Sex & Love
Best fighters for lovers
Marriage Equality California
For most brides and grooms, getting a marriage license is just one step out of a hundred leading up to the big day—a symbolic bit of bureaucracy that will end up in a filing cabinet. But the county recorder’s office is the end of the road for many happy couples, who are turned away on the basis of sexual orientation. What’s worse, because they can’t marry legally, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders regularly are denied many of the rights the rest of the population enjoys. (More than 4,600 California laws treat people differently depending on their marital status.) With that in mind, Marriage Equality California is fighting—via postcards, booths, stickers and support for legislation—to ensure all Californians are treated equally in the eyes of the law.
Best sex shop
Searching for the best sex shop in town is like trying to get a hold of the ever-elusive multiple orgasm. When you finally achieve your goal, you can appreciate why the hard work was worth it. G Spot, like the multiple orgasm, keeps you coming … back. Whether you are a porn novice looking to start a goodie drawer or a purveyor of porn adding to your goodie closet, G Spot has a little something for everyone. And not to worry, though women and men may not come with how-to manuals, most of the sex toys offered here do. Not only is there the obligatory selection of dildos, vibrators, lubes and anal plugs, but there also are kitschier items, such as oral sex dice, nudie doodle pads and naughty hand soap. This sunny, clean and centrally located sex store has proven that it is the perfect place to find items for personal and shared sexual bliss.
2003 K Street, (916) 441-3200.
Best place to break up
For most of us, the ideal setting for a breakup is defined primarily by what will not be present: overly attentive waiters, a high-rise balcony or bridge, and extremely sharp cutlery. Of course, in an age in which reality TV, cell phones and spyware have redefined privacy as neither a right nor an obligation, many new opportunities exist. One could, for instance, organize a flash mob, thus enabling hundreds of complete strangers to descend upon a predetermined location and deliver the unpleasant news in unison. But for those who have yet to graduate into the era of modern cruelty, Capitol Park offers the perfect combination of privacy and public space for a breakup, after which the grieving (or, in some cases, relieved) party can wallow in his or her emotions before gradually reawakening to a comforting vista of mighty trees, rabid squirrels and friendly homeless people. Just try to steer clear of the wedding parties.
10th and L streets.
Best opportunity to talk sex over breakfast
The Sacramento Valley Leathermen’s monthly pancake breakfasts
The way to a safer community might just be through its stomach. At least, that’s what the Sacramento Valley Leathermen are hoping. The club holds a pancake breakfast at Faces the first Sunday of every month as part of its charity work. Though the club’s Web site promises lots of “hot, juicy meat” at the brunches, don’t expect bare-chested men lounging around in slings; the leather-loving brethren are speaking literally. They’ll be busy cooking and serving breakfast standards such as pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit, grits, quiche and, yes, link sausages. The suggested donation is $5 for all you can eat; bloody marys cost extra. Proceeds support local nonprofits, AIDS education programs and community projects of interest to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.
(916) 486-5500, www.geocities.com/svl_club.
Best place for a romantic walk
C.M. Goethe Arboretum
It may be sandwiched between a huge parking lot and one of the busiest streets in town, but the C.M. Goethe arboretum is a small patch of peace. At slightly less than three acres, there’s no room to get lost, but you’ll feel pleasantly isolated as you stroll with your lover along the meandering paths. A pair of eucalyptus (Globulus eucalyptus, the helpful sign informs) fill the air with their rich scent, and the heavy shade on the far side of the arboretum seems to thicken the air. It’s the perfect place for a quiet conversation or to find the stillness at the core of love.
North entrance to California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J Street.
Best place to make up
True Love Coffeehouse
You and your honey have been on the outs. Now, you’re looking to smooth things over. Where else would you go but the True Love Coffeehouse? Run by husband-and-wife team Kevin and Allyson Seconds, the place is loaded with romantic charm. Candleholders that spell L-O-V-E, heart-shaped bamboo plants and other lovey kitsch occupy every nook in the place. Get one piece of chocolate cake with two spoons, sit at a table for two and make a wish for love on the tinfoil stars tacked to the ceiling. If the love vibes (or the chocolate endorphins) work their magic, buy some True Love underwear or condoms and continue the making up at home.
