Sex & Love

Writers’ choice

Best budget wedding:<br>Sacramento County Clerk/Recorder

Best budget wedding:
Sacramento County Clerk/Recorder

Photo By Larry Dalton

Best place for girls to meet girls

Club 21 on a Saturday night
Sure, we’ve been to Faces and The Depot and the Mercantile Saloon—and festivals and parades aplenty—but it wasn’t until we checked out Club 21 on its regular Saturday Ladies Night Out that we realized how many gay women there are in Sacramento. The motorcycles and throngs of women smoking cigarettes out front should have tipped us off, but damn! Whether there’s a special event, such as a Kings of Drag or Slickk Bois show, or just the usual mix of Top 40, house and R&B, this club is packed with hot chicks—young and old, butch and femme—some all dressed up and dancing, some flirting on the couches, and some casually playing pool on the sidelines. Don’t expect super-fast service at either of the crowded bars—but that just gives you more time to chat up the girl in line next to you. 1119 21st Street, (916) 443-1537,

Best local aphrodisiac

The Gold Cadillac at Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q
How did an old Wells Fargo stage house turned divey barbecue joint become the largest single consumer of Galliano in the world? Love, actually. The anise-flavored Italian liqueur is the main ingredient in Poor Red’s signature drink, the Gold Cadillac. Invented half a century ago to congratulate a couple passing through en route to their Lake Tahoe wedding, the creamy concoction blends its elemental spirit with half-and-half and crème de cacao, for what by now must be the worst-kept secret in El Dorado. But so be it. One sweet sip, and you’ll be shouting your love from the foothills. 6221 Pleasant Valley Road in El Dorado, (530) 622-2901.

Best place to view Sacramento’s beautiful people

Mason’s Restaurant
Keeping in mind the “eye of the beholder” adage, Mason’s remains the safest bet for face-value viewing of both the male and female form, along with the creativity with which they cover, or don’t cover, said form. The crowd is varied, with patrons of the dining room tending toward the upper-management variety, while the bar crowd becomes increasingly junior as the night wears on. People-watching is by far the most democratic of our popular sports, and Mason’s venue does double duty: providing a tastefully appointed viewing area that in turn attracts the participants. 1116 15th Street, (916) 492-1960,

Best budget wedding

Sacramento County Clerk/Recorder
When your love won’t wait, the solution may be as close as the corner of Eighth and F streets downtown. For $101, County Clerk/Recorder Craig Kramer and his staff will have you hitched up and out the door in about 30 minutes, provided you’ve called ahead for an appointment. Walk-in weddings are also available, but the wait times vary depending on the level of love in the air that day. The county has its own special wedding chapel, complete with a white lattice arch adorned with silk flowers, seating for 25 guests and a box of tissues for those moved to tears by the 10-minute ceremony. Purchase your license in advance, and for an extra $105 the county’s deputy marriage commissioners will make a weekend or holiday house call and perform the nuptials at your love shack. 600 Eighth Street, (916) 874-6131,

Best place to sit uncomfortably on the gearshift

Sacramento 6 Drive-in
Sacramento may be the last big city in the country where that ancient coming-of-age rite known as making out at the drive-in movie can still be performed. Not only does the drive-in afford a young (or young at heart!) couple the privacy of fogged-up windows, but also the movie itself can offer vital inspiration. Asked about the films that heightened their coming-of-age experiences, SN&R staffers offered a predictably eclectic assortment of good, bad and cheesy cinema, in no particular order: Ode to Billy Joe, The Blue Lagoon, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Goonies, Mandingo, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The War Widow and last, but certainly not least, Psycho. That latter selection makes more sense than you’d think at first blush. What better way to frighten your paramour right into your lap? 9616 Oates Drive, (916) 363-6572.

Best walk in the moonlight

Sacramento River Levees
Why does love have to be so hard? Love should be easy. Love should be lazy—as lazy as the Sacramento River rolling between twin levee banks, surface shining smooth as a mirror in the moonlight, course bending to God’s will. The Delta breeze whisks the day’s heat away as you stroll hand in hand atop the levee, gravel crunching underfoot, hearts beating as effortlessly as the current flowing seaward. Our favorite spot to walk along the levee is in the Pocket area, but any spot south of there will do.

