Several intimate apparel, adult pleasure toy and other intimate gear vendors lined the hall at the 9th annual Everything to do with Sex Show at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. There were three different stages: a main stage, a kink stage, and a wellness stage, as well as a seminar room where several “sex-perts” gave various talks about intimacy, sex and pleasure.
Walking through the doors, I was immediately handed a reusable bag with the words: “MYFREECAM.COM THE #1 ADULT WEBCAM COMMUNITY” printed boldly across the front; I wondered when I would ever use this bag again. Inside the bag, I found a magazine with sexual education articles, the event schedule, and of course, two packs of lube.
At the main stage, the music was blasting and a crowd gathered. The intimate apparel fashion show was on. The models walked the stage sporting sexy lingerie by Indulgence Intimate Apparel and leather gear by Babylon Leather.
A woman named Gila who was attending the show for the first time with her boyfriend. When the fashion show was over, she smiled. “It was amazing! I’m sending pictures to my sister in Iran. She sends me pictures of her kids and I send her pictures of this.” We laugh and part ways.
I head over to the Kink Corner. They were demonstrating suspension, a type of bondage play, with two volunteers expertly suspended from a metal frame using jute rope. This type of kinky play originated from a Japanese art called Kinkabu, but is more commonly referred to as Shibari in this part of the world.
The presenter made sure to mention the volunteers at each station were real, experienced kinksters who were there to demonstrate the different types of play and were even willing to perform things on people who were interested. The floor was segregated based on the different forms of kink: impact, sensory deprivation, wax, bondage, fire and electrical play. I watched a demo on spanking, which I was first apprehensive about because of the violent connotations; however, I was surprised by how gentle the man spanked the volunteers. The shirt he was wearing, with the words “THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES” printed proudly across his chest.
At the main stage, I heard the presenter’s voice booming once more, inviting everyone to come “get some free sh*t.” His job description must have been to make dirty jokes, throw bottles of lube into the crowd and give away various other intimacy products. One of these flying bottles of lube happened to land right at my feet. Shortly after, the ‘Men of Steel’ took the stage: a male stripper duo whose construction worker-themed performance got the crowd screaming.
With some time before the scheduled seminar, I walked around the floor visiting the vendors and checking out the extensive collections of sex toys and other intimate products, gadgets and gear. There were several vendors including Venus Envy, You n Me, My Pakage, Saxx Underwear, We-Vibe and Dymes. As I wove through the different kiosks, I received even more free packs of lube.
I made my way to the seminar room and took a seat, waiting for Dr. Jessica O’Reilley’s talk titled: “Better Oral Sex for Him.” O’Reilley is a renowned sexologist and author of several books including her most recent bestseller The New Sex Bible. As the seminar began, I took note of the other audience members and realized most people were older couples in their mid-50s. I’m not sure why it surprised me to see this demographic here. But spicing up your sex life and/or learning about how to enhance your and your partner’s pleasure really has no age limit – other than the obvious legal ones.
O’Reilley shared methods to pleasure your partner orally and manually, demonstrating each in the air and on her trusty vulva puppet. O’Reilley, who began her career as an English teacher, saw a gap in the educational curriculum regarding sexual health. From there she returned to school to get a Ph.D. and pursue her passion in sex education.
“The sign of a good expert is someone who tells you that they don’t have an answer to everything,” said O’Reilley. “There is no one-size-fits-all in regards to relationships and sex.”
The Everything to do with Sex Show makes you realize the importance of having an environment where sex is discussed not only openly but without shame. Also, you walk away with a lifetime supply of lube, or at least a few months anyway.