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It didn’t quite offer the thrills I’d hoped for

Photo by Tina Wallace

Before heading out, I told my mom I was going to Sexapalooza, explaining that it’s something like the annual auto show, but with sex. She was startled, but not surprised.

Supp_Sexapolooza3_TinaWallaceWEBI don’t know if this is a normal high school experience, but once I turned 18, my best friend Melissa and I used to go to the adult toy stores in our town pretty often. We would touch all of the display vibrators and dildos, taste-test the flavoured lube, try cock rings out on our fingers, and chat with the salespeople about different products.

Maybe this ruined my experience of sex expos (sexpos?), but I spent my first 30 minutes at Sexapalooza on Feb. 8 wandering around pretty bored.

There was an overwhelming number of people and an underwhelming assortment of products: vibrators, restraints, feathers, costumes, phallic-shaped candy, whips, paddles, and nipple tassels. Pardon me for being jaded, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before.

What kept the evening from being just a collection of items anyone can buy at an online sex shop any day of the week were the performances and exhibitions. On the main stage we saw pole dancing, burlesque, and amateur stripping. In a curtained- off area, we looked at sex-themed paintings and photos.

In another curtained-off area we learned about the history of pornography. We also read about world laws pertaining to sex, like how in Indonesia one can be decapitated for masturbating, or that the Asiatic Huns punished male adulterers with castration while “female adulterers were merely cut in two.”

The final demonstration we visited was in a no-photo zone area called the Dungeon. We watched people in restraints being whipped and people on tables having hot wax dripped onto their skin. The representatives were warm and friendly and soon offered to electrically shock us. Supp_Sexapolooza2_TinaWallaceWEB

There are kinks I’m willing to explore, but having accidentally shocked myself more than once on faulty electrical equipment in my home, I can say with certainty that there is nothing erotic about electric shock for me.

I watched others allow themselves to be shocked with reactions ranging from delighted cheer to grimaces of discomfort. I stayed at a comfortable, neutral distance.

I’m certainly not sorry I went to Sexapalooza. I had a candy apple flavoured penis pop that was tasty, and I posed for photos in a giant vagina, which is something I’ve never been able to say before. However, next year, I think I’ll skip the expo, stick to the local sex shop, and learn about kinks the old-fashioned way: on the Internet.