Halifax takes a walk on the dirty side
Sacred cows, farewell. Last weekend, Halifax was porned.
The Cunard Centre at Pier 23, an otherwise popular venue for craft and career fairs, became a buffet of fetishistic erotica, alternative lifestyle promotions and paraphernalia for the deviant in all of us.
The Everything to do with Sex Show is an annual touring circus-style show that “really does cater to everyone from every age range,” said Mikey Singer, the show’s manager.
But unless you’re in the habit of dragging your eight year-old daughter to buy mechanical dildo-riding machines from greasy-haired paternal types, then this show may not be for everyone.
And you may also disagree with Singer if you think you’d be afraid of a man called The Assassin with a cloth-wrapped penis the length and thickness of a small-ish forearm, lip-synching R&B whilst practicing oral sex.
Or if the prospect of a cordoned-off area called “The Dungeon,” home to at least one optical store manager by day, turned dominatrix by night, is enough to send you seeking shelter at the dildo display – the show is not for the inhibited.
But even beyond “The Dungeon,” things were still hot and heavy.
Tucked amidst the rows of former craft booths was a couple of 50-something swingers attempting to convert passersby with their mantra, “love and sex are two different things.” A slideshow of last year’s group outing – tidal bore rafting – was their last and valiant effort to convince the naysayers that swingers are normal people.
But if this shocks you, perhaps it’s time to consider a book, or at least the arguments from a book, that hit shelves last summer. The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here by Carmine Sarracino and Kevin Scott, suggests that “cultural absorption is so complete that we no longer have to purchase pornography to get porn because we increasingly live porn on a daily basis.”
Last Thursday was no exception. Academia took a back seat when more than 500 excitable undergraduate students filed into a Dalhousie University auditorium.
Seventy-eight year-old famed sex educator Sue Johanson regaled them with her token air-humping routine and dubbing of an otherwise innocuous stuffed toy as the key to achieving female orgasm: “Hey, I finally found a use for Beanie Babies. And I heard there’s a new Beanie Baby coming out and it’s going to look like Obama.”
Poor Obama just wanted to be President.
And in the spirit of this frisky season, Saturday night was the second annual Powerfuck party for Dalhousie’s graduate students.
Participant Kurt Johnston described it as “an homage to a module we did in school on sexual harassment in the workplace … basically we got all freaky, had a huge penis piñata, spun tales of sexual deviance and smut like that.”
Despite the many alternative, more acceptable entertainment opportunities available, the sex fair stole the show. If roughly 10,000 sex-loving Nova Scotians came out to browse the merchandise – pussy shavers, Pyrex dildos, flogging paraphernalia – and bear witness to a few shameless folk publicly demonstrating S&M, then perhaps Scott and Sarracino have it right in their book: porn has become the mainstream and the mainstream has become porn.
As slaves to the mainstream, we can now all sit back and wait for Natalie Dylan – the 22-year-old girl who auctioned her virginity online – to tell us how it was. Her parents and grandparents can listen too. And in 20 years, her kids can dive into the records and glean the most explicit details from the encounter.