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Crowd at one of the Exotic Erotic Ball stages

The Exotic Erotic Ball (often referred to as The Ball or Perry Mann's Exotic Erotic Ball[1]) is held annually around Halloween time (usually the weekend before Halloween Night) in the San Francisco Bay area of California and is the longest-running public adult-themed event in the world. The annual indoor event has become a major attraction in the San Francisco Bay and has been attended by nearly half a million people since its inception with steadily increasing growth in attendance each year. Due to the worldwide popularity of the event the City of San Francisco has issued three proclamations for “Exotic Erotic Ball Day”[2], twice by Mayor Willie Brown in 1999 and again in 2001, and once by Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004.

Many attendees of the Exotic Erotic Ball come to the event in wildly elaborate, creative, and sexy Halloween costumes[3] to compete in the annual “Best Costume” contest[4] which typically awards the winner with prize money and merchandise in the $10,000 USD range.

While the Exotic Erotic Ball by definition would be considered a “Festival” the event is rarely categorized into conventional terms by attendees, the media, or event organizers. Because of the broad spectrum of conventional and unconventional entertainment offered on multiple stages at the Exotic Erotic Ball, it may be best described as a bizarre combination of Adult-themed; Halloween festival, Music Festival, Burlesque show, Lingerie party, Masquerade ball, Fetish club, Swingers party and Adult Industry Trade Show.

In 2004, organizers expanded the Exotic Erotic Ball to include the Exotic Erotic Expo. The expo is a two-day Adult-Expo typically held the day before and the day of the Exotic Erotic Ball. Activities include panel discussions on First Amendment rights with adult actress, actors, and media, wine tastings with porn stars, and various oddities such as the "spiritual oasis" with psychic readings and massage, body painting, a classic adult cinema, and a human petting zoo. It also features a commercial area with vendors and exhibitors who showcase the latest in exotic fashion, erotic art, adult products, games, websites, and adult novelties.

In 2008; 26,341 people participated in the combined Exotic Erotic Ball and Exotic Erotic Expo.



Perry Mann organized the first Exotic Erotic Ball in 1979 to raise campaign funds for his buddy, the late Louis Abolafia, who ran for President of the United States under the Nudist Party with the slogan: “I have nothing to hide.”[5] Louis also coined the phrase, “Make love, not war!” and his legendary Greenwich Village love-ins inspired the New York press to crown him “The Love King.” Abolafia had previously run in 1968 under the Cosmic Love Party, even then with the slogan "What have I got to hide?"

The Nudist Ball, a precursor to the Exotic Erotic Ball, took place in Mann's Tenderloin, San Francisco, California apartment in 1978 and attracted a few hundred people. In 1979, it moved to California Hall on Turk Street and officially became the Exotic Erotic Ball, with 800 to 900 people paying $10 apiece.

The location changed over the years ending up at its current home at the Cow Palace. Attendance to the Exotic Erotic Ball averages 15,000 annually with 20,000 attending in 2005.

The Exotic Erotic Ball has also fostered strong ties to the community. Over the years, the Ball has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities[6] supporting causes such as helping the victims of natural disasters[7], AIDS[7], homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, and has always supported freedom of expression and First Amendment Rights. The Exotic Erotic Ball hosts an annual blood drive with Blood Centers of the Pacific.

Perry Mann: "My late partner's Louis' expression 'Make Love, Not War' was once the rallying cry of a generation. I don't think that message has ever been more timely or important than it is today, and I don't think our show has ever been a more needed diversion."


  • Although it is billed as a San Francisco, California event, the ball is technically held in Daly City, California where the Cow Palace is located.
  • In 2004, Republican legislators in California—countering a move to outlaw gun shows at the Cow Palace—unsuccessfully sought to ban the ball as well. (May 2004)[8].
  • Technically, Public nudity is not allowed at the ball but there's always a selected few who do not abide by that rule and, not surprisingly, you won’t see anyone enforcing it.
  • In 2001, Mann released the book The Exotic Erotic Ball: Twenty Years of the World's Sexiest Party (ISBN 156171917X).

Notable Celebrity Guests and Performers


External links

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