Sex & Love
Best gender-bending night out
The Gender Bender Ball
Where else are you going to be complimented on your ball gown and matching tuxedo vest? Or admire some cute girl’s ACE bandage binding and glued-on chest hair? The second annual Gender Bender Ball—a celebration of wigs, makeup and tailored suits—was held August 20 in celebration of the Gender Health Center’s first year of operation. (200 clients served and counting!) Held at Beatnik Studios, the event featured dancing, drinks, performances, and people watching for folks of all orientations, gender expressions and relationship statuses. Everything supported the Gender Health Center, which in turn supports healthy relationships (romantic and otherwise) through low-cost counseling to individuals and partners. 2020 29th Street, Suite 201; (916) 455-2391; www.thegenderhealthcenter.org. S.S.
Best spot for a secret rendezvous
WPA Rock Garden
Stumbling upon the WPA Rock Garden is a Secret Garden moment. Nestled behind the parking lot of Fairytale Town and the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre, the petite three-quarter of an acre garden was constructed in 1939 as part of the New Deal, as the name suggests. Although, unlike its name, it’s not a garden of just rocks, but rather of lush and blooming flora of multiple and enchanting varieties, contained by stone retaining walls. It’s a perfect spot to take one’s sweetheart, stroll hand-in-hand along the dirt path, steal a kiss behind the greenery, or even get married in the round, stone pergola. Behind Fairytale Town in William Land Park, 15th Avenue and Land Park Drive. S.
Best resource when DIY divorce lingers on
Lawyer Susan Garcia-Swain
When my ex and I got divorced, amicably, we tried the self-help forms on the Sacramento Superior Court’s website. We thought we could fill out some forms and get friends to serve them to us over a friendly lunch. We followed the steps on the “dissolution of marriage” handouts, did the financial disclosures, waited in courthouse lines and obtained official stamps. Ten months later, we had no idea whether we’d been successful. Were we divorced? We made an appointment for Susan Garcia-Swain’s à la carte legal services: 15-minute consultations for $25. She looked over what we’d done and explained where we stood (not divorced). For a flat and affordable rate, she completed the steps with us, notarized it all and enabled us, at long last, to move forward. 1419 30th Street, (916) 448-1013. S.S.
Best housing solution for nontraditional families
Sacramento’s historic multiplexes
Family structures are changing. People are trying relationship models for which they have no primer. Rather than being nuclear or extended, a family may include co-parents who’ve never been in a romantic relationship, exes who are close friends, or a polyfidelitous group of individuals. For brave souls attempting advanced cohabitation, the best bet may be a historic fourplex or duplex. They allow privacy in various configurations (less conflict about chores, budgets and sounds), with common yards and porches for group time. Better yet, in this economy, purchasing is as affordable as renting. A sweet 1902 duplex with hardwood floors and built-ins can be had for $175,000. S.S.
Best local bods on calendars
The Sacramento Ballet and the Sacramento Fire Department
When it comes to sexy fundraising calendars, you may think you’ve seen it all: girls of the Big 10, boys of the party schools, middle-aged ladies with their naughty bits hidden. Sacramento has an entry that combines the hottest and the, well, hottest. The 2012 Dance on Fire Calendar, a fundraising project for the Sacramento Ballet and the Firefighters Burn Institute, combines the lithe, muscular bodies of Sac Ballet’s dancers with the lithe, muscular bodies of area firefighters. The calendars will be available in mid-October, and all proceeds benefit the Sacramento Ballet and the Firefighters Burn Institute. Pick one up and feel good about doing good. www.sacballet.org, www.ffburn.org. K.M.
Best photographer couple to photograph couples
Geoff and Lisa Bardot of The Goodness
Four years ago, Geoff and Lisa Bardot were just a couple of 20-something love birds with cameras, eager to fly. A friend asked the pair to shoot her wedding. Equipped with degrees in photography and graphic design, and a love for the craft, the couple turned a favor into the American Dream. The twosome recently quit their day jobs at Apple to make a full-time living in love. They’re slated to shoot almost 40 weddings this year with their homegrown wedding photography business, The Goodness. A young, happy couple shooting young, happy couples: Could anything be sweeter? By the way, the Bardots just celebrated their two-year anniversary last month. Congrats, guys! What a love story. www.thegoodness.com. K.B.
Best sexy drink served by sexy bartenders
Red Velvet at The Hideaway
The Hideaway Bar & Grill takes rockabilly up a notch or 10, with pinup art adorning the walls, one of Sac’s last true non-digital jukeboxes fully stocked with Elvis and Johnny Cash, and a tiki porch out back. Babes and boys with more pomp than circumstance shoot pool, arms covered in enough ink to rival an octopus. The Hideaway has a drink to match this sexy scene: the Red Velvet. Part Guinness and part Framboise (raspberry) Lambic, the deep ruby hue of this frothy concoction only serves to put it down smoother. The mix by any other name might not taste as sweet—velvet is truly spot on. Order up, and slide onto a vinyl barstool to soak up the sexy. If you play your cards right, maybe you can score that sassy bartender’s digits. 2565 Franklin Boulevard, (916) 455-1331. K.B.