January in Montreal means many things: frigid weather, atrocious driving, and from a commercial perspective, Valentine’s day prep. There is no clearer demonstration of this than at the annual Salon de l’Amour et de la Seduction.

Sponsored by MyFreeCams.com, it’s held every year towards the end of January and is a massive combination of trade show, educational conference, and performance festival. The rules are that it’s eighteen plus, you must be respectful and mindful of consent, and though you’re welcome to dress to impress, you must keep your genitals covered at all times. Inclusion and open minded-ness are the name of the game, and the Salon does a lot to make sure its disabled attendees are comfortable, with ramps and seating areas for those with visible and invisible illnesses.

As a reporter who’s had the honor of covering the event every year, the differences between this year and last year’s Salon did not go unnoticed. One of the biggest changes was clearly due to Canada’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana.

Though in previous years, vendors of bongs and pipes had one or two tiny booths, this year their presence was much grander. One massive booth offered pipes, vapes, and bongs in a variety of materials and price points. Another booth was devoted to HighonLove.ca, a Canadian company that makes hemp-based massage and bath oils, lubricants, and even chocolate body paint.

Though their products seem sound, their prices are quite high, with a bottle of massage oil going for as much as sixty bucks. The representative I spoke to said that this was because the product contained no fillers, though it is clear that their prices are also driven up by their fancy packaging, which gives it the appearance of a luxury brand.

Among the sex educators present this year was Morgan Thorne, author of A Guide to Classic Discipline, Exploring BDSM: A Workbook for Couples and Medical Aseptic Technique for BDSM. Thorne is not only a sex educator who runs BDSM workshops and offers Couples Education and Coaching both in person and online, but she is also one of the only visibly disabled exhibitors present at the Salon.

Morgan Thorne

She spoke to me in depth from her wheelchair as I leaned on my cane about the difficulties disabled women face getting treatment for pain issues. The impression she gives off is one of empathy and open-mindedness and also has free BDSM educational videos.

Among the many sex toy vendors at the Salon this year was Bliss, which had a second booth for their other company Spank Toys. Of all the vendors at the Salon, their prices for vibrators were some of the most reasonable, with a decent model going for as little as thirty dollars.

Bliss

I noticed upon arrival that there were fewer exhibitors this year. A representative of the company named Jeff told me that this was because the cost of exhibiting at the Montreal show – the Salon also has events in Las Vegas, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Red Deer, and Toronto – was particularly high this year. Despite the high cost, some smaller vendors were also at the Salon to showcase their works.

One such vendor is DicksWithWicks.com, which sells penis-shaped candles. I asked their representative whether her products were modeled on a real penis and she told an amazing story. She was on social media one day when a man sent her an unsolicited dick pic. Her horror and sense of violation quickly turned to empowerment.

She asked him for more photos of his junk from different angles, which he freely and willingly provided. The photos were then used to make the mold for the candles. When the man in question saw the products, he demanded a share of profits, to which she rightfully replied that he sent the images freely and with no presumption of privacy and she therefore owed him nothing. In the era of #MeToo, we need stories like hers more than ever, and it is companies like these that we need to support.

Another small vendor present was Exotique Spa Candles, a company that makes blacklight sensitive candles for sex play. Designed to not burn you when the wax is poured on your skin, the proceeds of their products go to the Alberta sex positive education and community center, a sex ed group that gives courses and workshops on consent and sexual health.

Their representative spoke to me in depth about how there is still a lot of shame tied to sex and sexuality in Canada and that the shame keeps people from having healthy discussions about it. A lack of discussion and health education has led to such problems as the increasing rates of gonorrhea and syphilis among people over the age of fifty. Information about their non-profit can be found at Aspecc.ca.

In addition to vibrators, dildos, candles, and lingerie, the Salon features the latest sex toy tech. La Marquise Sex Toys had a lifelike sex doll on display. Their rep said the entire doll costs around ten thousand dollars, but they also had lifelike hips with vagina and anus built in for four hundred dollars.

.Another company, Robot Sex Machine, had two machines in operation, demonstrating how their technology could be used to rhythmically move dildos and pocket pussies.

One of the biggest disappointments of the Salon this year was their kink corner. Though in the past the kink section had ambient lighting and tamer displays of kink, this year was a demonstration of mismanagement and a lack of discussion about what should be shown.

When I arrived the kink corner on Saturday around 2 pm, the area was impossibly dark due to a lighting issue that had never been resolved, and the displays of kink were too hardcore even for this crowd.

Many who come to the Salon and check out the kink corner are not kinky themselves, but curious and perhaps tempted to try it. That means that what they see should not be overly shocking, and should certainly represent healthy BDSM relationships to dispel myths resulting from the Jian Ghomeshi trials and the abuse portrayed in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Unfortunately, while one section showed a tame display of rope play, a kinkster in another section was furiously spanking and whipping a sub with few check-ins or after care. It was a display that turned the stomach of my friends, some of whom are kinky themselves.

It was the kind of display that would scare some off and give others the impression that abuse is acceptable if you call it BDSM. That said, I know the kink community can do better, and here’s hoping they do so next year.

