Well this was a no brainer. Long and I are peppered with deals-of-the-day emails, and we both keep our eyes open for events that we think we (and hopefully YOU) will find interesting. The Everything To Do With Sex Show seemed like something that should not be missed. Long and I headed down after dinner to check it out at the Enercare Centre on a Friday night. The parking lot was ominously empty and I worried that this event, like so many others in our fair city, would be tragically under promoted but when we got in to the hall it seemed quiet but not desolate.
I am not quite sure what I expected to see. I don’t consider myself to be a particularly conservative person, and my sheer tenure on this earth and the city I have spent much of it in have exposed me to a wide spectrum of sexual preferences and indeed proclivities. While I would not categorize myself as a “seen it all” person (I know I have not, and I am equally sure there are a number of things that I would prefer were left unseen) I think it would take a bit to actually shock me. When I was in my early 20s my boyfriend commissioned a dress to be made from me. It was a pretty, sexy (but not particularly revealing – strapless but full coverage and down to just past my knee), leather number from Northbound Leather. I had to go and have a couple of fittings, and for those who are unfamiliar with Northbound they make quite high-end leather clothing, like dresses and pants and corsets as well as having a significant merchandise base geared to sex play, from costumes to gags and restraints. When I went in for my fitting I wandered in to the back room, and cast my eye over a wall of things that I honestly could not glean the application for. It wasn’t disturbing but it certainly peeled the lid back on my own naiveté.
Well, some years later the internet arrived and innocence was lost on a broad scale. Long and I were curious what this show had to offer. The venue was smaller than we had anticipated and had an interesting spectrum of product and services available. Some made absolute sense – there was a proliferation of booths promoting live video chats, people hawking memberships to sex clubs, and retail stores offering sex toys and things of that ilk, as well as some that seemed completely incongruous. There was one guy selling a variety of flavoured honeys. There was a lemonade stand. There were fully three booths selling bamboo sheet sets.
There was a significant amount of casual nudity, but in a very mature, unexploitive way. We paused to chat with one young woman who was advertising a club called the Oasis Aqualounge. She was fantastic – calm, intelligent and knowledgeable about the venue. The lounge is located right downtown at College & Mutual street and has a beautiful private pool and whirlpool. It seemed like a quiet and beautiful sanctuary and I briefly thought that it would be a nice private place for a retreat. Oh, except there was the fact that clothing was optional (and I am guessing frequently abandoned), intercourse was acceptable everywhere and there was a dungeon. Perhaps I am better suited to a more traditional spa.
We paused again to talk with a guy dressed in a fabulous penis costume. He was selling a subscription series to a monthly sex toy mail order membership. Once a month you would be shipped a box, catering to your specific partnering (heterosexual or otherwise) full of toys, games and products to play with. Discretion was of the highest order and quality was assured. The Dick was partnered with his lovely wife on the start up and it looked to be an some high end merchandise, and what a great way to promote it!
There were a couple of stages with shows going on. We stopped to watch a burlesque dancer who MAY have been our teacher when we took a dance class a while back. I was too short to get a good vantage to confirm this but she looked pretty good. Long was amazed at how disinterested the crowd looked. There were blank stares all around and a smattering of applause at the end. We then watched a bit of the Cirque Erotique, which featured a moderately talented tumbler and a pretty good girl on the silks.
Long and I wandered through the aisles amused that it was frankly not as hardcore as we expected it to be. There were a proliferation of vibrators – I actually bought one based on the fact that it was “cute”, which I don’t suspect should be high on the list of criteria when selecting such an item. There were dildos of all shapes and sized as well as a number for male masterbation enhancements that seemed every so slightly dehumanized and rather sad, though as a female I have no empirical understanding of the appeal of such things, nor should I judge those who like them. That said, I resisted the urge to poke around in a couple of them, and Long did not.
I paused to get a close up of on box because the copy amused me. I see the pleasure part, but fitness?
While I was going in for the shot, a woman noticed the shelf I was focussed on and swooped in to extol the virtues of a certain vibrator. She was almost maniacal about it, standing maybe 5 inches off my nose like we were on a film shoot and she needed to get in to the shot and was frankly far too close, but she was talking in the most convivial way about the efficacy of a certain device which she loved and liked to use on her friends. When she danced away I realized that she was with a man who was clearly her boyfriend, and she did not actually work in the booth. Interesting. Certainly someone who was taking the power to the Sisterhood seriously and to a whole new level. Again, admirable but perhaps not something I will suggest to my gaggle of friends the next time we get together for tea.
Long and I wandered though the aisles and paused for some photo ops.
On the way out we grabbed the take away bags which contained a very comprehensive book containing a number of well composed and informative articles. I was surprised to discover the show is in its 17th year. There was nothing shocking at the show really, I don’t think I learned anything I didn’t already know or suspect and I don’t think we really explored all the aspects that the event had to offer (lectures, shows etc). That said, I am delighted that it WAS so untitillating, and that sex in all its variations can be discussed in a calm, rational and nonjudgemental way. And that we could get our picture taken with hot firefighters.
The item I bought (this little fellow)
did not work when I got it home and added batteries. I took it back to the booth on Sunday (where the show seemed still remarkably under attended) and they replaced it, no questions asked, made sure the new one worked and threw in a free cleaner for my troubles. Great service, great selection, so it you are in the market go check them out: love dreamer.com