The annual Sex Issue of the Express wouldn't quite be a sex issue if there wasn't any, you know, sex. But for last year's inaugural issue, local artist and Express staffer Terry Furry charged himself with taking the sex theme to the next level. Furry had already been running the paper's 24-Hour Film Festival, a marathon movie-making event on Earth Day where filmmakers have a single day to produce a complete short film. "I thought, you know, I could probably do something like a short erotic film festival," said Furry. "How different could it be?"
Turns out, pretty different. After putting out a call for "briefs" (the poster, by the way, is a crotch shot painted several years ago by Furry himself, and the artistic inspiration for the event's cheeky name, BRIEFS), the initial reaction from the public barely made a blip. Up until a couple of days before the deadline, Furry had received only a single film, a "weirdly non-erotic" film from Spain that ended rather disturbingly. "I freaked, I totally freaked," said Furry. Luckily for him, however, fourteen films arrived in the final two days, ranging from graphic (fisting) to quirky (raw eggs), all less than fifteen minutes long. The films — with the exception of the anomalous first entry — were all screened to a rowdy, sold-out six-hundred-person house at the Grand Lake Theater (3200 Grand Ave., Oakland). "The best thing about it by far," said Furry, "was the audience." From grossed-out squeals to chants of "Thanks for the cumshot, EBX!" the event was certainly not for the faint-of-heart, but it also highlighted how much fun there is to be had with all the unusual stuff people think about and do when it comes to sex.
With around 28 submissions, this year's BRIEFS — happening again at the Grand Lake Theater, this time on Valentine's Day — will be more carefully curated, but that's not to say there'll be any shortage of fetishism. "There's some amateur, some really artistic, some just plain weird," said Furry. Cash prizes are given to crowd favorites, and the entire event is emceed by Tourette's Without Regrets funny man Jaimie DeWolf. Guest judges will include Kink.com's Maitresse Madeline, Oakland burlesque performer Sheba Queen of the Night, and Tony Asaro from San Francisco State's Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality.
After the screening, attendees are invited to skip on over to the Stork Club (2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) for the official BRIEFS afterparty, where winners will be announced between live musical performances and burlesque shows, punctuated by sex-themed drinks and extra prizes for "honorable mentions." The categories for runners-up have yet to be decided, but for a taste of what's to come, Furry reveals a few ideas he's been tossing around: "Best moneyshot, biggest/best cock, and best use of ... corn. We'll see!" Screening at 7 p.m., afterparty 9:30 p.m.-midnight. $10 screening only, $15 screening and awards party. Ages eighteen and over. 510-879-3700 or EastBayExpress.com