BYT sits down with Jefferson, the curator and host of Bare!, which will titillate DC on Wednesday at the Black Fox Lounge (with continuing DC performances once a month.) A sex educator and writer, Jefferson keeps a pseudonymous blog, One Life, Take Two, that details his life as a parent and pervert. He is a storyteller frequently seen on stages around the city and elsewhere, including The Moth, where he is a StorySlam winner. He is also host of the monthly series Spill! True Stories of Queer Sex, Desire and Romance.
BYT: When and how did you get the idea for Bare!
Jefferson: Storytelling grew from my experience writing a sex blog, One Life, Take Two (www.onelifetaketwo.com), documenting my transition from a long monogamous marriage to sex and dating as a single parent. I began telling stories at The Moth and other venues, hewing close to the themes of my blog. I found it a good challenge to connect with the NPR crowd with stories about being bisexual, going to orgies and picking the kids up from school. I decided to create a storytelling series where tellers, comics, sex educators and others could open up about their own experiences with sex, desire and romance.
BYT: What’s your relationship with DC and the spoken word scene?
Jefferson: I went to college in DC, at the Corcoran, and lived here for a while afterward, being an artist and working at Olsson’s Books and Records at Dupont Circle. When I decided to bring my storytelling shows to DC, I got in touch with local storytellers. They were generous and helpful in making connections, especially SM Shrake of StoryLeague, doyen of the local scene. He’s a good artist and a good egg.
BYT: How do you balance being a dad and perv?
Jefferson: My ex and I have three children and shared custody. I made the decision that my children wouldn’t casually meet people I was dating. With joint custody, my life was evenly hewn: half the time, I was a fairly conventional dad, the other half, I organized orgies, visited dungeons and basically fucked my way through New York.
BYT: What has it been like to have a semi-public persona associated with normally personal/private activities?
Jefferson: When I began to blog, I didn’t consciously seek to create an alternate persona. I wrote true stories under a pseudonym, largely regarding my blog as a kind of online safe-deposit box for my stories. That was in 2004, when blogs were still called “weblogs,” and I naively assumed I was writing into the ether. As the blog grew in popularity, I realized that readers were filling in my writing by creating their own images of “Jefferson.” As I moved into public appearances as a sex educator and storyteller, I’ve encountered that disconnect many times, as people may now associate the words I write or say with myself.
BYT: If the sky’s the limit, what would you be doing with yourself right at this moment?
Jefferson: The sky is the limit. I couldn’t be happier.
BYT: What sociological effect does telling stories about sex (a subject in many ways “taboo” to discuss in public despite our modern age), have on the larger population, in your humble opinion?
Jefferson: I like to think that storytelling, like blogging, removes some of the mystery, shame and numb titillation of conjecture about sex. Whether a storyteller is talking about a first kiss or last weekend’s orgy, the listener is able to put a face to activities that may have seemed alien.
Jefferson: They are siblings. Bare! always combines heterosexual and LGBTQ stories. Spill! focuses on LGBTQ, though hets are of course welcome. I created two shows with essentially the same structure to build and, hopefully, cross-pollinate audiences.
BYT: Are you available for long walks on the beach?
Jefferson: That’s my plan for right this moment. Bring Pina Coladas.