By Chris Tait
With provincial elections come and gone, Calgary returns to skin-tight business pants, despite the best efforts of many a student and hippy. Political differences aside, we share a common interest–sex. And Calgarians saw it come and go last weekend during Taboo… The Naughty but Nice Sex Show.
“Anybody can find a black skirt in the mall, but it’s really hard to find a black velvet corset,” says Barbie Anderson-Walley, owner of the fetish and gothic wear store Barbies Shop. “Of course, the transvestites found me really quick. I never realized how hard it was for them to acquire stuff.”
The secret to the show’s popularity: whether those emerging from prudishness or members of the Calgary Kink Society, it’s a chance to peruse sexual products in the safety of numbers. And of course, there are the full-bodied women spilling out of corsets, brandishing cats o’ nine tails and paddles to provide free whipping demonstrations.
“It’s exposure to people who wouldn’t normally come in my store,” explains Barbie. “They don’t know what lurks behind that door. An arena like this gives it a neutral format.”
Expose themselves they did, along with the chain-clad D’Hagen’s stage show. D’Hagen’s designer Linda Langs exemplifies her exhibitionist ways, recounting a story involving a SAIT photography student.
“He says, ‘we have to win by taking the most unique pictures, and three bondage cages on your front lawn is pretty unique,’” she recalls.
The only major problem was the show’s ambiguous atmosphere. There may be something carnal about things with holes in them, but selling mini donuts at the sex show is like giving away dildos as at the Stampede.
One vendor was displeased with the overhead fluorescent lights left on in the warehouse-like room, making it feel like a hockey arena, not a place to sell sexy wares.
Despite these transgressions, the show’s libido still went strong, thanks to the mainstage events, proving once again we can indeed all get along with nothing but love and a healthy dose of sex.