to chat with the vixens on the other side of the Webcam. But, for those lonely fellows who worry that their hard-earned dollars go to Los Angeles or Las Vegas instead of helping the local economy, there’s a new player in the market, based right here in the capital city. Jeffrey, an electrical engineer who moved to Sacramento for a high-tech job before the chip industry took a nose dive, recently founded, which he’s financing by selling his Rocklin home. From the office in suburbia, Jeffrey’s company, Odyssey Enterprises, streams live peep chats with models in special theme rooms. So far, they are “Roman” and “tiki,” but “college” is soon to follow, and there may be more. No jerky Webcams here; this setup is pure video on a fast T-1 connection, so customers can get the best, um, view. In addition to doing private shows, cyberhostesses also will chat with their gentleman callers about whatever topics of the day they find to be of interest—which, of course, begs the question: What do you talk about with someone who’s naked on the other end of the Internet?, (916) 921-2428.

Best romantic walk

UC Davis Arboretum Trail
Take the arm of your lover and stroll the botanical bounty that is the UC Davis Arboretum. A long and narrow walking and biking path, with its mini-creek in the middle dammed at either end, the Arboretum Trail winds and curves along the waterway, boasting more than 4,000 kinds of trees and plants along its pathway. Fall and spring are the best times to take in the luscious gardens, say the experts. But who cares about seasons when they’re there for romance? Head to the redwood grove (near UCD’s Mrak Hall) if you seek the deepest, darkest experience the Arboretum offers. Or, if you like your love pure and simple, make haste to the White Flower Garden on the trail’s other end.

Best vehicle for sex

1987 Ford van
If you’re trying to attract someone with whom to have sex, a family vehicle might not be the ticket. You’d do better in a Jaguar or a Ferrari. But, if you’re lookin’ to get down with your one true love, a girl you no longer need to impress with some sickening display of wealth or machismo, take her out to a favorite spot in a big ol’ van. With the middle seats out and Grandaddy and Portishead in the CD changer, you’ve got the perfect little space for a romantic carpet-picnic. After the strawberries, champagne and poetry, you can blow out the candles, fold down that back seat, throw down some pillows and a duvet, and close those faded, blue curtains.

Best sex store for the shy - G Spot

Best online personals (if all you want is sex)

Craigslist Sacramento
If you’re looking to have one of those monogomous, slow-building, lifetime love relationships, this is probably not the best option. (You could check out this paper’s Personals.) But, if you’re a “sweet chocolate or caramel woman” who “wants it, needs it, desires it” right now, or if you’re an “amateur porno star” who wants to “experience the ultimate blow job,” or if you’re just a “boy-next-door type” who’s “looking for daytime fun” with married people, craigslist is Sacramento’s own little land of opportunity.

Best place to tie the knot

Frasinetti Winery
For those lucky ones who have found true love in Sac town there are quite a few hot spots in which to make it legal. You’ve already popped the question, which is like popping the cork on a fine wine, so why not toast yourselves at this location and polish off the process in style. As the oldest winery in the Sacramento Valley, Fransinetti Winery offers lovers an “old world” environment promising a ceremony full of romance and elegance. And wine. The family-owned and -operated winery prides itself on its intimate and inviting setting and full range of wedding services. 7395 Frasinetti Road, (916) 383-2447.

Best place to hold a gay church wedding

Cathedral of Promise Metropolitan Community Church
Churches everywhere have gay members, but most of them can’t offer their gay couples a traditional church wedding—or gay-sensitive Sunday school, or gay-sensitive sermons, or gay-sensitive Bible lessons. Anyway, one of the exceptions, known by many as the “gay church” in Sacramento, is the Cathedral of Promise, a non-denominational, Christian-based faith group that holds regular services that “acknowledge our ancestory, our similarities as well as our differences.” As the laws governing domestic partnerships inch ever closer to the laws that govern marriage, the Cathedral of Promise can help gay Christian couples celebrate their unions the way such unions ought to be celebrated—with dignity, with joy, and under the eyes of their friends, their families, and their God. 10500 Chaplain Ave., (916) 364-HEAL (4325).

Best place for boys to meet boys

Midtown Athletic Club
Engorged biceps and rippling abs, shorty shorts and all-over tans. If these are a few of your favorite things, they can be found at the Midtown Athletic Club. It doesn’t have the pounding rhythm and general smuttiness of the Sacramento club scene, but it does offer some of the best examples of pumped-up male beauty in the city. And people are, as a whole, friendly enough to talk football and power drinks with anybody who smiles at them. Though not all the gorgeous guys are available—to either sex—just one should be enough for anybody. 725 14th St., (916) 441-2977.

