Sex and Love

Writers’ Choice

Illustration By Chris Sickels

Best Place To Break Up
Luna’s Café and Juice Bar—Open Mic Night
Having others declare statements of brutal honesty onstage will make your little statement of “This isn’t working out,” seem a lot less daunting to declare in the privacy of your table in the corner. Or, for those who enjoy a more public finale, invite your no-more amour to Luna’s, sit him or her center stage and look deeply into their eyes while you recite a poem especially for the occasion. Luna Café and Juice Bar 1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931.

Best Place To Make Up
The docks at Old Sacramento
If you and your honey need a romantic setting to replenish your mutual affection for one another, take a stroll along the dock that winds from the Riverfront Promenade to Front Street in Old Sacramento. You can hold hands and watch the light from the Ziggurat ripple on the water. As you pass the boats tied to the dock, you can fantasize about the tropical isles the two of you will someday sail to. When you reach the end, visit the lounge at the Delta King. Order a couple of beverages and toast your rekindled love at a table for two on the top deck. Disregard the buildings and the fact that the boat’s not moving, and it’s just like being on a cruise.

Best Love Nest
Amber Hotel
True (and untrue) lovers can tryst at this 22nd Street inn, amid decor romantic as a Merchant Ivory movie. Pick from 14 evocative rooms named after history’s most amorous poets, artists and composers, situated in three adjacent structures. Bed boldly in the Lord Byron, or be bawdy in the Chaucer. Snuggle sensuously in the Renoir, or try on tutus in the Degas, if that’s your thing. Feeling rough? Maybe, bite an ear (carefully, now) in the Van Gogh. If music doth soothe your savage sweetie, try contrapuntal coitus in the Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms or Vivaldi rooms. Sybaritic and sexy, all have antique tubs, some with Jacuzzi—fireplaces too. Prices range from $160 to $360. Amber House Bed and Breakfast Inn, 22nd Street (between Capitol Ave. and N St), (800) 755-6526; (916) 444-8085 1315.

Best Wild Wedding Spot
Sacramento Zoo
Where else can you get married among pink flamingos, strolling tigers and black-necked swans? The Sacramento Zoo can accommodate parties of any size, though most couples prefer to keep it under 200 and say their vows at the Rare Feline Center, where wild cats are their witnesses. The zoo also hosts receptions at the Kampala Center Café on the lake, and their catering staff does everything but the cake. 3930 West Land Park Drive, (916) 264-8561.

Best Place To Buy The Bride’s Tiara
Jessica McClintock
It’s hard for a bride to find sophisticated headgear these days, especially if she wants something subtle or playful enough to match today’s sleeker, simpler wedding gowns. For tasteful, playful variations on the traditional tiara, load up the bridesmaids and head for Jessica McClintock’s boutique. Delicate and affordable, her pieces are perfect toppers to the most expensive dress you may ever buy. Speaking of dresses, Jessica McClintock’s bridesmaids’ gowns aren’t bad either. 545 Downtown Plaza, (916) 448-9133.

Best Gay Bar For Straights
You consider yourself a fairly enlightened guy. You’ve never been drawn to men sexually, but you have gay friends and you’re supportive of homosexuals. You consider yourself a 2, maybe 2.75, on the 1-10 Kinsey sexual orientation continuum. But there’s just still something about the idea of hanging out in a gay bar that makes that little homophobic part of your psyche scream with anxiety. Being supportive in theory is one thing, but the idea of having some well-manicured guy wink at you as you walk by still gives you the willies. So it’s with a touch of apprehension that you walk into Faces for the first time with a group of friends to go dancing on a Friday night. And within a half-hour of shaking your ass on the dance floor, you’re wondering just why you were so nervous. Hell, you’re so comfortable, you might even smile at Mr. Manicure when he winks. 2000 K St., (916) 448-7798.

Best Place To Buy Porn
Goldies Adult Superstore
Maybe you’re in the market for a cock ring or some nipple clamps. Perhaps your inflatable lover has sprung a leak. Or maybe you just want to update your video collection with the latest XXX titles. Whatever your pornographic needs, Goldies is sure to fill them. Whether you’re a curious innocent or full-blown pervert, this place is gonna have something to intrigue you … and that someone special in your life. 201 N. 12th St., (916) 447-5860.

Best Chance For A Ménage A Trois
Trino’s Lounge
It doesn’t look like much, just an inconspicuous little bar tucked away in a small, nondescript shopping center on Fulton Avenue. Yet this is not a spot for traditionalists or the romantically faint-of-heart. If you’re bold and sexually adventurous, a trip to Trino’s may land you in the middle of a three-way, four-way or even a full-blown orgy, with the action likely to start right there on Trino’s tiny dance floor, where everybody gets freaky and wild on weekend nights. Some may find its over-the-top swinger ethos cheesy and weird. But if you’re looking for somewhere to check your jealousies and inhibitions at the door and just revel in sexual experimentation, this is your place. 1443 Fulton Ave., (916) 978-9000.

Best Erotic Art

Photo by Larry Dalton

Best Erotic Art
The Wonderful World of Mona
“Bumble bees are so sexual! They’re all over the flower and just weighing it down. Flowers are sexual. Look at calla lillies!” Mona, local painter, jewelry-maker and owner of Mona Lisa Gallery, discovered the erotic side of pollination on retreat in the woods of Grass Valley. While there, Mona painted a portrait of herself as a butterfly nymph on a daisy as a gift for her boyfriend. That impromptu piece sparked a series (12 works and growing) depicting her women friends as sexy, fertile, voluptuous insects. What lends these paintings their power is not only their detail and their sexuality, but also the care that Mona has taken to convey each woman’s essence—wild, intelligent, funny, naked, stinging and beautiful—in her pictures. It is Mona’s ability to reveal and celebrate her subjects that makes her work truly erotic. Mona Lisa Gallery, 1312 19th St. By appointment, (916) 446-5992,