2406 J Street, (916) 492-9002, www.truelovesacto.com.
Best place for girls to meet girls
Arco Arena during a Monarchs game
If 15,000 people turn out for a Monarchs game, and maybe 75 percent of them are women, and probably half of those women are gay (it’s just a guess), well, a girl’s got a good chance of hooking up with someone, or at least she has a sporting chance. Really cute young ones in tight T-shirts; older ones with short hair and sensible shoes; leather dykes in Monarchs gear; nerdy girls in Monarchs gear; and sporty, powerful jockish women in Monarchs gear—the whole diverse and beautiful Sacramento lesbian population cruises the arena in what’s known as the “halftime waltz,” smiling covertly at those who match their ideal of pure female sexiness. During the game, nuzzling couples sit next to families who won’t let you curse at the referee, and almost everyone’s friendly enough to respond if you say something, anything, interesting about basketball.
Best place for smart boys to meet smart boys
The Open Book
Perhaps your hands brush while you’re both reaching for Mark Doty’s latest collection of poems. You notice he’s also picked up Edmund White’s biography of Jean Genet, and think, “Iconoclastic, intellectual and sensitive.” You hope he’ll hang around for the reading, and that the copy of Pulp Friction you’re holding is sending the right message. You wish you’d grabbed At Swim, Two Boys instead. You can’t believe he’s just invited you to join him for coffee on the patio.
910 21st Street, (916) 498-1004.
Best wedding cake
The Freeport Bakery has been a Sacramento favorite for years, but you haven’t really come to love the bakery until you’ve been served a good-sized slice of one of its opulently decorated wedding cakes. And nothing could be more fun than the tasting and planning phase. Gentle on the frazzled couple, Freeport Bakery lays out selections of moist cakes, fruity or creamy fillings and options for frosting, and then lets the bride and groom taste what they want and mix and match until they’ve dreamed up the perfect confection for that special day. The samples, it must be said, don’t do the cakes justice. The finished product, which can be further personalized with ribbon or flowers, will be picture perfect and will be so rich, fresh and freakishly delectable that your friends and family will sigh and lick their lips in reverie every time your anniversary rolls around.
2966 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 442-4256, www.freeportbakery.com.
Best take on the Tupperware concept
It’s Tupperware and Mary Kay gone bad—in a good way. Groups of women gather at a friend’s home to survey the merchandise and purchase goods directly from a consultant. But instead of plastic bowls or cosmetics, Passion Parties’ reps tote various items to spice up your sex life with a partner or as a solo act. You’ll find lubricants, lotions with pheromones, massagers, games, lingerie, books on sexual positions, flavored gels and vibrators. Looking to taste better, go longer or feel, um, “tighter”? Chances are, there’s a product for you. Hostesses get free gifts, and purchases are placed in plain, brown bags so your guests will go home happy, but the neighbors will be none the wiser. For a good time, call our favorite consultant,
“Lickable” Lily Nguyen. (916) 716-6677.
Best adult videos
Video Clearance Center
Sure, there are thousands of ordinary films to choose from: Disney classics, Hollywood blockbusters, martial-arts cult movies and weepy dramas. But that’s not really why you’re at Video Clearance Center. Go ahead and look around, but what you really want is over there, in the back room. You know, the over-18 room, where films with naughty (and often hilariously bad) titles emerge only in opaque black bags. The store boasts of having 15,000 adult videos for sale, and they’re organized in helpful categories such as “trannies,” “classics” and “urban/Latino” as well as by production company. So go ahead, Czech Out These Lez’s. It’s the Dawn of the Debutantes. You don’t want to miss their Casting Couch Confessions about The Wildest Sex Ever. OK, I could go on and on.
2221 Hurley Way, (916) 646-4700; 8025 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights, (916) 728-6004; and 6840 Watt Avenue, (916) 338-4000.
Best meat market (or cruise ship)
Sam & Cin’s 7440 Club
Don’t be thrown off by the tacky, weathered barn and lattice exterior. Walk through the Old West-style swinging bar doors and enter a world with nearly as many recreational activities as a cruise ship. Navigate the classic dark and dank front-bar area, where you can belt out karaoke every night, and head for the back-patio area where the real action is. The outdoor bar and dance floor feature a DJ and a big-screen TV for sports. Don’t forget to bring your putter—an actual putting green wraps around the backyard willow tree. Adjacent to the links is a full-size beach-volleyball court, which gets going every Sunday evening. Head to the shuffleboard court, lounge on the hammock hanging between two trees or go back inside to the pool and video games. But the real sport here is the more-than-active singles scene that takes over when the sun goes down. Sacramento-area nightclub aficionados claim this is the place to meet Russian women, and it’s cheaper than a cruise to St. Petersburg.
7440 Auburn Boulevard in Citrus Heights, (916) 726-4389, www.7440club.com.