Dildos, vibrators and butt plugs, oh my
My experience at the Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show
Kate Holowaty, Sex Columnsit
So I decided to take it upon myself as the Reflector’s trusty sex columnist to muster up some courage and venture out to the Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show, alone. While groups of girlfriends laughed, drank and bonded over their favourite glass butt plug, there I was, standing like a total creep with my fancy camera, lack of posse and average sexual prowess.
The Taboo show was held at the Big Four at Stampede Park and hosted approximately 90 different exhibitor booths featuring a variety of different services and products. Upon entering the large space, I could immediately sense a different kind of energy than at other exhibitions I had been to. The lighting was dark with red accents and the exhibitors had gone all out with their displays featuring full ranges of toys and products. Some show-goers had dressed up in lingerie, corsets and flashy outfits. Honourable mention goes out to the two men rocking matching patent leather policemen uniforms.
The first thing I did, besides awkwardly walk around, eyes wide at the sexy displays, was go to the main stage to see the end of a male stripper routine. He wasn’t really my type given the oiled bulky muscles and bicep tribal tat, but I didn’t not like it.
The next performer was the shows emcee — a drag queen who was, as my grandma would describe, a “shoot from the hip son of a gun.” She was hilarious, fabulous, rude and crude and she really got the crowd going. This actually helped me loosen up a little bit and feel a little bit more comfortable about delving into the show’s offerings.
I first spoke to Brenda Kerber, the founder of company “The Traveling Tickle Trunk” which is an Edmonton based company that specializes in safe sexual information and high product standards in an open and fun environment. A common mistake a person new to the sex toy world might make is purchasing a cheap toy that can be potentially unsafe. Kerber stressed the importance of buying high quality sex toys for a couple key reasons.
“You have to look for what the toy is actually made of, because if it’s not made of quality materials then it’s not going to be durable,” says Kerber “Also the foreign materials could contain toxic chemicals which make the toy hard to clean and these could potentially leach into your body.”
On The Traveling Tickle Trunk’s website, Kerber recommends looking for toys that are made of “hard plastic, pyrex glass, ABS plastic, elastomer, thermoplastic rubber or 100 percent silicone.”
The second person I spoke with was Kristie Moreau of “You n Me”. She walked me through some of the benefits and differences between silicone toys and glass dildos as well as butt plugs. With the look and feel of glass, one might be wary of the toy breaking but fear not, it’s pyrex glass and won’t break! She recommended a double ended pyrex glass dildo, one side for anal and the other for the vagina.
“The funnest thing about glass toys is the opportunity to incorporate temperature play into your usual routine,” she said.
She then pulled out a butt plug that had been soaking in a glass of ice water and pressed it to the back of my hand. ‘Yepp that would be a good time’ I thought as visions of the ice cube scene from 50 Shades of Grey flashed through my head.
The show also featured seminars and the first one I attended was titled Techniques to Drive Him Wild and was hosted by Dr. Jess, Phd., a best selling author, speaker and TV host of Playboy TV’s show Swing.
Her full name is Jessica O’Reilly and she recently released a book titled The New Sex Bible which I, big surprise, have ordered and will be doing a review of hopefully in time for the next column.
The ridiculously beautiful Dr. Jess talked a captivated crowd through the best hand job and blow-job tricks using a carrot as a prop. So there I was, the single, awkward, weirdo with the camera rocking out some air guitar hand jobs and blow-jobs with the rest of the crowd occasionally chuckling at my own expense. Main takeaway from this session: buy a family size bottle of lubricant.
I also attended a seminar on electric play, which was a shock to my system let me tell ya! This is definitely for those who like a really intense sexual experience and it coincides with the sexual desire to dominate or be dominated. It just so happened that this seminar was located next to a sectioned off space that was more private and darkly lit. This space put Christian’s red room to shame, with numerous persons trying out different whips, paddles and bondage. Professional doms could try out the various instruments on the willing person and also instruct on how to use the items properly.
The last seminar I attended was also hosted by Dr. Jess and was titled G-Spots and Squirting. During her talk she debunked several myths about squirting including; no it is not pee, yes, you can learn how but it’s not for everyone and just because you are squirting doesn’t mean you are having an orgasm. She also touched on how in porn culture squirting is made to be this prized thing and that a lot of squirting in porn is extreme and should not be the standard that you want to meet. I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Jess after the seminar and she spoke about what she thinks is the most prevalent problem facing young people (university demographic) when it comes to their sexuality. She believes that it is porn culture.
“I’m a fan of porn. I like porn but I just don’t like it as a form of education. I think it’s fine as one form of education if you have lots of other forms of education starting with asking your partner what they like and reading books that are grounded in research,” she said.
Dr. Jess also stressed the need for people to remember what is real about the sex in porn and what is more strategic and unrealistic.
“Porn is sexy and it’s entertaining but it’s actors and it’s, I don’t want to say that it’s not real sex, but it’s sex with direction and makeup and lighting,” she said. “So I think that it’s important to get out of the box that porn puts us in as men and women.”
When asked what advice she would give to those in the university demographic who are coming into their sexuality, O’Reilly stressed the importance of following your own path.
“Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, because what we hear about what others are doing is generally inaccurate,” she said. “I think a lot of young people worry that they’re not doing it as much or in as creative of ways. Their sex life, ultimately, is as exciting as everyone else’s and they’re doing just fine.”
My first experience at a sex exhibition show was definitely a positive one and I encourage anyone who is curious about a variety of sexual topics and subcultures to check out an awesome event like this in their area.
I learned a lot that I didn’t know before, got pushed outside my comfort zone and left with the feeling that this type of safe space is a good one to have in any city or community. Within the expo itself there was almost this feeling of acceptance, as if by just being present at the show you were making a statement like “Here I am, I am at a sex show, so are you, let’s respect each other.” And if this type of show can be a catalyst for furthering widespread sexual acceptance then that’s a cause worth supporting.