It began with morning wood.
For him, at least.
I was grappling with a daily inconvenience of a more female nature: selecting an outfit.
“What does one wear to a sex show?” I asked my boyfriend.
He suggested something purple, to match the stripe of his sweater. In his mind, matching couples were less likely to become separated at a sex show. Oh, and pigtails–he requested those as well (more on fetishes later).
It was a Sunday in late January, and we were getting ready for The Everything To Do with Sex Show which, for the past three days, had transformed the Cunard Centre into a black-curtained den of seduction.
I hadn’t expected my boyfriend Zachary to agree so readily to this day of sex tips, toy demonstrations, fetish explorations, and sleepwear fashion shows.
But it turns out we weren’t the only couple who found common ground between the sheets. The touring show was mostly populated by hand-holding heterosexuals like ourselves. At 19, we were among the youngest attendees, the oldest being a white-haired couple in their 60s sitting a few rows ahead of us in the “You Want to Put That Where?” seminar. Although they inspired us to maintain our sex drive into the far reaches of seniority, we quietly hoped this couple wasn’t putting it there.
The seminar was one of several informative sessions by companies who make sex their business. The host, a woman named Fantasia, was The Shopping Channel meets Cosmopolitan: she used slick car salesman lingo to hawk sex toys, a presentation aimed at women either incompetent at pleasing themselves or those looking to get maximum moan from their men for minimum effort. Ideally, she said, “you won’t even miss your TV show!” We became mesmerized by the undulating, hot pink objects in her hands, hypnotized by the persistent buzzing emanating from the stage.
The Dark Fantasy Fashion Show was next, and it quickly made Zachary and I burst triumphantly out of our self-conscious condoms. At first, it was far from appealing: the host was an “Uncle D”, the self-proclaimed “Canadian Ass Man.” His Hell’s Angels style and crude comments left little tingling in our groins. Thankfully, he was soon drowned out by top 40 hits, then physically replaced by the derrières of lingerie models.
Firefighter, referee, sailor: it was nice to see girls from all walks of life so confident with their bodies. Posing with fingers dipped into mouths and turning with artfully choreographed booty shaking, I developed a surprising admiration for these girls.
But as I scanned the crowd for a sign-up sheet for next year, my boyfriend took an unexpected turn, and became a runway critic.
Drooling I expected. But a transformation into Joan Rivers?
Zachary analyzed the models’ movement. He noted their gait, hair, bone structure, facial expressions. Dissatisfied with most of what he saw, he insisted that if models wore sneakers instead of “ridiculously impractical footwear” (re: heels) they would rise to the level of sexual goddesses. I rolled my eyes, then scribbled a note to invest in a pair of Adidas.
The next Main Stage performer, though, would see us both on the same page again. Roxi Dlite–a drinkin’, smokin’, strippin’ machine–is the show’s bone-a-fide star, and she’s followed the show’s tour through London, Hamilton, Toronto and Quebec City.
The reigning queen of burlesque delighted us with her tactful removal of clothing: I stared in amazement as she undressed with the utmost grace, putting my fumbling jeans removaland head-stuck-in-sweater moments to shame. Meanwhile, Zachary became entranced by her smooth movements and use of feathers to reveal a minimal rhinestone thong and “nipple thingies”. (He meant pasties.)
Then: “A hoop! She has a hoop!” I cried.
Roxi, who trained with Cirque du Soleil, contorted her body around a suspended metal hoop. She had barely come down from her airborne sexcapade before Zachary was dragging me to her booth. Who says sex can’t lead to love?
Following the show, we lusted through the aisles of black-veiled booths while descriptions of blindfolds and bondage tape rang in our ears.
Having stroked our way through the discounted items—the Everything to Do with Sex Show is great for students with a bedroom budget—we made it to the entrance of the Dungeon. Sounds from inside could be heard reverberating at the entrance—not the gentle sex toy buzzing that we had become accustomed to but the ominous hum of electricity and the slaps of flogging.
What we discovered was the leather-clad and surprisingly friendly BDSM and fetish community of Halifax. The Twisted Poet treated our hands to shocks of varying degrees, an introduction to electric teasing that made me squeal in surprise and Zachary purse his lips, struggling to maintain his manly disposition. Next, he laid down for us the basics of impact play. Dollar store household “pervertables” such as feathers, brushes, spatulas and shoehorns could be used sexually, leaving roommates none the wiser. The appeal of such items grew the more we were stroked, scratched, fluffed and tapped. I was almost converted until our instructor listed off the warnings of nerve and kidney damage, broken tailbones and severe bruising.
Maybe we’d stick to the simple stuff.
Later that night, exhausted from a day of sex education and our unenthused by schoolwork, Zachary and I were debating what to do instead. I looked at him. He looked at me. We both went to the bag of goodies we got from the show. Zachary pulled out a coupon from HotMovies.ca.
“Thirty free minutes?” he asked.
It began with morning wood.