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FEBRUARY 8

Peter Sellers’ refrain in Being There is “I like to watch.” He means the television, but knowing Peeping Toms abound in this world, Shirley Maclaine begins her self-pleasuring strip-down for dear, dim Chance the Gardener. At least she selected her audience. Living on a first-floor alleyway apartment, I recently had a steady flow of men out for evening cigarettes park themselves across from the crack between my Levolors and the bottom of the sill. Two were so shameless as to attempt removing the window screen to sneak an unobstructed look. I recommend this crowd step away from my flannel covers and scurry to the “Erotic Art Auction.” The live auction features works by D.C.-area artists, including Manon Cleary’s painting series of her former lover’s member (reportedly life-size—ouch!), Jim 1, 2, 3, a charming menstrual-magenta fur-lined handbag with black marbles trickling out titled Purse Fur by Leslie Milofski and Sean Surla, and Jeff Wilson’s Kama Sutra Couple with pop-out faces allowing for photo-ops for auctiongoers (as pictured above with Wilson and auction organizer Jeannine Mjoseth). The primal carnevale kicks off with a discussion on eros by Georgetown University philosophy professor Kevin Kraus donning Dionysian robes, erotic poetry readings by Sydney March and Amitiya, and an “inadvertent strip tease” by performance artists Jennifer Stelloh and Alice Lipowicz. Argentine performance artist Guillermo Silveira is guaranteed to strip down to his nub (as required of at least one of the performers by HBO’s Real Sex, which will be taping the event for broadcast) while he interacts with sea otter imagery and sits for a portrait, also up for auction. The cavalcade of rambunctious mood-enliveners also includes $1 kisses for sale, a black-and-white video called “Dicks,” featuring audio comments by women accompanying appended footage, and the Malcolm X Park African Drummers. By the end of the evening attendees may be shamelessly pressing their noses against the paintings to view every last pubic hair. Ahhh, the pleasures of the voluntarily examined life. Performances at 6 p.m.; Auction at 7:30 p.m. at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, 1725 Columbia Rd. NW. $5. (202) 332-2211. (Ginger Eckert)