After Dark: Sexplorations

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Exploratorium, Pier 15

Tactile Dome

$15 General; $10 Members; Free for Lab Members; $10 Add-On Ticket for the Tactile Dome Available for Purchase Onsite

Adults Only (18+)

Note: Some programs have limited seating and will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reinvent your Thursday nights at After Dark. Experience a fascinating array of unique, adult-only programs and events that change each week. Grab dinner by the Bay, play with hundreds of hands-on exhibits, crawl through our pitch-black Tactile Dome, sip cocktails, and explore.

Sex involves the exchange of genetic information that has resulted in evolution and specialization—and given you your father's nose. Peek into the whys and hows of sex, and discover some of the surprising ways that nature brings sperm and egg together.

See sexual deception of the floral kind, uncover evidence of species playing the field, and tease apart the mechanics of the female orgasm. Guess which sperm is human, catch insects in the act, and watch a live egg become fertilized. Flirt with the advantages of sexual versus asexual reproduction, see if your eyes and nose agree on who’s attractive, and get up close and personal with dissections of gonads, ovaries, and other naughty bits.




Live Sex Show: Sea Urchin Egg Fertilization
7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m. | Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
Sea urchin sperm and eggs are the same size and shape as human sperm and eggs. Who will be the lucky sperm? It only takes an instant for an egg to become fertilized!

Interspecies Encounters
With Beth Shapiro
7:30 p.m. | Kanbar Forum
Brown bears and polar bears? Humans and Neanderthals? Join Beth Shapiro, Associate Director of the Genomics Institute and Co-director of the Paleogenomics Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to learn the whens, wheres, and whys of interspecies sex, and tease out how increasing gene flow between species might affect the future of biodiversity on our planet.

Love Competition/Lust Competition
With Brent Hoff
9:00 p.m. | Kanbar Forum
Enter the Stanford MRI lab in Brent Hoff’s short film, Love Competion (2012), where seven contestants have five minutes in an fMRI machine to love someone as hard as they can. Then see what Hoff has in store for his latest competition.

Surgical Interventions for Infertility
With the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN)
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Osher West Gallery
Learn about penile implants, fallopian tuboplasty, and other surgeries to assist with fertility.

Va Va Va Voom: Vintage Vibrators
With Carol Queen
6:30–9:30 p.m. | South Gallery
Eye an array of vintage vibrators and massagers from Good Vibrations’ Antique Vibrator Museum. Bring your sex questions, too, and “Ask the Sexologist,” award-winning author, activist, and sex educator Dr. Carol Queen.

Gonad A-Go-Go
With the Explainers
7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m. | East Gallery
Take an inside look at bull testicles, pig ovaries, and other impressively sized organs to track the paths of sperm and egg from genesis to union.

The Bouquet Between Your Legs: Flower Dissections
With the Explainers
6:30, 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 p.m. | East Gallery
Strip flowers to their naughty bits and discover striking similarities to our own.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Orchids But Were Afraid to Ask
With the San Francisco Orchid Society
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery
Pseudocopulation? False promises of food? Experts answer questions about the sexual behaviors of orchids.



Female Orgasm Explored
With Lioness
6:30–9:30 p.m. | South Gallery, Tinkering Studio
Put your finger on the facts with the team behind Lioness, an upcoming smart vibrator using biometric sensors to help women learn more about their own bodies. Get to know tools used in sex research, and lay your hands on a display that contracts the way a vagina does during orgasm.

Sexplorations of the Mechanical Kind: Take Apart Sex Toys
With Explorables

7:00–9:00 p.m. | South Gallery, Tinkering Studio
Dissect electronic toys to see what makes them quiver, and then reuse the parts in creative ways. Space is limited; first come, first served. Please allow up to one hour for this activity.

Special thanks to Good Vibrations for their generous donation of electronic toys!

The Mating Game
With Explorables
7:00–10:00 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery Classrooms
Sex is all the rage in the animal kingdom, but it’s not the only game in town. In this game of chance, explore the pros and cons of sexual reproduction as you compete to guide a species of aphid toward greater fitness in a changing world.

Bees Do It
With the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA)
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery
Like wine and chocolate, honey varietals can vary in flavor and color. Taste different honeys, find out which food plants need bees for sex, and match bee-pollinated flowers with their subsequent fruits.



Love Nest
6:00–10:00 p.m. | East Gallery
Milkweed bugs can get it on for hours on end— literally: they mate by sticking their back ends together. Scientists think their stamina stems from competition; a male doesn’t want another bug’s sperm to out-do his own.

Sense Appeal
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Bechtel Central Gallery
Just because you like how someone looks doesn’t mean you’ll like how they smell. Find out if your eyes and nose agree on who’s attractive.

Which Sperm Is Human?
6:00–10:00 p.m. | East Gallery, Microscope Imaging Station
Organisms use sperm as DNA-delivery machines. Bulls do it, mice do it, even opossums. So why do their sperm and human sperm look so much alike while the animals are so different?