Best tool for accessing Plan B

Emergency Contraception Hotline
Wondering—the morning after—if you’re pregnant? You’re one phone call away from finding the nearest pharmacy or clinic that will provide you with emergency contraception, otherwise known as Plan B. In California, you can get Plan B from a trained pharmacist, even without a visit to your doctor. Because you only have 72 hours after sex to avoid an unintended pregnancy, anything that saves you time is good. Just call the hotline, and the service will use your local phone number to find the five closest Sacramento clinics and the five nearest pharmacists that can provide Plan B—fast. (888) NOT-2-LATE,

Best unofficial sexperts

The staff at the G Spot
Man, you go into the G Spot looking for a book, and you come out with some libido-enhancing “fresh wipes,” aphrodisiacal mints and a new glass dildo. Better yet, you know what to expect from all three, and you’re making a mental list of all the foreplay, relationship, communication and toy-cleaning tips the staff passed on while you were browsing. Those folks know what they’re talking about. Considering that the store caters to a gay clientele, they’re impressively tuned in to the inner workings of hetero sex, and the male staff members seem to know a lot about female anatomy. A clerk may even invite you to bring your partner in next time, so he can repeat his advice for the benefit of your other half—and thus your sex life. 2009 K Street, (916) 441-3200.

Best place for men to be men

The Bolt
Sometimes all a gay man really wants to do is laze around in his underwear swilling beer and shooting stick with other like-minded individuals. If that description fits you, well, hombre, there’s no place better to go than The Bolt. This recently remodeled hell-bent-for-leather gay bar, located on the north side of the crusty-but-cool uptown arts district, is the destination for menfolk seeking escape from the glitter and glam of the Midtown meat-market scene. Not that there’s no beef at The Bolt. On the contrary, hairy backs, cowboy hats and bare cheeks are de rigueur, and, best of all, there are free wieners on Mondays. 2560 Boxwood Street, (916) 649-8420,

Best place for takeout, dine-in or home-delivery porn

Gold Club Centerfolds
The business minds at Gold Club Centerfolds are working all the angles, and we don’t mean that as an innuendo. They’ve got ladies stripping seven days a week and men going full monty twice a month. The club’s adjacent porn store stocks thousands of DVDs, but you can also buy movies at the online Gold Club Boutique. Shipping’s free, and every order comes with a bonus four-hour sampler DVD. (Though the site has a gay section, note that girl-on-girl action is bundled with the hetero films.) For real-time visuals, $9.95 per month buys browsing rights to thousands of original photos of Gold Club dancers and access to their locker-room cams and live-chat cam. If you’re too cheap for any of that, there are still plenty of naughty pictures on the club’s basic Web site. 11363 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 858-0444,


Best act of civil disobedience in the name of love

Jack Tocco spray-painting the homophobic truck
Dear Jack:

I was smitten from the minute I heard you were ballsy enough to paint “God loves us all” over the hate speech displayed on the sides of a truck cruising around Sacramento. Many of us may have wanted to cover up the homophobic rhetoric ourselves, but you’re the one who picked up a can of silver spray paint and, knowing you were breaking the law, defaced private property—facing a misdemeanor charge of vandalism for your actions. It gave me an extra thrill to hear you say you would do it again.

Chrisanne Beckner


Best people connector in the GLBTQ community

Tina Reynolds
Back in the day, gay folks used to joke that the best way to get the word out wasn’t telephone or telegraph, it was “tell-a-queer.” These days, we have nifty e-mail lists, and the best is run by artist, designer and drag king Tina Reynolds. Reynolds, the proprietor of Uptown Studios and a founding member of the Sacramento Kings of Drag, also operates Don’t let the name of the site fool you; it’s not for women only. Reynolds maintains a calendar and action e-mail list that speaks to everyone under the GLBTQ umbrella—and straight people, too! Reynolds seems to know everyone—or at least she knows someone who knows them—so to get the word out, make sure you tell Tina.

Best public figure to fantasize about: female

Cristina Mendonsa
This year and last, SN&R readers named Cristina Mendonsa both “Best local TV newscaster” and “Best news-anchor hair.” Now, we must admit—even if it takes a few drinks—we’re not watching her just for her hair. Or just for the news, either, although her smile can make you forget who’s bombing whom. We’re watching her because she’s hot, because she’s got those big brown eyes, because it doesn’t matter how she wears her hair—it’s always dark, with glimmering highlights and a healthy glow. Yep, Cristina, we’re not just watching the news. KXTV News10,

Best public figure to fantasize about: male

Vice Mayor Rob Fong
Clean cut, charismatic, well-dressed and even—dare we say—mayorial, Vice Mayor Rob Fong has one of the most visible and appealing of Sacramento’s public faces. And wherever there’s heat in city politics, there’s Fong, leading us to speculate that he has a naturally passionate nature. Though he shows his wild side when he champions controversial projects like the downtown arena, he does it with disarming warmth, so if you notice the TV cameras jiggling a little whenever Fong enters the frame, assume it’s just the operators going a little weak in the knees. (916) 808-7004,