The Salon de l’Amour is a lot of fun. Not only can you get quality sex toys and lingerie at discount prices, but you’ll also see great shows, see innovations in sex toy tech, and learn about sexual techniques, identities, and kinks. Your ticket also has the benefit of helping small businesses and educational groups that in the era of #Metoo need our support more than ever.

Check it out, have a blast, and leave your judgments and biases at the door.

Photos by Kerry Ann Cannon

People tell me things they would not tell anyone else, not their mom, not even their therapist or childhood best friend. I get bro status instantly when most girls would not. Guys hear that I like girls too (I like all humans) and assume that I want to hear about all the dirties of their sex life instantly. I’m not mad, always looking for artistic inspiration.

This is what brings us to the topic of erotic asphyxiation. A guy was telling me how he was fucking a girl half his age and she liked to be choked.

Another guy told me about the first girl that ever asked him to choke her and how it felt powerful. One time they were in the act and he was choking her and her eyes rolled back into her head. Her body went limp. He then slapped her awake. She said “Thank you for bringing me back,” then he continued fucking her.

What the fuck? This disturbed me. Who would want that? Choke out a young girl, thats not making love, thats some carnal strange right there. She asked for it, he said. She wanted it. She was looking for a little pain, a little pause in time and oxygen deprivation.

I bruise easily so I never really wanted to try it. But one time I was hooking up with someone and they were definitely dominant, and knew what they were doing. Their expert hands knew the exact pressure point to hit to cut off oxygen without hurting me. It felt like a whip. I needed to tap out, it was too intense, and not in a sexual way.

Erotic asphyxiation or breath play is when you intentionally restrict the flow of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal. The term autoerotic asphyxiation is used when the act is done by a person to themselves.

Gasper is used to describe a person participating in this fetish. Author George Shuman describes the effect as such, “When the brain is deprived of oxygen, it induces a lucid, semi-hallucinogenic state called hypoxia. Combined with orgasm, the rush is said to be no less powerful than cocaine, and highly addictive.”

When death occurs during auto-erotic asphyxiation often the families will “clean up” the scene and make it not seem sexual, but like suicide. If a partner is involved it can be classified as murder even if there was consent. Thats crazy!

Back to my conversation with the dirt ball. He also added “of course the girls are always younger” as if it would be gross to sleep with a woman his age or older. The other guy stated that he liked older women. I wonder if it was because he wanted to sleep with me.

Daddy complex- so many older men fetishize young girls, like the only creatures capable of sex are young fertile girls. It is absolutely disgusting how children are sexualized by the media for consumption by the scummy old men who rule the world. Goes the other way too when younger people are looking for sexual “guidance” perhaps to make up for a lack of actual parents in their life. A whole generation is being raised by the internet and are incapable of healthy relationships because of this.

Mommy complex- while most men seek out younger women they also take advantage of older women to do things like their cooking and laundry. For the most part they want to be treated like babies and also fuck babies.

Some people also put themselves into the mom role. I definitely do this. This is still problem, but a little less creepy. I will never have children pop out of my body but I will have an influence on younger people. I will help others grow with my wisdom and resources.

I love to feed people, I love having people in my home and cooking them a vegan feast. I will go without to fill someone else’s belly. I care about others in that ever loving maternal way.

For me, I feel funny if someone is much younger than me. When on dating sites/apps I usually swipe away from even 21-22 year olds because I know they are in a much different place than my 30 year old ass.

Do I fuck them to feel young? Is it like Elizabeth Báthory bathing in their blood? Ageism is rampant in porn and the sex industry. Age is a fetish too: nubile lolita vs dried up spinster, youth vs experience, it’s all what you are looking for.

Burlesque is so appealing because there no age restrictions. All bodies are beautiful and inspiring vessels. Everyone is fucking sexy! Old and fuckable are not oxymorons!

I love that people like to tell me the gory details, knowing that not many other people would be as impressed by their filth. I love being the one who knows the thing you can’t tell anyone else. I don’t get grossed out. I do disgusting shit everyday. We all do.

How do you react when you know dirt about someone your friend is thinking of dating though… like they start describing a random tinder hookup that they are falling in love with… same physical description, kinda average, kinda whatever… same job… wait he started what?… awww fuck that’s the guy that ____ to my friend when she was _____ and you think that maybe he _____ to you but you want to justify what happened.

Like staying with a phone company that sucks just to get an angry but loyal customer discount. You asked me if I ever stole anything from anyone.

We ate brunch, vegan tofu hash with a pita, strong coffee with almond milk, you had a bloody mary, we both hate olives. You very loudly told me about all of your sexplotations and adventures spanning the course of continents.

A man sat in earshot pretending to read. I forgot his name but we definitely knew each other. I did not make eye contact.

Hopefully our explicit conversation inspires him to make art. Us talking dirty on the patio of a cafe on a fall morning makes Buffalo that much more sexy. That kind of girl lives there, artists having conversations about art, sex, traveling, ridding ourselves of negative energy, and bonding over coffee and early morning alcohol that’s ok because it’s in tomato juice like a meal.

