Sex Sells Everything
Four years ago, I went to the Everything To Do With Sex Show and it was quite the informative experience. Even though I was twenty-one, I knew next to nothing about sex toys and going to an event full of 'em was an eye-opener for a guy who had recently left a religious college in the Midwest. I even got to take a picture with a porn star (see above).
Going back last week, I came in with half-remembered memories and not a whole lot of expectations but I knew one thing; I definitely needed a drink to help me process the ordeal. In the midst of a raucous environment that simultaneously recalls a Vegas-style event blended with scenes right out of a bazaar in Marrakech, a beer would be just the thing.
With a cold one grasped firmly in hand, all the scantily-clad girls hawking contraptions guaranteed to increase your sexual pleasure become mere background noise; a subtle cadence to a tumultuous cacophony of cheap debaucheries and bizarre commercial tangents.
If you're into this sort of thing, and I am, it's rather fun and you'll wander the various pathways, up for whatever the next booth will bring. If you're more of a cynic, you'd be inclined to think that all of this crass commercialism is obscuring any message that might be gleaned by couples who could possibly improve their relationships or their sexual worldview in general.
Unless, of course, they're just here to buy a pair of sunglasses or a crude t-shirt that bluntly projects their frustrations with their own life onto others. Nothing says "I Love You" like buying an article of clothing for your girlfriend that proudly proclaims virulent strains of misanthropy to the world around them. Of course, you can't be too harsh on these folks; we all have our needs and what good is a sex show if it doesn't go about fulfilling them? Hell, I would've bought another copy of my "Like A Virgin" t-shirt if I'd seen it; I lent the last one to an ex who'd promptly lost it.
From the moment I walked in and saw my first hand-painted model to acquiring the first of many beers, I was having all kinds of fun and many others seemed to be having a good time too. After all, when you live in what is still a relatively-straight-laced society (which includes Toronto and most of Ontario) it's very necessary to be able to mosey on down to a trade show that allows you to at least gawk at all of the interesting sexual misdeeds of others before you indulge yourself.
And even if you don't end up spicing up your love-life, you can tell everyone you went and make their next lunch break at Subway a green-tinged, hellishly introspective affair. This, in a nutshell, is the beauty of a trade show centered around the carnal arts; you don't have to metaphysically buy into any of what they're selling; merely going is enough buy you some credibility with all of the people who wish they could wake up early enough to check out a dildo or two before going to work.
You become something a rake, the kind of guy Shakespeare was thinking about when he wrote his naughtier sonnets. After all, going to a sex show is not necessarily about becoming a better fuck or a more savvy consumer; at it's most superficial it's an informed lifestyle choice that allows you to acknowledge that while you may or may not engage in a variety of perverted activities behind closed doors, you heartily endorse the abstract idea of others getting up to that sort of thing (as long as they're not family).
Granted, if you're over the age of fifty, all of this doesn't apply and you're allowed to
put on your skimpiest thong and parade around the show room with your leather-tanned girlfriend, learning the latest techniques to turn her ass red.
With that in mind, my first stop was the Dungeon, an area in a dark corner cordoned off with black cloth and full of various implements for teasing and torturing your loved one. A lot of couples were walking in, holding hands and watching doms work on their subs. The expressions on their faces ranged from confusion to disbelief with some nervous laughter thrown in, usually on their way out.
Personally, I dug the guy with the mic giving a blow-by-blow to the crowd but I don't know if there's a whole lot to get about this kind of thing; we all have our kinks and if it feels good, do it. Seems pretty simple to me...
Outside of the Dungeon, there was a rather terrific mattress called the Bondage Bed which came complete with Velcro attachments you could employ to hold your partner down in a variety of sexual positions. As the rep said, this is perfect for everyone who's banged their head against the wall or fallen off the bed whilst in the throes of passion.
My favorite bit was the padded strap that you hold around your partner's stomach. Basically, it presses up against the end of the vagina and this somehow makes it feel different; a boon to the married couple who're just going through the motions.
The chick wearing the neon-pink dildo did a pretty good job of explaining exactly why you'd want this but I was less impressed by the 17 year-old rep who later tried to interest me in the floor model but was forced to admit that he'd never tried it and his mum probably wouldn't let him buy it anyway.
As great as the bed was, I don't see why you couldn't make it yourself. Grab a fuzzy sheet, staple a couple of metal rings to some velcro pads
I also sampled a number of stimulants that promised more power to the user in all aspects of their life, flirtatiously offered by models of all kinds. I can't say it made me feel any more powerful than my morning cup of coffee but that's how those things usually go anyway.
By this point, you might be thinking that I had a bad time or that I think the trade show is merely another excuse for people to pay to be bombarded with advertisements. The former is completely untrue and while I agree with the sentiment of the latter, I also don't give a damn.
I think a trade show is all very well and good; it brings a bunch of vendors into one easily-accessible location where they can present their goods to the public in hopes that they will make a success of it. Obviously, there are operating costs and I'd be the last person to suggest that this sort of event should be a strictly inspirational, educational affair.
Sleazy commercialism can be a lot of fun if you're not totally sucked into it and I would imagine at least some people understand the mechanisms in place to bring this kind of event together. The Everything To Do With Sex Show had some fantastic seminars, some genuinely-interesting products and whole lot of eye-candy. And beer; don't forget the beer.
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