We arrived in St. Louis about an hour before the reading, so it was a quick hello to our friend Kendyl, who we were staying with, and then it was off to the Central West End. When I got to the store, the staff was super nice and welcoming, but I admit I was worried about the turn out. Kendyl promised she had recruited several friends to come, but still, I don’t know very many people in St. Louis! As it approached 7 pm, all the chairs were filled and they started to put out more. Then, those were filled too and so was the room. People began standing in the next room over!
Shane Signorino, who works at the store, said he planned to introduce me. When he got up there, he gave a brief history of Left Bank Books, then began his introduction of me, which he generously agreed to let me reprint (here’s a portion):
What better spearhead could one find for spreading the knowledge of truly open unions than a sexually empowered woman with literary, performance, and artistic acumen. Miss Taormino is a virtual decorated veteran daughter of the sexual revolution…How lucky we are to have the Siddharta, the Gaia, the Rockefeller, the Oprah of psycho-sexual pleasure with us this evening.
In Opening Up, Tristan addresses the archaic mainstream, television spoonfed, traditional monogamous relationship’s loss of vitality, joy, and exploration. With the divorce rate resting at an astounding 75%, it is fairly obvious to the discerning mind that something is not working. Why are sexless/loveless marriages rampant? Why has the evolution of the typical union been considered by many to be “the big fade”? Can we not re-examine our suppositions, superstitions, and insecurities to find a more profound way to love and lust. Miss Taormino screams an emphatic Billy Idol rebel yell of a “Fuck Yes!” She takes her rightful place among other visionaries who continually challenge human beings to realize and revel in tyheir potentialities. In the tumultuous 60s, civil rights advocates, sexual revolution acolytes, psychedelic mind-expansion gurus, and all who sought radical change, were pushing for the next step in human evolution. And these ideals have been resuscitated in recent years as we find ourselves part of a great human epoch where our natural resources have almost dissipated and out ways of life must be examined and created anew. So Tristan brings to her readers the most precious of boons: hope for the long-overdue loving human evolution.
Not only had he read the entire book in anticipation of my reading at the store, his introduction was so thoughtful and eloquent, I was overwhelmed! Plus, his delivery was so amazing, he was actually a hard act to follow. I think I managed. I read a section of the introduction plus two of the profiles of people featured in the book.
The reading went really well, with lots of questions from the audience. One person asked about how she could meet other people into open relationships in the area. Several people from one of the local polyamorous groups in St. Louis offered to share the info, which I agreed to post about. So here goes for all you interested Missourians:
Bi State Poly List (Yahoo Group)
At least two of these three groups also meet together offline/in real life: there is a Poly Munch the 2nd Saturday of each month from 2:00-4:00 pm at Cici’s Pizza, 9745 Manchester Avenue.
PoDGE St. Louis meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month and the location varies. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 24 at 7:30 pm at Gelateria del Leone, 3197 South Grand Avenue.
After I did some poking around online I also found:
I felt a tremendous amount of love from St. Louis. As I signed people’s books, I got several dinner offers, and wished I could go to all of them. But Kendyl, her partner Mary (who had an exam and came at the end of the reading) and a bunch of their friends planned to take Colten and I to dinner to one of Mary’s favorite spots, Bar Louie. It was way too loud in there, but their tater tots rock.