Dixie De La Tour wants to hear San Diego’s dirty stories. The curator of the San Francisco–based Bawdy Storytelling started a monthly showcase of sexual (mis)adventures five years ago after finding inspiration at a Burning Man storytelling night.
“I had expected something called storytelling to be stiff and boring. But those stories from city dwellers in their 20s and 30s made me realize personal-narrative storytelling is a different animal and that I had so many stories of my own worth telling. I walked outside the café the event had been in, and I stopped passersby on the sidewalk to tell them dirty stories,” says the former sex-party producer who spent years working the door at San Francisco’s largest underground sex club.
Seeking a forum for her more risqué material, Dixie soon started her own night, Bawdy Storytelling, which has since blossomed into San Francisco’s premier night of true anecdotes told in ten minutes without the aid of cue cards.
“What we want is a real connection between the storyteller and their audience,” Dixie says. “I want the cities I visit to realize that we all have a story that’s worth sharing.... And I want to give San Diegans a venue to share those stories because there is nothing more thrilling than getting onstage and recounting your well-told secrets in front of a few hundred people you don’t know.”
To make the event more accessible to new participants, Dixie provides personal coaching for storytellers who may be unaccustomed to Bawdy’s brazen honesty and voyeuristic flair.
“I help people craft that anecdote they tell at cocktail parties into a stage-worthy performance,” she says.
Her expertise as a sexuality-based raconteur draws on her PhD in sex-positive culture, writing for the zine SanFranSexy and blogs like SheLovesSex.com, and a former full-time gig creating content and serving as community manager for an adult dating site.
On Saturday, February 25, Bawdy curated their first San Diego showcase at Space 4 Art in the East Village, with several local storytellers, a handful of Bay Area bards, and dirty ukulele songstress Alicyn Packard.
“Listening to stories makes people want to tell their own stories. They make you feel like there are others who feel the same way you do. I’m convinced that storytelling is the antidote to loneliness and social anxiety.”
Check in at BawdyStorytelling.com for its next San Diego visit.