Ignite Phoenix After Hours No. 2: The Good, The Bad, and the WTF?

Categories: Events

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The scene at IPAH #2.
On Friday night, Scottsdale's Radius nightclub was buzzing with the creative energy and passion that all of the sold-out Ignite Phoenix presentation nights inspire. If you haven't been to the "After Hours" version of the event, it works much like the regular Ignite -- 20 slides in five minutes -- except that nothing is off-limits.

That means the event's organizers will say "YES" to stripping down to a fuzzy heart-shaped thong or talking about dildos. "YES" to pornographic imagery that's totally NSFRI (Not Suitable for Regular Ignite). And "Hell, yeah!" to speeches on humorous porn and strip clubs, both of which were on tap Friday night. Sounds pretty sweet, right? 

Ignite Phoenix After Hours is in its infancy, with only one other previous naughty nighttime slideshow under its belt. And those of us who've attended other Ignite events are pretty damned spoiled.

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Even stripping isn't off-limits at Ignite Phoenix After Hours.

We're used to cushy seats, perfect technical execution, food trucks, and venues so large that the sold-out crowd never gets claustrophobic. Radius, on the other hand, is a typical club environment: Elbow-to-elbow crowd, very limited seating, and a sound system so fuzzy that Ignite staffer Sara Dobie had to deliver part of her intro shouted and sans microphone

The only things that made the night bearable (besides the copious amount of alcohol available) were the presentations, which ranged from a somber talk on the value of assisted suicide by event organizer Jeff Moriarty to a very educational history of the modern sex toy 
by Amy Donohue.​

It may be a fallacy that men think about sex every seven seconds, but last night that statistic wasn't far off. Some of the most interesting, and titillating, talks were about the mattress mambo. 

Presenter Chad Swaney got cheeky by describing the gay sex dynamic with visuals of a drill and a tooth (get it?), while Dustin Diehl's "Slash 101" included fan-fiction visuals of Harry's wand in action with Draco Malfoy, Kirk and Spock's secret shame, and a pornographic drawing of Batman & Robin's "caped crusades" that will undoubtedly color my viewing of the next Dark Knight flick.

Is that a Batarang in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? 

The discussion on polyamory came straight from the source -- a happily married man who lives with a woman and her other husband. "We share everything -- all of the responsibilities, all of the bills," he explained. "We schedule our whole lives, including housecleaning and sex!" As proof, he tossed in a slide of their schedule, which resembled a TV Guide page. 

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Joe Abbruscato
This presenter's shirt got the IPAH crowd riled up.
​Beyond the sexy talk were the strange, the serious, and the shit the audience just couldn't figure out.

The highlight of the night was one cubicle worker's frank admission that she crochets dicks in her spare time -- and, no doubt, makes a killing on Etsy. Billed as pet playthings, her yarn creations in the shape of fetuses, bloody tampons, and cocks and balls, had everyone in stitches.

Hell, I don't even have a cat or a dog, and I still wanted to grab her dicks. 

Daniel Messer's presentation on why technology has doomed us all was the definition of "hipster irony," tracing our woes with iPads, cell phones and "too much damned information" back to television, radio, books and eventually some 17th century librarian's assertion that, well, there's just too much damned information. 

A talk on how not to treat your massage therapist came off as a bitter rant, and Ignite regular Evo Terra's bashing of creationism seemed out of place until he tossed in the word "fuck."

Sound issues and strange presentations aside, the racy Ignite offshoot has some real potential. Let's face it: There aren't too many places you can view penises and talk about feeling up strippers without fear of getting caught -- or without ending up in a seedy motel room with the creepy neighbor whose keys you picked out of the bowl.  

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