Facebook notifications excite me. They’re the morphine in my breakfast cereal. The crack on my Cocoa Pebbles. The marshmallows in my Lucky Charms. But there’s an exception. Event invites. Like dry Cap’n Crunch, every time I get one the roof of my mouth bleeds.
Like any other Munday night, FaceBook was open on my laptop, tablet and phone. And, as usual, I was ready to pounce on any little red notification that popped up on my screen. You’ve been invited to an event. Sexapalooza Ottawa....
My eyes widened and my shorts tightened. I clicked on Accept so hard it broke my mouse.
Curious, I posted a question on the event page. “Will I lose my virginity at this event?” The resounding response was, “Yes!”
When the weekend of the event finally came, I was ready for what Sexapalooza had to unleash upon me. I wore my skinniest skinny jeans and deepest cut v neck shirt. My backpack was filled to the brim with condoms, vaseline, tissues, Cialis and orange slices in case I needed an energy boost.
The convention centre looked glorious from below, washed in a thin red haze. I picked up my press pass, “It’s hot pink! This is gonna be good.” As I rode the escalator up to the red lit floor, I couldn’t contain myself any longer and had to make a pit stop in the washroom. Skinny jeans skinny? Check. V neck cut deep? Check. Prophylactic wrapper installed? Check. Okay, let’s do this. I raised my half-shaded glasses and gazed upon the glory of the show floor.
Then, it hit me like a bottle of Cialis. There’s nothing Sexy about Sexapalloza.
I wanted to run back down the escalator from whence I came. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. This was supposed to be Christmas. Where were all the presents? Where was naughty, sexy Mrs Claus? But there was no turning back now. For you, my dear reader, I ventured forth into the sex abyss with my camera, orange slices and vaseline. This is what I saw.
At Sexapalooza there are dildos. A lot of dildos. Big dildos. Small dildos. Purple glass dildos. Red dimpled dildoes. Banana scented silicone dildos. A fake penis lover’s wet dream. Before getting too close to the faux-dicks, I stopped by the bar at the entrance. “How many triple jack cokes can I order at a time?” I asked the bartender. “Only two at a time s...” “Perfect! I’ll take a half dozen, no ice, no coke.”
After I passed the hordes of sex toy sellers (who refused to have their picture taken with their merchandise) I came upon a sparkling stage tucked away at the back of the show. People had awkwardly surrounded it, albeit less awkwardly than the old ladies buying dildos. I felt something, something deep within my loins, telling me to go further.
There were two charming (and confusingly sexy) hosts to that night’s main stage events. Somehow, everything started to make sense. I began to genuinely enjoy myself. Sure, I was double fisting jack and cokes the entire time but the energy of the event around the main stage was different. The crowd loosened up and the awkwardness subsided.
Eva Darling and Jasmine Diamond took command of the stage, like Rommel with a division of Panzers. They seemed to embrace the awkwardness and absurdity of the event. These two weren’t your run-of-the-mill travelling stage show hosts. It turns out, they’re well known in the Ottawa drag scene. Well versed in the art of coaxing excitement out of people who are unexcitable, they grabbed the attention of the crowd for the rest of the night. 2-for-1 butt plugs be damned.
The amateur strip contest was painful, but pleasant. Egged on by the two hosts, the contestants began to have, dare I say, a good time. Sadly, no one actually got naked, one girl came close but she was not what I would call ‘amateur’. I actually saw her stationed at a booth half-naked after the show. A plant to be sure, but it helped liven up the crowd.
Magic Mike closed out the show. I couldn’t tell from backstage but I bet he had a huge penis. He strutted on stage with orgasm shattering confidence. A few girls from the crowd were chosen to get a little closer to Mike’s Magic. It could have been, it should have been off-putting, but it wasn’t. Girls were screaming, guys were laughing, the entire crowd fixated on his ‘package’.
I left the show with my virginity intact, oranges uneaten and bottle of vaseline full. What happened to the bottle of Cialis I’ll never know, and so too are my thoughts of the event.
Sexapalooza is lauded as the type of event where Ottawa can let go of its sexual repression for a weekend. It isn’t that -- yet. Passing the event off as a large-scale dildo convention would be easy, but there are hints of something more waiting to be uncovered. There is genuine potential for a breakout success if they can focus less on the sex toys and more on the entertainment.
Keep your eye out for Sexapalooza 2015; it just might be worth losing your virginity to.
Written and Photographed by Steffi