Talking about choking, fucking outside, and so much more. Things were said that would make anyone gasp. I know he had to read those pages over. We acknowledged each other as he left, he said he didn’t want to interrupt our conversation. You are welcome sir.

It is naïve to think that sex education class is the only way kids are learning about sex. I remember the first time I found a PlayBoy magazine, It was the August 1992 edition and I found it in around 1997. Flipping through the pages of fake breasts and tans, hairless pre-pubescent looking vaginas and early photoshopped perfection, I was not impressed. I had also seen some crazy 80s porn with huge bush at my best friend’s house. It was nothing compared to the dirty, filthy, slutty things I made my Barbies do. Sex slaves, lesbian 69 action, and so much more. My best friend and I were sick and twisted kids to say the least.

It was when I found a Hustler, maybe a year later in a different spot, that made me go: JACKPOT! The art of tasteful bush and PENETRATION! greased up bodies with strange lighting and snakes and all the accoutrements needed to make my libido realize it existed. The peen was in the vageen. Aye carumba! My heart raced a million miles an hour. This was the magazine that would live between my mattress and box spring for eternity.

PICTURES
Me and Tiffany, my sick and twisted BFF right around the age we discovered porn.

 

Technology survives based on how well it adapts to porn. Early photos and paintings were all porn. Irving Klaws made tons of money sending smut (Betty Page and early bondage) to businessmen. You bet that the first films ever made were based on sex. People like watching other people fuck, it’s a proven fact. VHS survived over Betamax because of porn. The Internet (which spell check now makes me capitalize, didn’t realize the “internet” was a person) is built on porn. I remember using my AOL dial up in the middle of the night to attempt to watch porn, it was so much better than the fuzzy Skin-o Max softcore movies (like Bleu Nuit with worse picture for my Montreal readers) but still a challenge. HBO’s Real Sex also changed my life. I will never ever forget the Pony Play episode! Or watching the lonely women take turns having sex with a realistic sex doll. It was funny to watch them hoist him into a rolling computer chair to move him into the other room. I just recently acquired the VHS version of these shows and am excited to take a walk down memory lane.

I guess what I am getting at here is some of the most influential reading and viewing material on my youth was in fact pornography. It was taboo, it was slightly scary, and it was everything I wanted. The mind of a child is growing and learning so rapidly. I can’t imagine how connected to porn kids are these days. It’s everywhere. Every ad is explicit. Kids, this Generation XXX as it were, have tablets and phones that are smarter than their parents. I get sick thinking about these same kids and selfies gone wrong.

Much of my art (both on the stage and visual) deals with the exploitation and exploration of the human body. During the 2014 Montreal and Buffalo Infringement Festivals I displayed my series of mixed media collages called “Kitty Porn.” Kitty porn is exactly what it sounds like, I took a hardcore porn magazine and a Cat Fancy magazine and collaged the cat heads on to the porn bodies. The outcome is hilarious. It is a comment on the two most exploited and shared things on the INTERNET (I am going to capitalize ALL of the letters now just to prove a point): Cats and Porn. Porn and Cats, and Cats and Porn. I soon realized that the cats in the magazines were making the same strained faces as the barely legal women in the porn magazines. It was an alarming epiphany.

kittysex
“Kitty Porn”

 

I was almost late to work today because of porn – it is so easy when you can just pull it up on your phone reaaaally quick. Access to all of the nastiest fetishes are at the click of a button. Hardcore Bisexual Strapon Femdom MMFF BBW DP ATM BDSM Cosplay porn would probably be my flavor of choice. Some good old fashion Gay Barback Twink and Bear orgies are also pretty hot – you can’t fake a giant cock in the ass. The moans and groans that can shatter glass bursting through your speakers. Don’t even get me started on furries. I often thought about doing feeder web cam porn, just letting people watch me eat stuff while they jerk off in the privacy of their own home or office.

I really enjoy the terrible plot lines of early porn flicks – Think “Log Jammin’” from The Big Lebowski. At least they were trying to make it interesting, LOL. We have gone a long way from the “Deep Throat” and “Debbie Does Dallas” days of pornography. Smut has to be wild and crazy. Nobody cares about doggie style, regular old “hardcore” is passat, girl on girl? Ha! so 1992. People want pain. They want cum shot compilations. They want gang bangs. They want it now, and fast, and again, again, and harder next time, more pain, more stretching and gaping, and younger, bigger, smaller, louder, sweeter, more covered in cum, humiliated and even more barely legal than before. It’s exhausting.

That’s why I like classic burlesque, leaves a little to the imagination. Old pinups are lovelier than any current porn star, or stripper straddling a beer bottle. Labioplasty should not be a thing. Young women should not be so destroyed from rough sex that they need reconstructive surgery. There is something to be said for innocence and intrigue. Innocence has been stripped from the youth for years, and its only getting worse. We need to bring back positive and safe displays of sexuality. Girls should never have to think that they need to do filthy porno things to be happy. We need to empower the youth and show them that sex is beautiful, kink can be healthy, consent is everything, and there is no one type of sex.