''I would get up and tell a story that might take place in an orgy or something … and I could see the NPR crowd at the Moth going, 'Who's this guy and what's he talking about?'''
The man in question is Jefferson, a blogger and storyteller. Jefferson – a pseudonym – used to perform at the New York-based storytelling entity the Moth, but quickly realized his penchant for sharing details about his active sex life was a bit too risqué there. So he started sex-positive storytelling events in both his home base of New York and in D.C., where he went to college. Jefferson, who's bisexual, hosts the all-comers Bare event and the queer-focused Spill at D.C.'s Black Fox Lounge.
''The stories don't have to be raunchy,'' Jefferson explains. ''The story of your first kiss is as relevant as the story of your most recent orgy.'' A musical act kicks off each event, followed by four scheduled storytellers plus one audience member picked at random. The whole point, says Jefferson, is ''to create a climate where people feel more open talking about sex, which is only healthy.''
As host, Jefferson, who's also a sex educator, generally only shares anecdotes, not full-fledged stories, about his own sex life. He got started early, including group sex with high school classmates, both male and female, in Birmingham, Ala. These days, the 49-year-old describes himself as ''a parent and a pervert.'' He has four kids from two marriages, the last of which ended a decade ago. A few years ago his ''vindictive and wealthy'' second wife saw through his pseudonymous identity on his blog ''One Life, Take Two,'' which he started to document his renewed promiscuity after their monogamous marriage had ended. She unsuccessfully tried to gain sole custody of their three teenagers, and in the process outed him. But everyone took the news in stride, including his parents.
''When my ex-wife told my parents," he says, "my mom said, 'Well, I always knew he was a good writer.' And my dad said, 'He's having fun.'''