I am open and unapologetic about my views on sex, sexuality, kink and open relationships. My willingness to have matter-of-fact discussions about sex with anyone who will listen often makes people blush, and I’m that person who takes every conversation “there.” For those who know me, it’s no shocker that The Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show is basically like my birthday and New Years rolled into one glorious weekend. I plan for it like most people do the holiday season: I start budgeting in September, I plan what friend groups and partners to go with and buy for, and I have been known to go a little overboard on dressing for the occasion.
Faithfully attending Taboo for close to a decade, I still experience the same level of anticipation, nervousness and excitement as I did the first year I attended (will I run into my Jr. High science teacher in the Dungeon? Again… for the fourth consecutive year?). I’ve attended as both patron and vendor (which is material for another article entirely), and I always leave with a smile on my face and a substantially smaller bank account.
This year, my intention was to attend more of the workshops instead of blowing next semester’s tuition money on toys, books and corsets. But with discount pricing and what seemed like never ending walls of floggers, ball-gags and strap-ons at every turn, I could only control myself for so long. More vendors also seemed to be carrying higher quality gear and product this year, which is important with the adult toy industry being unregulated (pro tip: don’t buy anything you plan to put inside of you that isn’t medical grade silicone, stainless steel or glass). Luckily, I was distracted by the stellar performances on the main stage by the talented woman at Pole Junkies before spending all my money on flavoured lube and under-the-bed restraints.
The Taboo Show, however, is more than just row on row of sex-depot booths slanging dildos, butt plugs and we-vibes. Sexual health and education specialists like OPTIONS Sexual Health were on site offering up free condoms, lube, sexual health information and selling nifty sex-positive buttons 5 for $3 (I am still trying to find a way to make my new iMasturbate pin work-appropriate). Playboy TV’s sex-pert, Dr. Jess, was also there running workshops like Oral Sex Tips, Tricks, & Licks, G-Spots & Squirting and the ever popular, The Bum 101: Intro to Anal (fun fact: The average person’s pain threshold increases by 200% the closer they are to orgasm).
In addition to Dr. Jess’s entertaining and informative workshops, The Traveling Tickle Trunk, a local sex-positive, female and queer-friendly adult toy store, ran their infamous and interactive workshop, Bondage:101. This was my personal favorite for a number of reasons, one of them being the inclusive, non-hetero/cis-normitve language the facilitator used. After going over some basics in bondage safety (fun fact: nerve damage as a result of incorrect placement and application of bondage gear is the #1 sex-related injury in the U.S.), facilitators offered some useful information on rope play and I was even selected from the audience for the facilitator to demonstrate some of the more advanced techniques (okay, okay… I volunteered).
All in all, this year’s Taboo experience was a success. I stocked up on the essentials, learned a few new tips and tricks and even did a little networking along the way. Who knows, after the pole dancing classes I signed up for, maybe I’ll be attending next year as a performer.
For more information on Taboo, click here.