Arts & Culture

Halifax learns how to get kinkier

Halifax learns how to get kinkier
Is Halifax more sex-savvy than Montreal? (Bryn Karcha photo)
written by Joelline Girouard
February 8, 2013 12:00 pm

Whether you wanted to learn how to give a better blowjob or get zapped with a violet wand, there was something for everyone at Halifax’s Everything to Do with Sex Show.

Over the weekend of Jan. 25-27, the Cunard Centre was outfitted with two stages, a Fifty Shades Play Area, a seminar space and a BDSM dungeon, as well as several commercial booths.

All weekend, male and female performers strutted the main stage. Some performances were akin to a fashion show, while others could have taken place at a strip club. All were  fun to watch.

Seminar topics varied. Venus Envy delved into female orgasms, and sexologist Jessica O’Reilly explored oral and anal sex. O’Reilly says Haligonians at the sex show are more open to sex education, compared to Montrealers or Torontonians.

“Here the attendees at the sex show are a little more engaged and outgoing,” she says. “So even though the city is smaller in terms of numbers, it seems that the sexual health consumers might be coming out a little bit stronger.”

The dungeon was on the opposite end of the Centre, far from the seminars. It could be shocking at first glance.

Entering through the left, show-goers were greeted by a wooden suspension frame, which was set up next to a bed, to which a person was sometimes tied.

There was electricity play, fire play, age play and pet play. Haligonians could witness what might be the most extreme and complete form of sexual bondage: a vacuum cube and a vacuum bed.

While many of those things could seem unpleasant to the uninitiated, there is merit in giving them a try—safely, of course.

Fire play, for example, isn’t as dangerous as it sounds, as long as those involved know what they’re doing. The demonstrator applied an accelerant to my forearm. A cotton swab, soaked in alcohol, was set aflame and quickly swiped across the still wet patch of skin. The fire was brushed away by the volunteer just as quickly, never given the chance to burn my skin. It was a pleasant feeling, like a warm breeze.

Electricity was more on the painful side of sensory play. The volunteers from the audience likened the feeling to getting a tattoo. Like with the fire, attendees generally tried it out on their forearm.

A few bald men offered their scalps to a volunteer who was conducting electricity. Some smiled with pleasure as she touched her fingertips to their head, while others winced in pain.

Some attendees even got sealed into the vacuum bed. Not for the very claustrophobic, a volunteer described it as a latex envelope that allows those who enjoy it to experience sensory deprivation.

All the volunteers who were in the dungeon were members of the local BDSM community. Some wore masks; most used pseudonyms.

Ivy Tattoo (pseudonym), president of the Society of Bastet, Halifax’s alternative lifestyle community, says all sorts of people made their way through the dungeon over the weekend.

“We’ve had the full gamut, from clearly young newbies who are just exploring their sexuality, to a couple […] who looked like they were about 75.”

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