Best place for a wedding and reception

Frasinetti’s Winery & Restaurant
In a sparsely populated part of Sacramento that almost feels like north Elk Grove or west Rancho Cordova lies Frasinetti’s Winery. It’s been there for more than 100 years, since back when the area was used primarily for agriculture and barrels of wine were brought into the city by horse-drawn wagons. In the past century, it’s survived the Prohibition, shifts in the region’s landscape and industries, and several generations of owners. Now Frasinetti’s, which still produces varietal wines, is a lovely and intimate spot for a wedding. (Only the occasional train whistle brings the hectic city to mind.) With Frasinetti’s many eucalyptus trees, garden space, gazebo, bar, banquet facilities, pre-ceremony dressing area and large parking lots, couples have everything they need for both a service and a reception. 7395 Frasinetti Road, (916) 383-2444,

Best two-wheeled sexual aid

Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy
Maybe you’ve seen the commercial showing a Harley-Davidson parked at the curb with a bra hanging off the handlebar and peals of randy laughter emanating from the house beyond. The idea behind the ad isn’t all that original: Buy our product, and you’ll score. Except here’s the deal when the product is a Harley-Davidson: It’s totally true! We’ve heard several theories that attempt to explain this phenomenon. One claims that the way the big twins vibrate is the attraction. Another insists that it’s the throaty exhaust that gets the juices flowing. A third theory—and the most reputable, in our opinion—holds that sex and love should be dangerous, and what could be more sexy and dangerous than a 2007 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy? A description in the Harley-Davidson catalog: “The king of the fat and funky customs pulls out all the stops this year. Virtually redesigned down to every last bit of chubby.” Holy moly! Take us to your dealer! Sacramento Harley-Davidson, 1000 Arden Way, (916) 929-4680.

Best wedding caterer

If the great hero of Carthage could march a pack of elephants through the Alps, a catering company bearing his name surely can handle your nuptial nibbles. Now in business for nearly two decades, Hannibal’s has perfected the marriage of taste and tastiness. That recipe includes impression-making menu items like “A Still Life of Sliced Sweet Melons"; vegan options that aren’t just an afterthought; and not just any chocolate fountain, but a Belgian chocolate fountain. Plus, pricing is surprisingly flexible; you might even have enough left in your budget for trained elephants. 11070 White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova, (916) 638-4363,

Best intersection for a first date

Broadway and Land Park Drive
Perhaps there is no better pre-screening process than venturing into a book or music store with a prospective love interest. Is she looking at chick lit? Danger: She could be prone to histrionics. Does he peruse science fiction? Warning: He might ditch you on weekends to play World of Warcraft. The intersection of Land Park Drive and Broadway is the perfect setting for such portents. First, you’ve got a movie theater and a wide choice of restaurants—from the venerable Tower Cafe to ethnic eateries serving Thai, Indian and Vietnamese. And when you have time to kill between dinner and a movie, you can engage in some covert ops at Tower Records or Tower Books. He might be hella hot, but if he listens to ‘80s hair bands, wouldn’t it be best to find out before embarking on a weekend in Tahoe? And if she thumbs through a copy of Ann Coulter’s latest, it could be a sign that if you want to salvage the evening, you should see something other than An Inconvenient Truth.

Best place to cover your ever-loving posterior

The greeting-card aisle at Safeway
We always hurt the ones we love. At no time is this old adage more true than when you’re on your way home to an anxiously waiting spouse only to suddenly recall that it’s, say, Valentine’s Day, and you are inexplicably sans gift. Back in the bad old days, you had to prepare yourself for a proper hiding. However, nowadays you’re in luck, thanks to the greeting-card aisle at your friendly neighborhood Safeway. No matter what the forgotten occasion—Mother’s Day, your sister’s birthday, your brother’s wedding or your great aunt’s spleen removal—there’s a card here for you. Call it a Hallmark conspiracy if you must, but trust us: It beats the heck out of getting clocked with a frying pan. There’s only one rule in love, friends: Cover your ass. Any neighborhood Safeway will do;

Best wedding flowers

La Martiné Floral Design
After the dress, floral arrangements are the most important visual component of a wedding. Sure, people talk about the food and the music, but when they visualize your day, or look at the photos, what are they likely to see? The bouquets and centerpieces. Focus and experience are the hallmarks of La Martiné, which specializes in floral design exclusively for events, the majority of which are weddings. Pairing superb fresh flower arrangements with decorative fruit and dried accents, La Martiné's use of color and texture is innovative but never intrusive. By appointment only. 315 33rd Street, (916) 912-2204,