If you live in the city, you’ve almost certainly walked past the South Street-area shop and seen the classes advertised on the chalkboard outside: “Rough Sex for Beginners,” “Erotic Wax and Fire Play,” “Orgasmic Mastery for all Genders.” But although many of the decidedly out-there offerings from Passional ’s continuing sex-education department may seem a bit frightening at first glance, the truth is that your fear of the unknown has a way of disappearing once you venture inside and are surrounded by a friendly crowd of like-minded sexual creatures. The boutique’s owner, Kali Morgan, is almost single-handedly responsible for creating the positive energy that flows through even the most unusual BDSM-inspired classes, the majority of which will set you back just $20 per person. Her calm demeanor and non-judgmental attitude has a way of making you feel like you’re right back in community college, even after the intimidating strap-ons and latex costumes come out.
Sexploratorium, 620 S. Fifth St. 215.923.4986. passion101classes.com
Within Philadelphia’s ever-changing and diverse bicycle scene, the sport known as Hardcourt Bicycle Polo is not only the latest still-relatively-underground trend, it’s among the most unusual, and certainly the most exciting to watch. The game itself resembles street hockey more than actual polo, and it’s generally the cyclists themselves—often inebriated and riding atop fixed-gear bikes with handmade wheel covers—who make the experience one you’ve simply got to see.
Bike Polo: Rizzo Rink, 1001 S. Front St. myspace.com/phillybikepolo.
Soccer fever is about to hit Philadelphia hard with the opening of the stadium in Chester later this year. But we’ve already put our cleats on, and they are already dirty. If you’re too non-committal to join a weekend league, this pick-up game may suit you. A few diehards in West Philly have made a personal vow to play at the 48th and Woodland field every Thursday evening, all year long. There is no phone number, no webpage, no Facebook update—people just show up at 7 p.m. and play. This is a West Philly crowd, attracting Penn students and working immigrants, men and women from around the block and around the world. Some are newbies in sneakers, and others have been weaned on soccer and are ready to burn off some mid-week tension.
DeSean Jackson is an electrifying wide receiver and punt returner who in two short seasons has transformed the Philadelphia Eagles’ West Coast offense into a game-breaking juggernaut. For fans more interested in looking at the players than understanding the game, Jackson also boasts the best butt in local sports—a crown he wrestled away from the Phillies’ sexy second baseman Chase Utley. By far the Eagles best looking superstar (sorry Donovan), there are a lot of things to admire about Jackson: his amazing speed, great hands, and surprising toughness. Yet his most astounding trait is how good he looks in green. Whereas most of his teammates resemble oversized leprechauns in their home uniforms, Jackson looks like a fierce little green hornet. At 5 foot 10, 175 pounds he’s tiny compared to the helmeted behemoths that lumber about the field, but we’re betting the Eagles will soon ride Jackson’s talented tush to a Super Bowl victory.
The refreshingly classy Velvet Lily is Philadelphia’s newest addition to the sex boutique scene. It’s also the city’s only erotic shop that caters almost exclusively to women and their specific sexual desires. That’s probably why the store looks and feels much more like a slightly risqué lingerie shop than a serious purveyor of kink, which is what it actually is. The vibrator selection alone is enough to impress even the most experienced bedroom jockey. You definitely don’t want to miss the high-end toys on display in the glass case, where you’ll find stunningly well-designed products by LELO, including a bullet vibrator that charges through a USB port. And since the shop’s co-owner, Khara Cartagena, claims to have tried out literally every product in stock, you’ll never have to worry about getting bad advice here—or worse, creepy sideways glances from an old man in a raincoat.
Velvet Lily, 1040 N. Second St. 800.328.5459. thevelvetlily.com
University of Pennsylvania’s cathedral of college basketball, the Palestra, is not just Philly’s best sporting venue but one of the finest in the country. Located snugly against the backside of Penn’s Franklin Field, the legendary complex opened in 1927 and has hosted more college basketball games than any other venue. The arena underwent renovations in 2000 that transformed the hallway into a museum filled with memories of Big 5 basketball. Luckily the changes did nothing to diminish the atmosphere courtside. When the Palestra is packed to the rafters for either a Big 5 game or a match up between Penn and Princeton, the venue becomes a sweaty din of noise with fans packed shoulder to shoulder and streamers littering the floor. Unfortunately, the host Penn Quakers’ men’s basketball team has fallen on hard times. Once a national powerhouse, the Quakers’ have suffered miserably this season with only five wins against 18 losses. Still, when the city’s teams battle on the hardwood, the ghosts begin to rumble and the Palestra rocks with the sounds of Philly b-ball.
The Palestra, 220 S. 32nd St. 215.898.6151. pennathletics.com
Ready to find out Philly's coolest people, fanciest food, tastiest drinks, best shopping and more? Welcome to PW's "Better Than Best" list, a roundup of all of the city's top hidden treasures.