The Everything To Do With Sex Show's expected mix of adult-themed products and services, seminars, and workshops got a lift from quirky main-stage events.
Sex conventions have been somewhat stigmatized. Images of sweaty, overweight men rummaging through boxes of vintage pornography may come to mind. One might also imagine BDSM mistresses walking up and down booth aisles in tight leather.
Part of the reason these stereotypes exist is because nobody really knows how to (nor probably wants to) define what a sex convention should be. Perhaps people tend to stay away from them for fear of being labelled as creepy or perverted. Not everyone can tell their friends they’re going to a convention with such activities as “Bottoms Up, Impact Play” without starting a whole new conversation. But is the Everything To Do With Sex Show really so scandalous? We ventured there this weekend to find out.
Because the show is based in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building, comparisons to other popular conventions, such as FanExpo, are almost immediate. You have the usual vendors selling an abundance of sexy products. You have people dressed up (or down) at every corner in, how shall we say, outfits related to the show’s theme. And you have the seminars, the workshops, the fancy presentations, and main-stage events that have become staples at most mainstream conventions.
The biggest difference between this sex show and perhaps comic books or car shows is how varied its audience is. Besides the fact that the show is adults only, the crowd is made up of a healthy mix of young and old people—casual college students seemed to be everywhere but even older conservative-seeming couples were definitely representing. We originally wanted to say something along the lines of “this wasn’t your grandmother’s convention” at some point in this article, but we’re pretty sure we saw somebody bring his grandmother along.
One element that had us pleasantly surprised, though, was that there was less female objectification than we expected (though we could argue that even a little is too much). Though there were certain T-shirts being sold with cringe-inducing slogans, and some vendors unnecessarily seemed to support a “wear as little as possible” dress code, the event had much more for couples looking to broaden their sexual horizons than it did for oglers.
The casualness of the setting—instead of traditional chairs, there were beanbags everywhere, usually occupied by cuddling couples—helped to create a very chill atmosphere. The space was overall dark—very dark—with red carpet everywhere. It was kind of like going to an X-rated picnic where alcohol was served and the games played pushed the definition of fun to a whole new level.
Speaking of which, the onstage sex games, in which the audience participated, were hands down the best element of the convention. With all due respect to the wide range of seminars that covered virtually every element of sexual play, as well as the brilliant body-casting demonstrations, there was no greater joy in the room than during the fake orgasm contest. As the title suggests, the aim of the competition was to see who could create the most convincing orgasm, as gauged by the audience’s reaction.
Now, one might think that the women could have this contest in the bag. Think again. The orgasms weren’t judged on dramatics or loudness alone, realism was also an important factor. Though the women were winning at first, one lone “country boy” nearly swept the competition when he delivered a few grunts followed by a polite “let me grab you a towel.” With that said, a woman did eventually win the competition, delivering a faux-orgasm so loud and so powerful that it was literally show-stopping—all heads on the convention floor turned to the main stage.
There is room for improvement for the convention, though: the time gaps between the main events were too long. There were intervals of about half an hour between each of the main-stage events, which didn’t seem like much at first, but once you had explored everywhere already, there weren’t a lot of options to fill the time besides getting another drink or sitting in on another seminar or demonstration (which seemed repetitive if you had done a few of those already).
The Everything To Do With Sex Show is filled with potential, but hasn’t quite reached the level of awesome that it could. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a public affair that offers as much laughter as it does steaminess.
Photos by Kyle Bachan/Torontoist.