The first order of business this week is to make absolutely sure that you are informed about the Favorites Block Party this Saturday, Aug. 19, from 7 p.m. to midnight, on the 100 block of East Main Street. The party previews the results of the Madison's Favorites poll, the annual poll we conduct in June, to be fully revealed in the Annual Manual. Said publication comes with next week's Isthmus, but you can get an early look this Saturday night.
You will also be entertained by a couple of Madison's perennially favorite bands - the Cork 'n' Bottle String Band and Tony Castañeda's Latin Jazz Sextet. The kindly merchants of Main Street will be offering an assortment of their most delectable wares, and your Favorite tap beer will flow. Consult the ad on page 9 for further details.
The second order of business is to assure you that there will be no individuals suspended by hooks through their flesh or encased entirely in rubber at the block party. For that you'll have to delve into the scene described in our cover story for this issue, "Kink Exhibit."
The writer, Melissa Faliveno, is a recent UW creative writing graduate who freelances in addition to her job as an editorial assistant for a local publisher. This is her second contribution to Isthmus, the first being last September's survey of the local coffee culture. The recent assignment was no cup of coffee, but the woman does her research, as you will read.
Sex is an aspect of human behavior that, regardless of our endless fascination with it, still retains its secrets, and its depths remain uncharted. Faliveno takes some soundings in an increasingly populated region of the vast ocean of sexuality. It's referred to as kink, but that's a pretty indefinite word for a range of practices not generally taught in sex ed class. But the ever-curious human discovers them nonetheless, always seeking to fulfill that unmet need.
A psychologist interviewed for the story speaks to the wide spectrum of sexuality that can be considered normal. Indeed, one does not know what goes on inside a person's head or behind the closed bedroom door. But some of it can be glimpsed at the local nightclub in an atmosphere that emboldens some and fascinates others. As for what goes on inside our own heads, we might be surprised if we took a really good look, or if we just let go.