Indiana Daily Student

Eroticon focuses on education

Licking edible body paint from a random stranger is generally frowned upon in civilized society.\nBut at the fifth annual Eroticon, attendees will be asked to leave their inhibitions at the door.\nAxis Nightclub, 419 N. Walnut St., will be awash with throngs of revelers in liquid latex and leather Friday from 9:30 p.m. to the wee hours of the morning.\nWith attendees are encouraged to wear "erotic attire," people have taken the liberty over the years to don costumes ranging from Elvis impersonator get-ups to only pasties and G-strings.\n"We've had a guy decked out in duct tape. We've had the Saran Wrap girl -- wearing only Saran Wrap," said Kelly McBride, director of the sex-ed group Lascivious Exhibitions, which stages the event. "But it's not about fetishes. It's about sexual creativity."\nBesides flesh on parade, Eroticon also features sex-ed workshops and theatrical acts. \nMcBride declined to reveal what's planned for this year, only hinting that it'll involve "fear ... fear and a human pincushion, the joys of water and the temptations of the tastebuds."\nUnlike in past years, Eroticon will be without commercial vendors.\n"There are enough sexuality vendors," McBride said. "We're not trying to sell sexuality. That's not our end. We're going to focus more on eduction this year."\nBrian Dodge, a graduate student and the event's education coordinator, admits that he's very excited.\n"We're going to have a sexual game show," said Dodge, whose fiance will attend the event for the first time. "We'll answer people's individual questions, as we want to make sure sex is safer and more fun. It's a great way to bring out more sexual openness in the community."\nLascivious Exhibitions has always used proceeds from the event to promote safe sex, distributing free condoms and dental dams to fraternities and residence halls.\nStill, when it comes right down to it, Eroticon is just about having a good time.\n"We try to educate people," McBride said. "But frankly, it's just a big-ass party. Let's be realistic here."\nAs Lascivious Exhibitions has recently decided to disband, this year's Eroticon will also be the second to last.\n"We don't want to become the Rolling Stones," said McBride, who estimates she put about 600 hours of work into preparing the event. "We feel we've accomplished everything we set out to do. And we all have full-time jobs and other things to do. It's just too much work."\nWhile an unanimity has been reached, members of the group still share a twinge of melancholy.\n"Yeah, it's sad that this had to happen," said Tony Brewer, the music director. "It seems that every year it gets a little more polished, a little more cohesive. Just when we had softened it down to a science, we're going to pull the plug." \nSpinning the tracks, Brewer pains himself in setting the atmosphere.\n"When the doors first open, I go with ambient music, very mellow," he said. "And as the evening goes on, it gets progressively more intense. I go hardcore, with Marilyn Manson and such."\nInvolved from the start, Brewer has seen many people come in with misconceptions.\n"People who see it tend to enjoy it in spite of themselves," he said. "They always think it's just going to be some heightened sexual experience. It is that, but it's not really a matter of being turned on or off."\nBut even virgin attendees understand the spirit of it, McBride said.\n"People dress up and actively participate," she said. "It doesn't draw as many gawkers as you might think. It's a setting that allows people to be satisfied with their sexuality, which is what it's all about."\nTickets are $10 for those in erotic attire and $20 for those in street clothes. Photography of any sort is prohibited.

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