Where Every Kink has a Home!
Ever wonder what goes on at the Taboo Show? Yes, it is a tradeshow about sex, and all things naughty and nice, but it’s actually more than a group of local fetishists showcasing their wares. What actually happens when Metro Vancouver stops to celebrate their kinks, fetishes, fantasies and everything taboo? One of our Elan correspondents was fortunate enough to find out.
Taboo Show Vancouver
My hand was stamped at the door and I was ushered into the large convention hall by a lovely older gentleman you would hardly expect to see at an event like this. I don’t know what I expected, but I suppose I expected to see more of a Christian Grey, than the grandfatherly type. And what would my dear old grandpa think if he knew his granddaughter was attending a show devoted to sex? I shudder to think what his religious mind would have conjured. Hell would have been his conclusion, a hedonistic paradise full of sinners, and I was one of them. However, if he thought this show was just about sex, he’d be wrong. And if he thought this was simply a gathering of local perverts and sex-crazed adults, he’d also be wrong.
What’s Taboo all about?
There are a lot of misconceptions about the Taboo show. Those I listed above are just some of the many false impressions that surround this kind of event. What I quickly learned upon entering the dimly lit convention hall, is that every preconceived notion I ever had about Taboo, or kink in general, was wrong. Who frequented these events? Not the assortment of gawkers and oglers you’d think would be there, but every walk of life: young, old, professionals, students, women, men- although the men, oddly enough, were underrepresented. There were couples lovingly holding hands while they perused the carpeted aisles full of naughty toys and lingerie. But then, you’d turn around and that loving couple so tenderly in love, so normal-looking, would be in the hidden dungeon space flogging each other, tied up in intricate knots and ropes, while others stood and watched. Single men and women were everywhere, checking out the many pleasurable goods, as well as the eye candy on the main stage, which consisted of pole dance shows from Tantra Fitness and an all-male revue by Body Heat. It was interesting watching their approaches: some were positively unapologetic about holding a giant vibrator in their hands and asked questions openly- sometimes too openly- do we really want to hear what kind of nipple clamp you’d like to try?
It was fun watching the shy ones as they tried so very hard to make their purchases discreetly, like a ninja, in and out with their black, unlabeled bag, hoping that no one would notice. But guess what? We’re all here for a reason and it isn’t wine tasting; although you could well enjoy a glass of Merlot or a vodka and tonic from the many bars littered throughout the hall. Back to the shy ones. If I were to speak to them directly, this is what I would tell them: There’s no need to blush or run away. There’s no need to skulk or hide in the shadows. At Taboo, all things sexy are out in the open and on display! And the crowd was certainly not the judging kind. There were grandmothers strutting around in leather cat suits and men donning corsets. PVC and shiny Bras were worn in abundance, as well as frilly panties, thigh-high boots and steampunk attire. Everything from softly erotic to hard-core BDSM. But you would be hard-pressed to define any of them as a so-called ‘pervert’. If that were true, that definition could include almost anyone; your neighbour, your aunt, your friend and even your accountant. The one thing you learn fast at a Taboo show, is that everyone has a place. Whatever you’re into, there’s a community for it and whatever you may desire, whether it ranges from the sensual to the extreme, you’re not alone. There will be many normal, everyday people who are also interested in the same things as you.
That being said, this event was typical in some ways. The booths held the usual variety of erotic playthings. Soft, purple drapes separated the different stalls and inside them, every kind of lube, toy, underwear, outerwear, whips, crops, bras and Ben-Wa balls were for sale (anyone who’s read Fifty Shades will know what that last one is). There were vendors from across the province, showing off their specialties. A wonderful find was a lovely seamstress from Vernon, named Kitty, from Felix & Kitty Creative, who outfitted me in one of her stunning handmade corsets and steampunk-inspired skirts. I never thought I’d like the feel of a stranger cupping my boobs, especially in public, as she carefully measured my bra and back size, to ensure a proper fit. But, I have to say, once in front of the mirror, I took one look at my cinched-in waist and sudden hourglass figure and damn! I never felt sexier!
See? Surprises abound at the Taboo Show and you never can tell what you’re really into until you try it.
For instance, I never thought I would see a Chiropractor booth at the show or be approached by a professional photographer who offered to make a sexy movie of me and my girlfriend- which, FYI, was my Bestie and Not my lover- But, that’s the beauty of a show like this, everything’s allowed and nothing’s off the table- unless making restrictions is your fetish. If you’re daring, Taboo can bring out a whole different side. I never thought I’d be convinced to mount a small stage and hold on to a stripper pole. But, there I was, bum out, back arched, flashing my fanny at complete strangers as they walked by. I can’t say I was graceful, but hey, I got a free dance lesson for my bravery, thanks to Tantra Fitness. In fact, I was fortunate enough to meet one of the co-owners of Tantra Fitness, Ricky Pang, who is the first Canadian male to win the men’s division of 2013’s Canadian Pole Fitness Championship. But, that is the subject of the next Blog. Stay tuned for our interview with one of Canada’s sexiest men...
Our Tip if You Attend Next Year’s Taboo?
You can wear pretty much anything, but if you want to try on lingerie or corset wear at the show, we recommend shaving or waxing your armpits, so you don’t sweat as much. Nothing’s worse than someone trying to measure you as you’re drenched in sweat. A little leg wax or laser hair removal on those furry winter legs would also be a good idea if you don’t scare the merchants away. If you want to wear something a little more daring, say a skimpy latex bra and some panties? Book a bikini wax or a Brazilian, so that you’re untended bush, isn’t the main attraction- unless you like it that way! (These are generally good ideas when wearing anything revealing- so book some hair removal before Valentine's Day arrives, hint, hint...)
For more info on what happened at Taboo this year, go to www.taboosexshow.com
Written By: Vanessa Vachet- Elan Blog contributor
Sources: (Images courtesy of Taboo Sex Show Vancouver, S&M model: Flickr Creative Commons: Sabine Mondestin, all other images taken by our correspondent)