Penises Probed 

'Dildo Diaries' documents the sex-toy industry and how it's treated in conservative parts of the country

Things sure must be lonely in the Lone Star State. In Texas, you can patronize drive-through liquor stores and enjoy easy access to guns, but you can't buy a dildo. And if you're caught with six or more dildos, you're a potential felon, presumed to harbor an intent to distribute those evil, banned devices.

You may, however, stroll into certain shops and purchase penis-shaped "educational models" for safe-sex demonstrations. A helpful shopkeeper may even ask, "Are you looking for something to be used with an educational harness?"

Dildo Diaries is a hilarious, hour-long documentary probing the sex-toy industry and its travails in ultra-conservative states like Texas, where dildos are outlawed but butt plugs are OK because state law does not define the anus as a sexual orifice.

Columnist Molly Ivins has a great time poking fun at the foibles of sexually oppressive Texas politicians. At one point, she tells of how two right-wing legislators slapped each other on the back after getting a particularly intrusive bill passed, noting that they should have been arrested: "It is now illegal for a prick to touch an asshole in this state."

The film includes comments from such sexperts as Annie Sprinkle and Carol Queen, visits a dildo factory and checks in with a porn star having his penis cast in latex as a dildo model.

A screening of Dildo Diaries will be one of the main events of "Dildos in the Desert," an evening of film, performance, open-mic storytelling, music and dancing at two Congress Street venues.

Sponsored by the recently formed Postmodern Productions, the stimulating extravaganza is set for Saturday, May 1. Dildo Diaries will show at 7 and 10:30 p.m. at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Across the street, the Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., will host the contest and show, "If This Dildo Could Talk," at 8:30 p.m. The performance opens with the gender-bending performance troupe, Boys R Us, followed by the open-mic "best dildo story" contest, featuring penetrating, five-minute tales in prose, poetry or song. Bringing the evening to a climax will be dance music provided by the Carnivaleros.

This is one of the first public events organized by Postmodern Productions, which brought Carol Queen to town for a talk a couple of months ago.

"In Tucson, there are not very many outlets for artists and filmmakers to do more controversial, edgy, sexuality-based work," says program director Jeanne Dussault. "We want to bring performance artists and filmmakers from out of town to inspire the people in Tucson to do their own work, and think about things from a different angle."

Admission to Dildo Diaries costs $5, which entitles viewers to $2 off the $5 cover charge for "If This Dildo Could Talk." For information, visit wedowomen.org.

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