CAYA brings the first Erotic Arts & Crafts Fair to T.O.

As part of this year's ongoing anniversary celebrations, Come As You Are presented the first annual Erotic Arts & Crafts Fair at the Gladstone this afternoon. The turnout was pleasingly immense - or maybe it was just the narrowness of the venue that made the hustle seem a bit more bustle. Nothing like being crammed into a room with a bunch of strangers and some erotic cakes.

As I saw it, the crafts fell into four basic categories:

1. Buttons. It certainly seems like the single easiest regular-craft-show item to sexy up is the button, from the very plain "naughty words on pink backing" type to Japanese shunga art the size of a loonie. I picked up the word "bum" spelled in Scrabble pieces as my sole concession to the Fair's dominant art form. (Sadly, it broke as I tried to fix it to my bag.) Also, it seems like erotic buttons are a license to print money: at anywhere from $2 to $6, that button maker must pay for itself after a single hour of sales.

2. Erotic artwork. Some really striking line art was the highlight, along with the more obvious Tom of Finland-inspired drawings and paintings of muscle-bound super hunks in varying amounts of leather gear. I had to tear myself away from a gorgeous rendering of a little bunny girl leading a little bunny boy around by the wang, because $250 was a bit much, even for my ludicrous spending habits.

3. Sexy food. With the V-day horror right around the corner this is to be expected: cupcakes shaped like boobs, choco-cocks, and at least one very impressive (and very large) vagina cake. While the option of wrapping my lips around an icing clitoris was certainly appealing, I expect the outcome is never quite as entertaining as the idea.

4. Wearables. Lingerie aplenty and t-shirts a dime a dozen, but homemade pasties have their value both on and off the stage.

My friend Bex, who writes The Peak's "Sex With Bex" column, made note of the only curious absence in the proceedings: the kink factor. Maybe we've all become too inured to sex to be really shocked by a wooden phallus the size of a fire hydrant, but nothing really felt particularly transgressive at the show today. It was all regular craft show stuff, sexified; there wasn't anything that really broke through for me as being particularly inventive or exciting.

Still, I spent about forty bucks all told, so something must have worked.

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