The Exotic Erotic Ball is an annual masquerade fetish ball held around Halloween in San Francisco. Through its unique combination of masquerade, burlesque, rock concert, and the bizarre - the Exotic Erotic Ball has regaled hundreds of thousands of participants with non-stop adult entertainment of a seemingly limitless variety - live music, top DJs, erotic performers, exotic dancers, wild sideshows, playful interactive fun, theme rooms, visually dazzling sets and backdrops, fantasy halls, BDSM demos, fetish fashions, and all sorts of sexy shenanigans and hilarious hijinks. Celebrity guests and performers have included Grace Jones, Joan Jett, Kool and the Gang, Chris Isaak, Sugar Ray, Dennis Rodman, Digital Underground, Ron Jeremy, Tabitha Stevens, Tera Patrick, Violetta Blue, Morris Day and the Time, Motörhead, Superbooty, Love and Rockets, The Tubes, and Nina Hartley.
In 2004, organizers expanded the ball to include the Exotic Erotic Expo. The Expo features vendors who showcase the latest in exotic fashion, erotic art, adult products, games, websites, and novelties. Expo activities include panel discussions on First Amendment rights with adult performers, moguls, media, and special guests, wine tastings with adult film stars, a spiritual oasis with psychic readings and massage, body painting, a classic adult cinema, and a human petting zoo.
In June 2006, the Exotic Erotic Ball moved back to its roots and returned/expanded to New York City holding its first ball at Pier 94 in Manhattan drawing a small attendance of about 1,000. There have been talks of expanding the ball to Miami and possibly international cities like Amsterdam and London.
Perry Mann organized the first Exotic Erotic Ball in 1979 to raise campaign funds for his buddy, the late Louis Abolafia, who ran for President under the Nudist Party with the slogan: "I have nothing to hide." Louis also coined the phrase, "Make love, not war!" and his legendary Greenwich Village love-ins inspired the New York press to crown him "The Love King."
The Nudist Ball, a precursor to the Exotic Erotic Ball, took place in Mann's Tenderloin apartment in 1978 and attracted a few hundred people. In 1979, it moved to California Hall on Turk Street and officially became the Exotic Erotic Ball, with 800 to 900 people paying $10 apiece.
The location changed over the years ending up at its current home at the Cow Palace. Attendance averages 15,000 annually with 20,000 attending in 2005.
Since its first year, more than 250,000 people have attended the Ball. The City of San Francisco has issued three proclamations for "Exotic Erotic Ball Day," twice by former Mayor Willie Brown in 1999 and again in 2001, and once by current Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004.
The Exotic Erotic Ball has also fostered strong ties to the community. Over the years, the Ball has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities supporting causes such as helping the victims of homelessness, AIDS, domestic violence, child abuse, and has always supported freedom of expression and First Amendment Rights. The SF Ball hosts an annual blood drive with Blood Centers of the Pacific.
"My late partner's Louis' expression 'Make Love, Not War' was once the rallying cry of a generation," adds Perry Mann. "I don't think that message has ever been more timely or important than it is today, and I don't think our show has ever been a more needed diversion."
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