The ‘Everything to do with Sex Show’ returned to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this past weekend and, let me tell you, from bed sheets to nail art, whips to dildos, this show really did have everything.
At first, I was a bit underwhelmed, because I was expecting a massive show, with a real dungeon, and some real freaky people. One couple that I spoke to stated,
“We have never been to a [sex] show before, I was expecting it to be really wild. We fit in here.”
The show was actually really laid back with everyday people in attendance and I was worried that I was going to run into a few parents I knew (but not mine, I made them stay home). Once I got over my own preconceptions of what a sex show in Toronto should be, I realized that this show really did have something for everyone.
What puzzled me at first were the seemingly completely random booths that I was seeing. There were booths with nail polish, “Snore No More” aromatherapy, baked goods, and even stockbrokers. I immediately took to asking each “non-sexual” booth what brought them to a sex show. One booth’s representative admitted that her business had nothing to do with sex and explained that,
“Women are here. I want to market to them, it doesn’t matter that this stuff isn’t ‘sexy.’”
While I found this true with a few of the obscure booths, some of them convincingly tied their trade to sex, because really sex is the lowest common denominator among human beings and for some it starts with a seductive glance, for others, “It starts with really good cookies.”
There were also mini sex stores in the show, set up with a ton of stuff that you’d normally expect to find in a sex store. However, most other booths focused on one particular aspect of sex. There were pole dancing booths, which had most women coyly intrigued, a slew of bondage and BDSM booths in the dungeon, burlesque, meet and greets with webcam girls, bed sheets, art, sex vacations, etc. Basically anything you could possibly think of related to sex, no matter how obscure, was there. I talked to one particular vendor that offered a variety of things, and she said,
“People are expecting to come and see ‘pervs’ everywhere. It’s not like that…everyone likes sex, even normal moms and dads. We have everyone from [people who are barely 18], to seniors. This show is about celebrating and enjoying sex as much as possible.”
Another great part of the entire event was the seminars and demonstrations that were scheduled throughout the weekend. These sessions were completely free, and allowed real, practical advice for couples on how to spice up their sex life. There were seminars like The Pleasures of Anal Sex, Bigger, Better, Orgasms, How to Fix Your Relationship, and many more. The impressive part about these seminars was that even though it was exhibitors running the sessions, they weren’t set up like an infomercial. They just gave real advice, and some sessions didn’t even recommend that you buy anything.
While this may seem puzzling to read in a sex column, my favourite part of the show was the “xxxchurch.com” booth. I was so intrigued by the flashy yellow signs and neon pink stickers, that I talked to Ryan Russell, the man behind it all. Turns out, xxxchurch.com is a non-profit international resource for people who are addicted to sex or who are trying to get out of the industry (e.g. porn stars). With their presence at the show, they offer non-judgmental support in order to move away from the idea of trying to get people to abandon their sexual fantasies, but for those who really need help and are unaware that help is available to them. While this may seem “anti-sex”, I think it’s a great resource that promotes safe and healthy sex. After all of this, I was told to remember one thing, “Jesus loves porn stars.”