Best place for girls to meet girls

The Lambda Center
The center’s building is a symbol of strength and a rallying point in times of crisis, and most everyone knows The Lambda Center has long been a hub of Sacramento’s GLBT community. The center is always out front in advocacy for issues of importance, but it’s also home to a variety of weekly discussion groups, including a Women’s Group. You’ll find women you can, um, relate to no matter where you’re coming from. The Lambda Center also gets involved in throwing those fun pride celebrations that are a great place to see who is out there. 1927 L St., (916) 442-0185,

Best sex store for the shy

G Spot
For some reason, many of Sacramento’s sex stores tend to be located on the outskirts of town and have an atmosphere that’s a cross between Wal-Mart and a walk down a dark alley. For the car-less consumer who doesn’t relish toting their new vibrator home on the bus, or the shy novice easily overwhelmed by a large selection of blow-up dolls (and the sometimes shady customers who buy them), G Spot is the best option. It’s small, sunny and located right in Midtown. The milder items, Kama Sutra massage oil, how-to manuals, condoms and the like, are kept up front in a sunlit room. Braver shoppers can venture to the back room where all the hardcore goodies, from dildos to Bend Over Boyfriend videos, are found. A sex store with a window. How scary can that be? 2003 K St., (916) 441-3200.

Best strip of nature

Anywhere along the American River
It’s like a big, long strip of nature running right through the Sacramento metropolitan area, offering myriad nooks in the brush and other hiding spots for a daytime quickie and beaches galore for fornicating under cover of darkness. Just imagine an evening picnic with your beloved (or even your belusted) just down river from already-secluded Paradise Beach or some similar sandy stretch. You finish off the last of your gourmet goodies and a stimulating conversation just as darkness falls and your attraction increases, and pretty soon, you’re in throes of passion, with your only consciousness of the outside world being a gentle breeze on your bare ass, the stars framing your lover’s face and the lapping of the river next to you. Top it all off with a skinny dip, and you have all the making of a truly memorable experience. Get creative, but watch out for rangers and strangers after dark.

Best businessman’s package

Chantel Lamere
Are you a frenetic, professional male? Do you have needs, personal and professional, that you just don’t have time to address? Well, the one-stop shopping place for you is right in your backyard. Meet Renaissance woman, Chantel (don’t-even-ask-if-I-was-born-with-this-name) Lamere, sensual masseuse, actor, model, dancer and psychic. Skeptical that all those talents could come in one, diminutive, 5’4”, 106-pound, double-D package? Okay, you non-believers, Ms. Lamere was featured in the Frederick’s of Hollywood catalogues from 1993 to 1995. And she was cast in The Pirates of Penzance (though it’s not clear as what, and if it was an Orange County dinner-theater production, or something). As for proof of her psychic and sensual powers, well, I guess you’ll just have to personally investigate her “nude, full-body, Tantric massage” service, and have her predict the stock market, while “staring into your gorgeous eyes.” Or, whatever. Be creative. After all, she “likes making up fantasy packages for you.” Maybe a hot-oil rub and a hot-stock tip? (916) 247-1571 or (260) 433-6520; chantellamere.

Best place for raw hide

The Bolt
It’s an aesthetic and lifestyle in the gay community, not known anymore simply as “leather,” but “Levis-and-leather” (more fashion wiggle room). And there’s only one such club representative of this lifestyle in Sacramento—The Bolt—which makes it, by default, the very best Levis-and-leather bar in town. Happily though, The Bolt does not rest on its well-buffed laurels. The joint has a lot of genuine character, with a no-nonsense, granite-and-oak bar, murky lighting and macho, corrugated iron walls, punctuated by neon, and edgy, semi-pornographic art. And The Bolt offers every diversion imaginable—pool, darts, video games—and weekly scheduled events, combining house food and recreation (like Sunday night barbecue and volleyball). But you’ll be glad to know it serves its primary function very well; on any given night, the place is plentiful with hunky, appropriately clad or unclad men of all ages. So this is a place for sex. As for love, well, The Bolt has a variation on that concept—that is, a true sense of community. On the couple of occasions I visited, I noticed that no matter how hectic the playing, cruising vibe was, most of the people there were regulars who knew each other and their life stories and were there to hang out and catch up. Even my presence (a straight lady in her 30s wearing a dress) was tolerated with a bemused air, once the regulars had given me the twice-over and determined that I was not just a particularly artfully made-up tranny. 2560 Boxwood St. (between Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue), (916) 649-8420.