I worked a few shifts at Sexpo again this year and it never fails to amaze me at just how easily sex sells. I mean we are talking about an exhibition centre showcasing hundreds of stalls of sex related paraphernalia and dozens of live shows every day. It really is quite a spectacle. I must admit that every time I approach the great hall of sex, I feel a little sexier and my walk is a little wigglier. And then it is business as usual.
I remember going to Sexpo for the first time many years ago when I was a youthful and wide eyed eighteen year old. It was awe inspiring and confronting all at the same time. Back then, sex was all about just getting some, there was no art or creativity to it. My friends and I felt bad ass just because we were wandering around in public amongst the sights and delights that we really had only just begun to explore. I think my only sex accessory at the time was the obligatory packet of condoms.
And as always this year there were many young punters, just old enough to secure entry, with the titillation of it all evident in their faces. As if you might even get a quick one behind a curtain just for turning up. Also in attendance were curious couples, sex industry peeps, fetish folks in full costume, the sexually beautiful (aided by the highest of heels and bronzest of tans). And then quite literally, the big, the bad and the ugly. Sex really is on everyones agenda.
With many years and a few lovers having passed between this year my first ever show, I still wander around in my break interested to see what’s new. Some of it is funny, some of it is gross, some of it is boring and some of it is delicious. Hardly surprising seeing as sex itself can be all of these things. And really, that’s what all of this is about… Sex. Without the sex, the accessories are useless. Not much sex is actually being sold here, just plenty of ideas. The sex of course is BYO.
I mean, there really is not much you can do in a crowd of hundreds even if you are watching a particularly erotic male dance troupe on your carefully timed break. Or viewing a threesome projected in silhouette onto a purple curtain. Or seeing a shirtless fellow being whipped by a large dominatrix, boobs bare and spilling down the front of her corset. Or perhaps just sitting in on one of the many talks about loving your vulva and toy box essentials. Just be sure to bring your credit card, or even a notepad and pen.
None of this colourful display of sex seems shocking or strange in itself. Only the fact that people are doing it in front of everyone is odd. And by doing it, I mean openly discussing and displaying their fantasies and preferences, along with plenty of skin. So the selling of sex seems to be a lot less about the physical reality of it and a lot more about the tantalising idea of it all. Come along expecting much more, and you’ll likely be disappointed. Important to note that sex and disappointment are never fun when paired together.
And lastly, a shout out to all the voyeurs in the crowd and evidence that sex will sell whether we like it or not: I was working on the alcohol stand doing samples and sales. Quite possibly the most popular all time lubricant for sex.