50 Shades of Minnesota: 50 reasons why Minnesota is sexy
10. Strip clubs with free hot dogs. You may notice that the above "top 5" is only four. That's because Déjà Vu gets its own spot on the list. While there's nothing to drink, there is, however, a free hot dog bar. "Every Friday and Saturday night at midnight, hungry club-goers are invited to jam themselves full of delicious hot dogs while enjoying the show," writes Patrick. There's a chance that said hot dogs could also be gross. But: "Your same-day sporting event ticket stub will get you in free." Sex and savings!
9. Sex scandals. Not always sexy but, you know, sex, and we've had a lot of these. The scandal of the summer has been Rep. Kerry Gauthier soliciting oral sex from a teen on Craigslist. But a personal favorite scandal goes back to 2006, when the father of then-Senator Norm Coleman was "busted boning a 38-year-old woman in a car outside of a pizza place in St. Paul and arrested for lewd and disorderly conduct." Coleman Sr. was 81 at the time. (See also: Senator Coleman's wife's racy photos in the Washington Post in 2004, "to promote her acting career").
8. Pants-free events. There's the annual naughty Independence Day bike ride, Freedom From Pants, through downtown Minneapolis. And there's the No Pants Light Rail Ride. What's up next up? Pants-less paragliding?
7. Gay 90's. Everyone's favorite downtown danceteria for decades features both male and female go-go dancers, nightly drag shows, and six unique bars. It's also the distinguished training ground for several top contestants of RuPaul's Drag Race, including season one winner Bebe Zahara Benet and season two runner-up Manila Luzon. To further credit these elite ladies, turn to Patrick Strait, who ventured into the 90's for his first time for the 31st annual Miss Gay 90's Drag Pageant. "I've gotten lap dances from strippers who were (allegedly) real ladies, that were way less hot than some of the evening's performers," he writes.
|Tadson | Flickr Creative Commons|
6. One of our U.S. senators once wrote for Playboy. Back in 2000, before he was representing Minnesota's interests to the nation, Al Franken wrote a short story titled "Porn-O-Rama!" for Playboy, about a visit to a virtual sex institute. Excerpt: "My nervousness disappeared, and I sat back and enjoyed the amazingly realistic cyber job. It was every bit as good as the last real blow job I had gotten 23 years earlier -- if not better -- because when I shot my wad, the virtual mouth swallowed." Can't you imagine him and Bachmann talking about their favorite porn?
5. The Smitten Kitten. Our perennial favorite sex store opened its feminist and LGBTQ-friendly doors in 2003. The shop focuses on non-toxic toys and ethically-produced erotica, but also boasts an extensive porn collection for rental or purchase and hosts classes, workshops, talks, and films year-round. Plus, the staff is knowledgeable and welcoming (owner Jennifer Pritchett is a frequent guest expert in Dan Savage's "Savage Love" column). Need more proof the shop is great? Money talks: Per the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, sales from the Lyndale Avenue shop topped $1 million in 2008. Check out the Kitten's video explaining the "Best Butt Plug to Wear to the Grocery Store" here, and our intro video to the store here.
4. Sex World. Sex World is like Costco to the Smitten Kitten's Wedge Co-op: The latter might give you hand-picked, quality products, but Sex World has it all. Our local porn palace (really, it's the largest adult superstore in the Midwest) offers thousands of porn titles -- plus booths to view them in -- and all the toys and costumes you need to... do whatever you have to do. But that's not the only reason, or the real reason, to go: Sex World's a rite of passage, and, as we wrote in our 2009 Best Adult Store blurb, an "entertainment experience," complete with the golden penis ride and the Dollhouse's live girls. You know what the internet porn industry can't give you? "The dubious pleasure of walking into a massive porn emporium, filled with an endless variety of tacky sensual delights, from corn-syrup-based Spanish Fly to creepy little booths that play multiple channels of looped porn -- as long as you keep feeding it quarters."
3. Hidden Beach. This lakeside hangout, long a refuge for nudists and topless sunbathers, has been winning Best Beach in our annual awards for years, and its legend got the full feature treatment on a June 2008 cover. "The Twin Cities' most infamous party spot" may not be so hidden anymore -- as we wrote in 2010, "these days, young families seem to outnumber the aging hippies." But: "The vibe remains. Thank god the vibe remains."
2. Prince. For teaching so many of us how to dance, or inspiring us to try. And for topping many a hook-up playlist.
1. Minnesotans. Prince may be in his own mood-inducing league, but the rest of the state's residents can also bring a thing or two to the table or, er, bedroom: We're not miserable, we're fit, we're bikers, we're gay-friendly. And we'll be looking good as we get older, too. What's not sexy about that?
With help from Tatiana Craine and Jessica Armbruster.