Lust was in the air at the 18th incarnation of the Salon de l’amour et de la seduction, which took place last week at Place Bonaventure. Generally, the convention achieved its goal of creating a relaxing and non-threatening arena for learning about sex and sensuality, purchasing a wide variety of pleasure objects and accessories, and finally entertaining, and dare I say even arousing, the middle-class masses? Well-off couples in their 30s featured heavily in the demographics of the convention: over three-quarters of the attendees were either couples or married and had household incomes above $70 000 annually.
The different booths illustrated a dichotomy in the sex toy world: the cheap ones with all the bells and whistles and the luxury ones with all the right features. It seemed every time I turned my head I saw a baby pink jelly silicone rabbit vibrator for a lower price.
On the other end of the spectrum are companies like Lelo, home of high-end pleasure objects that come with names, quiet motors and USB chargers. In fact, their rabbit-inspired design, Ina, was featured way larger than life on a giant poster looming above the center aisle. The We-Vibe also had a very strong presence. Their logo was even on the white plastic bags sexy models handed out at the door, just thick enough to conceal all the treasures within.
This year I happened to catch more of the main stage entertainment. The Baci lingerie fashion show lived up to titillating expectations, although I spent more time checking out the tattoos on the Monse Ose models. The ink highlights included silk stocking lacing up the back of one model’s legs, complete with lovely little bows at the tops and thick corset lacing encompassing the small of another model’s back.
With their lovely and lustful lingerie, Baci seems to say that you can be one of three different women: the pure and sweetly feminine one in white, the sultry temptress in black or the sassy forbidden fruit in red. My favorite looks featured a full-length fishnet body stocking paired with a cropped leather jacket or frayed denim vest covered in rock and roll patches… perhaps not so appropriate for the bedroom but runway-ready!
Also appearing on the main stage was Roxi D’Lite, who certainly lived up to her name with her irresistibly sexy routine. She channeled the golden days of burlesque when she emerged from the curtain in a full length, flowing sapphire-tone gown, hands tucked daintily into a fur muff. Lucky for us, it wasn’t long before she was down to matching blue sequined pasties and panties, hurling herself around a conveniently placed (and well anchored) lamppost. It’s pretty funny that while Burlesque performers can compete for awards and win titles like “Queen of Burlesque”, strippers that employ a similar arsenal of tricks get labelled “trashy”.
A visit to the dungeon yielded helpful hints on flogging, like this juicy tidbit: blindfold your object of affection and fan the flogger closer and closer to their nipples before dealing a sharp blow. That thrill of the anticipation stimulates your two most important sex organs: your brain and your skin.
Overall, I believe the convention could benefit greatly from a change of venue. For example, last year’s Fetish Weekend was staged at L’Olympia, the beautiful old theatre whose character really contributed to the sensuality of the night. The cold, sterile air of Place Bonaventure didn’t really put me in a very sexy mood, not to mention the overall chilly temperature and odd lighting that abounded.
Thankfully, the intense overhead fluorescent lighting was not in use, forcing each booth to be in charge of their own lighting. Then again, I seem to forget all about this when I went back for my third helping of Cherries Jubilee of the night, thanks to the good people at the LoveDreamer.com booth, a part of their DreamToys Glassworks line.
Photos by Phyllis Papoulias, see the whole set on our Facebook Page